One of my favourite summer activities is to grab a good book and curl up outside in a lawn chair, hammock or swing to read. These days, I’m usually reading with one eye on the kids, but I always pack a book along in a bag for any outing. Here are eight fantastic books from Baker Publishing House for you to add to your reading list this summer.
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Great Nonfiction Books
Cousin Camp: A Grandparent’s Guide to Creating Fun, Faith, and Memories That Last by Susan Alexander Yates
This inspiring book from popular speaker, parenting expert and grandmother is a practical guide for creating special events that will help you develop meaningful, lasting connections with your extended family.
Full of specific, doable ideas and hilarious stories, this book contains everything you need to know from initial planning (who, when and where) to daily schedules to specific ways to build friendships among family members. You’ll also find plenty of suggestions for a variety of gatherings, as well as activities specifically designed for mothers of young children.
Why Would Anyone Go to Church? by Kevin Makins
When Kevin was 23 and didn’t know any better, he started a congregation with some friends who were on the edge of faith. Together they hoped to discover whether church was worth fighting for. In this brutally honest account, he shares their story of becoming a community of misfits, outcasts and oddballs who would learn that, even with all its faults, the church si worth being a part of… and must be reclaimed for good.
If you’ve been burned or burned out by the church, if you’ve been silenced or misunderstood, if you’ve left or never even joined in the first place, this candid, hopeful book is your invitation to consider what you miss out on when you give up on church—and what the church misses out on when it gives up on you.
Great Fiction Books
Stay with Me by Becky Wade
When acclaimed Bible study author Genevieve Woodward receives an anonymous letter referencing her parents’ past, she returns to her hometown in the Blue Ridge Mountains to chase down her family’s secret. However, it’s Genevieve’s own secret that catches up with her when Sam Turner, owner of a historic farm, uncovers the source of shame she’s worked so hard to hide.
Sam has embraced his sorrow, his isolation, and his identity as an outsider. He’s spent years carving out both career success and peace of mind. The last thing he wants is to rent the cottage on his property to a woman whose struggles stir his worst failure back to life.
Unyielding Hope by Janet Oke and Laurel Oke Logan
Lillian Walsh has already suffered more than most. After the passing of her sister and birth parents when she was younger, and now her adoptive mother’s recent death, Lillian struggles to understand why God would allow her to lose so much. Yet her adoptive father seems ready to move on, boarding up their home to embark on an extended visit to his native Wales.
Then a lawyer turns up on their doorstep with news that again upends Lillian’s life. She has inherited a small estate from her birth parents and, even more shocking, her younger sister Grace is likely alive. Lillian rushes to reunite with her sister, despite the fear that they won’t be able to rebuild a connection.
When the two sisters meet, Grace is not what Lillian expected–she’s full of exuberance and big dreams despite being raised in difficult circumstances. Can Lillian set aside her own plans to join her sister in an adventure that will surely change them both?
A Mosaic of Wings by Kimberley Duffy
Nora Shipley has one goal—to carry on the legacy of her late father by taking over the scientific journal he started. To that end, she’s fought to be taken seriously among her male classmates and graduate as valedictorian of Cornell’s entomology program. When pressures to settle down rise to a fever pitch, she impulsively joins a research expedition in Kodaikanal, India, to prove herself in the field and win a scholarship.
But India holds several surprises–she is impressed not only by the beauty of its natural wonders, but also by the gentle nature she discovers in the rival classmate who accompanied her, Owen Epps. Instead of exploring, however, she is forced by the expedition leader to stay at camp and illustrate exotic butterflies the men of the team find without her. During the many quiet days, Nora befriends Sita, a young Indian girl who has been dedicated to a goddess against her will.
In this spellbinding new land, Nora is soon faced with impossible choices—between saving Sita and saving her career, and between what she’s always thought she wanted and the man she’s come to love.
Set the Stars Alight by Amanda Dykes
In an aged brick cottage in London, the magic of the past comes alive each night for the family of a humble watchmaker. In her father’s fireside stories, Lucy Claremont’s fascination with the high seas begins, leading her to devote her life’s work to discovering the whereabouts of a legendary lost ship. But when tragedy strikes, it’s childhood friend Dashel and his knowledge of the stars that may help her solve the puzzle.
Two hundred years earlier, three young lives are altered forever when a shepherd rescues the privileged son of a powerful admiral. As the children grow, war leads to unthinkable heartbreak, deep love, and a story of betrayal, sacrifice, and redemption that fades into obscurity as centuries pass.
As Lucy and Dash explore mysterious ruins on the East Sussex coast, their search leads them to a community of souls and a long-hidden tale that may hold the answers–and the healing–they so desperately seek.
These Nameless Things by Shawn Smucker
Once held captive and tortured on a mysterious mountain, Dan was lucky to have made it out alive. But freedom comes at a cost. Left with little memory of the horrific ordeal, Dan can recall one thing—his escape meant leaving his brother behind.
With each day that passes, Dan waits with the other survivors in hope of his brother’s escape. But just as long-forgotten memories start rising to the surface, the sudden appearance of a wounded woman throws everything into question. As Dan struggles to know who to trust, he is caught once again in a paralyzing moral dilemma:
How far will he go to save the people he loves?
An Appalachian Summer by Ann H. Gabhart
In 1933 Louisville, Kentucky, even the ongoing economic depression cannot keep Piper Danson’s parents from insisting on a debut party. After all, their fortune came through the market crash intact, and they’ve picked out the perfect suitor for their daughter. Braxton Crandall can give her the kind of life she’s used to. The only problem? This is not the man—or the life—she really wants.
When Piper gets the opportunity to volunteer as a horseback Frontier Nursing courier in the Appalachian Mountains for the summer, she jumps at the chance to be something other than a dutiful daughter or a kept wife in a loveless marriage. The work is taxing, the scenery is jaw-droppingly gorgeous, and the people she meets along the way open a whole new world to her. The longer she stays, the more an advantageous marriage slips from her grasp. But something much more precious—true love—is drawing ever closer.
What’s your favourite book from this summer? Which of these books would you like to pick up—or which book would you recommend to a friend?