Let me start with my absolute favorite author, C. S. Lewis. As profound as Lewis is, he is really very easy and entertaining to read. His most famous works are either his children’s series The Chronicles of Narnia or his wonderful spiritual work The Screwtape Letters. That latter work was the first book that made me realize that spiritual reading could, in fact, be fun. For adventure, consider his “space trilogy,” Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra and That Hideous Strength.
Those who enjoy Lewis may also enjoy Lewis’ close friend J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The movie version of The Lord of the Rings is one of the best cinematic adaptations of a book that I have ever seen. (I won’t say the same for the movie version of The Hobbit.) Another possibility is G. K. Chesterton, whom some have called “The apostle of common sense.” Among his lighter works would be an unusual story called The Man who was Thursday. If you enjoy detective stories, consider his Father Brown mysteries in which it is a simple priest who solves the mysteries.
I once took part in a seminar on Christian literature in which I was asked to lead the session on C. S. Lewis. That seminar introduced me to the writings of Catholic authors Graham Greene and Flannery O’Connor, both of whom offer some interesting insights. In addition, I have enjoyed seeing faith from the Jewish perspective in the writings of Chaim Potok, especially such novels as The Chosen, The Promise and My Name is Asher Lev.
Again, summer reading is often for relaxation and entertainment. Not every book we read has to be explicitly spiritual. C. S. Lewis once said that “Christian fiction” simply meant fiction written by a Christian, as he believed that faith would inform the writer’s storytelling. So even simple light reading can involve books with a positive message. I greatly enjoyed J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, for instance, with its battle of good against evil. And lately I have been enjoying the mysteries of Agatha Christie.
As I said above, this list is just a sample of the ways we can some pleasant, relaxing reading in during these summer months while still nurturing our faith.