Saturday, April 28, 2012

Summer Reading 2012

Alan Jacobs, in his The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction, encourages "reading at whim." To even list out a set of suggested reads for consideration as summer picks violates this rule. So, take these in the spirit they are offered, as part of the fun of being a reader in springtime, hoping and dreaming we might read everything we put on summer list. Hope springs eternal, right?

This summer, I do plan to read at whim. I'm especially hoping some really solid sci-fi will present itself. However, there are a few books I'm grinding through for my dissertation, a few others I'm reading for various book groups and studies in which I participate, and sundry others I just feel some responsibility to engage. So here it is, the Lutheran Confessions Summer 2012 Reading List.

10. The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Bible, James Vanderkam: I haven't read a concise update on scholarship around this amazing discovery, and this one looks to be the ticket. Vanderkam also happens to be an expert on Second Temple Judaism, a topic of increasing interest to me.

9. Viral: How Social Networking is Poised to Ignite Revival, Leonard Sweet: No one writes on contemporary church issues with as much panache as Sweet, and this meshes with some research I'm doing for chapter five of the dissertation.

8. On the Verge: A Journey into the Apostolic Future of the Church, Alan Hirsch and Dave Ferguson: I have read a lot and learned a lot from both of these authors. The two writing a book together is not to be missed.

7. Our three Nightbird Books novel picks: Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks, and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Chosen because, well, I wanted to read them with a book group this summer.

6. Faith Forming Faith, Paul Hoffman: The story of one congregation's implementation of the catechumenate for forming adults into the Christian faith. Following another Jacobs rule, that if you wish to read more in an area, swim upstream, I'm also reading a few books from the Liturgical Press on the catechumenate, beginning with Maxwell Johnson's The Rites of Christian Initiation.

5. How God Became King, N.T. Wright: Because at this point I always read the new N.T. Wright. It's a rule.

4. Pray the daily office through this free web resource from a Lutheran congregation in Hawaii. There are some great books out there on praying the daily office, especially a new series by Phyllis Tickle, but for this summer I'm just sticking with this handy interface free on-line.

3. The Windup Girl, Paolo Bagicalupi: This is in all likelihood my top steampunk re-read of the summer, perhaps also a few selections out of William Gibson's new collection of essays.

2. Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas, Jon Scalzi: Like N.T. Wright, I read anything new by this, perhaps my favorite sci-fi writer continuing the legacy of Robert Heinlein. Comedy and space drama and much more, totally anticipating it!

1. [This space intentionally left blank for whatever whimsically turns up on the shelf of an indie book store and catches my eye... or I might just watch Game of Thrones or Portlandia on DVD...]


  1. Oh, also Ecclesiastes (12:12)!

    :), d.

  2. I'm looking forward to getting in to this: Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics by Ross Douthat

    I've heard he goes after Oprah and Dan Brown in one book.