I always get very excited for my summers, for with the end of the school year comes the opportunity to do all (or some) of things I had no time to do in the midst of the busyness of it all (such as writing blogs). Last year I made a to-do list (a decent amount of which I accomplished) and a reading list (most of which I never got to). I have decided to make a reading list yet again, and I have high hopes to finish most of it this time (My current list is much shorter and I am only watching one television show right now [Battlestar Galactica] which hopefully will not distract me too much). This list is similar to last year's list but with a number of variances.
I am excited about this list! I share it with everyone in the hopes that you will all discover some books you have never heard of before or to motivate you to read some of the books that are on your own lists.
Reading is so much fun and is so rewarding! I say this not as a teacher but as a human. Yay reading!!!
Note: for your convenience, all the titles underneath the pictures will include a link to the books' Amazon page.
Books to Finish
These are books I started quite some time ago and it's taken me quite some time to finish them. As a school teacher I often spend my nights at home doing lesson planning, and not reading for enjoyment (This year I have read an entire science textbook [500 pgs], two simple informal logic books, and an art history book). I have also taken a couple of detours in my novel reading (re-reading The Hobbit [still amazing after all these years] and A Wrinkle in Time [awfulawfulawful after all these years]).
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
What can I say about this book? It is essential. It has changed my whole perspective on what literature can do. It is probably the funniest book I have ever read (sorry Joseph Heller) as well as one of the saddest. As the cover says, it is truly "gargantuan", but it is worth it. All I can do is continually recommend it. Also, my reading of it has become all the more enjoyable since I began actually looking up all the words I don't understand in a dictionary. (Picayune, anyone?) I am 2/3's of the way through it.
For the Life of the World by Alexander Schmemann
A classic text of Liturgical/Sacramental theology. I have only read a couple of chapters so far. This is not a dry theological text even though it is certainly scholarly. Instead it is a work written by a man in love with Jesus and God's people. Read it and be caught up in the beauty of the Church's worship of our God.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
How could I ever be a highly effective person if I have not yet finished this book. I am nearly there. (Greg and Russell, would you like to join me?)
Reading Books With Friends
God's Empowering Presence by Gordon D. Fee
I am slowly reading through this book with my friend Dan, a pastor in Metamora. It is a commentary on all the Apostle Paul's writings on the Holy Spirit. Dan used it to preach through a sermon series on Galatians and our goal is to get through 1 Corinthians (the ultimate Holy Spirit book in the Bible) this summer. Again, this is no dry scholarly stuff even though it often gets technical--to me it is exciting to read about how God moves among his people.
Desiring the Kingdom by James K.A. Smith
I have heard many great things about this book and apparently it is becoming quite influential. I hope to read through it with my friend Garry, a pastor in Peoria.
Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
I have been looking forward to reading this for quite some time. After I am done with this, it will only be "older" literature for quite some time (Melville, Hawthorne, Tristram Shandy, Shakespeare).
Books on Education, Management, and Parenting
The Seven Laws of Teaching by John Milton Gregory
The Trivium by Sister Miriam Joseph
With the two above books I really hope to deepen my understanding of what it means to be a teacher and what it means to be a part of the Classical Education movement.
Polarity Management by Barry Johnson
This actually seems like a really interesting book to me. I am hoping to improve my managerial skills.
Parenting Without Borders by Christine Gross-Loh
This is a socio-anthropological study on parenting practices throughout the world. It is a fascinating read.
Spiritual Books, or something
The Singing Thing and The Singing Thing Too by John L. Bell
These two books are very practical guides on how to get a congregation to sing. My biggest goal as a church music leader is to teach and encourage people to sing with their entire being to God. I am hoping a re-read through these books will give me some pointers.
The First Epistle to the Corinthians by Gorden Fee
By the same author as God's Empowering Presence, this is a commentary on Paul's first epistle to the Corinthians. I am pretty sure this is my favorite book in the Bible, which, I know, is a silly thing to say. I am not going to read the whole volume right now, but only the section on chapter 15, the "resurrection" chapter.
Again, I would love to hear what is on your list as well.