What I Read this Summer

Fall is just around the corner, but like the hot weather, my memories of what I read this summer are still lingering! If you’re like me, you have high hopes at the start of the summer to read all the books you don’t have time for during the rest of the year. I started off the summer with a “wish list” of at least 10 books I hoped to read, and while I didn’t get to all of them, or took some of them off the list, I did read a good amount of them.

Here are the books I read, organized into thematic categories. I also added brief reviews for a few of my favorite ones.

Spiritual Disciplines

  • Liturgy of the Ordinary by Tish Harrison Warren
  • Embracing the Love of God by James Bryan Smith

Embracing the Love of God was assigned reading for a class I taught over the summer, so since my students had to read it and write a paper on it, I figured I should read it too! It’s a small book that can have a huge impact. Smith writes so sweetly and simply about how we can experience and embrace God’s love through God’s acceptance, God’s forgiveness, and God’s care for us. Further, he covers receiving love in the form of acceptance, forgiveness, and care through others and through ourselves.

Enneagram

  • The Sacred Enneagram by Christopher L. Heuertz
  • The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile
  • The Path Between Us by Suzanne Stabile

The Road Back to You was my first introduction to the Enneagram, which I quickly followed up with The Path Between Us. The enneagram is slowly changing my life through a deeper understanding of myself and others. It’s a personality typology unlike any others I have studied as a psychologist, because it truly gets to the heart of why you do the things you do, not just what you do. I’m currently reading an advanced reader copy of Becoming Us by Beth & Jeff McCord, which is about applying the enneagram to improve your marriage. Be on the lookout for my review of this book soon! In the meantime, I encourage you to check out these two introductions to the enneagram.

Trauma

  • The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk
  • The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog by Bruce Perry

This fall, I am teaching a course on the psychology of trauma, a new course I spent most of the summer designing and preparing. The Body Keeps the Score is the required text for the course–but you do not have to be a psychology student to benefit from either of these books. Both will help you understand how trauma affects the body, brain, and relationships, and you will be amazed at how resilient humans can be.

Non-fiction

  • How Not to Hate Your Husband After Kids by Jancee Dunn
  • And Baby Makes Three by John & Julie Gottman
  • Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb

I am very hard to please when it comes to popular cultures depictions of therapists, as I almost always feel they are unrealistic and downright untrue. The heart of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone is so true though. There is so much truth about therapy, clients, and humanity. Everyone can relate or enjoy this book in some way. But it was such a heart-warming, soul-touching experience for me as a therapist to read it.

Fiction

  • Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
  • Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks

While on a beach vacation in June, I read both of these books in the pool. (I give myself a break from “work reading” on vacations and indulge in fiction.) Where the Crawdads Sing has consistently been on every best sellers list, and much-discussed in book clubs. The story was a little slow to start, and I found most of the characters (even the main character) unlikable at times, but I still rooted for her. It’s a wonderful coming-of-age story about the power of resilience and the undeniable need for human connection.

Now that summer is over and fall is upon us, my reading has slowed down a bit. But, I look forward to posting a few book reviews on my blog as I finish some books I’m working through! You can also follow me on Facebook or Instagram for #whatimreading updates and news.

Now tell me…what did you read this summer? Have you read any of the ones I mentioned above? What others would you recommend from your summer reading list?

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