The Ultimate Summer Reading Guide for Christian Women

Do you ever get stuck in a rut of reading the same kind of books over and over again? I so often get stuck in a rut of reading fiction if I’m not intentional about picking out different types of books. There’s nothing wrong with fiction (as long as it isn’t trashy!) and there are great lessons to be learned in stories. Historical fiction can be particularly enlightening. This is the reason I created my reading guide in January to take you (and me!) through several genres of books and now this Summer Reading Guide. (Also, join our Facebook group and share what you’re reading! Click here! )

“I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book.”― J.K. Rowling

If you’re already doing the year-long plan (you can read more about that here), you’ll notice several overlapping categories on this abbreviated plan. I hope knock a lot of these books out this summer while I’m not in the throes of homeschooling, and I’d love for you to join me! I decided to create a condensed version of the guide for those who either (a) are “behind” on the plan or (b) just want to read some really good books this summer.

The Ultimate Reading Plan


You don’t have to be a Christian woman to use this list, of course, but I think that the majority of genres, and especially the titles, will resonate with those who are both female and a follower of Jesus. I just wanted to be upfront about that!

I put a lot of thought into this series and hope that you find the books well-picked and great reading quality. As a disclaimer, I haven’t yet read most of the books listed under “what I’m reading” each week, so I can’t 100% recommend them just yet- I just wanted to let you know what I’m reading.

{Pssst…. want a free printable to help you keep up with your books this summer? Click here to get it!}

My (maybe lofty!) goal is to read 12 books this summer- one each week between June 5 and August 25. Our summer actually started a week and a half ago and I’m already digging into my selections so I guess I’m cheating a bit. 😉 I’ll also have a total of about 30 hours on an airplane later in the summer so I hope to get lots of reading time then. Other than that, I’ll be squeezing in reading between trips to the pool and spending time with my people. If you can’t do 12- IT’S OKAY! The truth is I probably won’t make get all 12 read. But we can turn off Netflix, put our phones down, go to the library (or Amazon 😉 ) and just READ! I promise you’ll surprise yourself!

In addition to each week’s book, I’m also reading each month’s selection from The Lifegiving Home by Sally Clarkson as well as journaling and praying through the book Fervent by Priscilla Shrier. <— this one is a prayer-life changer!

week of June 5– a biography of someone no longer living  (this could also overlap week of August 14.)

what I’m reading: Faithful Women and Their Extraordinary God by Noel Piper (this is actually several mini-biographies collected into one book. I’ve already started and it is SO good.)

Suggestions: Come be My Light (the story of Mother Theresa) I’ll also be reading a kids’ version of her story to my kids this week; George Mueller by Basil Miller

week of June 12– a book published in the 1800s

what I’m reading: I’ll be counting A Tale of Two Cities for this week as well as the book I should have read in high school from the year-long plan– it’s taking me forever to get through it but I am enjoying it- in small doses 😉

Suggestions: Anything by Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, or the Bronte Sisters {aren’t these Penguin Classic versions gorgeous! I could fill a bookshelf with them!}

week of June 19– a book your best friend recommends

what I’m reading: waiting on a recommendation from one of my besties!

Suggestions: you’ll be on your own (well, actually with a friend) here 😉 If I were your best friend I’d recommend one of these: Own Your Life by Sally Clarkson; 1000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp; So Long Insecurity by Beth Moore

week of June 26 a book about relationships

what I’m reading: Messy Beautiful Friendship by Christine Hoover (I’ve already skimmed some of this one and it’s SO good!)

Suggestions: You and Me Forever by Francis and Lisa Chan (grab the app for it; you’ll get the kindle version AND the audio version for free!) ; So Long Insecurity by Beth Moore

week of July 3– a book about a country other than your own

what I’m reading: A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

Suggestions: They Poured Water on us from the Sky (Sudan);

week of July 10– a book about a major war

what I’m reading: The Zoo Keeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman

Suggestions: Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell- the Civil War (might be hard to read in a week 😉 ); The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom-WWII; Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosenay- WWII; Unbroken by Louis Zamperini  and Laura Hilenbrand- WWII

week of July 17 a book about leadership development

what I’m reading: I’m not completely sure yet but I’m considering Spurgeon on Leadership


week of July 24- a book about becoming better at your job

what I’m reading: On Writing Well by William Zinnser

Suggestions: This category, of course, depends on your job, but a great start is Money Making Mom by Crystal Paine.

week of July 31- a fiction book just for fun

what I’m reading: The Ringmaster’s Wife by Kristy Cambron (confession- I burned through this book the first week of summer. It was one of the best fiction books I’ve read in a very long time!)

recommendations: anything by Kate Morton (The Forgotten Garden is especially good- these books would also work for the next week’s genre, historical fiction ) ; A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman

week of August 7- a historical fiction

what I’m reading: Poldark by Winston Graham. (this is the first book in the saga that the PBS series by the same name is based upon- there are 12 books in the series!)

Suggestions: The Mark of the Lion Series by Francine Rivers; anything by Kate Morton (The Forgotten Garden is especially good)

week of August 14- a missionary biography

what I’m reading: The Pastor’s Wife (the story of  Sabina urmbrand; co-founder of Voice of the Martyrs)

Suggestions: Kisses from Katie (please read this book! It’s so very good!) Mary Slessor,White Queen of the Cannibals;

week of August 21- a book you were given (or bought) long ago and haven’t read yet

what I’m reading: Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss (thanks to my friend Lily for recommending and letting me borrow this book!) PS the kindle version is only 99 cents!

Suggestions: you’re on your own here! Take a peek at your bookshelves and you’ll probably be surprised by a few books that you’ve forgotten you had!

That about does it! I’m so thankful to have access to such amazing books that can share such great ideas and give me food for thought.

Want to join our Ultimate Summer Reading Group? Click here! (women only please!)

Free reading plan printable! Just fill in the info (name/e-mail) and your printable will be available immediately!

Your free summer reading guide printable!

ultimate summer reading guide

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About Kelli Hays

Kelli Hays is a wife, mother, writer, and friend. She has been blogging since 2008 and loves sharing inspiration for the everyday woman!


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