Honestly, this pandemic has stolen reading from me. I probably read about a third as often as I did before all this. In my free time, I am more likely to zone out than that focus — to consume mindless media, rather than thoughtful prose.
And that’s ok. We need that. My therapist once said to me, “Coping mechanisms are good. We need to cope.”
That said, this year I read 27 books, and among those were some phenomenal reads.
Breathing Underwater and Jesus and the Disinherited in particular are now at the top of my all time books that I have ever read. They are that good and important.
Another absolutely JOY these last few years is the number of friends who have published amazing books. Kaya Oakes, Elle Dowd, and Becca Ehrlich all gave the world wonderful gifts with their new books in 2021.
What about you?
What are you reading these days? What books are giving you life?
- A Promised Land, Barak Obama
- Ida B the Queen, Michelle Duster
- No Happy Endings, Nora McInery
- Ethel Rosenberg, Anne Sebba
- Personal Librarian, Marie Benedict & Victoria Murray (Belle da Costa Green)
- Fascinating untold history
Spirituality & Self-care
- Radical Reinvention, Kaya Oakes
- Breathing Underwater, Richard Rohr
- This goes to the top of my favorite books of all time pile.
- Carefrontation, Arlene Drake
- Christian Minimalism, Becca Ehrlich
- Really, really insight invitation to a more minimalist life
- Aftermath, Chuck Wendig
- Jesus & the Disinherited, Howard Thurman
- Everyone should read it. Everyone.
- Baptized in Tear Gas, Elle Dowd
- Pastor Elle is one of my heroes in the church right now. I have multiple copies so that I can loan them out and keep MY copy.
- The Radical King, Martin Luther King, Jr
- These are not the writings from Dr. King that everyone quotes in January. But we should.
Culture and Society
- White Rage, Carol Anderson
- Grace Will Lead Us Home, Jennifer Berry Hawes
- Powerful and heartwrenching
- The Color of Compromise, Jemar Tisby
- The best book on the relationship between racism and the church
- Caste, Isabel Wilkerson
- Gave me a whole new lens through which to understand race in America
- Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson
- A re-read with a small group. Powerful still the second time.
- Jesus and John Wayne, Kristen Kobes Du Mez
- Wow. Artfully tracks how fringe and extremist ideas have become mainstream in the evangelical movement.
- Four Hundred Souls, Ibraham Kendi, Keisha Blain
- You just THOUGHT you knew American History.
- Forget the Alamo, Bryan Burrough
- Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge, Erica Armstrong Dunbar
- Race Against Time, Jerry Mitchell
- Iron Heart
- Insider Art
- The Boys, Vol 6
- Across the Tracks