Summer Shopping Spree!

 I’ve said it many times that I would sooner buy books than replace old clothes or repair the house. I realize that this is not a very godly trait. When I look into my heart of flesh, and survey my surroundings at home, I prioritize what I would save first in the event of a fire. My books, the computer, then the dogs. (We’ll be making a lot of trips up and down those smoky stairs to save all my books.)

Four times a year I allow myself to go on a wild shopping spree to buy a handful of books to last me through the next several months. One spree takes place around Black Friday. Poor Sarabeth married the kind of guy who does just as much shopping for himself for Christmas gifts as he does for her. The next spree comes on Christmas day, where I get to open the plethora of books Sarabeth ordered for me from my wish list. The third spree comes the day after Christmas (got to get the whole Christmas list checked off, right?). And the fourth one lands somewhere between spring and summer where I begin to gather my more cozy-home-by-the-fire books in preparation for the long winter ahead. (I get all my summer reading and baseball books during Christmas… yes, I’m that … ahem, organized.)

So this week I thought I’d share with you the newest members of our family, taking up a prominent place on our bookshelf, eager to be cracked open and brought to life.

The Robe by Lloyd C. Douglas

Here is a fictional story about one of the guards who bartered for Jesus’ clothes at the foot of the cross. The reviews for this book were outstanding, and because I enjoyed The Flames of Rome so much, I figured I will take another step into the world of historical Christian fiction. Apparently this was made into a movie back in the 50’s.






The Long Way Home by David Laskin

This was an impulse buy. When the cover bragged about immigrants landing on Ellis Island and then being shipped off to war several years later, I couldn’t resist. The fact that Eric Larson wrote a review of it helped my decision.




The Last Stand by Nathaniel Philbrick

Apparently Sarabeth is related to Custer, and we don’t have anything about the Battle of Little Big Horn in the house that I know of. So why not take the time to learn about Cousin Custer, and his ravenous tirade against the Indians? Oh, and Sarabeth is living proof that, hereditarily  speaking, insanity and madness diminishes through the years. I am proud to say that the Custer clan has come a long way, and has been redeemed.



To Kill A Mocking Bird by Harper Lee

I’m pretty sure I was supposed to read this in high school, but I have no recollection of it. As a novelist I consider it part of my job to be well-versed in some of America’s greatest literature. Did you know that this was voted one of the greatest American novels of the 20th century? I find it hard to believe that anything can be better than John Steinbeck, so I must see to believe.





Life as we Knew it by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Never mind that it’s a teen book. As soon as I heard the synopsis – meteor knocks moon closer to the earth and every type of natural disaster ensues – I was hooked. I love a good apocalyptic story… I just haven’t found that many. Plus, I’m going to need inspiration for my own apocalyptic novel that I’ve been writing. The reviews seem almost unanimous that these books (it’s a trilogy) are absolutely terrifying, so I’m looking forward to a good scare.

Now, I probably won’t get to any of these for about a year or so. I’ve still got a lot of back-shelf books to catch up on. And in case you’re wanting to follow my reading trend, let me highlight that it is not likely that I will buy a book unless it has overwhelmingly positive reviews online. You can check book reviews at or or  wherever you buy your books. Happy reading!

What would you  give up if you could be a god? Follow my pre-published debut novel on Facebook.


About Andrew Toy
I'm in the beginning stages of starting my own publishing company that's unlike anything you've ever heard of in the industry. The direction of AdoptingJames is taking a 90-degree turn and will be more writing/publishing-focused. Stay tuned for huge updates and exciting news!

7 Responses to Summer Shopping Spree!

  1. Rebekah L. says:

    To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my all-time favorites.

  2. You must get out and read To Kill A Mockingbird immediately. It is soooo good!

  3. nancyola says:

    Out of pity for Sarabeth and at the risk of being very unpopular, I suggest you go to library used book sales. It’s amazing what you can find and it’s no where near the original price. The same is true for Goodwill and second hand shops. You’re books do sound fabulous. I wish I had the money to buy new books. I saw the movie the Robe when I was young and it was great. Very inspiring.

  4. southernjohnson says:

    I love to read! Just don’t do it as often as I should or used to. 🙂

  5. Victoria says:

    These all look like excellent choices! I, like you, have no recollection of the’must read’ To Kill a Mockingbird. Hmm…what happened there? I will start my ‘Summer reads’ list and add that one to it along with The Robe and The Flames of Rome. Thanks for the list and suggestions! I’ll be awaiting your review of the old classic!

  6. LOVED The Robe! The way that they tell the story of the loaves and fishes has always stuck with me. I don’t want to ruin it for you, so I’ll just say it was a different and wonderful way of looking at things. I liked To Kill a Mockingbird too. I didn’t read it in High School either, though my sister (at the same school) did. Go figure. So I read it a few years ago and found it surprisingly enjoyable. (Surprising because I tend to lean more toward Harry Potter than actual literature in my reading tastes). It sounds like a great list. I hope you enjoy every one of them!

  7. Pingback: How to Read (More) « adoptingjames

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