Looking for a Good Book? Recommendations to Round Out Your Summer

July 24, 2021

While a dreary winter's day is definitely a great time to curl up under a blanket with a good book, I find that summer is one of my favorite times to catch up on reading. Slightly more relaxed schedules (plus vacations!) make for what feels like a few more hours to settle into a book.


If you weren't already aware, we just love reading here at Veritas. Literature is highly valued in our curriculum and daily school life, from kindergarten through graduation. One mark of a Veritas graduate is a lifelong (sometimes voracious) love for reading, because their teachers have trained them in the art of reading well.

(Read more about why we espouse a "Great Books education" and what that means for students' spiritual and academic growth here.)

Our faculty - the majority being bibliophiles themselves - usually have no shortage of books to read over their summer breaks. While in many instances these books might not be considered your typical light "beach reading," they almost always invoke thoughtfulness, reflection, conviction, or a closer walk with Christ.

Whether you're looking for a book to take along with you on your family beach trip, getting ideas to round out your reading goals for the year, or just looking for inspiration for something new to dive into, here are some recommendations from a few of our Veritas Academy faculty and administrators.

Cultural Commentary & Biblical Worldview


Fault Lines by Voddie Baucham

Recommendation by Ty Fischer, Veritas Head of School

"This is an excellent introduction to some critical issues concerning race and culture from an unflinching Christian perspective.

"Here are three brief reasons to read this book. First, it helps you see God’s providence in some of the current chaos. Baucham, an African-American Pastor and Seminary Dean, does not try to cover over deep problems in the American church and its handling of race. He also points to the significant trouble he sees in what he calls the Critical Social Justice (CSJ) movement. Baucham’s story is woven through the book and God’s providential preparation of this Division 1 football player into a thoughtful critic of powerful ideas really stirred my faith.

"Second, Baucham helps you understand the origin of ideas. He helps you answer questions like: Where do the ideas around CSJ come from? Why is there so much misunderstanding of what people are saying? How can we approach these ideas biblically?

"Finally, Voddie Baucham’s personal narrative is inspiring. He makes his way from inner-city LA to Rice University, to the pastorate, and finally back to Africa where he now is Dean of Theology at the African Christian University in Zambia.

"Baucham believes Christians need to think carefully about these issues because the world is shifting beneath our feet and people, churches, and institutions that try to split the difference are in danger of collapse. Fault Lines asks hard questions but delivers on its promise of a thoughtful, insightful, and forthright perspective. You might not agree with everything in this book, but reading it will be informative, inspiring, and challenging."

The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self by Carl Trueman

Recommendation by Graham Dennis, Veritas Dean of Students

"Once in a while a book comes out that so clearly articulates the causes and crises of our present moment, seems so necessary for understanding how we’ve gotten where we are, that you find yourself recommending it to friends and talking about it regularly in casual discourse. Carl Trueman’s The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self is just such a book. Andrew Walker of The Gospel Coalition recently referred to it as the most important book of the year, and possibly the decade.

"What is this book about, and why should you read it? Trueman’s book is about the development of the contemporary notion of the ‘self.’ He aims to provide a rigorous intellectual history of the development of the modern, secular idea of the self, and also to show how the development of this idea has transformed our understanding of sexuality, identity, and personhood.

"For a Christian interested in considering carefully how our culture views selfhood and personhood, it is an absolutely essential read. For parents, pastors, and educators who want to see clearly where myriad landmines are hidden, waiting to destroy the Biblical anthropology of our Christian faith, it is indispensable. It’s not an easy book—but it is one that provides reward after reward. I can’t recommend it highly enough."

The Other Worldview: Exposing Christianity's Greatest Threat by Peter Jones

Recommendation by Rev. Nathaniel Stamper, Veritas Omnibus & Logic Teacher

"Dr. Jones's brilliant work exposes how all other worldviews lose the proper distinction of Creator/creature, eventually reducing themselves to Oneism (everything is essentially one). How do we find ourselves in an age where all distinctions are lost (boy/girl, right/wrong, etc.)? Dr. Jones shows how secularism and eastern religions are bedfellows in removing all distinctions from modern society."

