Three new books you’ll want to read this summer

What an exciting year this has been as I have participated in editing and/or launch efforts of three new titles. Two of the authors are old friends, and two are now new friends thanks to scads of emails and Facebook likes. It was a huge relief that I actually loved all of these books and can give them a wholehearted recommendation, regardless of the fact that it was expected of me. So if you need some vacation or poolside reading material, consider one or all of these excellent books.


Difficult Conversations book cover 210pgs V5 subtitle on spine

Difficult Conversations Just for Women. Kill the Anxiety. Get What You Want. by Sofia Santiago, MBA, PMP and Dr. Susan Harrison

This book looks squarely in the face of a problem we have ignored for too long–women communicate differently than men, often to the detriment of our relationships and careers. The authors use humor and research to explain the obstacles women face when entering any negotiation, and give concrete tools to make these hard discussions successful. Loaded with examples from the authors’ personal lives and from their training and public speaking careers, it offers practical and creative solutions, real-life examples, and contagious encouragement.

It’s an easy read, but there is actually a whole communication course sandwiched between the pretty pink covers. It’s a one-of-a-kind resource to keep on hand for reference.

And it’s not just for women. Any man who wants to learn how to better communicate with the women he works or lives with could benefit from this book.

Historical Fiction


Lottie’s Gift, by Jane M. Tucker

If you are a fan of historical fiction, but prefer to stay away from sappy romance or predictable plotlines, Lottie’s Gift is for you. Lottie Braun is a little Midwestern girl caught up prematurely in an adult life in the 1930s when her talent on the keyboard becomes her family’s meal ticket. The author weaves a tale of her rise to fame and the subsequent abandonment by the one she loves the most–her sister.

At first, I couldn’t imagine how the sisters could possibly become estranged, then I couldn’t imagine how the author would reconcile all the heartache. It made me remember how much I hate war, and sin, but the message of forgiveness at the end made me remember why it is all worth it. Grab a tissue for the conclusion. You’ll never see it coming.

(There are a few tastefully handled “thematic elements” but this is appropriate for teen readers.)

Bible Study


Rocking Ordinary, by Lea Ann Garfias

I have been a big fan of Lea Ann Garfias’ blog so when the chance came to join her launch team, I jumped in. Her writing has often made me laugh out loud so I was expecting big things, and she delivered. I didn’t think I could love the content more than the cover design, but the words are just as rockin’ awesome as the yellow glove.

This is a book for all those women (most of us) who will never be world leaders or rock stars, but who still have extraordinary influence in the world through our relationships. With humorous and poignant glimpses into her own life, along with Scriptures affirming the worth of every daughter, mother, wife, single woman, and grandmother, the author encourages us to live every day to God’s glory.

Although it is a stand-alone book with Scripture readings and questions at the end of each chapter, I’m looking forward to getting my hands on the study kit and diving in with a small group.

So there is my short list of great books for your summer fun. What have you been reading?


Traci Matt is the author of two best-selling homeschooling books available at Amazon.

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