“I really miss the days where we had assigned reading over the summer in school,” said no one ever.
When I was a kid, summer reading felt like the worst torture. We had already endured months of homework and now they had the nerve to expect us to read when we could/should be swimming in pools and lounging all summer. No, thank you.
Well now the tides have turned. Reading for fun is a luxury I wish I could afford more often. I love reading now and wish I could go back in time to tell myself how lucky I was to have a whole summer to read as much as I wanted before things like bills and babies and adulting got in the way.
Ever since my daughter was born, my desire to read has increased. I like to think of it as my little escape. When I don’t have the time or resources to go on exciting adventures, I can sit down with a book and travel to Seattle or Australia in one afternoon, and my mind gets to go there all while in the comfort of my own home. In honor of my love for reading and my desire to school my foolish 12-year-old self, I have created a Summer Reading List for Moms:
The Secrets of Midwives by Sally Hepworth
I read this book for a book club and loved it. This book is about three generations of midwives, who each have their own secrets that they are dealing with throughout the book. The chapters alternate narrators between the 3 midwives (Neva, Grace, and Floss), which got a little confusing at times. Despite that, the stories weaved well together. I loved how the book highlighted how powerful giving birth is. It was a quick and enjoyable read.
Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown
This book was a game changer for me. I love Brené’s research on vulnerability and shame. I had a really hard time figuring out how to best describe this book, because I think it’s so wonderful and she covers so many important topics. I decided to share one of my favorite quotes from the book, so you might get an idea of some of the topics she covers. Brené writes, “Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, ‘No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.’ It’s going to bed at night thinking, ‘Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.’”
Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed
I have a confession. I absolutely love Cheryl Strayed. If you haven’t read Wild yet, get on that. But before you do that, you should fulfill your summer reading duties and check out this wonderful collection of advice columns that Cheryl wrote when she did the Dear Sugar column on The Rumpus. Even if you can’t relate to the question that is being asked, Cheryl finds a way to drop tiny nuggets of wisdom about life in each response. You will not be disappointed. If you enjoy this book you should also check out the Dear Sugar podcast that Cheryl does with Steve Almond.
Toddlers Are A**holes: It’s Not Your Fault by Bunmi Laditan
The title says it all. If you find yourself, like me, in the throes of toddler mutiny, then this is the book for you. If you don’t have a good sense of humor, this is not the book for you. Bunmi has one of the funniest and most honest pages on Facebook and this book is no different. With humor and grace, Bunmi talks parents through the difficult reality of life with toddlers.
Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty
I haven’t read this yet, because it doesn’t come out until July 26, but Liane is one of those writers who can do no wrong in my eyes. I have already added myself to the long list of people waiting to check this book out from the library as soon as it’s available. It has been added to many must read summer lists already and, given my love of her previous books and the hype surrounding its release, I’m going to assume this will be a worthwhile read. If you can’t wait until July 26 and you haven’t read all of her other books (like me), I suggest checking out Big Little Lies, The Hypnotist’s Love Story, or What Alice Forgot.
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Rainbow is one of my favorite authors and I even got to meet her when she came to Boulder in November. This was the first book of hers that I read, and it brought me back to the joys of being young and falling in love for the first time. I love all of Rainbow’s books, but if you’re going to read only one, read this one.
What’s on your summer reading list? I love getting new suggestions on books to read!