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Summer Reading

June 10, 2010

Like many bloggers, I like to read as well as write. We are a high-minded group of people, after all, what with our advice-giving and over-sharing and generally know-it-all approach to the world.  I do a bit of each, here and there, as I find time. A little reading, a little writing.

As a result of this start-stop approach to things, I usually have many books and writings all going on at the same time, and thus, I may not be as literally productive as some other bloggers I know.

I am nothing at all like my esteemed colleague Glynn Young at the Faith Fiction & Friends blog, who devours two or three literary meals a week and then immediately turns around and spews out these stunning book reviews. How does he do all that, and hold down a corporate job at the same time? I don’t know.

Nor am I like my friend L.L. Barkat at Seedlings in Stone, who I’m sure pumps out at least 5,000 pristine words per day, and who, according to my records, has published three books in the past six months. This besides running the editorial for High Calling Blogs, raising two kids, and God knows what else. She’s a writing machine.

Me, I get things done a  little at  a time, squeezed in between the more than full-time work and family schedule.  A little here, a little there.  I get by.

So The High Calling Blogs is doing a round up of summer reading lists, and here is mine. These are the books you’ll find scattered among the various rooms of my house, that I am slowly making my way through. A little at  a time.

Same Kind of Difference as Me, by Ron Hall and Denver Moore.  This is one of those spiritually heart-wrenching feel-good/do-good true Christian stories that I generally avoid and would never read, but a friend insisted. I actually just finished it, and liked it, so thought I’d throw it on the list.  Spoiler alert: she dies in the end, but God’s work is completed through her. Oh. Sorry.

Naked, by David Sedaris.  I have discovered a kindred writing spirit in Mr. Sedaris, and have been progressively working my way backwards through his books. This is one of his earlier works from the late 90’s. His very first essay had me snarfing up a glass of water, it was so hilarious. Who knew I could be so inspired by a lazy gay non-practicing Greek Orthodox with a bad attitude?

Good Business: Leadership, Flow, and the Making of Meaning, by Mihaly Csikszentmihali (pronounced “czxkxzlmzxy.” If you spit something up while saying his name, I think you got it right).  The godfather of the Positive Psychology movement applies his research to finding meaning and happiness in the business world. I like this guy’s work a lot. This looks like very promising material.

What’s So Great About Christianity? by Dinesh D’Souza. A good intellectual defense for Christianity – this could be a good exercise for me. Plus, I really want to know.

Barbies at Communion, by Marcus Goodyear.  I think the title says enough, but my friend here has an alluring way with words. It’s one of my first forays into poetry, written by someone I can trust with it.

Ballistics, Poems by Billy Collins. Actually, it was this book that was my first foray into poetry, since I got it before Barbies. Is foray even the right word? I just noticed that I used it twice. Anyway, Collins did a reading at my daughter’s school and she fell in love with the bland charm of his poems. She knew I would love it too, and brought the book back for me. After reading a couple of his poems, I think I will be in love too.

Money, Greed and God: Why Capitalism is the Solution and Not the Problem, by Jay W. Richards.  “The book….Demonstrates why a Christian can be a good capitalist!” says the back cover. I should definitely know the answer to that.

Let Your Life Speak: Listening to the Voice of Vocation, by Parker Palmer. I’ve already started a good bit of this book and am incredibly impressed by the gentle thoughtfulness of Palmer’s approach to work and spirituality. He is very transparent and draws you in to his own journey of finding meaning and purpose through his own work. I would expect nothing less from someone with two last names.

God in the Yard: Spiritual Practice for the Rest of Us, by L.L. Barkat. Honestly, I have no idea what this book is about, but I had to buy it since I know anything that LL writes is  going to sing off the pages. Well. I just looked at the cover and noticed that the tagline says “A 12-week course in discovery and playing towards God.” Now that sounds like a good course of study.

Our Souls at Work: How Great Leaders Live Their Faith in the Global Marketplace, by Mark L. Russel. I recently came across this book and told someone that I suppose I should read it, seeing as this is right up my subject-matter alley. Then I got word from an unnamed source that my parents are shipping it to me for Father’s Day. Thanks, Mr. and Mrs. Moore! 

So there you go. If you come by my house sometime, you can find a comfy spot and pick one of these up for a spell.

