My Summer Reading List

The following post is by Simple Kids editor Kara Fleck.

This summer I’ve been sharing with you some of the children’s books that my kids are reading as part of the iVillage PBS Kids Community Summer Reading Challenge.  I have really liked hearing what books you are enjoying with your kids, too.

I’ve mentioned to you before that I feel like one of the best gifts we can give our children to encourage their literacy is to let them see the adults in their life reading and enjoying books. Today, I thought I would share with you the books that you would have been able to catch me reading so far this summer.

Meditations During Pregnancy

When my son was born, someone gave me a copy of Meditations for Mothers and it was the perfect size, easily fitting into a diaper bag.  I was able to read a quick page here and there as I got a chance during life with a newborn.  I found quite a bit of encouragement and comfort, and even some humor, in the pages.

When I found out I was pregnant again, I decided to treat myself to this book, Meditations During Pregnancy, by the same author, Beth Wilson Saavedra.

This is a small book with short entries that cover everything from mood swings, anticipating childbirth, and body image during pregnancy.  Some entries are funny, some are informative, and some just give you some mental food for thought to take with you during your day.

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding

I am re-reading The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding to give myself a little refresher course on nursing before the new baby is born.  This one will probably take up residence on my nightstand to use as a reference, as well.  It is nice to have it to thumb through, especially during the early days of breastfeeding, both for reassurance and for information.  My copy is an older copy that I’ve been using for close to ten years now, so it is like an old friend.

Simplicity Parenting

This is another book that I am re-reading.  As we prepare for the new baby, I find myself looking at our home environment and evaluating it with a slightly more critical eye than I perhaps normally do.  I’ve also been thinking quite a bit about our normal rhythms and routines and how they will be impacted by adding another member to our family.

Simplicity Parenting has given me some guidance and some gentle reminders about home and family life.  It is interesting to me things that are standing out to me differently than they have on previous readings.

100 Questions from My Child

I won a copy of 100 Questions from My Child by Mallika Chopra earlier in the summer and I’ve been reading a few pages from it here and there since it arrived.  It has been a neat reminder about kids perspectives and the way that they think about life.  I am enjoying the author’s responses to her kids.  Childhood is such a magical, precious time and this book is a sweet reminder to protect it and keep it sacred.

Pride and Prejudice

I was craving a little reading just for me that has nothing to do with kids, parenting, pregnancy, or motherhood.  My copy of Pride and Prejudice is my mom’s copy from college and I enjoy reading her notes and thoughts in the margins as I wind my way through the tale of Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy.


Color, by Victoria Finlay, was my vacation reading last May.  Part history book, part travel guide, it is a really interesting look at the history of color and dye and the significant impact of color on our world.  I really enjoyed it and it was perfect beach and airplane reading.

Someone told me that because I enjoyed Color so much, I would really like Spice by Jack Turner, which has a similar premise regarding the world of spices and their place in history.  I have added the book to my wish list.  Have any of you read it?

Do you have any other recommendations for me?

I’d love to know: what are you reading for YOU right now?

About Kara

Kara Fleck is the editor of Simple Kids. She is a small town mama, writer, knitter, bookworm, and hooligan. Kara lives in Indiana with her husband Christopher and their four children Jillian, Max, Lucy, and Amelia. You can find more of her writing at

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  1. I’m almost done w/ The Pile of Stuff at the Bottom of the Stairs. It takes a cute look at marriage and the inequalities in division of labor. I just got Bossypants (Tina Fey’s new book) from the library and I’ve just started Girl in Translation. Plus a couple of Young Adult novels (The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series and The Mysterious Benedict Society series).
    Dee´s latest post: Weekend Links

  2. Great books Kara, especially Color and Meditations During Pregnancy, I think they go together :-)
    Erin´s latest post: Golf Putting Drills – 5 Drills to Help You with Your Putting

  3. I just finished Sense and Sensibility – now I’m busy watching lots of the screen adaptations of it! How fun to read your mom’s copy.
    Simple Homeschool – Jamie´s latest post: I’m Bored, Mom: Unplugged Play at Home

  4. My current bookmarked books are Walden by Thoreau. Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer. A Year of Reading by Elisabeth Ellington.

    The stack on my nightstand is huge though and I have three shelves of books I have bought to read.
    Jennifer Radtke´s latest post: I love mine and now you can get yours via Etsy.

  5. Right now I’m reading Second Wind by Cami Ostman – it’s all about a woman who decides to try running a marathon on all seven continents! It’s a really interesting, thought provoking book. I am not a runner but I’ve loved reading about the life of a runner as well as all the other subjects the book touches on. I really recommend it.
    Jen E @ mommablogsalot´s latest post: Honest to Blog. (5 out of 30)

  6. I just finished Harriet the Spy, a childhood favorite and am on to the next book in the series. I tried to read The Bird Sisters, but it was a bit too weird!
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  7. super sad true love story…just started it and it’s addicting!

  8. I’ve been thinking and reading a lot about raising boys in a world with few role models (thank god my little guy has an amazing father, grandfathers and uncles) but when you start to look outside our inner circle at leaders in education, politics, religion, and entertainment there’s a lot to be desired. So a few of the books that I’ve recently read or plan to read this summer are:

    BOYS ADRIFT by Leonard Sax
    THAT’S MY SON by Rick Johnson
    NURTURE SHOCK by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman
    TheActorsWife´s latest post: home away from home

    • A fabulous book to add to your list of boy reads is “Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys” by Stephen James and David Thomas.

  9. I think I should add Color to my own summer reading list–it sounds really interesting and like a nice change of pace.
    Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy´s latest post: What’s on Your Summer Reading List?

  10. Catherine says:

    On my nightstand now: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (for book club), The Help (no, I haven’t read it yet and a friend just loaned it to me) and Kindred Spirits. I am also thinking about reading both the Little House on the Prarie series and the Harry Potter series…I am ashamed to admit I have never read either series even though my boys are HUGE Harry Potter fans!

  11. I’m currently reading my way through different digital photography books but my son and I are also reading our way together through the Candy Shop Wars. I’m always glad when he finds or suggests chapter books for us to read together.
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  12. Good picks! I’ve got The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, and I’m looking foward to reading through it again as I get a little farther along in my pregnancy. And I know exactly what you mean about craving some books that have nothing to do with kids, parenting, pregnancy, etc! I’ve been indulging in some fiction just for me in the form of Kindle free downloads (there’s some really good stuff!).

    I’m currently reading Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood (which is an AWESOME parenting book) and The Five Love Languages.
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  13. Hi Clara, those are wonderful readings. I shared this blog to my pregnant friend. Thank you for sharing this post and links!
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  14. I am currently reading The Lemon Tree, a historical narrative about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is beautifully-written and gives a more personal feel to the political conflict, as it follows two families (one Arab, one Jewish) and their experiences. I am greatly enjoying it.

    I agree that it is nice to take a break from parenting books and read something just because I’m plain old interested in it!
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