I had hoped to publish the Neighbors of Memorial Parkway survey results in the June newsletter but alas, the job proved bigger than I anticipated. It will come soon, however. In the meantime, I thought it would be helpful to publish the books on my summer reading list. Here goes:
- Newton on the Christian Life: To Live Is Christ by Tony Reinke. It was the over-the-top endorsements that put this on my list.
From the pubisher: “John Newton is famous for his legendary hymn “Amazing Grace.” Many have celebrated his dramatic conversion from a life in the slave trade to his eventual work to end it. But often overlooked are Newton’s forty years as a pastor ministering to parishioners and friends unsettled by the trials, doubts, and fears of life. Newton is perhaps the greatest pastoral letter writer in the history of the church. He took up his pen day after day to help others fix their eyes on Christ, which, he writes, is the underlying battle of the Christian life. Through a careful study of scores of letters, Tony Reinke brings together Newton’s brilliant vision of the Christian life in one accessible place.”
- Augustine: A Very Short Introduction by Henry Chadwick. Always wanted to read more about Augustine.
From the publisher: “Augustine was arguably the greatest early Christian philosopher. His teachings had a profound effect on Medieval scholarship, Renaissance humanism, and the religious controversies of both the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation. Here, Henry Chadwick places Augustine in his philosophical and religious context and traces the history of his influence on Western thought, both within and beyond the Christian tradition. A handy account to one of the greatest religious thinkers, this Very Short Introduction is both a useful guide for the one who seeks to know Augustine and a fine companion for the one who wishes to know him better.”
- Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther by Roland H. Bainton. This might by summer of biographies.
From the publisher: “The Reformation of the sixteenth century was a vast and complicated movement. It involved kings and peasants, cardinals and country priests, monks and merchants. It spread from one end of Europe to the other, and manifested itself in widely differing forms. Yet in spite of its diverse and complex character, to start to understand the Reformation you need know only one name: Martin Luther. Roland Bainton’s Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther remains the definitive introduction to the great Reformer and is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand this towering historical figure.”
- The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky, translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. After talking with Sam Downing about Russian authors I had to put this and Crime and Punishment on my list.
From the publisher: “This was Dostoyevsky’s last and possibly greatest novel. Two of the brothers Karamazov, Mitya and Ivan, come under scrutiny following that most heinous of acts – parricide. One of them is punished following a dramatic and celebrated trial. But was he the guilty brother?”
- Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky translated by Constance Garnett. Thanks Sam Downing!
From the publisher: “Fyodor Dostoevsky is one of the world’s greatest novelists and Crime and Punishment is one of his greatest achievements. When Raskolnikov believes he is above the law, he murders an old woman and later suffers the consequences. Overcome by guilt and fear, the young man confesses his crime and goes to prison. There, he realizes that the nihilism of his past is false and that happiness and redemption can only be achieved through suffering.”
- The Archer’s Tale (and possibly his others in the Grail Quest series) by Bernard Cornwell. Still on my historic fiction kick by Cornwell. I finished his series on King Arthur (Warlord Chronicles) and King Alfred and the Saxons (Saxon Tales) and loved them. They entertain and paint a picture of medieval culture in the tumultuous history of Great Britain. I suspect his series set in the days of the crusades will continue that.
- Moby Dick by Herman Melville. Trying to read some of the classics. Started this a few months ago and slowly working my way through it.
I probably won’t make it through this whole list, but I’ll give it a try. What are you reading this summer?