My Summer into Fall Reading Plan

I was going to title this My Summer Reading Plan, Progress Note, ( but I feel the quickly draining away of summer, with all of the school supplies on sale, the summer clothes on sale that seem to be heralding the close, or clothes of one season morphing into another. I never did buy enough sleeveless tops to get through the heat of summer, but today I had to go digging for long sleeves, at least to get me through the cool of the morning and the dog’s first walk of the day.

I was at one of my favorite stores the other day and saw an attractive door decoration and was tempted to buy it. But I stopped myself with this thought, a stifled yell from somewhere in my psyche, “Don’t buy that yet, it screams fall and it is only July 21st!”

We have had a lot of rain the last few weeks in North Central Pennsylvania. Every. Day. Rain, storms, flooding and grey skies; definitely not good sunbathing weather, or swimming or other outdoor activity weather.

Picture of books in a book case with other mementos, including old cameras and suitcases on the top shelf. Picture has rounded edges.
Photo by Taryn Elliott from Pexels

I admit, perhaps this chatter is to avoid telling you how abysmally my summer reading plan has turned out. And yet, not so bad in the long run. I have read a book that I enjoyed, and highly recommend: Mennonite Daughter: the Story of a Plain Girl, by Marian Longenecker Beaman. It is available on Amazon, I read it on my Kindle. I have a bad habit of checking out the ending of a book, but it is way to much hassle to do that when reading on a Kindle. So I was pleasantly surprised to find some recipes at the end of the book.

I found it to be well written and compelling and perhaps a must read, but also a potential trigger story, for anyone who has grown up with domestic violence and done the hard work of processing, attempting to understand the perpetrator, and find threads of love and forgiveness. In addition to that, she experienced extreme prejudice and bullying in a toxic work environment. There is a lot of redemption in her story and fulfillment.

It took me a while to get through the book, not because of any failing on the part of the author, but because I can be easily distracted and more importantly, had genuine family needs that required my attention.

Picture of a large black and tan dog on a brown pad on a light brown wood look floor.

I had started reading a second book as well, the 25th Anniversary Edition of Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg. This is a book that is good for writers at any stage, but in order to engage the book best, one needs to read a little and then write. I picked out a notebook to use, but just did not keep up. I intend to return to the reading and the work.

The second book that I successfully completed, was an audio book by one of my favorite authors, Jan Karon, the book was “To Be Where You Are.” I had read the book previously on a vacation, but I don’t go anywhere without an audiobook and I find comfort, encouragement and inspiration in Jan’s writing. It was an excellent companion during the stressful time of my husband’s surgery, hospitalization and recuperation.

My current read, that I am moving through slowly, but finding it important for the stage of life that I am in, is Mary Pipher’s “Women Rowing North: Navigating Life’s Currents and Flourishing as We Age” It is a book I had started on a previous vacation and when I returned the copy to the library (unfinished) I determined to purchase my own copy. It had sat on the floor by my bed for several weeks, where I managed to avoid it, until one fateful morning it seemed to jump up and say, “Hey! Pick me!”

I am also listening to a current political memoir book on Audible, but my Kindle, or the app or my car sync can be temperamental, so I am only about 43% on that one.

So, the truth is I have only finished two books in the last month. On the other hand, I have finished two books this month! Hurrah! I know, it does not sound like much, but in the normal day to day of my work life, most actual reading is professional, which takes precedence over any other reading. It is usually on vacation that I can pick up one book read it, and then pick up another and come home from vacation with 3 to 5 books read. I always listen to audio books in the car when I am alone, so I hear books on average two a month, depending on the size of the book and the amount of car time.

Picture of an old fashioned typwriter with a paper inserted and the word "Goals" typed on the page.
Photo by Markus Winkler from Pexels

But my goal here is to pick up a book, or my Kindle and READ the whole thing!

Part of my goal that has been most successful is my determination to not sit in front of the television watching endless repeats of shows I have seen. One exception to this plan is Friday night at 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time (U.S.), if Blue Bloods is on, I am there. So I feel really accomplished in that way.

