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Rector’s Summer Reading List

Dear friends,

Starting a week early before Memorial Day, but I am excited to share what I hope to read over the summer! I invite you to read along with me, or simply take these as invitations for your own summer reading if my choices pique your interest. If at any point, you would like to discuss one or more of these, please do reach out to me and we can meet on the Chapel porch to talk about what we made of a particular book or author. One of the great joys of summer is the time to read and think. I may not get to all of them, as life has a way of providing unexpected events (!) but this is my current “stack.”

We are encouraged by Jesus in Matthew 22:37 to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind, and to love your neighbor as yourself.” For me, reading widely, curiously, is the way to love God with my mind, and to learn about my neighbor by reading authors whose perspectives or experiences may be different from mine. I pray you will also have a summer of expansive reading and prayer.

In no particular order:

King: A Life, by Jonathan Eig–the newest biography of Martin Luther King, Jr. Reviewers claim it is more intimate than the many previous efforts to capture the too short life of this iconic faith leader.

How to do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy, by Jenny Odell. This was new in 2019 but I have not had the chance to read it yet. I have read a lot this year about the internet, technology, and some other more serious books about communication, capitalism and technology and the challenges and philosophy of our current culture, so I look forward to a quieter book about how to actually ‘be’ in the reality of our world.

Still Pictures: On Photography and Memory by Janet Malcolm. Malcolm, who died in 2021, was a staff writer at The New Yorker. I had hoped to read this book, published in 2023 after her death, during my sabbatical, but it slipped through the cracks. Now I am ready and look forward to thinking about how photography relates to memory.

Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living, by Krista Tippett. Published in 2016, well known podcaster and writer, Krista Tippett, assesses the wisdom she has gleaned from years of interviewing a wide variety of faith leaders in our world. This would be a great book to reflect upon together if others wish to read it and discuss. Let me know!

Stay True: A Memoir, by Hua Hsu. This book won the Pulitzer Prize and is “A gripping memoir on friendship, grief, the search for self, and the solace that can be found through art.”

Trust, by Hernan Diaz. This novel won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. It is a creative exploration of greed, and our capitalist system through story and perspective.

I am also reading two academic books about eschatology with some seminary friends. More on the “end of the world” and the role of apocalyptic in the Scriptures once that study has concluded!

Peace and blessings,


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