9 books by Baylor authors for your Summer 2018 reading list
What differentiates regular reading from “summer reading?” It’s hard to say, but there’s something about certain books that lend themselves to a beach chair, an airplane, or even just a seat on the front porch — a good mystery, an international setting, a fascinating true story, an inspirational memoir, or, in some cases, all of the above.
With that in mind, we delved through an impressive list of books by Baylor authors — graduates, professors, even students — to find those that best fit the bill. Presenting the BaylorProud Summer 2018 Reading List:
* Hero of the Empire, by Candice Millard, MA ’92: Named the top history book of 2016 by Amazon, this bestseller follows a young Winston Churchill making a name for himself as a war hero long before becoming Prime Minister. Millard’s books, which include popular history books about Theodore Roosevelt and the assassination of James Garfield, have combined to sell more than a million copies. (New York Times review)
* The Silver Bear, by Derek Haas, BA ’91, MA’ 95: Most people know Haas from his work in Hollywood, co-creating shows like NBC’s Chicago Fire and writing scripts for films like Wanted and 3:10 to Yuma. But Haas’ writing pursuits also extend to novels. The Silver Bear is the first in a series of thrillers about an anti-hero named Columbus; the series’ fifth book, The Way I Die, came out this spring. (Publishers Weekly review)
* Capital Gaines: Smart Things I Learned Doing Stupid Stuff, by Chip Gaines, BBA ’98: Fixer Upper‘s incredible TV run may have come to an end this spring, but you can still get your Chip and Joanna fix through their books, including Chip’s latest, highlighting lessons learned amidst the fun. And if that’s not enough, you could try some recipes from Magnolia Table, Joanna’s new cookbook, or their initial book, The Magnolia Story. (Goodreads reviews)
* Preemptive Love: Pursuing Peace One Heart at a Time, by Jeremy Courtney, MDiv ’04: Courtney and his family have built a home and a ministry in a place many people would have fled. In the middle of the Iraq War, Courtney learned that nearly 1 in 10 Iraqi children were born with a birth defect, with little recourse for proper medical help. He and his family moved to Iraq and founded the Preemptive Love Coalition, which brings international teams of heart surgeons to serve those in need. Their story of children healed and lives changes is told in this powerful book. (Publishers Weekly review)
* Benjamin Franklin: The Religious Life of a Founding Father, by Dr. Thomas Kidd: Another option for the history-inclined, Benjamin Franklin examines the complicated religious beliefs of the legendary founding father. Written by Kidd, a Baylor history professor since 2002, the book delves into Franklin’s multi-faceted life and finds that his religious views were as complex as his numerous jobs. (Goodreads reviews)
* Hello Mornings, by Kat Lee, BA ’97: Waking up and getting the morning started before the day explodes can often feel like an uphill battle — especially for moms. Lee shares practical encouragement for women, explaining why morning routines matter, how to create your own successful morning routine, and what tools can keep it going. (Goodreads reviews)
* Golf’s Sacred Journey: Seven Days at the Links of Utopia, by Dr. David Cook, BSEd ’80: This fictitious tale is based on the timeless truths Cook learned from his own mentors and some of the NFL, NBA, MLB and professional golf athletes he’s worked with as a well-known sports psychologist. The story, focused on a stranded young golfer and an eccentric rancher who meet on a golf course, was also made into a 2011 movie starring Robert Duvall. (Goodreads reviews)
* How to Think: A Survival Guide for a World at Odds, by Dr. Alan Jacobs: Thinking may seem natural — presumably you’re doing it right now, as you read this — but most of us aren’t as good at thinking as we assume. Jacobs, a Baylor Honors College professor since 2012, examines the many forces that prevent critical thinking and shares how we can overcome those impediments to the betterment of ourselves and those around us. (Wall Street Journal review)
* Am I Enough?: Embracing the Truth About Who You Are, by Grace Valentine, BA ’18: Last month, Valentine graduated from Baylor; next month, her new book will be released. In Am I Enough?, the popular blogger examines questions many people, especially many women, ask themselves throughout their lives — about whether or not they are smart enough, good enough, pretty enough, or successful enough — and details Biblical answers to those questions. (To be released July 2018)
Of course, the list of potential summer reads by Baylor authors could go on and on. From history to mystery and sports to business, there’s something for every taste and interest when you find the time to kick back and enjoy some time to read.
Sic ’em, Baylor authors and readers!