Woohoo! This is always my favorite book list of the year. I feel like I’ve spent time preparing a dessert bar for everyone, and now I get to watch you enjoy it.
As a refresher (or introduction for you newbies), the term “mother culture” is a reference to an article that appeared in Parents’ Review Magazine in 1892. This article does a couple important things.
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First, it reminds us that books are a way to wisdom — that a solid reading life is imperative if Mom is going to gain the maturity she needs to be a good mom to her older children.
Second, it gives us a way — a simple habit-based approach — to help us build reading into the busyness.
The habit involves three simple steps:
- Always have three books available to yourself: a stiff book, a moderately easy book, and a novel.
- Read for 30 minutes per day.
- When you go to read, pick up the book you feel fit for.
The purpose of my list, then, is to offer a banquet of book ideas to get you started. All of these books are either from my shelves (meaning I’ve either read them or plan to soon). I never recommend books I wouldn’t pay for myself.
My list is divided into the same categories found in the Mother Culture article, but remember that one man’s stiff book might be another’s moderately easy book (and vice versa) — make sure you categorize your reading stack in a way that makes sense for you.
On to the list!
For the Stiff Stack
What makes a book “stiff”? The most obvious quality would be reading level — we’d expect a stiff book to be the most difficult to read on our stack. But beyond this, the subject might be heavy or require a high level of attention. The book itself might be easy for you to read and understand, but hard for you to work through because it touches an emotional spot in your soul or it confronts a place in your life where you need to repent and grow.
Just remember: the stiff stack is for the most taxing books. If a book is taxing for you, put it in the stiff stack.
Body & Soul: Human Nature & the Crisis in Ethics by J.P. Moreland and Scott Rae
The Road to Serfdom by F.A. Hayek
Moderately Easy Books
Keep in mind that your moderately easy books should still be good books. They are still teeming with ideas that grow your mind and expand your soul. They just aren’t as difficult to read as your stiff books. They might be more light-hearted (they might even make you giggle). Lots of times, these books are also more modern — one reason they’re easier to read is because they are written in your own time.
Simple & Direct by Jacques Barzun
Do these really need introduction? If anything says summer to my soul, it is a good novel. Click here for advice on choosing and reading a novel. Please remember that stories are powerful things. It’s important to fill your mind with good thoughts. This doesn’t mean your books can’t contain evil — they should, in my opinion. But tempting you to approve of evil is altogether different, so guard your heart as you choose wisely.
Christy by Catherine Marshall
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier
Hard Times by Charles Dickens
Linnets and Valerians by Elizabethe Goudge
Grab Your Mother Culture Habit Tracker Collection!
When you sign up for this freebie, you’re getting a boatload of summer reading goodness!
- Three Mother Culture Habit Tracker Options! This is the habit tracker that started it all. ♥
- Beautiful, summery paper versions as usual.
- All in editable PDF form for those of you who prefer digital tracking.
- Three Gorgeous Student Reading Tracker Options!
- Whether your children are little or big, boys or girls, you’ll surely find a version they will like for their very own.
- Helps you get them started on reading habits!
Fill out the form below to get yours via email. Also, share what you’re doing on Instagram — post photos of your habit tracker and books! — using the hashtag #motherculturehabit.
Need More Book Ideas?
- The Summer 2018 Mother Culture Reading List
- The Summer 2017 Mother Culture Reading List
- The Summer 2016 Mother Culture Reading List
- The Summer 2015 Mother Culture Reading List
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