What Not to Read this Summer

School is out for most children, vacations are planned and raring to go, and it’s time to encourage our mental growth. What are you reading this summer? If you check out the latest bestseller list, you can be overwhelmed and wonder where to start. Each bestseller has raving reviews, but not all bestsellers are great books to read. Here are some things to keep in mind when picking something to read this summer.
What Not to Read:
A book that does not impact your life
There are some great new books out there but choose one that will impact your life. Pick a book that is more than just an entertaining read, but will leave a lasting imprint on your heart.
A book that you will not open
I am guilty of this. Buying a book intending to read it but never opening it. My motive was great but I failed in the execution. Pick one that you know you will read—one that is worth your time. And enjoy it! 
A book that does not invoke imagination
There are many great books that inspire and challenge imagination. I love picking up a book that will transport me to another place, a book that exercises the imagination. Find one that will stoke your thoughts, and one that has a deeper meaning than just a good story.
A book that doesn’t challenge you intellectually
Not all books are the same and not every book will challenge you. Find one that will stimulate you intellectually—one that you normally would not pick up or that you may need to spend some extra time on as you read it. Challenge yourself!

Suggested Summer Reading:

There are many great books out there but I wanted to share a few on my list that I would like to get through this summer.

For children or as a family:

I am always an advocate for the Chronicles of Narnia series by C. S. Lewis. You can’t go wrong with an epic story that you can read throughout the summer with your children. With a wild imagination, you get enveloped into the master storytelling of Lewis. I highly recommend this series. I look forward to jumping into the world of Narnia with my family.

Something to help family:

A Practical Guide to Culture, by John Stonestreet and Brett Kunkle, was written to help parents navigate through the ever-bending trends of our culture. I picked up this book for two reasons. One, I am familiar with Brett Kunkle and his ministry. I appreciate his approach to apologetics and teaching the next generation. Two, I have been looking for a good resource to give parents that deals with the trends of today’s culture. As parents, we need to read and be prepared for our children’s future.
The authors explore questions such as, why do so many kids struggle with identity? How do we talk to kids about LGBT issues? How can we grow students in the biblical story and empower them to change the world? These are ones that we face and must be ready to navigate through with our children.

A classic:

The Pilgrim’s Progress, by Puritan John Bunyan. There are many versions that have come out to help with the archaic English. B&H Publishing came out with a very decorative cloth cover version that I have enjoyed reading. I love the comparison that Bunyan makes between the believer’s life and the story of a man named Christian coming from the City of Destruction to find his home in the Celestial City.
Though I have read The Pilgrim’s Progress before, it is one of those books that every time you reread it you gain more insight. I hope for more this time around.

A new book:

I first came across author Tony Reinke for his book about reading titled, Lit!: A Christian Guide to Reading Books. He recently came out with a new book, 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You. I am somewhat afraid to read this book because I know it will change me and how I view technology. I use my phone a lot. Reading the chapter titles, I know I am in for it! I look forward to how this book will challenge me and change me.

A book about culture:

I was turned on to this book by US Senator Ben Sasse because many strong evangelical leaders were promoting it, and the title was very catchy: The Vanishing American Adult. In addition to the title, the endorsement by Mike Rowe, who is creator and host of Dirty Jobs, has made it all the more intriguing to read. Ben Sasse addresses what is happening with adolescents and their inability to grow up. I was hooked as I read a section of the book about how Ben Sasse and his wife had their 14-year-old daughter work a month on a cattle farm to know about hard work. This is a book that I hope will make me think differently about parenting with a bigger goal.
What are you reading this summer? I would love to hear from you. Just add the titles you plan to read in comments section below.

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