What is on Your Summer Reading List?

Since we are in the midst of Summer and I’m on a brief vacation I thought I’d ask you to tell us what books you are reading or planning to read this Summer. I’ll start…

My list is intentionally eclectic because that is the way I graze with my reading:

Deeper Life:
The Spiritual Practice of Remembering by Margaret Bendroth

Just My Type: A Book about Fonts – by Simon Garfield

Mindless Entertainment:
Rat Wars: A Pearls Before Swine Collection – by Stephan Pastis

The Heist – Daniel Silva

Science Fiction:
Influx – Daniel Suarez
Fortune’s Pawn – Rachel Bach

Pitch Perfect: How to Say it Right the First Time, Every Time – Bill McGowan

What’s in your book bag?


21 Responses to What is on Your Summer Reading List?

  1. Kate July 21, 2014 at 4:56 am #

    Here’s my list:


    Right now I’m reading “Bridge to Haven” by Francine Rivers.

    Enjoy the rest of your vacation!

  2. Shirley Brosius July 21, 2014 at 5:28 am #

    Currently reading The Auschwitz Escape by Joel C. Rosenberg. Excellent.

    Also working through Journaling as a Spiritual Practice by Helen Cepero. Insightful.

    Just finished: Take a Chance on me by Susan May Warren. Good read.

    Want to read: The God Who Comes by Carlo Carretto.

  3. Terry Whalin July 21, 2014 at 6:04 am #


    I’m also reading The Heist by Daniel Silva. What a page turner. I’ve read all of his books and this one is excellent.


  4. Vicky Kendig July 21, 2014 at 6:12 am #

    Currently reading: “Take A Chance on Me” by Susan May Warren, “Zulu” by Ronie Kendig, “Revision and Self-Editing for Publication” by James Scott Bell and, for devotional time, “Then Sings My Soul” by Robert J. Morgan. (I need to have several books going at once.)

    Just finished: “Burning Sky” by Lori Benton

    Loaded and ready to read: “Fifteen Minutes: A Novel” by Karen Kingsbury

  5. Ronie July 21, 2014 at 6:25 am #

    Nonfiction: Jesus > Religion by Jefferson Bethke and The Aleppo Codex by Matti Friedman

    Thriller: Brad Thor’s Act of War

    YA: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

    Fantasy: Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

    Nonfiction/Craft – Story Trumps Structure by Steven James

  6. Pegg Thomas July 21, 2014 at 6:26 am #

    One Nation – Dr. Ben Carson

  7. Sarah Chafins July 21, 2014 at 7:31 am #

    My library has a book sale a few times each year to get rid of old books, and I snatched up a few.

    The first one I finished was Shadow Song by Terry Kay. I wasn’t crazy about the story, but his writing is amazing. I dreamed about those characters!

    Just finished, Lucie Babbidge’s House by Lylvia Cassedy, which left me very unsatisfied, but again, brilliant writing.

    Getting ready to read Random Harvest by James Hilton. According to reviews, it’s supposed to be a brilliant wartime romance with mystery. Also, a New York Times best seller in 1941, and made into a movie the following year. Can’t wait…

  8. Carolyn Curtis July 21, 2014 at 8:04 am #

    The Advocate by Randy Singer…fantastic read. Next: The Auschwitz Escape by Rosenberg. Enjoy your time off, Steve. Much needed, I’m sure.

  9. Jeanne Takenaka July 21, 2014 at 8:14 am #

    I’ve read a number of novellas this summer, not the norm for me. I’m looking forward to reading, “When I Fall in Love,” by Susan May Warren, “Shadows of the Past,” by Patricia Bradley and “Revision and Self-Editing for Publication” by James Scott Bell. I’ve got lots of other books in my TBR pile, but these are at the top.

  10. Theresa Santy July 21, 2014 at 10:42 am #

    In my book bag this summer…


    -Trolls and Truth: 14 Realities about Today’s Church We Don’t Want to See, by Jimmy Dorrell (Read. fantastic book.)

    -A Life Well Lived: A Study of the Book of Ecclesiastes, by Tommy Nelson (Read. Ecclesiastes is one of my favorite books of the Bible and I was looking forward to diving deep into this. Unfortunately, the author did not live up to my high expectations.)

