Summer Reading List

Right now, for most of you, almost three months of free time awaits you. Alright… maybe not totally free. Throw in some school, an internship, a stint at a summer camp, but lets be honest, you’ve got a lot more time on your hands during the summer than you do during the year. That means we’ve really got two options: waste it or invest it. Frankly, wasting it is way easier. Some of us want easy. We want to watch TV, play video games, or hang out non-stop. If that’s you, then I’m probably not going to convince you to do otherwise.

What I can say is that I’ve never spoken to one college student who wasted his summer and said that he didn’t regret it. I have spoken to some students, the rare few who spend their summers well, and none of them ever regret the hours they spent making their summers count. How did they make it count? Well, quite simply, they read.

It begins with the Bible. If I can get you to do one thing, it would be to start the practice today of reading your Bible daily. Don’t put it off, or it will never happen. Now I’m not saying that reading your Bible will be a magic fix-all for your life, but I am saying that you’ll probably never have this much free time in your life again, and God can use his word majestically when we invest deeply in it.

Once you get the Bible started, set yourself an easy goal. Read three books this summer. That might sound enormous, or even impossible, especially if you hate reading. Nonethless, I’ve never met one book-hater who wasn’t converted into a book-lover (or at least liker) by this goal. The only way to stop hating is to start reading. It will be hard, but it will be an investment that will change your life. We’ve always seen a connection between people reading and their spiritual growth.

If you hate reading, skip this next part. Instead, go to a bookstore find a small book (under 250 pages) that just sounds interesting to you. A biography, a funny cultural commentary, a mystery-thriller, a young adult novel (like Hunger Games), a sports book, or whatever catches your eye… and dedicate yourself to reading it.

If you already at least kind of like reading, you can check out some of my personal suggestions below.

Christian Summer Books:

  1. Prodigal God – Tim Keller
  2. Counterfeit Gods – Tim Keller
  3. King’s Cross – Tim Keller
  4. Jesus + Nothing = Everything – Tullian Tchividjian
  5. Battling Unbelief – John Piper
  6. When I Don’t Desire God – John Piper
  7. Just Do Something – Kevin DeYoung
  8. When People Are Big and God is Small – Ed Welch
  9. A Quest for More – Paul Tripp
  10. War of Words – Paul Tripp
  11. The Radical Disciple – John Stott
  12. Mere Christianity – C.S. Lewis
  13. Transforming Grace – Jerry Bridges
  14. Respectable Sins – Jerry Bridges
  15. The Heart of Prayer – Jerram Barrs

Summer Fiction:

  1. Out of the Silent Planet – C.S. Lewis
  2. The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis
  3. The Fellowship of the Ring – J.R.R. Tolkein
  4. Peace Like a River – Leif Enger
  5. Gilead – Marilynne Robinson

Summer Biography:

  1. Amazing Grace – Eric Metaxas
  2. Bonhoeffer – Eric Metaxas
  3. The Hiding Place – Corrie ten Boom
  4. Surprised by Joy – C.S. Lewis
  5. Martin Luther – Stephen J. Nichols
  6. The Narnian – Alan Jacobs

Alright. Choose a book, start reading, and make your summer count. You’ll thank me in a few months.

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About Patrick K. Miller

Currently I am living in Columbia serving at the University of Missouri with Veritas, The Crossing's campus ministry. In December 2010 I graduated from Mizzou with a degree in English Literature. My beautiful wife, Emily, works is an Interior Designer with a local firm. I like espresso, 30 Rock, and books. My favorite old dead guys are John Owen, Augustine and Francis Schaeffer. You should read something by them.
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One Response to Summer Reading List

  1. If you don’t mind the shameless self-advertising, I’ll also link to my book recommendations for the break. Here are some good apologetics books to read during the Summer.

    http://veritasmizzou.wordpress.com/2011/12/29/apologetic-thursdays-book-recommendations-for-break/

    And here are some good resources for theological learning.

    http://veritasmizzou.wordpress.com/2012/01/19/book-and-podcast-recommendations-for-theological-learning/

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