Summer Reading List

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I love summers. For me, they feel much more relaxed than the frenetic pace of normal life.

image credit: Creation Swap user

They offer time to slow down, plan, dream, and…read.

For me, reading over the summer involves more fiction reading. Since it’s a season of relaxing and dreaming, fiction gives me a chance to think outside of my normal box and think creatively.

Not to mention that I love getting lost in a good story.

With that said, here’s my list.


Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6), by JK Rowling
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7), by JK Rowling
The Hobbit, by JRR Tolkien
Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, by JRR Tolkien
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, by JRR Tolkien
Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, by JRR Tolkien
The Great Gatsby, by F Scott Fitzgerald
Great Expectations , by Charles Dickens


The Life You’ve Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People, by John Ortberg
Mere Christianity, by CS Lewis
The Explicit Gospel, by Matt Chandler
Do the Work, by Steven Pressfield
What’s on your summer reading list?



Christ follower, husband, father, writer, small groups pastor at Saddleback Community Church. Communications director for the Small Group Network.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Jonathan Holcomb

    The Explicit Gospel is extremely good.  Absolutely loved that book.  Nice lists by the way.  I think you churn through more books than I do!  Some of my list is:

    Soul Detox by Craig Groeschel
    The Advantage by Patrick Lencinio
    Love Does by Bob Goff

    • Ben Reed

      Good…I’m looking forward to reading it.

      Looks like your list is pretty stellar!

  • cherylsmith

    I’m reading Awake by Noel Yeatts, The Non Profit Narrative by Dan Portnoy, Dancing Priest by Glynn Young and Platform by Michael Hyatt. Oh, and The Whipping Club by Deborah Henry. 

    • Ben Reed

      Sounds like it’s going to be a good summer for you, Cheryl!

  • Diana Rausin

    good list! 

    Love Does by Bob Goff, Plan B by Pete Wilson; Gatsby is also on my list! along with the Beautiful and the Damned by Fitzgerald. 

  • Mark Grace

    18 Minutes by Bregman, Supergods by Grant Morrison, How to Read A Film, The Hole in Our Gospel, Women Out of Order by Moessner, A Public Faith by Volf, Hull Zero Three by Bear

  • Jon Stolpe

    I’m reading Soul Detox by Craig Groeschel right now.  There are too many on my to-read list to list here.

    • Ben Reed

      That’s on my ‘read later’ list. Looks like a good one. Let me know if it is!

  • Jason Vana

    Epic reading list, Ben! I’m impressed. Great Gatsby is an awesome book. Read it again just a few months ago.

    On my list:

    – The Girl who kicked the Hornet’s Nest
    – The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
    – Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
    – Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
    – Continue working through The Canterbury Tales

    – Empty Promises, Pete Wilson
    – Transformissional Coaching
    – Goodbye Generation
    – The Art of War, Sun Tzu
    – Mere Christianity, CS Lewis

    • Ben Reed

      Love you list too, Jason! Looks like we’ll be reading a few of the same books. Enjoy!

  • JR. Forasteros

    Since you’re a fantasy fan, you should read the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. (two trilogies and a tetralogy). Seriously my favorite books of all-time. Hands down.

    I’m checking out:
    A Faith Not Worth Fighting For by Tripp York (ed)
    Gone Girl (just finished. super fun)
    Don Quixote
    The Visible Man
    The Meaning of Wife

    and q few more. 

  • Brandon A. Cox

    Just finished Chandler’s Explicit Gospel – glad it’s on your list – it rocks. I want to read Soul Detox also.

  • Josh Hunt

    I really enjoyed Michael Hyatt’s Platform. Every blogger should read it. 

  • ThatGuyKC

    Awesome list, Ben. I’ve got a reading list too (posted today on, but it’s mostly thriller novels because I need a break from non-fiction.