My Summer Reading Bucket List

Trying to find time to sit down and read this summer has been tricky.  We’ve been out and about so much that even trying to squeeze in a few pages before bed isn’t working, since I’m exhausted.  I’ve created this summer reading bucket list to hopefully get some reading in before the end of our hot and humid weather.  Being a part of Amy Clipston’s Bakery Bunch, this is one of our challenges this month.  So I’m hoping to squeeze in more time to read – it seems like I do read more when we are away camping though, since I don’t have my normal daily chores at home.  And nothing beats reading Amish fiction when you can hear the clip clop of the horse and buggies go by.  But camping is not in our near future, so I’ll have to curl up somewhere and hide at home with one of these books in my bucket list pile…


My bucket list contains six books that I’ve had for a bit that I’d like to get read before summer ends.  Included are “Titus Returns” by Amy Lillard, “A Kauffman Amish Christmas Collection” by Amy Clipston, “My Life as an Amish Wife” by Lena Yoder, “The Hawaiian Quilt” by Wanda Brunstetter and Jean Brunstetter, “Almost Amish” by Nancy Sleeth, and “Change of Heart” by Rachel J. Good.

Why did I pick these six out of my to-be-read pile?  Here’s why…


“In Wells Landing, Oklahoma’s warm and welcoming Amish community, there’s always hope for a new beginning—and a second chance…

Five tumultuous years have changed Titus Lambert in every way. Back then, Titus was preparing to marry his longtime sweetheart, Mandy Yoder. Then came the unthinkable—a tragic car wreck that left Titus serving time for vehicular manslaughter.

Titus isn’t sure he belongs in this peaceful place anymore, but he must make amends. When he goes to visit the Kings, whose son, Alvin, died that terrible night, he’s shocked to see that their farm has fallen into disrepair. Alvin’s sister, Abbie, resents Titus’s reappearance, but there’s no denying she needs his help. Honest toil—and their evolving friendship—slowly help his soul to heal. But with his feelings for Mandy still strong, Titus must choose between two very different futures, and find the strength and faith to claim the surprising gift of a fresh start.”

I really have enjoyed reading Amy Lillard’s Wells Landing romance series and need to catch up on this series.  “Titus Returns” is book 5 from this series.  All of these books have been great, and I cannot wait to see what happens when Titus returns after serving time.


“In A Plain and Simple Christmas, from the author of the widely popular Kauffman Amish Bakery Series, shunned Anna Mae doesn’t receive the welcome she expects when she pays a visit for Christmas and her world begins to fall apart, leaving her to question her place in her family—and her faith in God.

Set in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Naomi’s Gift reintroduces twenty-four-year-old Naomi King, who has given up her dreams of finding true love. But when a young widower stirs surprising feelings in her, Naomi cautiously opens her heart to him and receives an unexpected response that once again turns her world upside-down.

Author Amy Clipston artfully paints a panorama of simple lives full of complex relationships, and she carefully explores cultural differences and human similarities, with inspirational results.”

I honestly can’t believe I have never read this by Amy Clipston, because her Kauffman Bakery Series is my favorite series written by her.  In each of those books from this series, I can picture myself in the bake shop and use the Bird-in-Hand Bake Shop in Lancaster County as my “muse” while reading this series.  And I’m thinking hopefully reading these two Christmas novellas might just cool me off from Baltimore’s heat and humidity this summer.  Really looking forward to this book.

book-3“Lydia Esh’s younger sister Emma is running wild during rumschpringe, causing the family major heartaches. Although it means risking her reputation, her job as a schoolteacher, and her courtship with Jakob Zook, Lydia attends parties to watch over Emma and protect her sister’s virtue.

When Emma begins a relationship with Kyle, an Englischer, Lydia teams up with Kyle’s older brother, Caleb, to keep the couple apart. As Lydia and Caleb spend time together keeping an eye on their siblings, Lydia falls for this forbidden love. But she fights her attraction and determines to stay true to her faith.

Caleb confesses his feelings to Lydia. She admits her attraction to him, but she’s made her decision to join the church and marry Jakob Zook as her family is pressing her to do.

Will Lydia stay true to her faith even when it means giving up the things that are most precious to her?”

I won this book as a prize from a giveaway, and it’s been sitting in my pile to read for a bit now.  I have never read a book by Rachel J. Good and look forward to reading this since it is book one in her Sisters and Friends series.  I have heard good things about Rachel’s book, so it’s a must read this summer.


“”After three hours of chores, breakfast, phone calls, and getting mail ready, it was 9:30 by the time I got to sewing. I sewed three blouses before noontime.”

As an Amish wife and mother of six, Lena Yoder has plenty of ways to fill her time.

“I helped with the afternoon milking, baked two different kinds of cakes, made two pizzas, and got everybody ready to take supper to school for the teachers.”

But amid the endless tasks to complete and challenges to overcome, Lena’s simple joy and deep faith are ever present in these brief, first-person accounts.

“I am thoroughly enjoying these days at home…Our family is filled with love…I could never list everything I am thankful for.”

These unassuming glimpses of Amish life will touch your heart and inspire you to seek the simple things—a loving family, a good day’s work, and a grateful heart.”

I found this book on the clearance shelf at Gordonville Book Store and the title grabbed me.  It’s a small book written like a diary which I find interesting.  One of the few non-fiction books I’ll read.  I am looking forward to seeing what Lena’s role is as an Amish wife and how much more work she does around her house than I do.  I’m sure it’s a ton more….ha!

book-4“Have you ever stopped to think, Maybe the Amish are on to something? Look around. We tweet while we drive, we talk while we text, and we surf the Internet until we fall asleep. We are essentially plugged in and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Rather than mastering technology, we have allowed technology to master us. We are an exhausted nation. No one has enough time, everyone feels stressed out, and our kids spend more hours staring at a screen each week than they do playing outside.

It’s time to simplify our lives, make faith and family the focal point, and recapture the lost art of simple living. Building on the basic principles of Amish life, Nancy Sleeth shows readers how making conscious choices to limit (and in some cases eliminate) technology’s hold on our lives and getting back to basics can help us lead calmer, more focused, less harried lives that result in stronger, deeper relationships with our families, friends, and God.”

My hubby bought me this book a few months ago, and I just haven’t had a chance to read it.  I figured it was perfect for my bucket list pile, since I am always trying to live more like the Amish in a few ways around our home – not having so much stuff is my first step…purging like a mad woman lately.  Another way is cooking more – I love cooking and baking, so that’s an easy way.  I’m looking forward to reading this book and seeing what the author has to say about cutting back on things we take for granted like technology and such.


“A trip of a lifetime for Amish girl Mandy Frey is disrupted when she and one of her friends miss the cruise ship after a stop on Kauai.  But the adventure is just beginning as they make new friends and learn about the island.  When time to go home, will Mandy leave a part of her heart behind?”

I have thoroughly enjoyed the other books that Wanda Brunstetter has written with her daughter-in-law, Jean Brunstetter, and I am sure this one will not disappoint.  I’m looking forward to it taking me to Hawaii and seeing what adventures Mandy and her friend have after missing their cruise ship.  I’m sure the adventures will feel like I’m along for the ride too.

So there you have it…my bucket list of summer reading.  I better get busy, right?  Looking forward to reading these great books over the next month or so.  Do you have a summer reading bucket list?  If so, what book is at the top of your pile?

Happy reading!





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