Inspiring Reads for the Summer

Summer can be hard. You are running back and forth between activities, or trying to find activities to keep your kids busy. But, it is also a time to lounge by the pool or maybe go on vacation. And perhaps, have a few minutes to sit, relax and read a good book. 

If you are looking for inspiration to make it through the summer, here are 4 books to give you just that.

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

By Bryan Stevenson

We’ll start with a non-fiction pick that was LOVED by everyone in my book club who has read it in the past 2 years. Bryan Stevenson writes about his career as a lawyer, over the course of which he began the Equal Justice Initiative. He paints a heartbreaking picture of the modern fight for justice through the stories of several men, women, and children he has helped over the years. At times it’s very challenging to read (trigger warnings for sure in the chapter about incarcerated kids) but the stories of Bryan and the people he works with will also inspire you to fight for justice in your own world.

The Bean Trees

By Barbara Kingsolver

This one is a fiction pick and it’s old but totally worth the read. Marietta sets out from her too-small hometown in Kentucky to make it on her own. On the way, she changes her name to Taylor, gains a mysterious kid, and gets a job at Jesus is Lord Used Tires. Lots of inspiring stories are woven through the narrative, from Mattie (owner of Jesus is Lord Used Tires and helper of refugees) to the refugees themselves to LouAnn and her quirky neighbors to Taylor. They are quirky, flawed, and heroic all at the same time. (Bonus Pick- If eating local is on your 2018 Goal list, check out Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Kingsolver.)

The Boy on the Porch

By Sharon Creech

If you’ve read any of my other book posts (here or here or here), you know I love to recommend middle grades novels to busy moms who are looking to squeeze in a good book. The Boy on the Porch is a perfect pick if you are looking to be inspired by a book you can knock out in a day or two! John and Marta are shocked when they awake one morning to find a boy on their porch. Despite their reservations, they take him in and he changes their lives forever. I won’t say any more for fear of spoiling it, but suffice it to say it is a beautifully inspiring story about loving even when it’s hard.

Hidden Figures

By Magot Lee Shetterly

Whether or not you’ve seen the movie released last year, this is a fantastic read if you are looking to be inspired by real moms who accomplished extraordinary things. Hidden Figures follows the stories of 4 women who broke the gender and color barrier at NASA to help put the first U.S. citizen in space. Dorothy, Mary, Katherine, and Christine tackle prejudice, insanely difficult mathematics, and managing families in a way that will encourage you to attack those New Year’s Resolutions with renewed vigor. (If you’re looking to inspire young people in your house, the Young Reader’s Edition of this book is fantastic. It’s also shorter, if time is of the essence!)