I handed in my last essay of the academic year this morning and so I am released from my reading list (which I have massively enjoyed.) That said, at least one book on this list is one from my suggested reading this year I didn’t get to! So here is a list of the five (actually four – keep reading!) books I am going to read over the next few months.
Book 1. Moondust: In Search of the Men who Fell to Earth by Andrew Smith
This is probably a cheat as I’m already two-thirds through as this has been my go-to book when I’ve needed to clear my head. It is a terrifically engaging look at the lives of the men who walked on the moon and the politics and culture of the era of manned space flight to our nearest neighbour. Only 9 of the original 12 are still alive and soon there will be no men left who have walked on another planet.
Book 2. War of the Worlds by Adrian Plass
I have also just started this and I have been near to tears and crying with laughter and I’ve only read the first chapter so far. I’ve been struggling with the tension between striving for unity within churches and with other Christians and having a real authenticity of faith. This book attempts, in Adrian’s usual flippant, whimsical and wonderful way to talk about how to avoid leading a double life as people of faith (however stable/unstable we are.)
Book 3. Enough: Contentment in an Age of Excess by Shane Claiborne and Will Samson
I’ve been enchanted by Shane Claiborne’s approach to mission and extremely challenged by his views on church life. This book should equally challenge the frustrated eco-warrior/worrier in me. Are there enough raw materials on this planet to support the increasing life it contains? If we can’t get everyone to share equally, is acting on our own in our small communities enough? Excited to digest this one.
Book 4. The Map that Changed the World by Simon Winchester
A book to nourish the geologist in me. In working on an essay on missional communities and pondering the impact of that sort of living could have on the planet, I’ve been drawn back into my geological roots. Studying theology has in many ways been a polar opposite experience to studying science and in more ways closer than I would have imagined. This yarn is about William Smith who created the first geological map of Britain, and seeing as we invented geology and have rocks from almost every era it is a very influential map.
Well I need some recommendations. What should my book 5 be? At some point my reading list for next semester will arrive and I know I need to pay more attention to it this year, but until that time I am going to indulge. What would you recommend? You might know me, you might not and all you have to go on is the above list. There are no proper fiction books there – maybe you could suggest a good one! I’d appreciate a juicy selection! In return I’ll review the above books as (and hopefully when) I get through them! And send sweets.