book-863418_960_720With summer just around the corner, here are a few of my book picks—some oldies and some newer goodies—to grab and devour this summer in an effort to relax, to think, to grow, or to be a better you.

For Dads: The BeDADitudes: 8 Ways to Be an Awesome Dad by Gregory Popcak

Though I haven’t read this book in particular (since I’m not really in the book’s target market), my husband and I have been fans of Dr. Popcak’s books for years, having read many of his marriage titles and others. This book is definitely on the hubby’s reading list.

For Moms: Divine Mercy for Moms: Sharing the Lessons of St. Faustina by Michele Faehnle and Emily Jaminet

I immediately thought this book was onto a brilliant concept when it showed up in my mailbox by surprise last year. I love St. Faustina, and her message of mercy is so obviously applicable and necessary to moms; this resource is invaluable to spiritual growth. It’s easy to read and filled with opportunities for practical application (one of my favorite qualities in a book)! It’s also perfect for group study, ladies.

*Bonus pick for Moms of Boys: Raising Chaste Catholic Men: Practical Advice, Mom to Mom by Leila Miller

Brimming with common sense and featuring a relaxed tone on an often worried-about topic, Miller has written a book she describes as “the equivalent of one Catholic mom sitting down over a cup of tea with another mom in [her] kitchen, to talk informally but quite seriously about navigating this culture with your boys’ morality and chastity in tact—and to give you the confidence you need to do just that.” Seriously, I loved this book. I consider it mandatory reading for Catholic moms, teaching you how to become truly approachable and tackle such an important aspect of your sons’ upbringing (especially considering today’s culture climate where sexual sin reigns supreme) without fear.

For Modern Fiction Lovers: Elijah in Jerusalem by Michael O’Brien

This is actually a two-in-one recommendation, as you really don’t want to dive into this sequel without reading its bestselling precursor, Father Elijah: An Apocalypse. I’m not generally an avid fiction reader these days, but I loved both of these books and coincidentally ended up reading them both in the summertime. My husband loved them, too, and we enjoyed discussing the intriguing, rich storylines rife with Catholic thought.

For Classic Fiction Lovers: Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh

Many consider this Waugh’s masterpiece, and I can understand why. After so many recommendations from friends to read this book (why again did it take me so long?), I was taken in by the beautiful language from the start, but really, it was the conclusion of the novel (the last several chapters, really) that compels me to recommend this as a must-read this summer. If somehow you haven’t joined the Brideshead bandwagon yet, as I hadn’t, let me know if you’re not moved to tears at the end and grateful for its counter-cultural ending.

For Self-Improvers: Resisting Happiness by Matthew Kelly

Admittedly, I haven’t read a Matthew Kelly book in a long time, but when I saw this pop up as a recommended title on my Audible account, I figured I’d give it a listen. I’m glad I did. It was a good kick-in-the-pants, motivational read (I fought resistance and woke up to my 5 a.m. alarm with much more gusto as I journeyed through the book), and it had thought-provoking, memorable stories to boot.

For The Dedicated Sanctity-Pursuer: Story of a Soul by St. Thérèse of Lisieux

There is a decent chance you have read this beautiful, autobiographical masterpiece before if you are passionate about advancing in the spiritual life, but if you haven’t, read it now! And if you have, read it again! I’m perpetually challenged and uplifted by a deeper understanding of Thérèse ‘s Little Way.

Happy summer reading, friends!

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