    -Tattoos on My Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion, by Gregory Boyle (To read, because my mother-in-law says it’s a must read.)

    -Inside Timmy’s Mind: Enter at Your Own Risk, by Timmy Boyle (Read. Comedy–so funny!)

    -Heaven, by Randy Alcorn (Currently reading. Eye opening, to say the least.)


    -Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury (Read. Great classic.)

    -The Atlantis Gene (The Origin Mystery, #1), by A.G. Riddle (Read. Meh.)

    -Lightspeed Magazine: June 2014: Women Destroy Science Fiction (Currently reading. Fascinating issue challenging the notion that women writers are destroying the art of writing science fiction.)

    -Faith Awakened, by Grace Bridges (To read. Looks like an interesting Christian spec fic.)


    -The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe, by Edgar Allan Poe (Read. Often, I enjoy poetry, and though I could never comment negatively about Poe, who was nothing less than a genius, sometimes…his pieces…went…a little…long.)


    -Getting Into Character: Seven Secrets a Novelist Can Learn From Actors, by Brandilyn Collins. (Currently reading. Already, this book has helped me inflate one of my flattest characters. Love, love, love.)

  11. Jenny Leo July 21, 2014 at 10:58 am #

    The Meaning of Names by Karen Shoemaker, about anti-German prejudice in Nebraska during World War I. Excellent so far.

    The Tastemakers: Why We’re Crazy for Cupcakes but Fed Up with Fondue by David Sax, about food trends and how they develop. Interesting and insightful for how popular opinion spreads–could be applied to more than just food IMO.

    Next up:
    The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street by Susan Jane Gilman, because it starts in early-20th-century Brooklyn, and because anything with “ice cream” in the title has got to be a good choice for summer.

  12. m. rochellino July 21, 2014 at 11:29 am #

    1. Waking Up in Heaven, Crystal McVea (recently finished) I agreed with 99.99% of what Crystal had to say. There are many more people alive on earth right now who have experienced death and returned. I am one of those people. Many have been shown things and given knowledge and then allowed (in my case to choose whether or not) to return to earth. For me, the gifts have not stopped coming upon returning to earth, the really profound ones are unpredictably periodic and are in addition to the great daily ongoing gifts of living in the light of God’s love, protection and amazing grace.

    To me it seemed, maybe incorrectly, that Crystal understandably and innocently seemed to point to a conclusion that anyone else having this experience would experience the same things in the same way to the same extent as she. I feel this may be quite largely correct. However, I have found that, as individuals, I can speak to my own experiences but should not assume that my individual experience will be the same for all. I fully realize it may not be the same for ANYONE else. That was the single issue in the entire book where I see things a little different from Crystal. It is the issue of one individuals experience rather than one that would necessarily be the same for everyone. (For example, I am a U.S. Army Vietnam veteran that served in Vietnam in the late 1960’s in an infantry company and know that each veterans experience is uniquely their own. I can tell you what it was like for me, what it MAY be like for you. I feel that I cannot inform you of what YOU will ACTUALLY experience IN THE SAME CIRCUMSTANCE.)

    Overall, this is a terriffic book! It is sincere. I read it cover to cover in one sitting in about six hours. I can wholeheartedly recommend this book. GREAT JOB CRYSTAL! GOD BLESS YOU!

    2. The Cracker Queen, Lauretta Hannon (recently finished)
    A lighthearted, entertaining and enjoyable read of growing up poor and dysfunctional in the South. Lauretta’s characters were undeniably real. I grew up with that ilk. I could definately relate to Lauretta, her times and circumstances. Kudo’s to Lauretta for rising above. Unfortunately I was disappointed when unnecessary profanity entered an otherwise good story. For this reason and this reason alone I cannot recommend (or gift) this book to anyone. I STILL WISH YOU THE BEST LAURETTA, luv ya!

    3. The Principles and Power of Vision, Dr Myles Munroe (current)

    Witholding comment until book is completely read.

    And last but certainly not least I can’t leave out author Larry Brooks STORY ENGINEERING and the followup STORY PHYSICS both very good books. GREAT JOB LARRY!

