Anyone looking for a good summer read? Several of these titles would be great for book clubs or graduation gifts.
I narrowed the list down to 12 this time (started with 30!) but just go ahead and prepare yourself for fall… I already have 25 titles bookmarked to buy for myself, for friends, and to share with you here. (I’ll narrow that one down too, but seriously. So many good books!)
If you want to look at the first list of 2020, click here for January-April. By the way, Kindle Unlimited is offering two months free (access to over one million books, magazines, and audiobooks). You can sign up and immediately cancel and it will still give you full access until the month is up! This works for previous Kindle Unlimited users as well, in case you want to read any of the 2020 titles from either list!
The titles below are listed in order of release date and include a blurb pulled from Amazon descriptions. Would you consider sharing this list on Facebook or pinning to Pinterest? That helps so much! And I’d love to hear what book(s) you’re most looking forward to in the comments.
If a book grabs your attention―for yourself or a friend―you may want to go ahead and preorder to save money.
Why I love preordering, particularly through Amazon: You won’t be charged until the book releases and you’re guaranteed to pay the lowest price advertised. For example, if you preorder on May 15th when it’s $16.00, then it drops to $10.00 mid-June and is $14.00 when it releases on August 7th, you’ll only pay $10.00.
12 Can’t-Miss Books Coming May-August of 2020
How do you live a full life? Perhaps the better question is, how do you really live when life throws you sucker punches, when you face obstacles that seem to snuff out your faith, when you lose something or someone precious to you?
In The Fight to Flourish, Jennie Lusko encourages women to suit up and thrive, not just in the dailies of monotony and routine but even in the most desolate of places. Using the backdrop of her second-born daughter Lenya’s passing into heaven five days before Christmas in 2012, Jennie invites readers to embrace whatever destination they’ve landed. She teaches how, through the good and the bad, they can learn to grow, be strong, draw near to God, and be a blessing to others. It is in this sacred space of pain and promise that women can begin to flourish. Explore how to live a life of joy and fullness, especially in the midst of disappointment and broken dreams.
Native: Identity, Belonging, and Rediscovering God :: Kaitlin B. Curtice
Native is about identity, soul-searching, and the never-ending journey of finding ourselves and finding God. As both a citizen of the Potawatomi Nation and a Christian, Kaitlin Curtice offers a unique perspective on these topics. In this book, she shows how reconnecting with her Potawatomi identity both informs and challenges her faith.
Curtice draws on her personal journey, poetry, imagery, and stories of the Potawatomi people to address themes at the forefront of today’s discussions of faith and culture in a positive and constructive way. She encourages us to embrace our own origins and to share and listen to each other’s stories so we can build a more inclusive and diverse future. Each of our stories matters for the church to be truly whole. As Curtice shares what it means to experience her faith through the lens of her Indigenous heritage, she reveals that a vibrant spirituality has its origins in identity, belonging, and a sense of place.
Affluence, autonomy, safety, and power. These are the central values of the American dream. But are they compatible with Jesus’ command to love our neighbor as ourselves?
In essays grouped around these four values, D. L. Mayfield asks us to pay attention to the ways they shape our own choices, and the ways those choices affect our neighbors.
Where did these values come from? How have they failed those on the edges of our society? And how can we disentangle ourselves from our culture’s headlong pursuit of these values and live faithful lives of service to God and our neighbors?
This Too Shall Last: Finding Grace When Suffering Lingers :: K.J. Ramsey
This book is not a before and after story. Our culture treats suffering like a problem to fix or the sad start of a transformation story. We silently, secretly wither under the pressure of living as though suffering is a predicament we can avoid or annihilate by having enough faith or trying harder. When your prayers for healing haven’t been answered, the fog of depression isn’t lifting, your marriage is ending in divorce, or grief won’t go away, it’s easy to feel you’ve failed God or, worse, He’s failed you. If God loves us, why does He allow us to hurt?
Over a decade ago chronic illness plunged therapist and writer K.J. Ramsey straight into this paradox. Before her illness, faith made sense. But when pain came and never left, K.J. had to find a way across the widening canyon that seemed to separate God’s goodness from her excruciating circumstances. She wanted to conquer suffering. Instead, she encountered the God who chose it. She wanted to make pain past-tense. Instead, God invited her into a bigger story.
Through personal story and insights from neuroscience and theology, Ramsey invites us to let our tears become lenses of the wonder that before God ever rescues us, He stands in solidarity with us. Together, we can encounter grace in the middle, where living with suffering that lingers can mean receiving God’s presence that lasts.
Monsters aren’t real. As reasonable adults, we know this. The monsters we see on film or read about in books aren’t real, but often we miss how those fake monsters can put fur, flesh, and fangs on the very real fears that haunt us. When characters in these stories run away, they temporarily feel safe, but it’s not until the monster is faced head-on that the story can have a happy ending—and, more importantly, the hero can become all he or she was created to be.
The same is true of the monsters of the spiritual life. The monsters of comparison (I am what others say about me), more (I am what I have), and success (I am what I do) are powerful enemies of a healthy spiritual life. But ignoring them solves nothing. Pastor and speaker Luke Norsworthy shows you how to face your monsters and discover how they are warnings that invite you into a deeper understanding of yourself and a more intimate connection with God. You’ll never completely eradicate your fears, but if you befriend them, they can lead you into becoming God’s intention for you.
In a defensive and divided era, how can followers of Jesus reveal a better way of living, one that loves others as God loves us? How can Christians be the kind of people who are known, as Proverbs puts it, to “turn away wrath?” Scott Sauls’s compelling new book shows Christians how to become people of “a gentle answer” in a politically, relationally, and culturally fractured world by helping readers nurture a renewed and softened heart in light of Christ’s gentleness toward us, and grow in affection for Christ, who answers our hostility with gentleness.
