Our annual summer reading book lists have become one of our most popular posts during the season. I’m thrilled with the 2018 Summer Reading List.
This year, the 2018 Summer Reading List, is comprised of titles for An Inspiring Journey.
As I read these books, I found inspiration in each and every one. From business to relationships, life stories to family cooking. From the stories of our past to page-turning fiction. It was all there, in the hundreds and hundreds of pages I read this year.
Following are 42 inspiring books, we believe, will broaden your perspective, encourage your life, and spark your imagination.
Happy summer reading!
Oh! And at the bottom is a link to download the book list.
2018 Summer Reading List
(The title links are affiliate links to Amazon.com. If you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.)
Biographies and Memoirs
Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl’s memoir has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival. Between 1942 and 1945 Frankl labored in four different camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished. Based on his own experience and the experiences of others he treated later in his practice, Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose.
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Eric Metaxas comes a brilliant and inspiring biography of the most influential man in modern history, Martin Luther, in time for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.
In his acclaimed bestseller Three Days in January, Bret Baier illuminated the extraordinary leadership of President Dwight Eisenhower at the dawn of the Cold War. Now in his highly anticipated new history, Three Days in Moscow, Baier explores the dramatic endgame of America’s long struggle with the Soviet Union and President Ronald Reagan’s central role in shaping the world we live in today.
One of the most gifted biographies on Amazon. From the beloved, best-selling author of All Over but the Shoutin’, a delectable, rollicking food memoir, cookbook, and loving tribute to a region, a vanishing history, a family, and, especially, to his mother. Including seventy-four mouthwatering Bragg family recipes for classic southern dishes passed down through generations.
Personal Growth and Inspiring Reads
Two of the world’s leading experts explain the vital link between health and wealth that could add years to your life and dollars to your retirement savings.
With wry wit and hard-earned wisdom, popular online personality Rachel Hollis helps readers break free from the lies keeping them from the joy-filled and exuberant life they are meant to have. Founder of the lifestyle website TheChicSite.com and CEO of her own media company, Chic Media, Rachel Hollis has created an online fan base of hundreds of thousands of fans by sharing tips for living a better life while fearlessly revealing the messiness of her own.
Nothing “goes viral.” If you think a popular movie, song, or app came out of nowhere to become a word-of-mouth success in today’s crowded media environment, you’re missing the real story.
Many people with great, world-changing ideas aren’t able to make them happen. Most people are trying to make a difference where they are, yet they feel overwhelmed, overloaded, and far too busy. How do you get “unstuck” – without resorting to complex systems that take more time to keep up than they actually save?
“The world has a way of defining you if you don’t know who you are before you get out there.” —Candace Cameron Bure
Kind Is the New Classy is your permission to go off-script, to say goodbye to society’s “should’s” and to step into a new way to flourish as a woman today.
No matter how hard women work or how much they accomplish in a day, there’s lingering anxiety and guilt over what they didn’t do. We just wish the world would stop for a day so we could catch up.
New York Times best-selling author Dan Buettner reveals the surprising secrets of what makes the world’s happiest places—and shows you how to apply these lessons to your own life.
People are using this simple, powerful concept to focus on what matters most in their personal and work lives.
Learn how to maximize your potential in minimal time with this compact how-to book derived from No Limits by #1 New York Times bestselling author John Maxwell.
Someone will always be ahead. But that doesn’t mean you’re behind. Because Truth, like always, will set us free. And free women don’t have to measure up to anybody. Not even her.
We all want to live a life that matters. We all want to reach our full potential. But too often we find ourselves overwhelmed by the day-to-day. Our big goals get pushed to the back burner–and then, more often than not, they get forgotten. New York Times bestselling author Michael Hyatt wants readers to know that it doesn’t have to be this way.
Great Expectations – With its thrilling story that is also a profound look at the moral education of a boy who has been persecuted and deceived but whose essential goodness of heart eventually rescues him from snobbery and delusion. Publishers Weekly says, “This is Dickens’s most finely crafted book, and his most moving.”
Pride and Prejudice is one of the most popular classic books of all time. Its irresistible romance combined with its humorous depiction of country life make it wholly enjoyable.
After her parents die suddenly, young Mary Lennox would rather be alone than in the company of others. She has no friends. But Mary’s lonely life changes when she moves from India to England to live with her uncle. There she discovers an astonishing and mysterious secret garden. Follow Mary’s story as she finds her own place in the world.
In today’s busy and often superficial world, we all crave something deeper and truer. Maybe it’s relationships that go beyond the surface or gatherings that allow for joy and pain. Bri McKoy tells us this is within reach! All we need is a table, open hearts, and a simple invitation: come and eat.
Do you wish you could slow down and create a home you and your family love and enjoy spending time in? Melissa K. Norris, author of The Made-from-Scratch Life and voice of the Pioneering Today podcast, offers down-to-earth tips and guidance to help you learn how.
Magnolia Table is infused with Joanna Gaines’ warmth and passion for all things family, prepared and served straight from the heart of her home, with recipes inspired by dozens of Gaines family favorites and classic comfort selections from the couple’s new Waco restaurant, Magnolia Table.
