This week launches my final “in the classroom” (although I am an online student) semester and it’s my first full week settling into 2020. Up until now, I was 200% focused on a massive work project, but now that project is all wrapped up so I can really dig into my personal 2020 goals. Part of my goal for 2020 is to increase the number of books that I will read: 25 (unrelated to school books). As I embark on this journey of twenty-five books and beyond, I want to share what I’ve already read this year, what I want and plan to read, and what I will be reading for my spring semester of seminary.
What I’ve Already Read in 2020
- Miracles and Other Reasonable Things: A Story of Unlearning and Relearning God by Sarah Bessey5 / 5 stars. Everything Bessey touches turns into gold. One summer while I was living in the midwest, I drove 3 hours one way to hear her preach at a church and it was magic. Reading her books is as close to reliving that magic. This book is challenging yet hopeful.
- When Less Becomes More: Making Space for Slow, Simple, and Good by Emily Ley4 / 5 stars. Emily Ley really called me out on my burnout tendencies. This book gave practical tools for how to make a slow, simple, and good life. For starters, turn off your email notifications when you get home!
- Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets, and Advice for Living Your Best Life by Ali Wong4 / 5 stars. I adore Ali Wong because she feels like an Asian sister from another mama. This book was hysterical but very very vulgar.
- Southern Lady Code by Helen Ellis4 / 5 stars. Another hilarious book with a few inappropriate pages. I resonated with Ellis’s southernisms and found myself giggling at my desk with all of her “bless their hearts.”
What I Want or Plan to Read
These are the books that I am either currently reading or that I have recently added to my GoodReads wishlist. Yes, I read a lot of books about women in the Bible and fertility awareness method (total niche interests, I know); however, I am open to any and all book suggestions!
- The Burnout Generation by Anne Helen Petersen (currently reading)
- The Universal Christ: How A Forgotten Reality Can Change Everything We See, Hope For, and Believe by Richard Rohr (currently reading)
- The Power of Self-Compassion by Laurie J. Cameron
- Grit: the Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth
- Priscilla: The Life of an Early Christian by Ben Witherington III
- Womanist Midrash: A Reintroduction to the Women of the Torah and the Throne by Wil Gafney
- Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love by Jonathan Van Ness
- How to Human: An Incomplete Manual for Living in a Messed-up World by Alice Connor
- Fire by Night: Finding God in the pages of the Old Testament by Melissa Florer-Bixler
- A Sin by Any Other Name: Reckoning with Racism and the Heritage of the South by Rob Lee
- Sacred Rhythms by Ruth Haley Barton
- Comedy Sex God by Pete Holmes
- The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by Dalai Lama XIV
- Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life by Richard Rohr
- Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski
- Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language by Gretchen McCulloch
- Loving Well in a Broken World: Discover the Hidden Power of Empathy by Lauren Casper
- Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Cirado-Perez
- The God Who Sees: Immigrants, the Bible, and the Journey to Belong by Karen Gonzalez
- The Fifth Vital Sign: Master Your Cycles and Optimize Your Fertility by Lisa Hendrickson-Jack
- The Preacher’s Wife: The Precarious Power of Evangelical Women Celebrities by Kate Bowler
- Women in the Early Church by Elizabeth A. Clark
- Defiant: What the Women of Exodus Teach Us About Freedom by Kelley Nikondeha
- Native: Identity, Belonging, and Rediscovering God by Kaitlin B. Curtice
- The Very Good Gospel: How Everything Wrong Can Be Made Wrong by Lisa Sharon Harper
What I’m Assigned to Read for School
These books are what I am assigned to read for my capstone course: Ministry of Biblical Reconciliation. In tangent with the course readings and discussions, I will be participating in a ministry field experience of biblical reconciliation. Stay tuned!
- Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces that Keep Us Apart by Christena Cleveland
- Reconciliation: Our Greatest Challenge–Our Only Hope by Curtiss Paul DeYoung
- Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America by Michael Emerson and Christian Smith
- The War for Kindness: Building Empathy in a Fractured World by Zamil Zaki
What I’m Choosing to Read for School
The second course I am taking this semester is called Missio Dei: Equality in Servant Leadership and I get the opportunity to build my own reading list. This list may change, but these are my current considerations.
- I Bring the Voices of My People: A Womanist Vision for Racial Reconciliation by Dr. Chanequa Walker-Barnes
- Roadmap to Reconciliation: Moving Communities into Unity, Wholeness and Justice by Brenda Salter McNeil
- I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown
- The Cross and the Lynching Tree by James H. Cone
- Dare to Lead by Brene Brown
- Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership: Seeking God in the Crucible of Ministry by Ruth Haley Barton
- The Arts of Ministry: Feminist-Womanist Approaches edited by Christie Cozad Neuger (Editor)
The longer that I stay in school, the more challenging I have found reading outside of the classroom to be. In graduate school, you can be expected to read 8-10+ books a semester and write half a dozen book reviews or research papers all for a single class. In the midst of all my academic reading and research, I lost my love of reading for fun, so that has been my challenge over the past year and a half. I want to love reading when it is not an academic requirement. Part of the importance of sharing this list with the world is accountability. I want to be a lifelong learner, and reading 25 books and beyond in 2020 will keep me on that path.