Every summer I set out with the goal to read a handful of books. Being a seminary student the majority of my reading during the year is dictated by the syllabi handed down by my professors. Summer is a nice respite and an opportunity to knock out some of the books that have been on my ever-growing “to read” list.
I set a couple of rules for myself to make the experience productive, enjoyable, and manageable.
1) Don’t overestimate your free time/reading pace/desire.
2) Read at least one book that is entirely for pleasure.
3) Carve out specific time in the schedule in which to read
Here is the list I came up with for this summer:
the Ignatian Workout: Daily Spiritual Exercises for a Healthy Faith – Tim Muldoon
I took a class this past spring entitled Spiritual Life and Leadership. This was definitely one of my favorite classes I’ve taken thus far in seminary. It opened my up more to spiritual practices and a life formed by spirituality. We discussed many different spiritual leaders past and present, one being Ignatius. The book approaches spiritual disciplines from an athlete’s perspective and relates the practices to athletic training. This appeals to the mediocre athlete in me. I’m starting with this book because it lays out spiritual practices and has a step by step guide for them. My hope is to begin the summer with them and have the time to explore while classes are out.
Scripture and the Authority of God: How to Read the Bible Today – N.T. Wright
I really like N.T. Wright. When this book came across my desk a couple of months ago I immediately put it in my summer stack.
The Slow Fade – Reggie Joiner, Chuck Bomar, and Abbie Smith
I work with college students as well as junior high and high school students. It is a constant goal of our ministry to develop students with an active faith. In some cases with college students there isn’t a foundation from the start. I’m hoping this book will set out to challenge how I approach ministry as well as provide a bit of encouragement.
Life Together – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
I’m a big Bonhoeffer fan. I chose this one because it is one of his smaller works. I will have to set aside an entire summer at some point for The Cost of Disicpleship.
The Ice Man: Confession of a Mafia Contract Killer – Phillip Carlo
This is obviously the pleasure read. I’ve always been intrigued with the world of organized crime. I took an elective in my undergrad on the subject and found it absolutely fascinating. My wife thinks I’m weird because I will watch hours upon hours of Gangland. Maybe if I’m reading about it instead of watching it on tv it will be more acceptable.
What books are you reading? What should I start putting on my list for next summer?