Monday, June 07, 2010

summer reading list

I spend a lot of time traveling during the summer. Translation, though it is a busy time of year for me, I typically have a lot of free time on my hands. Historically, I have picked up books in airport gift shops and campus bookstores. Yet these good intentions have typically failed me.

Here's how it goes down. A book catches my eye. I buy it. I read the first 100 pages on the plane. I stick it in my bag. The next week rolls around. A new book catches my eye... needless to say, I go through books like Larry King goes through wives. Both of us have commitment issues.

With that in mind, I've made a plan for this summer. I'm starting out my travel season with a list of books. I'll check one off at a time as if it was a prescribed curriculum. I think this should help. Here is my self-administered syllabus, in no certain order.

Harry Potter books 5-7 (JK Rowling): I promised my wife I would read this last summer. The first four have been amazing. I can't deny that. I will finish them before August. Both my wife and the story are worth that.

Radical (David Platt): A friend of mine plants churches in large urban areas around the world. He raved about this book. He's pretty sharp and deserves a shout out on this list.

Dead Aid (Dambisa Moyo): I went to Africa last October. I'll be talking a lot about Africa at MOVE this summer. The author, a native African, doesn't believe we should financially help Africa. I'm interested to hear her out.

Hannah's Child (Stanley Hauerwas): I like stories of people who are honest with their faith, doubts and all. The bar is raised when it is the theologian who wrote one of my favorite books on contemporary Christian living.

On Writing (Stephen King): I picked this up for a course in grad school and churned through it in a night. The best novelist of our generation deserves a better reading. This is the only re-read on the list.

A Heartbreaking Work of a Staggering Genius (Dave Eggers): A friend said she read this in high school and liked it. She gets recommendations right most of the time. We'll see if her memory serves her correctly on this one as well.

The Devil in the White City (Erik Larson): My friend Drew is reading this book right now. He said it is a great piece of historical non-fiction. I look forward to discussing this one with him soon.

Freeing God's Children (Allen Hertzke): I'm trying to arrange some research with Dr. Hertzke for an upcoming project. I figure his book would be a good place to start.

Want to join me? Click on any of the links above, read, and comment below. And no, there won't be an essay test the first day back this fall. Here's to a great summer. Enjoy!

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