Reading List #1

Here are 10 books I’ve read, with a few comments. They’re not necessarily books that you should read, though some of them are. Some of them are referenced here to avoid others’ wasting time and money on them.

  1. Middle Church by Bob Edgar. If you’re someone who follows one of the three Abrahamic faiths (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) and you’re totally disgusted with how your faith has been co-opted by right-wing bullshit, this will be a good read. Bob was a US Representative from Pennsylvania for a while, and served as President of the National Council of Churches. He dropped dead of a heart attack last spring.
  2. On Writing by Stephen King. This guy writes so well he even makes writing interesting.
  3. The Sea Is So Wide and My Boat Is So Small by Marian Wright Edelman. A leader of the civil rights student movement and the founder of the Children’s Defense Fund reflects on what it will take for our kids to have a decent chance at making it to adulthood.
  4. The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin. Seth reflects on what it takes to make art.
  5. Justice by Michael Sandel. A really good primer in ethics.
  6. Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson. A tedious read about the sad lives surrounding a young man who decides he needs to leave the tired town he grew up in.
  7. The Practicing Congregation by Diana Butler Bass. Some hopeful glimpses of a few congregations that are exceptions to the so-called Mainline Decline.
  8. What Money Can’t Buy by Michael Sandel. The sequel to Justice, and a faster read, on what it means for a society to sell out.
  9. Recreating the Church by Richard Hamm. A useless “how to fix the church” book by a former mainline denominational bureaucrat.
  10. Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope. A novel about love and politics in a 19th century English parish. Long, but decent.