Gratitude Day 646

2 Timothy 3:7 – They are always learning but never discover the revelation-knowledge of truth.

Are you looking for a book to read this summer? Well, let me help you out!

I think of summertime reads as ones that share a great story, keep me intrigued and stretch my imagination. These aren’t necessarily faith-based books … but they fit the criteria just listed. So, if you need something new to read this summer, check out my recommendations below.

The Four Winds by Hannah Kristen

If you only pick one book from this list to read this summer, please, please, please pick this one.

I have become a huge Hannah Kristen fan. (I will be recommending another of her books below.) The Four Winds is her most recent book and has been a popular book club selection.

I now know why. It is simply FANTASTIC. The story starts in Texas during the Depression. Elsa comes from a well-respected city family who becomes pregnant by an Italian farm boy, Raf, … before she is married. Elsa’s father dumps her off at Raf’s farm the day before he is supposed to leave for college. The pregnancy changes everything for Elsa and Raf.

The Depression is followed by the drought and dust bowl which means making a living on the farm is nearly impossible. Yet, Elsa has fallen in love with the farm and her in-laws. She has devoted her life to her family, which includes a son and a daughter.

It’s a story of heartache, disappointment, struggle and trying to hold it together. The twists and turns will surprise you … as well as delight you. The surprise ending may shock you. It would be a good idea to have a box of Kleenex as you read it.

Reserve this book from your local library or borrow a copy from your friend that is raving about it or purchase your own copy. After your heart has stopped pounding from this beautifully story, share it with a friend that will appreciate the story as well.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Deliah Owen

This is another popular book club book right now. In fact, I will participate in a book club this week where we will discuss the first part of this book.

Set in North Carolina, Kya is known as the “Marsh girl” and is accused of a local murder. This story reminds us that we are forever shaped by our childhoods.

The Nightingale by Hannah Kristen

This book made it on my top 10 best books of 2020. If you haven’t read it yet, read it right after you read The Four Winds. It’s by the same author.

This story is set in France during World War II and is the story of two vastly different sisters. They each find their own way of surviving the Germany invasion of France. It’s a beautifully crafted story that will have you wondering if there is a sliver of truth to the story. Or at least I did.

The Dressmaker of Khair Khana: Five Sisters, One Remarkable Family, and the Woman Who Risked Everything to Keep Them by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

This is a non-fiction story of Kamila Sidiqi who lived in Afghanistan as the Taliban came to power. She finds herself in the position of having to support her family without being able to take on a traditional job. Kamila reinvents herself as an entrepreneur, saves her family and other Muslim women from their village.

Even if a story is fiction, one of the reasons why I love to read is so that I keep learning. I find it so interesting to learn about another period of time. Historical novels have been my fiction jam lately. They help me learn about historical events from a unique perspective.

What are you reading this summer? Do you have a favorite book that I should add to my reading list? I would LOVE to hear what books are holding your interest right now. I hope you enjoy some of the ones that I have loved reading recently.

For stories that speak to me, I am grateful.

Blessings –


Almighty God – stories are such an important part of our lives. Jesus told stories regularly and used them to teach us about God’s kingdom. I pray we find stories that inspire us, educate us and allow us to reflect upon our lives today. Amen.

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