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Summer Reading List

In his stirring memoir, The End of Your Life Book Club, Will Schwalbe observes that one of the most profound questions that a person can ask another is, “What have you been reading lately?” This summer at Liberti Collingswood, we’re going to turn that postulate into practice by encouraging folks to grab a cold beverage, a conversation partner, and any of the volumes below. There’s more to sitting on the Shore than snoozing, people!

Christianity

A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society, Eugene Peterson.  The Christian journey is neither a continual sprint nor a casual stroll, and pastor/writer Eugene Peterson in A Long Obedience details how one might embark upon Christian spirituality at the right pace and in a way that makes us (and keeps us) whole. Who wouldn’t prefer a Carl Weathers-prepared, simmered stew to microwaved ramen? Learn more about how your following Jesus can more closely resemble the former.

Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family, Paul Tripp.  Paul Tripp is like a real life, Christian version of Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets. Just kidding, but the broad consensus from our weekday women’s home group this year is that Parenting is the most profound book on the subject they’ve ever encountered. “Life-changing” is an overused descriptor in Christian circles (and otherwise), but it may apply to this book.

Fiction

The Orphan Master’s Son, Adam Johnson.  Love, actually, amid the ruins of North Korea. OMS won the Pulitzer a few years ago for good reason, as it wondrously marries the geopolitical to the personal–––and is beautiful and heartbreaking on both levels.

Glaciers, Alexis Smith. A pensive day in the life of Isabel, who repairs old books at the local library and shops for the perfect vintage dress at area thrift stores. Glaciers is an exquisitely rendered tale of love, memory, and all the things that we can’t (or can) leave behind.

Nonfiction

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, J. D. VanceA post-election “it book,” Hillbilly Elegy is a remembrance cum sociological reflection upon the decline of the nonurban,  white working class in the United States. Elegy serves as a clear-eyed yet sympathetic portrait of numerous currents that are shaping our shared American future.

Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays, Zadie Smith. A wide-ranging collection of meditations on life, the universe, and David Foster Wallace from one of the smartest and best writers in English around.  Considering subjects from Liberia to London, highbrow lit to popcorn movies, Smith demonstrates that with the right pen, everything is illuminated.

Bonus round

How Fiction Works, James Wood. Add some bourbon to this book, and, baby, you’ve got a summer mini-course going.

Born to Run, Bruce Springsteen. The Boss sucks!