Because life is a series of edits

Summer Reading List

In Books on June 1, 2007 at 12:56 pm

I normally don’t plan out my summer reading more than a book or two ahead, but this summer is going to be an exception. One reason for my new modus operandi is the Christ & Salvation class I’m taking at Covenant for four weeks (as of the end of this week, we’re a quarter through already); the other is the preparation for the two classes (New Testament and Ethics) I’ll be teaching at Westminster this fall. Here’s the list, broken up by month:




  • New Testament by God

While I usually try to read more fiction during the summer, most of what I’ll be picking up will be of the non-fiction variety, though I hope to work through at least one novel a month. I’m currently reading The Human Factor by Graham Greene at bedtime, and it’s way more enjoyable than reviewing Hebrew flashcards at night like last summer, that’s for sure.

What are you planning to read this summer? What would you recommend and why?

  1. Right now I have taken a short break from reading “The Mission of God” by Christopher J.H. Wright but will resume soon. Right now I am reading articles pertaining to the debate over Federal Vision theology that is going down at GA. I am interested in “The Devil in the White City” by Erik Larson which Melissa is currently reading. Movies? We watched “Venus” last night, “Jesus Camp” last week as well as “Pulp Fiction” for the hundreth time. We attempted to watch “Little Children” but were way too disturb by it to finish it.

  2. Trying to finish Total Truth by Pearcy-which is great but going slow. I also have 3 biographies that I hoping to conquer: Here I Stand about Martin Luther; George Whitefield; and The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt. There are more on my list but I already know I am too much an idealist to read them all. Craig, how do you have time to read so much?

  3. Matt: I read The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt in 8th grade and did an oral book report as Roosevelt in the 1st person. It was a good book. I don’t know who my favorite president is, but I know that the president I’d most like to go to a ballgame and have a beer with is Roosevelt.

    Craig: I’m way, way, behind on my list for the year already. I’d like to think that I will make up for it over the summer, but I don’t think that’s realistic. Here’s a list that reflects my remaining high hopes:

    Baudolino, by Umberto Eco, which I got about half-way through about 2 months ago and then I got sidetracked and lost momentum.

    Far as the Curse Is Found, by Michael Williams, which I got about 1/3 of the way through about a year ago, but I never finished that either.

    City of God, by St. Augustine

    Narrative Art in the Bible, Shimon Bar-Efrat

    Top priority, though, and the only book I KNOW I’ll read, is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by J.K. Rowling.

  4. Mark, I liked Devil in the White City a lot (you will as well, as you’re such a fan of Chicago).

    Matt, keep plugging on Total Truth – great book that the students in Covenant’s apologetics classes read this year (and that I have a boatload of papers on to get graded by Tuesday).

    Haven’t read much (okay, anything) on Roosevelt, but Nick’s description makes me want to. Williams’ Far as the Curse Is Found is a good read for understanding the Bible from a Reformed perspective.

    In answer to Matt’s question about finding time to read, I have a few tricks: one (at least for this month, as well as the past two years) is I’ve been a full-time student on support, so that combination opens up the daily calendar a bit (having books assigned and quizzed on is also helpful).

    Second, we don’t have cable (by choice), so I don’t watch a lot of TV. Blogging/checking blogs is a bigger time-suck for me than television, so I do have to be careful with that.

    Third, I keep at least three books of various genres going at once, placing them in strategic locations where there’s always something to pick up. The bedroom and bathroom get the fiction books; my desk gets the theology books; the couch in the living room gets a combination of the two. I also carry whatever is next on the list with me when I go somewhere.

    Fourth, if I get to bed early enough (say 9:30 or 10:00), I naturally wake up around 3:30 or 4:00 on my own and can’t get back to sleep. I’ll usually get up and read for 45 minutes to an hour or so before going back to bed for a couple more hours. As my best sleep is always before midnight, it doesn’t affect me as much missing sleep later near morning.

    Fifth, I’ve always loved reading and, as a result, have developed a fairly good pace of doing so. I’ve never timed myself, but it doesn’t take me long to knock out a hundred or so pages (maybe an hour or two, depending on what it is and if/how much I need to highlight). Reading is like anything else – the more you do it, the better you get at it.

    Those are my top five tips. Anybody else got any suggestions as to how to get through more books with some semblance of comprehension?

  5. Caffeine is my only trick so far. Craig, I like the tips except I like to sleep more than you.

  6. My tip to get through more books with some semblence of comprehension:

    Read short books.

  7. I think “The Ishbane Conspiracy” should be required reading for every Christian teenager.
    Also enjoyed “Why I’m Not an Arminian.” Had to have a loooong conversation with someone to explain that Arminian is NOT the same as Armenian. One’s a theological viewpoint; one’s a nationality. Said person still is convinced that all Armenians (former Persians) are Arminians, too. Said person probably never learned about the Venn Diagram.
    I’m still plowing through “Shepherding a Child’s Heart” and Alcorn’s “Heaven.” I’m a little behind the times on non-fiction reading.

  8. Good to hear on Ishbane, Chels. The feedback I’ve gotten is that it’s over the top in terms of believability, but really good for bringing up good conversation points with teenage students. I’m looking forward to reading it (it’s fiction!).

    Hilarious (sad) on the Arminiam/Armenian thing.

    Thanks for the advice, Nick. Once again, you are a fount of wisdom.

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