I walked up to the hold shelf, my eyes scrolled the books, looking for my last name among the paper tags in the books and I said a super loud, “Yes!” I looked around and no one even noticed my library outburst. A book I had requested had finally arrived and in perfect time for summer vacation.
My local library feeds my relaxation in the summer. I don’t have a book bucket list, I’m not in a book club, and I don’t try and read a certain number of books each year. I do try and consume as many books as possible. Or as many books as life as a mom will allow. Sometimes that means I read several books a week and other times just one a month. Instead of purchasing all the books I want to read, I request them through my local library and if there’s one I feel I really need on my bookshelf, I buy it.
The process to request books from your local library is super simple. After hearing a great recommendation, I go to my county library web page, put in the request (if my library system doesn’t have it, I can I request they purchase it or request it through the state loan program). Then I get an email when it arrives, I go check the hold shelf and there’s my book. Popular and new titles will always require a wait, so submit early (for a recent popular book I was number 14 in the queue when I requested it).
Summer just happens to be my very favorite season for relaxing and reading a great book. Here are a few books I’ve read in the last few months and why I think they deserve to be on the 2017 summer book list for moms.
- Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
This is my must-read for the summer. Option B is a thoughtful and vulnerable book on loss and resilience told by Sheryl Sandberg who lost her husband and the father of their two children. Different stories of resilience and options for finding joy are interwoven throughout the book and the reader is left with ways to think differently about how to show empathy and support to those who are facing adversity and especially, loss. This book is so good I’ll be purchasing a copy to keep because I would like to read it again. I kept memorizing certain page numbers so I could go back and read the passages again and write down reflections.
- Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
Big Little Lies is a novel that connects readers to a group of mom friends and details the rather big lies each woman carries in her marriage and in motherhood. This murder mystery slowly unfolds and is an irresistible page-turner for the beach, sitting in the backyard, or if you are like me, during t-ball games. I absolutely loved the characters and way in which the story was told. The HBO miniseries does the book complete justice and is worth watching, especially with your favorite mom friends.
- It’s Okay to Laugh: (Crying Is Cool Too) by Nora McInerny Purmort
Minnesota author, Nora McInerny Purmort shares with readers the loss of her husband and tells the story in a vulnerable, funny and conversational way that makes you hug your husband tighter, be kinder to others going through loss, and wish she (Nora) was your friend. You can hear her witty voice come right off each page and she is vulnerable enough that she makes you believe you really know her. If reading the book isn’t enough and you want more Nora, listen to her podcast, Terrible, Thanks for Asking. This is a podcast about pain and being human and it is a beautiful way for adults to listen to learn.
- Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son’s First Year by Anne Lamott
I get together with some writing friends every couple of months and at our last coffee date, they said I had to read Anne Lamott and that I should start with Operating Instructions. Lamott details the first year of being a single mom with journal entries that reflect the raw and beautiful moments of being a mom to an infant. The book instantly brought me back to those hard and sweet moments and it made me wish I journaled more as a new mom to capture my thoughts and experiences which have now become a haze. This book was released in 2005, but you may find there are hold requests as her books are very popular. I also really enjoyed her book: Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers.
- The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
Skloot tells the story of Henrietta Lacks and how the HeLa cells go on to change medical science and modern medicine. The book details how the cells were taken from Lacks and then throughout the book, weaves in the science of the cells, giving readers an easy-to-understand overview of how her cells were used to develop cancer treatments and in vitro fertilization. The story also unfolds her family’s history, the truth about the cell harvesting and use, and most notably, her daughter’s passion to learn more about her mother. The book was made into a television film for HBO in 2017, starring Oprah Winfrey. I prefer the book and found the story was told in such a captivating way that made it a quick read.
Right now I’m reading: Balanced and Barefoot: How Unrestricted Outdoor Play Makes for Strong, Confident, and Capable Children by Angela J. Hanscom. It is a great book for parents and teachers who are curious about outdoor playtime. I’m half-way through the book and finding I’m absorbing so much of her thoughts on play. As a self-proclaimed helicopter parent, I need to step back and encourage my children to engage in unrestricted play outside that will help in their development, learning, and confidence. I’ve been so inspired by it so far I may have even suggested to my daughter that she go climb a tree. At the beginning, she details why certain developments like small motor, cross-body, and gross motor are important. I’m eager to read more and see what type of play she encourages.
Just like summer, our time to read is precious and I hope you enjoy the recommendations on this 2017 summer book list for moms. I’d love to hear what you are reading and what books you’d recommend this summer.