The Universe Next Door: A Basic Worldview Catalog, 5th Edition by James Sire

Recommendation by Rev. Nathaniel Stamper, Veritas Omnibus & Logic Teacher

"James' classic work gives a basic outline of each major worldview. How do we know how to offer the biblical answers to a corresponding worldview if we do not understand the worldview (and its problematic components) which confronts us?"




Peter the Great: His Life and World by Robert Massie

Recommendation by Bruce Etter, Veritas Academic Dean

"I’m not sure if it’s the lightest 'summer read' but I am recommending a biography on Peter the Great.

"Hear me out. There are solid reasons to dive into this one. I teach a course at Veritas Academy on the life and works of Fyodor Dostoevsky. I teach this course because the parallels between 19th century Russia and 21st century American culture are striking. Young 20-something social justice warriors were coming back from the Russian universities and explaining to their 'non-woke' parents why everything they were taught was wrong. Sound familiar?

"We use terms like 'progressives' and 'conservatives.' The same basic debate was going on between 'westernizers' and 'slavophiles' in the 1840’s and 50’s in Russia. The seeds of progressive thinking can be traced back to the reforms of Peter the Great, who sought to introduce progressive, European ideas and customs into Russian culture.

"Understanding this important historical debate, along with its origins and development, gives us insight into several realities and answers three important questions: 1) Is our current cultural craziness a new thing? 2) How have thinking Christians responded in similar situations in the past? 3) How can we apply it all to our current trends?

"This particular biography is a bit of a tome at nearly 900 pages, BUT it’s actually an interesting read, well-written with fascinating anecdotes. It looks a bit scary, but Massie’s writing is truly enjoyable."

The Unhurried Chase that Ended at L'Abri by Betty Carlson

Recommendation by Randa Landis, Veritas Development Assistant

"It's a very humorously-written autobiography about the author's post WWII journeys around the world, and her reluctant journey to faith in Jesus."

By Searching: My Journey Through Doubt Into Faith by Isobel Kuhn

Recommendation by Randa Landis, Veritas Development Assistant

"One of my perennial favorite autobiographies (I seem to read this about every 10 years!).  Isobel Kuhn grew up in British Columbia, Canada in the early 1900s.  She had been raised in a Christian home, yet in college she shed what semblance of faith she had...  but God used the honest little ember that remained to reveal Himself to her so personally, patiently, and gently.  This story reminds me of one of my favorite verses, "And you will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart." (Jeremiah 29:13)


All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot

Recommendation by Randa Landis, Veritas Development Assistant

"I inherited an old copy of this classic from my late father-in-law's extensive book collection, which is special and fitting as he was a country veterinarian himself here in Lancaster County.  I finally started reading it recently, because (being the book purist) I want to finish the book before seeing the new PBS series based upon it, which looks lovely. Plus, the book is set in a gorgeous part of England that I visited briefly in college, and to which I would flit back in a heartbeat if I could!"

Christian Parenting

Honey for a Child's Heart by Gladys Hunt and The Read-Aloud Family by Sarah McKenzie

Recommendation by Sharon Strawbridge, Veritas First Grade Teacher

"I always recommend these encouraging books about the importance, the wonder, and enjoyment of reading aloud together. Book lists are included in each."

Want More Recommendations (Including Books for Kids?)

Click below to visit our list from last year, which includes recommendations from our broader parent and student community and includes books and series for kids.

More Recommendations from the Veritas Community: 2020 Reading List

If you're looking for a school that ignites a lifelong love for learning in your child, you'll love the difference that classical Christian education at Veritas Academy offers. Come find out how we teach kids how to love, serve, and think well through an education that connects them with truth, beauty, and goodness every day.

Click here to schedule your private tour this summer to see the classical difference for yourself.



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