Creating a Summer Reading List

"Creating a summer reading list" by Tiffany Walsh (

By Scott Rettburg via Flickr (2005), CC BY-SA 2.0

As the school year winds down, and the weather begins to warm (a process that, indeed, does not take place until May in my part of the world!), I begin to think of summer plans. Most people think about beaches and vacations, but I am from Buffalo and am also a librarian – this means that I think about books.

Summer is a fantastic time to tackle that pile of books on your to-be-read shelf, or the sale downloads you have saved on your Kindle. Generally speaking, we all have more free time in the summer than we do during other parts of the year. If you are a reader like me, this translates to making more of a dent in the stack of titles we have been wanting to get to.

As I am a librarian, though, this is not all about quantity, but also quality. We can organize our reading plan so that we touch upon several different areas of our reading interest. At least, that’s the way I see it. If you would like to spend the entire summer reading beachy fiction reads, there is nothing wrong with that either! The main thing is that we have more time to devote toward escaping to faraway lands via our fiction selections, or learning exciting new things with our non-fiction picks.

As I approach this particular summer, the thought occurred to me that I should make a list. I respond well to physical lists – a challenge to myself to complete a specific set of tasks. I do enjoy beachy summer reads, but I am also drawn to lots of other types of books that I do not prioritize as often as I would like. This summer, I would like to read books from a range of genres. Specifically:

  • Historical fiction
  • Contemporary secular fiction
  • Historical non-fiction
  • Memoir

During the main part of the year, I tend to spend a lot of my reading time enjoying inspirational Christian-based romances, which are perfectly lovely in every sense of the word. Sometimes, though, it’s nice to expand one’s horizons. Each of the above are genres that I truly enjoy but do not read nearly often enough. Historical fiction could include a Regency romance or something set in the American Pioneer period. Both of these are settings that I love reading about. For contemporary secular fiction, I am thinking of a story line with a powerful message that may or may not be faith-based, but put forth by a secular publishing company. In historical non-fiction, I could read about a world event or a book related to the history of one of my hobbies.

Memoirs and biographies have always been a favorite of mine, and this summer on my blog, a group of us are reading How God Hauled Me Kicking and Screaming into the Catholic Church, by Kevin Lowry. Summer apologetics! I am very excited about getting back to personal testimonials like this one.

Do you have a summer reading list? Are you participating in any summer book clubs?

Copyright 2018 Tiffany Walsh


About Author

Tiffany is a wife and mother to two precious children, a native Western New Yorker, and an academic librarian. She is a cradle Catholic who rekindled her childhood faith as a graduate student in New York City via her love of books, and is the author of "Exploring the Catholic Classics" published by Gracewatch Media in 2018. She enjoys using humor in her writing, and blogs about faith, books, and everything in-between over at


  1. I always have a giant to-read list on Goodreads! But, if I’m thinking of what I’d *like* to get to this summer, I’d say some classics that have been on my list for WAY too long, some contemporary stories I received for completing library reading programs, and the Sherlock Holmes book my son gave me for Christmas!

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