One of my goals this summer has been to do a lot of reading. During the school year, any personal reading is very obviously out of the question. Being a lover of books, this means that I obtain a healthy stack of “to be read” books. This last year was especially fruitful on this front; between a pastor friend retiring and letting me raid his shelf, another friend downsizing for a cross country move and allowing the same, and just my own general buying and collecting of books, the to-be-read pile on the corner of my desk has swelled to well over 70 titles.
Obviously, getting through all of them this summer is impossible. But I’m doing my best! Here is what I have read so far this summer.
The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt
Tears We Cannot Stop by Michael Eric Dyson
Sabbath as Resistance: Saying No To The Culture of Now by Walter Brueggemann
Drops Like Stars by Rob Bell
What is the Bible? by Rob Bell
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
The Road to Assisi: The Essential Biography of St. Francis of Assisi by Paul Sabatier
Home: A Novel by Marilynne Robinson
The Gift of Doubt by John B. Wolf
The Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your Transformation by Richard Rohr
Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches by Audre Lorde
Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why by Bart D. Ehrman
How Jesus Became God by Bart D. Ehrman
I’m not going to get into my thoughts on each of these here, but I’m sure I will come back to them this fall. You can especially count on hearing more about What is the Bible? by Bell, the Ehrman books, Tears We Cannot Stop, and The Gift of Doubt. Also, At the Heart of the White Rose was sent to me by Plough Publishing, and I intend to write a book review very soon.
At this moment, I currently have two books I’m working on:
A Theology for the Social Gospel by Walter Rauschenbusch (which I quoted in a post last week; I imagine I’ll have much more to say going forward,)
and, We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates (I’m only about a quarter of the way into it, and I highly, highly recommend you read it.)
And of course, my list is still full. If you are interested in seeing what I have on my shelf, and keeping track of what I’m reading, find me on Goodreads.
In addition to the books I am reading, I have also been working through the stacks of journals I subscribe to that I couldn’t get to during the school year. Regular readers here will be familiar with Plough, a quarterly I reference here often (they also send me books to review, as per above.) I had stacked up back issues from last summer, which I finally have caught up on.
I also took out a subscription to Jacobin, a democratic socialist quarterly, this spring, and have been reading through the back issues. Interesting stuff; I don’t always agree, but it always gets me thinking.
And, as a new student member of the American Academy of Religion, I have started receiving their journal, which I haven’t even had a chance to look at yet. (I intend to attend the Annual Meeting in November in Boston, which I’m sure I will share more about here.)
Of course, I expect to have thoughts about all three of these journals here in the future.
I don’t watch TV in the traditional way (I’m a millennial, after all) but I do engage in binge watching shows as best as I can. This last year, I worked through Mad Men finally, and got current of House of Cards. I am currently working through the Sopranos (halfway through season 4!), with intentions of moving to The Wire next.
Finally, I have been working on catching up on the Rob Bell podcast (RobCast) this summer, which is always stimulating and hilarious and wonderful in a lot of different ways. You should listen to it!
So that’s everything that’s bouncing around in my brain this summer, which is obviously going to have lots of influence here going forward. What are you reading, watching, or listening to this summer? Share with us below!