I guess I don’t need to wait until the end of the year to do another summary… August suffered for reading much (thanks, derecho), but there’s still been some good stuff to recommend over the last couple months. Here are the highlights:
Fault Lines: A History of the United States since 1974 by Kevin Kruse
A very readable recounting of the last 50 years of US history, showing how these “fault lines” formed that have resulted in the fractures we see today. Kruse is a great follow on Twitter, too. I’m not sure I was really ready to read a “history” of so much that still feels very current, but it’s good to have a book like this out there.
The Spirituality of the Cross by Gene Edward Veith
This was recommended by a friend when I was looking for a good book on Lutheran theology. This is fairly short and high-level, but the chapter on vocation was worth the whole book all by itself. (The rest of the book was very good, too.)
The Power by Naomi Alderman
What would happen if women suddenly developed a power that gave them a physical advantage over men? What would the world look like? Such is the tantalizing premise of The Power. It could’ve been 100 pages longer and I wouldn’t have complained.
Into the Silent Land: A Guide to the Christian Practice of Contemplation by Martin Laird
A short introduction to the practice of contemplative prayer. Very practical in its discussion of techniques, but also delving into the spiritual purpose and background of contemplation. I’m lousy at it, but it’s something that I find beneficial when I set aside a little bit of time to just be still.
Engaging the Powers: Discernment and Resistance in a World of Domination by Walter Wink
I wrote about this one a little bit already. Just as relevant today as it was when it was written.
The Mystery of Christ & Why We Don’t Get It by Robert Farrar Capon
Capon in his typical informal style here, pressing the point that he makes just as bluntly in his wonderful Between Noon and Three. “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” No condemnation. If that’s really true… you are not condemned. You are forgiven. Grace is free. What are you now going to do with yourself? I love me some Capon.
There were others, but these were the highlights.