I don’t know why I bother posting reading lists. I don’t remember ever following a reading list beyond maybe two books. It’s fun to discuss what I want to or should read, but I should never presume to set it in stone. One of the joys of owning books is perusing them over a time and simply choosing one that feels right to read at that moment. It means, too, that one week my list might look like this and the next it might look like that.
The list I made up for this summer was not only heavy, but premature and too rigid. Plus, I made it up off the top of my head without a glance at my bookshelves. Ignoring for the moment possibilities in theology and spirituality, where are Kafka, Paley, Dillard, Buechner and Berry? What of Leacock, Findley, Achebe, Faulkner, Austen, Stegner? How about In Praise of Slow and In Defense of Food? What about Amusing Ourselves to Death or Prairie: A Natural History?
Let’s be realistic. My summer reading will look like what it looks like. Sure, I could use some structure in my life–but not in my reading. Not in the summer, anyway.
Here’s what I’d like to read this summer. I say “like” because I don’t want to be legalistic about it. And, let’s face it, the list will change by the time school’s over in June.
- The New Testament and the People of God by N.T. Wright
- The Moral Vision of the New Testament by Richard B. Hays
- The Catechism of the Catholic Church
- Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places by Eugene Peterson
- The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen
- The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
- Three by Flannery O’Connor by Flannery O’Connor (a collection of 3 of her books)
- Something by Salman Rushdie — either The Moor’s Last Sigh or Midnight’s Children
I can already see this list is unreasonable. The only realistic thing on the list is the Greene and the Nouwen. But I really do need and want to read the Wright and the Hays. And the Peterson. And the others.
Perhaps the more important question is, which book should I take with me to England in August? I’m thinking either Greene or O’Connor. But then it might be nice to read a British author on his or her own soil, so perhaps something by P.G. Wodehouse or perhaps Pride and Prejudice, which I haven’t read but am told is clever (the various film adaptations certainly are and the books are always better, aren’t they?). Or there’s Rushdie. He’s British isn’t he?
Dunno. Will mull.