In addition to all the above, I have written and published two blog posts, and have two in process and have been intentional about reading and commenting on other blogs as I am able. Another wonderful part of my reading/writing life is a generally weekly phone conversation with a friend who writes, we share what is going on in our lives, but also encourage each other in writing progress or attempts and our hope to get back on track with our joint writing venture.

So my plan now is to continue the discipline and the reading plan into fall. That will require more intention on my part because the fall season of favorite shows is coming, and I will try to be choosy.

Oh, my other summer reading? Bread recipes! But that is another story for another post. What will my next read be? Tune in. What about you? Do you have a favorite author, or genre?

Not holding back the tide,


Copyright 2020-2024 Michele Somerville, The Beach Girl Chronicles and

Linking up with Natalie’s #Coffee Share Weekend, #Esme Senior Salon and #Denyse Whelan’s life This Week

Published by msomerville2014

About: Michele Somerville is a wife, mother, stepmother, grandmother, sister, aunt, cousin and friend. She lives with her husband and their dog Sheba. Sheba is their fourth rescue dog in 30 years. She is a retired ordained United Methodist Elder and serves two churches part-time in North Central Pennsylvania. She obtained her Bachelors’ Degree in 1999 from Mansfield University and her Master of Divinity in 2004 and Doctor of Ministry in 2016, both from Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School in Rochester, New York. My Doctor of Ministry Thesis was:” Prophetic Words of Grace: Biblical Storytelling in the Local Church.” Michele began writing and performing character monologues for worship in 2008. She began by asking the question about nameless characters in the Bible, “What would they say if they could speak for themselves?” and then using her theological education and experience of the human condition to attempt an answer that is both academic and creative. Much of what you will read here are memories from growing up in a tourist town, in a bar, in the 1960’s, shaggy dog stories about our rescue dogs, life in a small town, and stories of faith and hope. Throughout her life she has lived in many states, including small towns, large towns and cities. She lived in Rota, Spain, for nine challenging months. Despite all the places she have lived since moving away from home in 1970,Michele is at the heart of all things Jack and Maggie’s daughter, and a beach girl from Onset, Massachusetts.

24 thoughts on “My Summer into Fall Reading Plan

  1. I tend to read more in the summer for some reason. I just read a great book by Jojo Moyes called The Giver of Stars. It is about the packback librarians of Kentucky. I’m glad you read Mennonite Daughter. I thought it was very good and the recipes, a bonus. Happy reading!!


    1. I loved Giver of Stars! Listened to it as an audiobook. I think her writing is delicious. I loved the content and characters, but it would also be worth reading through to capture her turn of phrases, like butterflies drawing you in with their magnificence and simple beauty. Thanks Darlene for taking the time to visit.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Michele, good work on reading something at least!! As it’s winter here it’s been so easy to sit down in front of the fire or in my sunroom and read away the wet days. I do try and go for a walk or bike ride most days as well, so I’m not just a lazy sloth! Some blogging friends and I are starting a ‘What’s on your bookshelf’ series next month (Aug 20) and you are most welcome to join in! I wrote a post about it just yesterday if you’d like to know more. Hope all isw ell as you transition into autumn. #weekendcoffeeshare

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Debbie, thank you. I read the post and will definitely plan to participate. I am past the half way mark on my current book, and starting to think about what my next read should be. Who knows, I may be able to finish up my Audible book by then too.. Thanks for the invite, Sounds like fun.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Michele, You’re enjoying the books you read or listen to and that’s what matters in terms of leisure reading. I’ve been using the categories from the Toronto Public Library Reading Challenge to read more widely. I’ve discovered new authors and new genres. Thank you for your #weekendcoffeeshare.


    1. Thanks for those affirming words. it is good, I figure if I can keep this up through Autumn, I will be able to keep going all year, with the additional motivation. Have a blessed weekend.


  4. Well, you’re definitely reading more than me! It takes me about two months on average to read one book. Because I always have so much going on and other priorities prevail, like blog reading. So, I’d say you did pretty well. I also read Marian’s book (last year) and enjoyed it.

