School’s out, and I’m ready for adventure. I’m going to go out of my comfort zone and try something new: I’m going to try a few new books! (And some of them were even written in the last 50 years!)
But which books? And can any new book be as good as my tried and true, never-fails-me re-reads that are sitting there on my shelf, smiling back at me, remembering the good times and promising that we can have the same adventures all over again?
I remember the Robin who showed the way, the day Matthew Cuthbert got the best surprise of his life, and the crazy woman Mr. Rochester had up in his attic. Gliding my hand over their spines, I lovingly whisper: “No new books could ever be as good as you guys.” (Yes, I talk to my books. Don’t you?)
New books take an emotional investment. They take time. They take courage. There’s also an inevitable downside to trying a new book. I always start out with such high hopes. But some new books are hard to get into. Some are boring. Others sag in the middle. And worst of all: So many of them have disappointing endings!
Picking up a new book is always a gamble, but there’s also something adventurous about trying a new book. It’s daring, it’s bold, it’s hopeful.
Someone recently asked me how I find good books? I personally like a recommendation first, before I start a new book. A few of my kindred spirit book friends have the same taste in books as me, so if they say it’s good, there’s a good chance I’ll like it.
I also read book reviews. A really great review by someone I trust can make me pull the trigger. Modern Mrs. Darcy has a list of 20 books people will be talking about this summer. She also has a 2018 Summer Reading Guide. I always find one or two books from her lists that sound exactly my speed.
Here are some new-to-me books on my list this summer:
The Hideaway by Lauren K. Denton: I just finished this one. It’s a sweet, Southern summer read. It’s a tender love story centered around a daughter and granddaughter that takes you back to your roots and makes you feel warm and comfy. The pacing is gentle, and the people are quaint. It made me want to drink sweet tea, bake peach cobblers, and think about my grandma. (Update: I give this book a 4.2/5 rating!)
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith: I know I’m late to the party on this one, but I’ve never read it. The story and descriptions of a young girl’s experience growing up in extreme poverty in 1912 Brooklyn is absolutely beautiful. I’m only about 25% into the novel, and I desperately hope the story unfolds the way I hope it will. (Update: I give this book a 5+/5 rating!!)
For the Glory: The Untold and Inspiring Story of Eric Liddell, Hero of Chariots of Fire by Duncan Hamilton. This is the story of Eric Liddell from Chariots of Fire. I’m a real sucker for real-life stories and biographies. I can’t wait to sink my teeth into this one. He wasn’t only an Olympic athlete. He was a missionary and a hero.
Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team SIX Operator Adam Brown by Eric Blehm. I read a sample of this one on my Kindle, and I was hooked! I’m saving up to buy this. The writing and story drew me in completely. Adam Brown had an incredible faith and was absolutely fearless in life and in battle. This book is his story as told from his friends, family members, and fellow warriors.
Okayest Mom: When God’s Plan of Adoption Doubled My Family Paperback by Natalie Gwyn: I met Natalie earlier this year at a writer’s conference. She is the amazing mom of two biological children and four adopted children from Ethiopia. This book is the about the ins and outs of their daily lives, how God called them to adopt three siblings, and their fight to find and adopt a fourth sibling. It releases June 25, 2018! (Update: I give this book a 5/5 rating!!)
On my shelf, I also have Bel Canto by Ann Patchett and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, both birthday gifts from a dear friend. I also have a growing list of titles from our book club and several other titles I’ll share later in the summer.
I’m being brave. I’m trying new books. How about you?
What new book have you tried or do you want to try? I challenge you to try one newish release this summer. Who knows . . . you might find your new best book friend.
Kindred Spirit Book Club Facebook group: If you love to gab about favorite books with other book-lovers, please join us on Facebook for weekly discussions!
Free Download: To download the super cute English Garden Summer Book Walk and printable reading map and activity guide my husband and I created, click here. I’m so excited to share it with you! I designed it to give you some fun book-inspired activities to try and share this summer.
This week’s Bookish Activity to consider: Visit a used bookstore and meet the shopkeeper.
Subscribe & Enter: When you subscribe to my blog by June 15th at 11:59 p.m. PDT, you’ll also be entered in a drawing for the chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card!
If you missed the other articles in this summer series, you can catch up here.