By The Reverend Dr. William A. Evertsberg
I love book lists. Last week The Washington Post published a great article called “Books for the Ages” which listed one perfect book for every year of your life from
1–100. Great books for the old (Lear for when you’re 87 and Gilead at age 77); great books for the young (Where the Wild Things Are, age 3); and books for the middle-aged (Rabbit, Run at 41; and Where’d You Go Bernadette? at 45).
For what it’s worth, here’s my summer reading list.
For homiletical development:
This fall, Katie, Jo, and I are preaching a series of sermons on Stewardship, including Stewardship of Creation, so I’m reading several books on climate change, the greatest challenge facing the human race.
Raised in Michigan and now living a mile from my favorite lake, I could not resist Dan Egan’s The Death and Life of the Great Lakes. Would you believe me if I told you it was a page-turner? Some of the most engaging and lively prose I’ve read recently in what is essentially a history book.
In Climate Church, Climate World, Jim Antal, a UCC colleague of mine, argues that the Church must take a leadership role in changing human habits and rectifying the vast social injustices that will magnify because of climate change in our own lifetimes.
The Times recommended David Wallace-Wells’ The Uninhabitable Earth.Not to put too fine a point on it, change is happening faster and worser than anybody ever predicted.
Cheery list, no?
For pastoral development:
Courtesy of the Family Action Network, we heard Lori Gottlieb speak at NTHS in April. Her book Maybe You Should Talk to Somebody, a Times bestseller, is about her experiences in psychotherapy both as a practitioner and as a patient. Christian clergy receive a modest introduction to pastoral counseling in seminary but can always learn from skilled therapists like Ms. Gottlieb.
For personal development:
Michelle Obama is one of my favorite human beings and Chicagoans, so of course I have to read Becoming.
Kathy loved Delia Owens’ rhapsodies about the wonders of the natural world in Where the Crawdads Sing, so that sounds like a great read for the shores of Grand Traverse Bay.
The Times gave a nice review to Mary Beth Keane’s novel Ask Again, Yes, a multi-generational saga about two interacting families in suburban New York. I used to be one of those.
Would you think less of me if I admit I am tempted to read another dishy drama-ridden Nantucket beach book from Elin Hilderbrand? I’ll try to resist to maintain your respect.