Book Recommendations

admincccckc Articles, Carla Aday

Late each summer I usually write a “book column” about my favorite novels of the year. But I’m in a dry spell. Oh I’ve been reading. But most of the fiction I’ve read lately leaves me with a “hmm,” not a “wow.” Maybe you will send me some suggestions! But for now, I have a few non-fiction recommendations and then a few of my all time favorite novels from years past. 

Wholehearted Faith by Rachel Held Evans. Rachel died at age 37 of a minor illness that became complicated and left behind her young children, her husband and a host of fans from her blog. I was scheduled to hear her at a preaching conference that year and then, in an instant, she was gone. Her friend found the book she was writing at the time of her death still in rough draft on her computer and finished it for her. It's lovely.

Do I Stay Christian?: A Guide for the Doubters, the Disappointed, and the Disillusioned by Brian McLeran. I like the way he lays out the book so that you can read only the part that speaks to you. 

Whistling in the Dark, an ABC Theologized by Frederick Buechner. This is a timeless classic and can be read in short snippets. It's a book of theology words like “heaven” or “hell” brought to life from one of the brilliant minds of our time. 

Falling Upward by Richard Rohr. Many of you have read this but if you haven’t it's fantastic. Especially written for men facing the second half of life but really for anyone wanting to live life along a deeper spiritual path. 

In the fiction category, here are some books that have been formative for me over my lifetime: 

The Chosen by Chaim Potok. I talked about this in a sermon recently. This book is the reason I fell in love with fiction. Great for young teens as well as adults.

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving is stunning. John Irving was a student of Buechner (see above) 

Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner. He is my favorite fiction writer and this is my favorite of his novels. 

Snow Child by Ivy Eowyn. My favorite book in the last several years. Haunting and inspiring and thought provoking and beautifully written. 

The Time of our Singing by Richard Powers. He has become well known for his book Overstory but this earlier book is still one of my favorites. I’ve just purchased his latest book Bewilderment but haven’t yet started it. A gifted writer who teaches me to see the world from a different angle, which is what I love about fiction. 

Happy Reading,