Summer reading lists are off by about six months.
A winter reading list makes much more sense. It’s cold outside. Barely anything is green. Winter is THE time to get in your big leather chair by the fire place or wood burner stove (central air vent?) and dig deep into a book or ten.
But summer? Sure, if you’re a college prof you have the summer off, but on behalf of the other 99% of us, We’ve to got stuff to do. Lawns, gardens, livestock, painting, restoring the flux capacitor — the stuff of summer. But what about summer vacation? You know, beach reading? Yeah, I can see that. I’m at the beach with my fives sons, ages seven, six, five, two and one. I say to the Smokin’ Hot Wife, “Honey, I know you want my help while you’re trying to keep Josiah from drowning and while you keep Junior from kicking over Danny’s sand castle, but you’ll just have to wait because I’m really into this chapter.” Yep. Aside from the pleasant vision of the Smokin’ Hot Wife in a bathing suit (insert my best Roy Orbison tiger growl at this point), this scenario just ain’t happening.
Winter is the time to march through a reading list.
The early night makes it a little easier to get the kids in bed early.
There are very little major outdoor projects (Exception: maple sugarin’ time. The stuff is so good it has a street value. Haven’t done it yet, but it’s on the list. If it doesn’t make the list, I have to start being nicer to a friend of mine who does do it.)
Except for Christmas break, the school age kids are in school (apologies to our much respected homeschooling parent readers).
So sit down with a good book, an adult beverage of your choice, a cigar, or if you want to rock that C.S. Lewis vibe, a pipe, and read.
This article explains “Being pulled into the world of a gripping novel can trigger actual, measurable changes in the brain that linger for at least five days after reading, scientists have said.”
Albert Mohler offers six suggestions for better reading.
My list? Here’s a start:
The Not So Wild, Wild West: Property Rights on the Frontier by Terry L. Anderson Consider this book myth busters for cowboys. “Mention of the American West usually evokes images of rough and tumble cowboys, ranchers, and outlaws. In contrast, The Not So Wild, Wild West casts America’s frontier history in a new framework that emphasizes the creation of institutions, both formal and informal, that facilitated cooperation rather than conflict. Rather than describing the frontier as a place where heroes met villains, this book argues that everyday people helped carve out legal institutions that tamed the West.”
My Life For Yours by Douglas Wilson This book was a gift from a friend when we moved into our new home back in July 2013. It digs into the nooks and crannies of the Christian life without pragmatism and sound theology. “The driving desire of the Gospel is “my life for yours.” Our desire should be to have this love transform everything we do, room by room. This book works its way through every part of the house, examining each part in light of Scripture. The claims of God are always total, and this should be evident on the doorposts and in a sink full of dishes. Self-centeredness destroys in monotonously similar ways. Giving up life for another produces a harvest of kindness and mercy. Household questions should always begin with, “Is this my life for yours?””
The Good News We Almost Forgot by Kevin DeYoung The author “explores the Heidelberg Catechism and writes 52 brief chapters on what it has shown him. The Heidelberg is largely a commentary on the Apostle’s Creed, the Ten Commandments, and the Lord’s Prayer and deals with man’s guilt, God’s grace, and believers’ gratitude. The result is a clear-headed, warm-hearted exploration of the faith, simple enough for young believers and deep enough for mature believers.”
Fast Jack, The Last Hustler by John Farrell “The last of the old-time dice and card “mechanics” recounts his colorful adventures in and outside the mob running crooked dice and card games all over the country and world. Think Good Fellas meets The Sting.”
A book on 19th century Western U.S. economics and property rights, two books on Christian theology and a biography of a professional gambling hustler. Yep. I’m normal.
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