18 Comments leave one →
  1. June 10, 2010 8:46 pm

    omg, I had to link to this (and not just because you properly flattered me 🙂 ). This is HILARIOUS.

    Who knew a Summer Reading List could be so entertaining?

    Proud to have you writing beside me at HCB.

    • June 11, 2010 5:12 am

      Thanks, LL. Glad you enjoyed it. And one day you can tell me how you really do all that writing.

  2. June 10, 2010 9:46 pm

    Parker Palmer (or is it Palmer Parker?) spoke at the Festival of Faith & Writing, and I took more notes during his talk than most of the others.

    I read Same Kind of Different as Me for the Same Kind of Reason as You–a friend insisted (two friends, actually).

    And my brother actually references Billy Collins from time to time, even though my brother’s an ad man, not a poet. Or maybe Sam would argue that ad men can be poets? They can at least read poets, and so can the rest of us. When the poems are by Billy. Or Marcus. Or L.L.

    • June 11, 2010 10:21 pm

      Cool about your brother and Billy Collins. Those ad men tend to be more creative types (frustrated artists and writers?)

  3. June 10, 2010 9:51 pm

    ‘same kind of different as me’ is one of my faves.

  4. June 10, 2010 9:55 pm

    The answer to your question is — the last kid has graduated from college and is gainfully employed (not living at home). It’s wife, me and an almost 14-year-old dog, who’s snoring at my feet as I type this.

  5. June 11, 2010 10:32 am

    I just finished When You are Engulfed in Flames , by David Sedaris.
    Billy Collins is a favourite
    thanks for the other suggestions, my list is always strangely diverse, and I have different things on the go for different moods .

    I’m terribly behind in commenting, but have been reading your posts. I like the new site look. And your heart.

    I wonder if you’ll look back , not too long from now, and think, wow, thank God things worked out the way they did.

    It’s that trust thing. It’s killing me . But I ‘m trying live a good story . What do I know really?

    ( and as a btw, I think I remember a twitter from your sidebar way back. Congrats to your daughter who will be going to Boston? My oldest daughter just transfered to UMass at Amherst. We live in Canada, but she is on a soccer scholarship. Previously at Oakland in Michigan. Perhaps our paths will cross someday, touring around. Of course I won’t recognize you, but still :).

    • June 11, 2010 10:23 pm

      Deb, you always say the same things I think I would.. “I’m trying to live a good story – What do I know really?” Ain’t that the truth for us all. And to leave that comment in the Reading List post. Funny.

      Yes, my oldest is going to BU next year. Who knows when those paths will cross! I already met LL Barkat in NYC that one time. We had a ball. I am sure I’ll be meeting many more of my blogger friends in the months and years ahead.

      Do you think we’ll all still be blogging in 5 years? In 10?

  6. June 11, 2010 3:07 pm

    I’m going to have to read more David Sedaris. I done Me Talk Pretty One Day, but that is the only one of his I’ve read. He is a hilarious guy.

    I’m taking notes! But…my list is pretty long so I’ll have to extend my reading season to the rest of my life 🙂

    I LOVE that picture!

  7. June 11, 2010 5:27 pm

    Have you looked at how many titles Billy Collins has put out? I featured last Sunday his “recipe” for making a poet. You might want to add your own ingredients.

  8. June 11, 2010 5:32 pm

    Love this list! With all of these hysterical and thoughtful lists floating around, I may have to take an extra week off this summer just to read.

    I love David Sedaris when he has been on This American Life, but I haven’t actually read any of his stuff. Shame on me. Why did you decide to read him backwards,

  9. June 11, 2010 10:26 pm

    I read him backwards only because I read his latest (Engulfed in Flames) and had to postively read every essay this man has written. His writing is brilliant. So, I just happened to by his books in reverse order. I went to see him with some friends last month in Wilmington DE. It was fun. I stood in line to get the book autographed, but they swished him away when I had almost reached him. Oh well. He is pretty funny in person, too.

  10. June 12, 2010 8:58 am

    I read my first Sedaris this month and loved it. I read Holidays on Ice.

  11. June 14, 2010 8:07 am

    Pst… in reply to your comment on my blog…

    I rarely read chick lit. But one of the books on my list is. Because I know the author.


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