I had a lot of fun this year getting a reading list ready for all your little astronauts out there who are racing across space. But then we thought about you. Wouldn’t you like to race across space too?

Mom's Summer Reading List

So Pam and I got together with another friend, Julia (we can’t lie — we were sitting by the pool), and we brainstormed some ideas for YOU, the mom, to race across space!

I have not read all of these books. Either one of us have read them or they come highly recommended for adults.

S

Science

The Story of Western Science: From the Writings of Aristotle to the Big Bang Theory by Susan Wise Bauer – I put this book on my summer reading list as a way to become more familiar with my favorite subject. It is more of a guide to the great science thinkers than a history.

Series

Child of the Mist, These Highland Hills by Kathleen Morgan – Recommended by Julia; enjoy some Scottish intrigue this summer!

Silent

New Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton – Not a wordless book, but a book full of words to contemplate quietly. Recommended by Susan Wise Bauer in The Homeschool Snapshots Podcast episode 23.

Shakespeare

Shakespeare: The World as Stage by Bill Bryson – A biography of Shakespeare that tries to sort through what we do and do not know about the Bard. 

Space

The Astronaut Wives Club: A True Story by Lily Koppel – Life in the limelight is never what one thinks it might be. Thankfully, these ladies had each other.

 The Story of Western Science: From the Writings of Aristotle to the Big Bang Theory Child of the Mist (These Highland Hills, Book 1) New Seeds of Contemplation Shakespeare: The World as Stage (Eminent Lives) The Astronaut Wives Club: A True Story

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P

Poetry

Gerard Manley Hopkins: The Major Works by Gerard Manley Hopkins – Recommended by Nicolas Ireland in episode 8 of the Your Morning Basket Podcast

Person

Abigail and John: Portrait of a Marriage by Edith Gelles – I have seen the HBO series, now I need to read the book. John and Abigail Adams are one of America’s great couples. Their story is both interesting and encouraging.

Playful

The Best of Ogden Nash by Ogden Nash – One of my very favorite poets, Ogden Nash can almost always make me smile. A pair of poems in this book describe the author’s aversion to boys, as future thieves of his happiness, when his daughters are born and then, many years later, his glad acceptance of another male to join the family party. 

Place

Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times by Jennifer Worth – A touching, emotional book about London’s poor in the East End post WWII. If you liked the BBC series, you will enjoy the book. Caution: There is an explicit scene on the pages either side of the pictures.

Picked by Mom

Consider this a free space! Let us know in the comments what you picked!

 Delphi Complete Works of Gerard Manley Hopkins (Illustrated) (Delphi Poets Series Book 31) Abigail and John: Portrait of a Marriage The Best of Ogden Nash Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times

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A

Adventure

Mrs. Mike by Benedict Freedman – One of my very favorite adventure love stories of all time. Kathy comes to Canada to visit an uncle, falls in love, and begins a life of discovery and adventure. Based on a true story of early 1900’s Canada. 

Arithmetic

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt – Can you trust those statistics? Probably not. 

Archaeological 

The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey – Who really killed the princes in the tower? Was it Richard III? Was it a story all made up by the next king? This is a work of fiction, but certainly has interesting historical questions attached to it.

Animal

Trusting Calvin: How A Dog Helped Heal A Holocaust Survivor’s Heart by Sharon Peters – I just put this one on my list. I am sure I will need a box of tissues to get through this emotional and touching story about a guide dog and his owner.

Art

C

Cooking

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver – Pam enjoyed reading about one family’s journey to eat only local food for one year.

Crafts

Creative Haven Owls Coloring Book by Marjorie Sarnat – Give yourself a break, pull out the markers or colored pencils, and enjoy some coloring while watching the kids play in the sprinkler.

Country

Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson – Pam just loves Bill Bryson and hopes that you will enjoy this fun little book about Great Britain. 

Conundrum

A Morbid Taste for Bones, Brother Cadfael Chronicles by Ellis Peters – Over the past couple of years I have enjoyed this mystery series about a Benedictine monk solving murder mysteries around the year 1100. I love the way Peters weaves historical events into the mystery in such a way that the murders and intrigue actually seem to affect the outcome of the real events. 

Computers

The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brain by Nicholas Carr – A scientific look at what the internet is doing inside our actual brains, affecting the way we think and see life. If nothing else, this would be a huge encouragement to read more and run to the computer less.

 Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life Creative Haven Owls Coloring Book (Adult Coloring) Notes from a Small Island A Morbid Taste for Bones (Brother Cadfael Chronicles) The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains

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E

Exciting

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand – Survival stories are almost always exciting and this one recommended by friends looks to be one of the most exciting yet! On my list for sure.

Enchanting

The Time of My Life: A Novel by Cecelia Ahern – What would it be like to meet your life? Julia enjoyed this interesting and enchanting novel about a young woman who does just that.

Earth

Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About the World by Tim Marshall – While the title may be a bit of an exaggeration, I still find these sorts of books very interesting. A nonfiction read that takes a seemingly boring subject like geography and explains to me in an entertaining way why it is important and how it has influenced the world I live in. Application and practicality at its finest. 

Entertainment

Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business by Neil Postman – This one has been out for awhile, but it is still a good read. Recommended by Pam.

Epic 

If you haven’t downloaded your summer reading materials for either you or your kids there is plenty of summer left to inspire a love of reading. Don’t forget we have a great list of books to help the kids complete their Race Across Space as well!

Jessica Lawton

Contributor at pambarnhill.com
Jessica Lawton is a homeschool mom to five fantastically fabulous children. Her hobbies include book collecting, knitting, reading, and birdwatching. While teacher or writer were never on her list of Things to Be When I Grow Up, she curiously finds herself doing both, and enjoying it. This only strengthens her firmly held belief that God has better plans for us than we have for ourselves.

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