    If you’re interested in another link-up regarding reading, check out Donna’s most recent post and scroll to the bottom. She and some blogging buddies are starting a new blog share:


    1. Our library has some of her books on audio and I listen over and over on occasion. I wonder if she will do another book? I don’t know if you are on Facebook, but I just read that her daughter died, she would have been 69? I wonder how old Jan is then??? Anyway, thanks for reading and commenting.


      1. What a shame her daughter died! I had no idea of Jan’s age. I’ll forgive her for not writing more books. I read the Mitford series before we moved to NC, but I seem to remember the stories were set in western NC. I should read them again.


  5. Hi Michelle. Remember reading should be enjoyable and it’s not compulsory to finish every book. Life does tend to get in the way at times. I think it’s especially difficult when you have reading to do for work. We love Blue Bloods too. We have Season 10 on DVD and watched half of it last weekend. We are meant to get rain tomorrow so will probably watch the second half.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jennifer, you are right. It should be enjoyable, and it is. But as with exercise, even our efforts at relaxation and wholeness require some degree of intentionality. Working at balance and growth:) Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I am excited that they are filming Season 12 of Blue Bloods and looking forward to the fall premier in two months. Best and blessings, Michele


  6. Goals are great. I love reading and read a lot. I set a goal of reading 120 books this year, I’ll probably reach the goal, even though all of them aren’t on Goodreads (where I made the goal,) so it looks like I’ve read a lot less, which doesn’t matter to me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. HI Maria, I thought I had replied to your comment, but it may have been one that WordPress said wouldn’t go, the generic, “you have said this before.” At any rate, I agree about goals, they help me keep moving. Periodically in life I make it a habit of writing down the books I have read in the back of one of my journals. It is helpful in many ways. I wish I had done that all along, especially with audiobooks when I was driving 3 hours to seminary one way for four seasons of school. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. Best and blessings, Michele

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow! I like working with goals to so I can appreciate that. Counting audio books, audible, kindle and 3D books, I probably cover more books in a year than I realize. Not 120 though:) Maria, thanks for taking the time to read and comment. Blessings, Michele


  8. I haven’t heard of those titles but they sound interesting. Like you I’m a sucker for a rerun of my favourite shows. There’s something so comporting about them – especially if other things are a tad chaotic. Wishing you a fabulous August.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jo! I had signed up to follow you and then forgot to make sure notices didn’t go into my spam folder. As a result, I haven’t seen anything since then. I am curious about the phrase the zen of baking, or is it bread making? Have you written specifically about that? I am getting ready to work on some posts about my bread making experiences, so am curious. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. Always good to see you.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Michele.
    Sorry for the late arrival. We left for some vacation time with youngest son late Friday night and have been on the road or with him ever since.
    I used to always have two books in progress, but work and writing have closed in my time so I now maintain one kindle book for pleasure reading. We don’t do live TV in our home (haven’t since 1975) because the commercials alone make live TV unwatchable to me. We have both Netflix and Prime so get some shows w/o commercials or via DVDs and I too love Blue Bloods.
    I’m also liking my progress on story writing, but it takes time to get things right and ready to publish. I love having the ability to self publish even if my audience is rather small by almost any comparison. It’s making me a better writer.
    By the way, I think that your kindle and mine might be related. It can be very cranky about syncing between devices and I often end up rereading chapters.
    Thanks for the visit.


  10. Thanks for some wonderful book recommendations, Michele. I have been ogling that “Women Rowing” one for months, but have never pulled the trigger. Right now, I am reading “Code Girls”, the story of women who broke German and Japanese codes in WWII. Very interesting. My favorite author is Annie Dillard. I read and reread “Pilgrim at Tinker Creek” often and always find something new each time I do.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. That sounds like a good book, too. I may have to check on that. As of tonight I have 91 more pages to read, and will soon need to decide on what my next read will be. Thanks Laurie, for taking the time to read and comment. Blessings, Michele


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