A Gentle Answer will help readers catch a vision to forsake us-against-them mentalities, put down their swords, and “infect” a hostile world with gentleness. For those who long for a more civil way of being, A Gentle Answer reveals why answering hostility with gentleness is essential, how we can nurture our hearts to do so, and what a gentle answer looks like, both in the church and in the world.
We live in a time of unprecedented change when it comes to women’s lives. All around the world, women are demanding the safety, respect, and opportunities they have always deserved but seldom grasped. Have you ever stopped to wonder, “Where do I fit into this story?”
Ronne Rock is a good person to ask. In this stirring book, she takes you on a global adventure to discover your divine design as a woman of influence and impact. Through stories of women in Africa, Asia, the Americas, and the Caribbean, you’ll learn what it means to lead in a world where leadership isn’t easy, how to serve with grace in cultures that aren’t always graceful, and how to embrace your God-given physical, emotional, and spiritual DNA.
As you discover the lives of real women who are influencing their communities with grace and gumption—even in countries where oppression weighs most heavily—you’ll feel inspired to reclaim your God-designed influence and impact right where you are.
If you’re anything like Sophie Hudson, your initial reaction to the hard stuff—the pieces and parts of life that keep you up at night, relentlessly reminding you that the “simple and easy” path is somehow a turn you must’ve missed along the way—is to try to figure out how to make it go away. You might wonder if it’s possible to just ignore it, or better yet, to burn it all down.
But what Sophie found during a particularly difficult stretch is that the Lord, through His Word and His people, faithfully reveals how to get up, straighten up, and stand all the way up.
Written in her trademark style of humor, sass, and spiritual insight, beloved and hilarious Sophie Hudson offers Stand All the Way Up—a collection of stories revealing the God who teaches you to stand up for yourself, stand up for the people you love, stand up for the people who can’t, and stand up for the Kingdom.
Enter Wild: Exchange a Mild and Mundane Faith for Life with an Uncontainable God :: Carlos Whittaker
You are meant to receive the abundance God promises here and now. You are not meant to wait until heaven to experience His best.
Even in the midst of our broken world’s traumas and trials, you can learn to lower the volume of life and truly hear God, experience what it means to speak God’s Word over yourself for real victory, and discover how to pray His promises instead of praying over the problems.
With his trademark blend of humor and transparency, gifted storyteller Carlos Whittaker shares his personal struggle in coping with crippling anxiety—and how the key to his freedom was rediscovering a wild faith. That key can be yours, helping you open the door to leave mild and enter wild.
Joy can feel elusive when defined by how you feel in a given moment or what your circumstances are at the present. Sometimes joy feels like it can be taken away, even when things are good.
During a long and difficult season, Suzanne Eller discovered six surprising Biblical truths about joy. Those truths helped her see joy and God in a new light. JoyKeeper will help you replace the need to hide emotions with honesty about how you feel, redefine joy from an up-and-down feeling to who God is in the right-now, discover how joy guides you through the hard places as well as the good, confront everyday joy stealers so you can live day-to-day as a JoyKeeper.
A small-group study guide, as well as thirty practical and inspirational daily exercises, are included so you can intentionally practice these truths.
I Choose Brave: Embracing Holy Courage and Understanding Godly Fear :: Katie Westenberg
What if fear is the new brave? I Choose Brave reveals a countercultural plan to help you where you are—knee-deep in fears of parenting, the future, your marriage, and a world that feels unstable. When you’re feeling fearful, the last thing you need is a social-media meme telling you to simply “power through” your fears.
In I Choose Brave, Katie Westenberg offers theological truth with relatable application. She digs deep into Scripture and shows that finding the courage to overcome our fears must start with fear of the Lord. Hundreds of passages speak to this foundational truth, yet we have somehow relegated them to antiquity. With this new knowledge comes tremendous freedom.
Hidden in the cleft of the Rock, the One truly worthy of our fear, you will begin to understand the only path to real courage.
The chorus of “shoulds” is loud. You should enjoy the moment, dream big, have it all, get up before the sun, track your water consumption, go on date nights, and be the best. Or maybe you should ignore what people think, live on dry shampoo, have a dirty house, and claim your hot mess like a badge of honor.
It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed by the mixed messages of what it means to live well. Kendra Adachi, the creator of the Lazy Genius movement, invites you to live well by your own definition and equips you to be a genius about what matters and lazy about what doesn’t. Everything from your morning routine to napping without guilt falls into place with Kendra’s thirteen Lazy Genius principles, including: decide once, start small, ask the Magic Question, go in the right order, and schedule rest.
Discover a better way to approach your relationships, work, and piles of mail. Be who you are without the complication of everyone else’s “shoulds.” Do what matters, skip the rest, and be a person again.
Stay tuned . . .
I’ll share more in a few months but for now, let’s just say there are several amazing books coming soon from Tsh Oxenreider, Holley Gerth, Christy Nockels and Shelly Miller.
Want to make sure you don’t miss the next list? Click on the image below to subscribe. (I promise not to add to the noise or fill your inbox. You can expect 2-3 emails from me each month.)
P.S. As mentioned, I bookmarked several other upcoming releases that are not on this list. When narrowing it down, I chose titles from authors I personally know and trust or have read before, or first-time authors who come highly recommended by people I trust. There will be many releases that top the charts over these four months (ask me in person and I’ll give you my book-launch-manager predictions), but these 12 are books I’m confident will contain encouraging, inspiring, honest, and powerful words within.
6 Ways to Read More Books Every Month :: Find out HERE
Affiliate links have been used in this post.