Summer reading list

June 22, 2011

What are you hoping to
read this summer? We posed this question to the
Century staff, a group of people with diverse tastes
and interests. Along with commenting on our choices, feel free to post your own
in the comments. --Ed.

Gary Dorrien's spring Century
article, which argued for economic as well as political democracy, whetted
my appetite for the book that part of it was adapted from: Economy, Difference, Empire: Social Ethics for Social Justice.

Having temporarily assuaged my Hispanophile predilections
with Giles Tremlett's trenchant Ghosts of
Spain: Travels Through Spain and Its Silent Past,
I hope to follow it up
with a book in a similar vein: Unearthing
Franco's Legacy: Mass Graves and the Recovery of a Historical Memory in Spain,
collection of essays edited by Carlos Jerez-Farrán and Samuel Amago.

My latest foray into fiction: John le Carré's disquieting
and politically impassioned espionage novel Absolute
It prompted me to put on my must-read list le Carré's highly
acclaimed character study A Perfect Spy ("the
best English novel since the war," says Philip Roth).


summer reading

State of Wonder – Ann Patchett. A tale that leads the reader into
the very heart of darkness, and then shows what lies on the other side.

Exiles – Ron Hansen – The novel tells the story of a
notorious shipwreck in 1875 that prompted a troubled Jesuit priest Gerard
Manley Hopkins to break years of “elected silence” with an outpouring of
dazzling poetry.

Civil War Awakening – Adam Goodheart – The author, a historian and
journalist, reframes the war as "not just a Southern rebellion but a
nationwide revolution" to free the country of slavery and end paralyzing
attempts to compromise over it.

Ravished by Beauty – The
Surprising Legacy of Reformed Spirituality

– Belden C. Lane – An exploration of Reformed Spirituality revealing an
ecologically aware John Calvin who spoke of himself as “ravished” by the
earth’s beauty, and early American theologian Jonathan Edwards who urged a
sensuous “enjoyment” of God’s beauty as the only real way of knowing God.

Open Source Church. Making
Room for the Wisdom of All –
Whitsitt – Whitsitt, a pastor in Liberty, Missouri and Vice Moderator of the PCUSA
219th General Assembly, translates the principles of open source
technology to imagine a new framework for fluid and faithful congregations. An
imaginative way of addressing social media and the implications for local