I finished some fantastic books in June, including Lysa TerKeurst’s phenomenal The Best Yes. If you’re looking for a good summer read, check out the following selections. There’s something for almost everyone on this list.
The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst
I started reading Lysa’s book on the way to a restaurant for a family dinner. Four pages in, I was so enthralled that I had to back up and read the entire first chapter aloud to my husband, who was driving the car.
By the time we pulled into the parking lot at Jalapeño Tree ten minutes later, tears were streaming down both our faces. The entire book had that effect on me. Sometimes I shed tears because the author’s words tugged at my heart strings. But most of the time, I was laughing so hard I cried.
Lysa is a master storyteller. But she is also a very insightful writer with a message women, especially, need to hear: You cannot do it all. When you say yes to one thing, you are saying no to something else. Make those decisions deliberately. That way, the things in your life that matter most get the best you have to offer in terms of both time and attention.
Do Fathers Matter? by Paul Raeburn
But it is equally important for mothers to read. That’s because — as the authors note — “the single most powerful predictor of fathers’ engagement with their children is the quality of their relationship with the child’s mother.”
This holds true regardless of whether the couple is married, divorced, separated, or never married.
To read my full review of this fascinating book and the research behind it, please follow this link: Fathers Matter (Every Day of the Year)
Where the Red Fern Growsm by Wilson Rawls
If you’ve never read (or listened to) Where the Red Fern Grows, do yourself a favor and check it out from your local library as soon as possible.
The book tells the remarkable story of Billy Coleman, a young boy with a lot of grit and the hunting dogs he trained and loved.
Set in the Ozark Mountains, it is a beautifully told tale. The characters seem so real and the scenes so poignant. We marvel to think the author just invented the story in his head.
Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World by Michael Hyatt
I’ve been reading Michael Hyatt’s blog for years. To be honest, I think most of the chapters in this book appeared first as blog posts and can probably still be accessed there for free. But I bought the book. Because I knew I’d want to underline and take notes. And because I prefer the organization of a book, where I can begin and the beginning and read straight through to the end.
Hyatt generously shares his expertise on business, marketing, platform building, social media, blogging, and more. He has many impressive credentials. But the thing I most appreciate about him is that he is a devout Christian and a devoted family man. He has enjoyed tremendous success in his career, but has done so without sacrificing his marriage or family. I really appreciate that and feel I can follow his advice for extending the reach of my own writing without compromising on any of the things that matter most to me. Highly recommended.
How to be Interesting: In 10 Simple Steps by Jessica Hagy
You should be able to finish it in an hour and a half. However, it took me about three days to get through the material, due to the fact I took such copious notes throughout. Not that I think myself uninteresting and in need of help in that department. But because the author’s diagrams inspired me to create several of my own. Her writing style packs so much meaning into so few sentences. Which motivated me to try my hand at that, as well.
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
We love the Pevensie children and the amazing adventures they had while living in the country in the middle of WWII. The wardrobe provided a gateway to another dimension, where they made friends with fauns and beavers, learned valuable lessons, and met the loving but fearsome lion Aslan face-to-face.
My son is now two chapters from finishing The Magician’s Nephew. His younger siblings have begun to gather whenever he reads. We’ve all enjoyed them thoroughly and believe they should be a part of every youngster’s childhood.
Out of the Dustby Karen Hesse
I went to a recent booksale held at our local library and scored over a dozen books on tape for a dollar apiece. Out of the Dust was among them.
Written in journal style, this book relates the experiences of a young girl who grew up during the Dust Bowl.
We attended a family reunion about the time we were listening to it, so I questioned my aunts, who were living in Oklahoma during those same dust bowl years, about their experiences.
They told me they were fortunate. “We may not have gotten what we liked to eat, but we never went to bed hungry.” They also talked about how much neighbors helped one another, a theme that came out in the book, as well.
John, Paul, George & Ben by Lane Smith
And here’s a picture book for Independence Day! It describes the childhoods of five of our founding fathers: John Hancock, Paul Revere, George Washington, Ben Franklin, as well as Tom Jefferson (who didn’t make the title, as he was independently minded and “hardly ever around”).
According to this author, the boys were always getting in trouble for one reason or other. But any liberties taken in telling their stories are cleared up in the end. A handy true/false section gives further fun details on these young lads and the amazing men they grew up to be.
So that concludes last month’s reading list. Have you read The Best Yes — or any other good books lately? Tell me about them in the comment section below. And if you’d like to browse through more of my reading recommendations, follow this link: Flanders Family Recent Reads