This Summer’s Reading List

Summer’s approaching and that means… book fever! Yes, it’s time to dust off those books you’ve been meaning to read for so long, pull out those books you received for Christmas last year, open them up and start reading. I always say that no one is too busy to read. If you’re saying that, then stop *reading* this blog (or tweet), and stick your nose in a book. (And not a book that’s most likely going to be made into the next steamy movie – that doesn’t count… that’s just watching a silly movie in slow motion.)

So as you’ve probably figured out by now, every Tuesday is Book Rec day here on Adopting James. I’m just tingling with excitement over the next several books I’m going to read  this summer. Here’s a sneak peak at my bookshelf I’ll be making my way through in the next few months, so if you have any of these books, you can read along, or maybe this post will inspire you to get out there and treat yourself to some useful purchases. Be looking for my reviews in the next few months. And remember, I’m open to suggestions, so email them to me or comment. Happy reading!

This will be my first official baseball book, as I’ve just recently developed a love for the sport. I’m more interested in the history of baseball than taking it up as something I currently follow. Anytime you mix history in with something, my attention is taken captive. And heck, reading about the world’s longest ball game could be a good way to begin my baseball reading endeavor. Anyone have any other baseball book suggestions?



I am indebted to this man, like many of you, in so many ways. No so much because of the products he’s invented (Sarabeth and I still only have a MacBook, but would like others), but because of certain investments he’s made. Many people don’t know this, but it was Steve Jobs who gave Pixar Animation Studios their start by funding them back in the late ’80’s. In so many ways, it’s because of Steve Jobs that we have movies like Toy Story, Up, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, and others, thus ultimately saving the Disney Studios. And, I’ve been told that it was Jobs himself who suggested Woody be a good guy rather than antagonistic when Lassetter, Stanton and their team were creating the first Toy Story . Why is that such a big deal, you ask? Let’s just say I’ve got a small collection of Woody figurines on my desk, including a real pull-string Woody doll on my bookshelf… with my name (Andy) written on the bottom of his right boot.


This is one of my favorite books, written by one of my favorite classic authors. If you haven’t read it, or Around the World in 80 Days, you finally need to do so. Plus, I hear Disney is making a movie about Captain Nemo, so… gots to be prepared for that.




I’ve heard nothing but outstanding things about author Erik Larson, and especially this book of American history. It’s set in Chicago, 1893, and centers around an architect, who was behind the idea of the 1893 World’s Fair, and a serial killer who used the fair to lure his victims to their death. This sounds like it has all the makings of a classic. Why didn’t they teach us this sort of stuff in school?



This book came highly recommended by Dr. Albert Mohler, and quite frankly, after reading a couple of his recommendations, I just keep going back to his list for more. And, after seeing The Conspirator last year, I’m very excited to get the story inside the story. I mean, other than hunting down Nazis or terrorist, what else could be more exciting than searching and capturing John Wilkes Booth? Plus, this will be great preparation for Spielberg’s Lincoln coming out this summer – And no, he does not go around hacking zombies to death with an axe.

Additional books: The Universe Next Door, Sire; The History of Israel, Kaiser; To Try Men’s Souls, Gingrich; America: The Last Best Hope, Vol. 2, Bennett; God’s Passion for His Glory – Piper

Image credits: Bottom of the 33rd, Steve Jobs, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, The Devil in the White City, Manhunt

Published by Andrew Toy

Writer when I'm not being a husband or dad. So mostly just a husband and dad.

9 thoughts on “This Summer’s Reading List

  1. I’ve got Steve Jobs’ biography on my desk as I type, however reading of it is being put off as I first have to deal with the seven impending university exams just around the corner. It’s the first thing I’ll pick up as soon as I finish in about a month’s time though.

    Just wanted to say thanks for following me too!



  2. Thanks for the recommendations…. when I was young I loved baseball. Over the years I’ve gotten away from it. But I think I may try Bottom of the 33rd. Sounds kinda good. Thanks again. Lord bless you.


    1. You’re very welcome! I strayed away from it as well, but recently I’ve been drawn back to the innocence that other sports don’t really have. What drew me back in was a movie called Pride of the Yankees, about Lou Gehrig. Grab the tissues and prepare to fall in love with baseball again!


  3. Love, love, love Devil in the White City, and would also recommend his book, Thunderstruck. Perhaps a half-star behind Devil, but really good, as well. Check out Squirrel Circus on Goodreads for my other favorites! 🙂


  4. What is the meaning of the title “Bottom of the 33rd”? (Was there a game that went that many innings in OT?) Another baseball book I’ve heard is good (but couldn’t get into) is Moneyball, based on the movie (which I also am waiting till it comes out on Netflix online, our main movie source, as it’s affordable).

    Other recommendations: Eric Metaxas’s bio of Bonhoeffer (I listened to the audio), The Sign and the Seal by Graham Hancock (I’m about 2/3 of the way through it–basic premise [I think, since I still haven’t finished it] is that the Ark of the Covenant is now in Ethiopia and has been there since maybe even the latter part of Solomon’s reign)–well researched and documented, though considered “alternative history” (e.g., his ideas about Atlantis), but read like a detective story!

    On a spiritual plane (if that’s OK), A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World by Paul E. Miller [my wife and I are currently reading that together = I read it aloud to her and we discuss LOL] and It’s Your Call [“pre-title,” a variation on sub-title: What Are You Doing Here?] available on The Noble Heart website ( Gary was originally with FOTF (Focus On The Family), then with John Eldredge ( on the original “Wild At Heart” video series for men, but a few years back began his own ministry centered on helping men [and now women through his wife’s ministry (“Sheer Beauty”) at the same site] find their true calling/vocation/purpose in life. He’s been studying and teaching the topic of finding our place in this world and the glory we’re made to shine with for over 25 years! Excellent read–like sitting at a round table with people who’ve mentored him!


  5. Just finished “Bottom of the 33rd.” Indeed it was a game that went that many innings, on April 18-19, 1981, a grueling 8 hours from 8:02 pm on Saturday through Easter Sunday after 4 am. (Still in a tie 2-2, it was called and finished 2 months later in 18 minutes!) Dan Barry writes some incredible prose. I posted some quotes on my blog that impressed me. Thanks again, Andrew, for the recommendation.


    1. I finished it as well. Loved it a lot. I’ll post about it in a week or so. Would love to see sales go up on it so Dan Barry can write more.


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