I’ve been waiting ten years for this.
That’s 3,650 days.
More than 5,000,000 minutes.
Waiting. Dreaming. Counting down….
But it’s finally arrived.
A deliciously memorable motherhood milestone…..
After years and years of “you must be within arm’s length” and “high-alert, don’t-look-away, poolside parenting,” I am finally going to be THAT MOM!
THAT MOM I used to silently curse as I was forced into the chilly waters of pool-mom duty.
You know, the one who is basking in the sunlight, not a care in the world, lost in a faraway land while her children…well, who cares, what her children are doing…she obviously doesn’t care….
Because she’s graduated from poolside-stress to poolside-bliss.
And now, I am THAT MOM.
In honor of this glorious occasion, I have compiled a list of all the best books I’ve read in the past year, and a few I’m hoping to read by the pool this summer.
I must warn you, this list is heavily skewed to my own reading preferences.
I’m a total sucker for Christian historical fiction. I love Regency era novels. And I read about 5x as much fiction as non-fiction.
Consider yourself warned…
I haven’t set out to make a reading list for the ages, I’ve simply compiled all the books I’ve loved to read (and longed to read) into one place.
Oh, and at the end of this post, I’ve compiled it all into a totally free *no strings attached* printable.
This article contains Amazon affiliate links. CLICK HERE for my full disclosure.
But before we get started…
I’ve got two book lover’s tips I simply must share.
First, if you read quickly (like me), I strongly encourage you to invest in a Kindle Paperwhite (here’s the one I have).
I never ever considered getting a Kindle. Not once.
But my husband bought me one for Christmas and I am in love. His name is Kenny Kindle Koontz and we spend most of our weekends gazing at one another at our favorite spot on the couch.
If you do have a Kindle, be sure to sign up for BookBub Deals . Also, check your local library. Mine has tons of Kindle titles available and they are so easy to download.
Second, I found this amazing Google plugin that adds a Library Extension to my Amazon.com account, so every time I look up a book it searches my local library database to see if it is available to check out (digital and paperback). I swear, it’s the best thing since sliced bread.
Ok, on to the reading lists.
I’ll be sharing my 5 favorite Christian historical fiction authors and my 10 must-read Non-Fiction titles.
Once we get through all that, you’ll get exclusive access to my downloadable Sumer Reading List for Christian Women (my top 46 picks).
So much fun!
My 5 Favorite Historical Fiction Authors
Warning! This reading list is subject to change without notice. These are just my current faves…
#1 Karen Whitmeyer
Ok, Y’all. Karen’s my current fave and here’s why. Her writing is intricate, her imagery is captivating, and her characters are deliciously flawed. I picked up a copy of A Worthy Pursuit on the sale rack at a local bookstore, and within two weeks I’d blazed through five of her books.
I recommend you go out and buy (or search your local library for) all her books immediately. Especially her newest title, Heart on the Line.
#2 Melanie Dickerson
I used to work in a coffee shop when I was a teenager. Because of this, I always leave a generous tip at coffee shops (because I know how much baristas depend on tips). This makes my next confession a bit painful….
I am the cheapest reader on the planet. I live at the local library, shop the bargain bin, and love picking up used books for a $1 at garage sales (which is absolutely ridiculous considering I’m an aspiring author myself, and I know how much writers depend on retail sales).
Because I want to support other writers, I’m slowly learning how to pay full price for books (ouch!). And Melanie Dickerson’s book, The Beautiful Pretender, was the first novel I’ve paid retail for in a long time. And it was WORTH EVERY PENNY.
Melanie writes Christian regency romance and medieval fairy tales. Ummm…yes, please! I’ve also read and enjoyed A Spy’s Devotion and A Viscount’s Proposal. I hope to read the rest of her books this summer (by the pool, of course).
#3 Julie Klassen
Julie’s titles include some of my longtime favorites. In fact, I think it’s about time I re-read a few. Her stories are all set in Regency England (my very favorite era); her writing is clean and the characters are well developed.
#4 Lorie Alice Eakes
Ok, now we are getting through my “read everything they ever wrote” shortlist of authors. I love most of Lorie’s stories, but there are a few I had to trudge through ( for example, Flight of Fancy just didn’t move quickly enough for me).
Her stories are generally full of action and drama. Lori’s rugged ship captains and mysterious aristocrats are like dark chocolate, I just can’t get enough! My three favorite are Heart’s Safe Passage, A Reluctant Courtship, and A Lady’s Honor.
#5 Sarah E. Ladd
Prior to becoming wife, mother, writer….I was a professional golfer. This unique life experience forever ruined golf-themed movies for me. Hollywood is simply incapable of portraying the sport accurately. I’ve heard similar complaints from lawyers (about law-themed tv shows) and cops (about CSI type shows).
I share this because it is the foundation of an important caveat I must express with this particular author. I love her stories, but they only ever receive 4-star ratings in my Goodreads account because the writer in me is always tempted to critique her work. And when I’m reading fiction, I’d rather not wear my editor hat.
That wraps up this section, now let’s move on to….
My Top Ten “Must Read” Non-Fiction Books
For the sake of relevancy, I’ve decided to limit this reading list to ONLY the books I’ve read in the past 12-months.
I’ve written reviews for several of these titles on my blog, I’ve included hyperlinks to those reviews for your convenience:
10. 5 Habits of a Woman Who Doesn’t Quit by Nicki Koziarz
9. Come With Me by Suzanne Eller
8. You Are Free by Rebekah Lyons
7. The Difference Maker by John C. Maxwell
6. Simply Tuesday by Emily P. Freeman
5. Talking with God by Adam Weber
4. Wild in the Hollow by Amber Haines
3. Craving Connection by InCourage
2. Uninvited by Lysa Terkeurst
1. Traveling Light by Max Lucado
Printable Summer Reading List for Christian Moms
If you enjoyed this article so far, you are going to LOVE this printable summer reading list.
Now that you know if our reading personalities are compatible, you’re ready for my *totally free no strings attached* printable summer reading list.
I hope you spend many hours this summer relaxing (by the pool if your kiddos are old enough) and enjoying these books that have brought so much joy to my life.
I’ve placed an asterisk by the titles I have not yet read (but plan to read by the pool this summer). ENJOY!