Book me

Friends, followers: I am starting to construct my summer reading list, and I could use some of your suggestions. At this point I have very little non-reading work to do and so I’m hoping to tackle three books per week, in three main categories: political philosophy/ethics, history/biography, and novels (particularly ones I should have read by now).

I recognize these will be mostly “academic reads,” not deep reads, but right now I’m just trying to fill in the gaps. (All of my school-related reading in the school year is creative nonfiction, so hold off on that.)

So please comment with suggestions?

11 thoughts on “Book me

      • Pretty academic, yes. I think they may have both started out as PhD. theses. But they are both very easy to read, I think, and not at all dry.

        The first one, “Fundamentalism and Gender,” focuses largely on my great grandfather (and mentions Gothard right at the end). While the second one, which I’m still in the middle of, takes us up through around 1930.

        I have bought a number of books in the last week that “Ungodly Woman” quotes from, partly due to the thoroughness of the footnotes which cite the exact pages of the books from whence she is drawing her arguments. The ones I’ve ordered so far include:
        Augustus H. Strong and the Dilemma of Historical Consciousness
        Martin Marty’s “Modern American Religion, Volume 1: The Irony of It All, 1893-1919”

  1. Here are some of Robert’s required readings for my 2nd year:
    Proust: In Remembrance of Things Past (vol. 1), Emerson: the Mind on Fire
    Let us Now Praise Famous Men (broke me into tiny pieces. need to read it again), Thoreau’s Cape Cod (not my favorite)

    Might want to read: Autobiography of a Face, Lucy Greeley, and Truth & Beauty, Ann Patchett. Brown, and Days of Obligation, Richard Rodriquez. Madonnnas of Leningrad, My Grandfather’s House, Dark Water. MFK Fisher’s The Gastronomical Me is remarkable. Marilynne Robinson’s Home– can’t wait to read that a second time.

    that’s off the top of my head. I will think of more, if you need more!

    • I could use more,if you have them! I read the Proust in my M.A. program (and enjoyed it, actually); I’m trying to decide if I’m really enough into Emerson/Thoreau to tackle them, but it’s so intriguing to me that it’s what he’s assigned, given what he writes.

      Did you hear what our next two readings are for the residency?!

  2. I’ve been digging into “She-Wolves: The Women Who Ruled England Before Elizabeth” and it’s some seriously good history reading. (Oh, by Helen Castor)

  3. Couple of good, intelligent, fiction reads that I always recommend to people with an interest in history:

    1. Kim Stanley Robinson’s “The Years of Rice and Salt” : Alternative history where the black death wipes out Christian Europe in its entirety paving the way for the world wide spread of Islam. Narrative spans hundreds of years of alternative modern development.

    2. Ken Follet’s “Pillars of the Earth”: Tells the multi-generational tale of the construction of a medieval cathedral.

    And, while I am an English teacher by trade, I am a classicist at heart, so if you have not tackled it yet you should read Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics at some point in your life.

  4. Politics/Ethics:

    Christianity, Democracy, and the Radical Ordinary: Conversation between a Radical Democrat and a Christian (Stanley Hauerwas/Romand Coles)

    Theopolitical Imagination: Christian Practices of Space and Time (William Cavanaugh)


    A Peace to End All Peace: Fall of the Ottoman Empire and Rise of the Modern Middle East (David Fromkin)

    From the Beast to the Blond: On Fairy Tales and Their Tellers (Marina Warner)


    Cry, the Beloved Country (Alan Paton)
    Divergent (Veronica Roth – unapologetic YA dystopian fiction)
    The Shadow of the Wind (Carlos Zafon)
    The Historian (Elizabeth Kastova)

    Not that you need more memoir, but Hannah’s Child (Hauerwas) is excellent and he writes quite a bit about the books he read as he’s moved through his career. You might find some great suggestions in there too.

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