These are a Few of my Favorite Things

June 2, 2014

One thing about that song – why would door bells be one of fraulein Maria’s favorite things? I mean, ding, ding, ding, not that exciting, am I right?

Anyway, raise your hand if you can believe it’s June already? Almost halfway through 2014, I fear if I blink again the year will be over. Every summer, like many others, I stock up my kindle with good reads. It’s the right thing to do when it’s more than 90 degrees out (30s in C) and one needs a good escape from the heat and  children-around-all-day-long. I typically read theology/faith books, memoirs, fiction, and I try to read one classic a year. In no particular order, here are some of my favorite things:


Defending Jacob – I JUST finished this legal thriller and definitely give this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars. Great storytelling, strong voice from the protagonist, and clever plot twists.



Where’d you go, Bernadette – a hilarious story that also delivers a solid message about our human need to create in order to stay sane.



The Invention of Wings – I had to put this powerful book down several times to recuperate from the harsh realities of slavery and the beauty of the female characters. Justice, advocacy, and astounding courage of the heroines who have gone before us are threaded throughout this narrative. I can’t recommend it enough.


Americanah – This will be my first novel to tackle this summer. I heard of the author, Chimamanda Adichie, from her amazing ted talk on the Danger of a Single Story. I am excited to delve into the story she brings from her perspective.



Non Fiction

Story Wars – This is a fantastically insightful book about how to tell a compelling story to cut through the noise of our contemporary setting. It is also the inspiration to my previous post on whether we have been telling the right story in our sharing of the Gospel.


The Slavery of Death – One of my favorite bloggers is Richard Beck at Experimental Theology. I love his perspective on theology from a psychological perspective, and I’m really interested in the idea of how sin and death intertwine in our human experience.


Daring Greatly – This is another book purchase resulting from a ted talk viewing. Brene Brown is notorious for her insightful ted talks on shame and vulnerability. I am intrigued to engage more deeply with her ideas. This is her latest book.



Jesus have I loved, but Paul? – I read this book last summer, but I still think about what I have learned from Dr. Daniel Kirk, who teaches at my alma mater, Fuller Seminary. I appreciated the way he redeems Paul from often being unfairly cast as sexist and homophobic. Dr. Kirk captures the beautiful vision of Paul to set us on a trajectory towards the magnificent manifesto Paul himself pronounces: “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”


Shalom and the Community of Creation – I have heard Dr. Randy Woodley many times on various podcasts. He is a leader in theologizing as a First Nations thinker. I love how he uses “Community of Creation” in place of the phrase, “Kingdom of God”, an attempt to rid the baggage of power and empire.


The Orthodox Heretic – I adore Pete Rollins, his radical theology never fails to challenge my thinking. This book is manageable to read because it consists of short chapters that can be read separately. Almost like a devotional.




God in a Brothel – This is the story of an undercover investigator who infiltrates brothels to rescue girls sold into sex trafficking. I was fascinated by the logistics of what this work entails and blown away by his honesty in sharing what it cost him to do this work.

God in a Brothel cover

Carry on, Warrior – The immensely popular blogger at Momastery, Glennon Melton is the author of this book. I helped publicize the one year anniversary of the release of this book by participating in the Messy Beautiful Project with this post. I have no doubt I’ll enjoy her words in her book as much as I enjoy it on her blog.


I wish I read more than one classic book a year. My husband reads them almost exclusively, but I just am too easily distracted by the newest and latest books! I haven’t quite decided on which one to read for this summer. Right now, I’m considering either the Great Gatsby, or the Crucible.


Which one do you think I should read? What is on your summer reading list? Have you read any of these ones and what did you think?