Every year my favorite professor from college sends out her Christmas letter which includes her book list. I like knowing what she is reading because it reassures me that there is hope for the future of America. She is an octogenarian who still teaches college classes, reads fiction and gives great, reflective speeches when called upon to lend her dose of perspective to the cultural conversation. Putting such a list together at the end of the year, just not possible, but in these lazy days of summer, sure. You don’t have to read any of these books on my list, but I do hope you’ll pick up a collection of Everbloom and bask in some powerful stories of transformation.

The Benedict Option by Rod Dreher – I’m halfway through this book of “Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation.” His tracing of 500 years of history to postulate how we got here in America is interesting and helpful, but predicting we are on the threshold of a new Dark Age poised to last for hundreds of years is tinged with Nostradamus doom and gloom. Retreat! Retreat! Run for the hills and form your own liturgical communities a la Saint Benedict. This does’t jive too well with Paul’s words of gratitude in Romans 1 for “Greeks and Barbarians, wise and foolish people, I am a debtor. That is why I am so eager to proclaim the gospel to you who live in Rome too.” Yes, we may be living in modern day Rome, but these people need the gospel, not our withdrawal.

Sensemaking by Christian Madsbjerg – Help! How do I pronounce this guy’s last name? Being a believer in the Humanities, I love this book and especially the examples and explanations it provides about how some really crazy business people make do or die decisions. It serves up a strong case for why students of philosophy are still relevant in today’s big data driven business world i.e. George Soros.

Midnight in Sicily  by Peter Robb. Reads a bit like Upton Sinclair in its drowning level of descriptive detail, but Sicily is on my bucket list. Helpful research for the novel I’m working on this summer.

Fuel – Poems by Naomi Shihab Nye. Her poem about taking her son to his first Nutcracker ballet is killer. Such a blessing to connect with this fellow Trinity alum at a poetry event last spring. Naomi’s heart for the unseen and belief that beauty will change the world beats with every line.

To Walk in Rivers of Fire – Poems by Tammy Boyd. Written by a dear friend who is the editor/creator of the Mudroom blog. Tammy is funny and a survivor of brokenness many of us can’t imagine. Blessed to sit with her poetry this summer.

The Keeping Place – by Jen Pollack Michel. Can’t wait to finish it because keeping home forms so much of my life, yet our earthly home isn’t enough and Jen’s book refocuses my energy and vision on my home in eternity.

What? NO novels? So sad, but reading novels while writing one doesn’t work for me. What are you reading this summer?