Julie and I are looking forward to a couple of weeks off beginning next week. Vacation means extra time for reading! Here are some of the books I’ll be enjoying this summer.

How to Survive a Shipwreck, by Johnathan Martin. This book is getting a lot of buzz among my clergy friends. One reviewer notes, “Drawing from the rich imagery of scripture and speaking transparently from his own experience, Martin offers a series of reflections on surviving loss, failure, and change with your faith and humanity intact.” I can’t wait to dive in to this one!

Jesus’ Abba: The God Who Has Not Failed, by John Cobb. Professor Cobb is well-known among theological students for his work in the field of process theology. His latest book (authored at the age of 91!) presents a common sense understanding of the God Jesus introduced to the world.

I’ve decided to get back into reading fiction more regularly. Many of you have mentioned Anthony Doerr’s novel, All the Light We Cannot See, as a must read. It’s already packed into my carry-on for reading on the plane.

My favorite book of all time is A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving. Because of my love for that book, I tend to grab Irving’s novels as soon as they hit the stores but I missed last year’s release, Avenue of Mysteries. Irving is one of America’s best and quirkiest writers. This one will no doubt be another wild ride.

The summer would not be complete without a book about baseball. Jane Leavy’s biography about Mickey Mantle, The Last Boy, promises to be a joyous yet poignant read. I saw Mickey play a game against the California Angels in 1968, his last season in the majors. He limped up to the batter’s box but you could see, even at the end of his career, that he was one of the best there ever was.

David McCullough’s acclaimed work, The Wright Brothers, was on my list last year but I never got around to reading it. Every time I read McCullough (1776, John Adams and others) I feel like I’ve just completed one of the best history classes ever offered.

There is my list. What about yours? I’d love to know what you’ll be reading this summer. Send me a note and let me know ([email protected] ).

Grace and peace to you,