Whether you are at the beach or work, traveling or relaxing at home this summer, using your time to enjoy the written word is therapeutic, and it can further your relationship with God. Sit yourself down on the beach or into a coffee shop chair and be immersed into a story!
Here are my top picks for this summer:
1. The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis
See a man’s journey to find God through the eyes of Satan. An undoubtably very strange concept but truly one of the most eye-opening and encouraging books I have ever read. Be reminded that God is so much bigger and better than any evil in this world.
2. Love Does by Bob Goff
Focus on loving others this summer. Love Does is a collection of stories filled with little acts of kindness which lead to a bigger view of God’s love.
3. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
Written by a man in a unique situation, with a unique ability to appreciate all the blessings we have been given on earth. Read this book to gain a perspective on purpose and valuable ways to spend your time (also, be prepared for some good, healthy crying).
4. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
One of my all-time favorites. It addresses God’s unconditional, unfathomable love through a metaphor, helping the reader to understand His love as a more tangible concept rather than as an abstract one.
5. Garden City by John Mark Comer
This book speaks to millennials. It provides Christ-centered answers to questions like, “why am I here?” and “what’s my purpose?”
6. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Because every poolside day needs a book filled with adventure, love, and unexpected plot twists. This one is just for fun — and it’s a classic!
It’s not a stand-alone book, but this book of the Bible will keep your attention all summer long. Whether you stretch it across the summer or read a chapter a day for a month, Proverbs is a great resource as well as a solid life-directing book. You will know God more deeply after studying this book intently.
8. Harry Potter by JK Rowling
Okay, okay, I know — this book is maybe too obvious to put on this list. But, a surprising amount of people haven’t read any of the Harry Potter books! And if you’ve read one or two, read the third (then the fourth…and the fifth…you know where I’m going with this). Delving into the Harry Potter series is a perfect way to spend free time in the summer.
One of the letters written by Paul, Colossians is filled with nuggets of wisdom and comfort. “And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him…” That is the gospel right there! None of us are deserving, but none of us are left out through His grace. If you read even just a few verses of Colossians every day, you’ll be reminded of the gospel every day.
10. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
This is the perfect summer beach read. If you like a good love story and an even better cry, then this book is for you! I promise you won’t be able to put it down. Plus, they are making this book into a movie so be sure to read it before it hits theaters in June!
11. Delight Summer Series
Stay spiritually fed all summer long by reading through the summer series book with a group of girls!
-JesseRuth Parrish // @parrish.jesseruth