Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Summer Reading

Summer is the time for reading on the beach. Well, anyway, in other parts of the country it is. Here, in Kodiak, we don't see too many people reading on the beach. Tidepooling, hiking, volleyball, fishing - yes to all these Kodiak beach activities but lounging in the sun with a good book, not so much! Still, summer is a good time to catch up on some reading. This summer with our ample sunshine, so far, has been a good time to sit on the deck and read. And since Kodiakans can read in the outside light til almost midnight! One can catch up on a good deal of reading.

So what to read. There are many lists to choose from. The New York Times and most major newspapers offer summer suggestions. Books and Culture, an arm of Christianity Today, has had some good suggestions. Some people (full disclosure: two) have asked me for some ideas, as well. I have chosen to catch up on some fiction over the summer. So far, I have read The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint by Brady Udall which is a wonderful story that reminded me of another of my favorites, A Prayer for Owen Meany. It is a story of tragedy and forgiveness. A must read, I think.

I have read two books by Elizabeth Berg who I had not read before. Her focus is mother and daughter relationships, at least in these books. I enjoyed them and I think a mother and daughter would benefit from reading them together ( Home Safe and We Are Welcome Here). Marcia is reading them now but, alas, she has no daughter to read them with. Maybe a daughter in law.... I am thinking of just the one.

The Known World by E.P. Jones was a Pulitzer Prize winner a few years back. It is a story about life in one small corner of Virginia pre-civil war. But it is about life everywhere, anytime, too. Highly recommended.

Of course, I have to be reading some theology, too. I hope to get through Dallas Willard's new book, Knowing Christ Today and finish N.T Wright's Justification while I am away next week. N.T. Wright makes whatever subject he is writing about clearer to me. In Justification, he has opened up some passages in Romans and Galatians that have puzzled me for a long time. Dallas Willard is Dallas Willard and everything I have read by him has been worth my time.

Here are some other recommendations from previous summer reading lists: The Long Walk by Slovomir Ravicz, Original Sin by Alan Jacobs which is kind of a theological history of this doctrine, People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks, Fieldwork by M. Berlinski ( a clash of missionary and anthropology cultures in southeast Asia), Bury the Chains by Adam Hochschild which is a history of the British antislavery movement with special focus on the evangelical impetus to it, and The Way is Made By Walking by Arthur Paul Boers which is about pilgrimages especially the one Boers made and the insights into practical Christian living derived from it.

That's probably a good start. Happy summer reading whether on the beach or the deck or inside during the rain, fog and drizzle. Let me know your recommendations!

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