Fun, fresh, and fast recipes for family dinners from the founder of The Chic Site, a lifestyle website, and the author of Upscale Downhome and New York Times bestseller Girl, Wash Your Face.
Southern Biscuits features recipes and baking secrets for every biscuit imaginable, including hassle-free easy biscuits to embellished biscuits laced with silky goat butter, crunchy pecans, or tangy pimento cheese.
Ree Drummond: “Here are some of my favorite make-it-happen dishes, pulled from my nonstop life as a busy wife, mother of four, and lifelong lover of food!”
Now, anyone can reap the benefits of The Ranch’s legendary program through this cookbook that reveals the secrets behind its deceptively delicious food.
Science is beginning to understand that our thinking has a deep and complicated relationship with our eating. Our thoughts before, during, and after eating profoundly impact our food choices, our digestive health, our brain health, and more.
This book came highly recommended by an Instant Pot instructor at Williams and Sonoma.
Lucy Drake’s mastery of Morse code has made her a valuable asset to the American news agencies as a telegrapher. But the sudden arrival of Sir Colin Beckwith at rival British news agency Reuters puts her hard-earned livelihood at risk.
Now remembered as the author of the world’s most famous hymn, in the mid-eighteenth century as England and France stand on the brink of war, John Newton is a young sailor wandering aimlessly through life. His only duty is to report to his ship and avoid disgracing his father—until the night he hears Polly Catlett’s enchanting voice.
Journey from the present day to World War II England, as two sisters are separated by the chaos of wartime… Young American scholar Kendra Van Zant, eager to pursue her vision of a perfect life, interviews Isabel McFarland just when the elderly woman is ready to give up secrets about the war that she has kept for decades…
In an enthralling new historical novel from national bestselling author Kate Quinn, two women—a female spy recruited to the real-life Alice Network in France during World War I and an unconventional American socialite searching for her cousin in 1947—are brought together in a mesmerizing story of courage and redemption.
A broken man. A twist of fate. A second chance. The #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Mistletoe Promise and The Walk begins a riveting new trilogy that explores the tantalizing question: What if you could start over?
When colonial Williamsburg explodes like a powder keg on the eve of the American Revolution, Lady Elisabeth “Liberty” Lawson is abandoned by her fiancé and suspected of being a spy for the hated British. No one comes to her aid save the Patriot Noble Rynallt, a man with formidable enemies of his own. Liberty is left with a terrible choice. Will the Virginia belle turned lacemaker side with the radical revolutionaries, or stay true to her English roots? And at what cost?
Living with the two Miss Groves in Ivy Cottage, impoverished gentlewoman Rachel Ashford is determined to earn her own livelihood . . . somehow. When the village women encourage her to open a subscription library with the many books she has inherited or acquired through donations, Rachel discovers two mysteries hidden among them. A man who once broke her heart helps her search for clues, but will both find more than they bargained for?
After being imprisoned and branded for the death of her client, twenty-five-year-old midwife Julianne Chevalier trades her life sentence for exile to the fledgling 1720s French colony of Louisiana, where she hopes to be reunited with her brother, serving there as a soldier. To make the journey, though, women must be married, and Julianne is forced to wed a fellow convict.
Join the journey as one word etched in Latin on an ancient bronze bottle travels through the centuries to reach five young women. An Irish princess, a Scottish story weaver, a Post-Colonial nurse, a cotton mill worker, and a maid who nearly drowned each receives a message from the bottle just when they need their hope restored.
In 1650s England, a young Puritan maiden is on a mission to save the baby of her newly widowed preacher–whether her assistance is wanted or not. Always ready to help those in need, Elizabeth ignores John’s protests of her aid. She’s even willing to risk her lone marriage prospect to help the little family.
If you’re a John Grisham fan, you’ll love Robert Whitlow. I was new to this writer and have become quickly obsessed with his writing. This was the first of his I read… and couldn’t put it down. I’m reading my way through his novels. The Witnesses is about young lawyer Parker House, who is on the rise—until his grandfather’s mysterious past puts both of their lives in danger.
In a compelling, richly researched novel that draws from thousands of letters and original sources, bestselling authors Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie tell the fascinating, untold story of Thomas Jefferson’s eldest daughter, Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph–a woman who kept the secrets of our most enigmatic founding father and shaped an American legacy.
Abraham Lincoln grew up in the long shadow of the Founding Fathers. Seeking an intellectual and emotional replacement for his own taciturn father, Lincoln turned to the great men of the founding—Washington, Paine, Jefferson—and their great documents—the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution—for knowledge, guidance, inspiration, and purpose. Out of the power vacuum created by their passing, Lincoln emerged from among his peers as the true inheritor of the Founders’ mantle, bringing their vision to bear on the Civil War and the question of slavery.
A dramatic portrait of one of America’s most compelling generals and presidents, Ulysses S. Grant, by Pulitzer Prize winner Ron Chernow, author of the book on which the astonishing musical Hamilton is based.
Two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize David McCullough tells the dramatic story-behind-the-story about the courageous brothers who taught the world how to fly: Wilbur and Orville Wright.