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Summertime is synonomous with reading. Even as we find ourselves busied by life's hurdles we still have this feeling that we ought to be reading something meaningful. Also, reading gives us a chance to make our way indoors, escaping the heat, to dive into a pile of ideas, thoughts, and stories that yank us out of our everyday routine. This is the beauty of books. Unlike our digital companions, books force us to engage the content of the paper page, squaring our engrained ways with what we're being presented with. Below are 5 books that can help you escape the heat of the summer and the everyday thought-lives that we all tend to fall into. 

1. Sacred Pace by Terry Looper

In his inaugural book Looper shares his experience with a major life break-down and how, by chosing God's pace over his own, his life, marriage, family, and faith were saved. Looper explains how we can use simple steps to engage God in a slowed and refreshing way that will open our minds, hearts, and spirits to what God is doing in our lives. 

2. Adam by Henri Nouwen

Henri Nouwen was a Dutch catholic priest who loved to write about the person of Jesus and how we can connect with him intimately. In his book Adam Nouwen tells of his first-hand experience with caring for and living with a man named Adam. Adam had cerebral palsy and was unable to speak, feed himself, or move on his own. While short, this true story uncovers the deep need that we all have for meaningful, kind, gentle relationship with those around us. It touches on the hardships of human emotion and relationship and how our own selfishness can get in the way.

3. For The Love by Jen Hatmaker

Hatmaker's 2015 For The Love aims directly at the target of enjoying life through authentic community, laughter, and choosing to shed unattainable expectations. Her words reveal how we allow culture and perfectly curated social media posts to steer the ship of our lives without us blinking an eye. Hatmaker leads her readers to release the expectations that may tempt you to believe you must achieve simply to be viewd as "having it all together."

4. Devine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard

In what is concidered Willard's opus, Devine Conspiracy attempts to reveal the upside-down nature of the Kingdom of God using the beatitudes from Jesus' Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). This massive volume of truth and wisdom from 1995 continue to fully envelop the deep thinking nature of Willard. Widly considered one of Christianity's greatest thinkers, Dallas Willard writes thick, weighty statements while still allowing the reader time and room to breathe. 

5. The Great Divroce by Clive Staples Lewis

This story published in 1944 was one of Lewis' greatest works. The story follows a narrator who travels from "Grey Town" to a marvolous place where splendor and beauty reign supreme. In this place of beauty he is confronted with realities thwere blind to him in Gray Town. The story, a mix between ghost-story, science fiction, and theological masterpiece, beautifully weaves a tale that taps into our deepest questinos regarding heaven, hell, and all that lies beyond this mortal coil.