  13. Theresa Santy July 21, 2014 at 11:54 am #

    Thank you for sharing these comments. I am absolutely fascinated about “trips to heaven.” I’m currently reading Heaven, by Randy Alcorn, and he has opened my eyes to all the possibilities of heaven, and I appreciate hearing about your experience and perspective.

    • m. rochellino July 21, 2014 at 1:40 pm #

      Theresa, THANK YOU, for your kind comments. I have a completed novel incorporating SOME of these experiences. The story is told in the manner of an expanded parable. Luke 8:10-18. For some reason of which I know not why I have delayed releasing this book. That inner voice is telling me to wait until toward the end of this year, I always listen. I have made no decision to self pub or trad pub. I am waiting for guidance on that as well, it will come. Who knows, it may someday grace the desk of that legendary agent Steve Laube!

      • Steve Laube July 21, 2014 at 2:11 pm #

        Oh my. If it does cross the desk I suppose I must give a legendary reply!!

  14. Lisa July 21, 2014 at 11:58 am #

    Currently reading:


    Five Days At Memorial by Sheri Fink – wow. Quite the story.
    The King of the North by Max Adam – research for my novel set in Northumbria, 642 AD
    Your First 1000 Copies: The Step-by-Step Guide to Marketing Your Book by Tim Grahl – started this awhile ago but it got dropped admist busyness, hope to finish this summer. Good so far, a just-in-case if I decide to go self-pub route.


    Pilgrim’s Inn by Elizabeth Goudge. Liking it so far.
    Whiskey and Wheelguns: Tall Tales from the Weird West, by various authors – a short story collection featuring one of my Twitter peeps (R.A. Williamson), the old west meets spec fic. Kinda fun so far, but just started it.
    Not By Sight, by Kathy Herman. Meh. No-brain reading. Not greatly impressed.

    I have a huge list of “want-to-reads” but I’ll spare you those….

  15. Steve Laube July 21, 2014 at 2:12 pm #

    Great reading lists! And so diverse. Adds to my belief that there will always be an audience for great books.

    Now to go add some of these to my wish list…


  16. Darlene L. Turner July 21, 2014 at 4:24 pm #

    Hi Steve! There are too many great novels out there to only list a few. Here it goes:

    Deadly Devotion by Sandra Orchard followed by the sequel
    Blind Trust by Sandra Orchard
    Heaven’s Prey by Janet Sketchley
    Blur by Steven James
    Water Walker & Hacker by Ted Dekker
    The Eye of God by James Rollins

    Oh my…I must get reading!! 🙂

  17. Joanne Reese July 21, 2014 at 10:10 pm #

    I’m spending the summer reading a mystery a week, hoping to soak the masterful rhythm of things into my subconscious. I’m determined to let the puzzle-solving theory simmer as long as needed. One day I hope to find the same kind of page-turning magic spilling out onto my own pages. Whether it will work or not, remains a mystery.

    My favorite sleuth so far has been Magdalena Yoder. If you feel like cozying up on the couch to escape in a fit of giggles, I highly recommend Grape Expectations, by Tamar Myer. She’s fantastic! (Just be prepared to get some strange looks from your family due to laughing outbursts.) M.C. Beaton runs a close second, with the adventures of Agatha Raisin. G.A McKevvett and Lee Harris are also worth mentioning. I started one of Joanne Fluke’s a couple of days ago and I’m already hooked. And you really can’t go wrong with the all time classics of Agatha Christy.

    Thanks for the post, Steve. I’ve enjoyed reading other people’s comments. Time to sign off for the night. Red velvet cupcakes and an unsolved murder beckon …

  18. Cecelia Dowdy July 22, 2014 at 7:51 am #

    Just finished reading The Fault In Our Stars. It was a good read. Will probably see the movie. Plan on reading The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo next.

  19. Christy Hoss July 23, 2014 at 8:21 pm #

    I have to say I met Mrs. Pastis while submitting my children’s fair entries. Steve Pastis is living his dream – My reading includes all the writer’s help books on my shlf – bit by bit :0)

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