Summer reading and such

I didn’t plan to give up blogging for Lent. It just sort of turned out that way. Aaaaaand my readership continues to slip away…

I handed in my last paper of the semester yesterday. Now I start thinking about the reading I need to do for the two classes I’m taking in May.

Tonight is the seminary grad banquet. Neither of us is graduating, but we’re going to the banquet. I am winning some kind of award (it’s an honour just to be nominated!). Tomorrow morning we leave for a 6-day stint at Elkhorn Lodge or some-such, a resort north of Neepewa and on the edge of Riding Mountain National Park. It’ll be the Vandersluys’s plus another friend, then a few days later that friend and his wife, and then a few days later another couple friend. It should be good times. I hope. Let’s be honest: the kids a kind of the wildcard here. But there’s a pool and possible horseback riding and hikes.

But after that, after the getaway and the classes in may, I will read what I want to read.

What I think I can reasonably finish in the summer:


  • N. T. Wright, The New Testament and the People of God
  • Karl Barth, Evangelical Theology: An Introduction
  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Discipleship
  • Thomas Halik, Patience with God: The Story of Zacchaeus Continuing in Us
  • H. Richard Niebuhr, Christ and Culture
  • C. S. Lewis, The Great Divorce
  • Eugene Peterson, Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places


  • Eric Mataxas, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy


  • Gavin’s sermon from a couple of weeks ago inspired me to pick up Three by Flannery O’Connor again and read at least The Violent Bear it Away
  • I’d like to have a second go at Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ One Hundred Years of Solitude.
  • Something else by Graham Greene.

Maybe this list isn’t reasonable for me to finish. All of these books will be beneficial reads, but I think now of the books I would benefit from practically by reading them this summer, such a s William Willimon’s Pastoral Theology (a text for a Winter 2012 course) and something on spiritual direction. Plus I need to re-learn Greek over the summer in preparation for the school year.

Let’s be honest: this reading list looks almost nothing like I will actually read this summer.

10 thoughts on “Summer reading and such

  1. Marc Post author

    Wow. Were you hitting refresh on my blog until I put up a new post? Quick response! 🙂

    Wright, Peterson and Garcia Marquez are really the two books that complicate matters. The others are relatively short.

  2. rilla

    If history has taught us anything, you’re right: summer readings lists are kind of moot. It is a nice idea to figure out which books you want to read in free time, and I was surprised at all the theology books on your list. When I was a student summer reading was for all the books that I hadn’t time to read (for fun) while I was working. Have you developed such an interest in the subject that these are fun reads too, or are these books that you feel you should read. I’m curious.

  3. Marc

    Rilla: A number of them are books I’ve had for a number of years, even before going back to school (theology was already a hobby), that I’ve wanted to read. I don’t have time during the year. I want to read them (for fun) and I think they will be valuable to read as well.

    I suppose in a way it’s similar to an English lit. student reading more novels over the summer. Psychologically, I find that when books are assigned–even if I already wanted to read them–are not fun. Those same books freely chosen, however, would probably be great.

    I actually considered this a bit. Last summer I read quite a bit of fiction. It was a refreshing change of pace. Right now I don’t feel as inclined to commit to only reading fiction over the summer, but that might change in a month.

  4. rilla

    Good point on the Lit student who chooses to read yet more literature. That made sense to me. I currently struggle with making time to read. When I have free time, I often choose to go online, watch tv, or play games. As much as I love reading, I know I don’t do it as much as I used to. Hope you get some good reading in on your summer break, whatever you end up reading.

  5. Linea

    Do you already have Niebuhr’s Christ and Culture? I have a copy I’d love to give away. Picked up two copies somehow.

    Can’t say as I thought it was particularly enjoyable reading.

  6. Marc

    Yes, I have a copy. Thanks for the offer. I’m not sure what to expec from the book. Two of my professors each mentioned it a couple of times this semester, saying it was a good must-read. On the other hand, I’ve heard elsewhere that C&C is quite outdated.

  7. Linea

    We used the book in a class on the missional church. Used it because it is a classic work on culture. Kind of like pointing out a dated example or maybe a misconception in the light of today’s understanding of culture and the church.

  8. Gavin

    For a minute I thought one of my sermons was on your reading list. “Poor choice,” I said to myself…. But, ya. Flannery O’Conner is rocking my world these days. Lovin’ it….

    There is some great material on that list. I read the bulk of Christ and Culture last summer. It had its momements…. That Evangelical Theology compilation by Barth is sitting on my shelf waiting to be read too. And Willimon? He doesn’t miss….

  9. Pingback: Alternate summer reading list | The Eagle & Child

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