And Then Some: Reading List for Fun and Seminary

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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!

  1. The Burnout Generation by Anne Helen Petersen (currently reading)
  2. The Universal Christ: How A Forgotten Reality Can Change Everything We See, Hope For, and Believe by Richard Rohr (currently reading)
  3. The Power of Self-Compassion by Laurie J. Cameron
  4. Grit: the Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth
  5. Priscilla: The Life of an Early Christian by Ben Witherington III
  6. Womanist Midrash: A Reintroduction to the Women of the Torah and the Throne by Wil Gafney
  7. Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love by Jonathan Van Ness
  8. How to Human: An Incomplete Manual for Living in a Messed-up World by Alice Connor
  9. Fire by Night: Finding God in the pages of the Old Testament by Melissa Florer-Bixler
  10. A Sin by Any Other Name: Reckoning with Racism and the Heritage of the South by Rob Lee
  11. Sacred Rhythms by Ruth Haley Barton
  12. Comedy Sex God by Pete Holmes
  13. The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by Dalai Lama XIV
  14. Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life by Richard Rohr
  15. Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski
  16. Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language by Gretchen McCulloch
  17. Loving Well in a Broken World: Discover the Hidden Power of Empathy by Lauren Casper
  18. Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Cirado-Perez
  19. The God Who Sees: Immigrants, the Bible, and the Journey to Belong by Karen Gonzalez
  20. The Fifth Vital Sign: Master Your Cycles and Optimize Your Fertility by Lisa Hendrickson-Jack
  21. The Preacher’s Wife: The Precarious Power of Evangelical Women Celebrities by Kate Bowler
  22. Women in the Early Church by Elizabeth A. Clark
  23. Defiant: What the Women of Exodus Teach Us About Freedom by Kelley Nikondeha
  24. Native: Identity, Belonging, and Rediscovering God by Kaitlin B. Curtice
  25. 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!

  1. Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces that Keep Us Apart by Christena Cleveland
  2. Reconciliation: Our Greatest Challenge–Our Only Hope by Curtiss Paul DeYoung
  3. Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America by Michael Emerson and Christian Smith
  4. 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.

  1. I Bring the Voices of My People: A Womanist Vision for Racial Reconciliation by Dr. Chanequa Walker-Barnes
  2. Roadmap to Reconciliation: Moving Communities into Unity, Wholeness and Justice by Brenda Salter McNeil
  3. I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown
  4. The Cross and the Lynching Tree by James H. Cone
  5. Dare to Lead by Brene Brown
  6. Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership: Seeking God in the Crucible of Ministry by Ruth Haley Barton
  7. 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.

Happy reading!

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