6 Books I Read This Summer


One of my goals for this summer was to read… a lot. Like most busy moms, I have a hard time finding/making time to read, especially during the school year, so it’s something that I try to move up on my priority list during the still-busy-but-in-a-different-way summer months.

Because reading time can be a hard time to come by for a busy mom, choosing books that are worthwhile—books that teach, encourage, or inspire you… books that speak to you where you are at—is necessary.

Here are the books that made my reading list this summer.

Deer Run Saga1. The Deer Run Saga by Elaine Marie Cooper

Every once in a while, I love to read a good, clean romance novel—especially if it’s a work of historical fiction. Local author Elaine Marie Cooper’s Deer Run books are just that. What I feel makes these books a worthwhile read is that not only do they have an incredible plot but they are also written in a way that, unlike most romance novels, encouraged me not to long for someone else’s story but instead to appreciate my own.

2. Good and Angry: Exchanging Frustration for Character… In You and Your Kids! by Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller

Good and Angry book coverI truly don’t read many books on parenting. There are so many different ideas out there that it can all get a little confusing… even crippling. So when I do read a parenting book, I do so with cautious discernment, taking or tweaking the principles I agree with and leaving the rest. I hesitate to recommend a parenting book to just anyone because I don’t want to be misunderstood as fully endorsing everything in it (which would rarely be the case); but I did find Good and Angry to be a worthwhile read. There are far too many nuggets in this book to share here; but two quotes that I feel capture its underlying principle are these:

“Anger is good for identifying problems but not good for solving them” (from chapter 2, “The Positive Side of Anger”); and

“When you see problem areas in your children or anger in yourself, view them as signals that change is needed” (from chapter 1, “Avoiding the Boxing Ring”).

Much of the remainder of the book offers discussion on how to bring about that change.

3. Child Training Tips: What I Wish I Knew When My Children Were Young by Reb Bradley

Child Training Tips book coverAgain, I don’t read many books on this topic (I think this one and the one above make three ever.); but I liked the idea of this book’s purpose which is “simply to expose to parents possible blind spots [in their parenting], and to offer practical tips and biblically-based help in overcoming them” (quote taken from the book’s preface written by author Reb Bradley). While I probably didn’t fully agree with every single thing in this book, I would say that it was helpful in exposing to me some “blind spots” which I’ve let creep in over the years; and in so doing, it has helped me to “refocus” on some areas of child training where I now realize I had lost my vision.

4. How to be a Great Wife… Even Though You Homeschool by Todd Wilson

How to be a Great Wife book coverWhile this book was written for homeschooling wives, you could probably replace “even though you homeschool” with “even though you               {fill in the blank with whatever other responsibility threatens to consume all your time and energy}” and still get just as much good out of the book. I’ll tell you, it was a lot less threatening (and more humorous) to read a husband’s advice on how to be a great wife than to read a fellow wife’s advice on how to be a great wife. If you’re looking for some simple tips on how to get your husband more involved in your marriage and in your family, I’d recommend giving this book a read.

5. Taming the Techno-BEAST: Helping You Understand and Navigate Your Child’s Electronic World by Todd WilsonTaming the Techno-BEAST book cover

You may recall my post on “Parenting in the Age of the Screen.” This is a topic that has been on my mind, so it seemed needful for me to delve into it a little more deeply. Todd Wilson’s book is a quick but thorough and thought-provoking look at the challenges of living—and parenting—in a world where “technological gizmos… are as present as the air we breathe” (quote taken from chapter 1, “Our Story”).

6. Organizing Life as MOM by Jessica Getskow Fisher

Organizing Life as MOM eBook coverAs my super fun summer has come to a close and forced me to prepare for the busyness that seems to be synonymous with the school year, I discovered that I needed just what the subtitle of Jessica’s book says: “inspiration and planning pages to help [me] get [my] act together”! This great little eBook is a wonderful resource for the mom who needs organizational help with meal planning, household chores, family fun, finances, holidays, and more. I know without a doubt that I will ever be on the journey of “getting my act together,” but Jessica’s inspiration is at least moving me in the right direction.

What inspiring books did you cross off your reading list this summer?


    • Yes, that eBook was quite helpful. It was a quick read and very practical, and I loved that the planning pages have form fields that can be filled in prior to printing! Thanks for the comment, Val, and happy reading! 🙂


  1. Thanks for the ideas, Angela! I liked Todd Wilson as a speaker & I was wondering how his books were. I will have to check some of these out…in all my spare time! 😉

    • He is a good speaker, isn’t he? Both of these books are a super quick read (which we busy moms appreciate, right? 😉 ), and his writing style is just as entertaining as his speaking style. I think you’d enjoy them… and glean some good advice in the process!

      Thanks for the comment!


  2. Those sound like great books. I have a read a couple books on adopting – my favorite was “Orphan Justice”. I just finished “Kisses from Katie” it was super inspiring and just an amazing example of following Jesus. I read “Lies Homeschooling Mom believe” by Todd too – I agree it could fit for any mom really. I am not a reader but I think that changed this summer. I also read a couple books on being a mom to boys!

    • Thanks for sharing your reads, Jodi! I go in and out of seasons where I read a lot, but I much prefer the seasons where I’m reading a lot. 🙂 I’m hoping I can continue to read throughout this school year, though I know it’s usually hard for me to find (or make?) the time.

  3. I just got done reading ” Bread and Wine” and it was such a great book. It focuses on the moments that happen around the table. It made me want to start throwing dinner parties. 🙂

  4. […] You can find this mom at the aquatic center, swimming pool, beach, or lake. She smells of sunscreen and sports a golden tan and sun-kissed locks. Cool at the Pool Summer Mom can find her kid among a sea of swimmers in three seconds flat and can identify his voice above the crowd and the roar of the waves. If her kids are young, she wades with them in the shallow area or catches them on the slide. But, if her kids are older, she’s reached the pinnacle of motherhood for this mom-type as she lounges on a beach chair reading a book or chatting with friends while her kids swim for hours on their own. The Cool at the Pool Summer Mom thrives on lazy, sunny days, SPF-50, and a good book. […]


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