It’s true that reading lists usually come out at the beginning of summer, but as this pandemic persists, time, too, continues to be fluid.

In that spirit, enjoy these book recommendations from the church staff for the end of summer, or wherever and whenever your reading takes you.

A Rhythm of Prayer: A Collection of Meditations for Renewal, Edited by Sarah Bessey. Not a book one would sit down and read cover to cover, but this is a beautiful collection of devotional writings by a wonderfully diverse group of authors to keep by your night stand. Scott Dickison

Catalogue of Unabashed Gratitude, by Ross Gay. I misplaced my copy of this collection of poetry a few months back and when I found it (on Audrey’s nightstand), I celebrated like the woman who found her lost coin in Luke 15. Scott Dickison

Reading While Black: African American Biblical Interpretation as an Exercise in Hope, by Esau McCaulley. McCaulley doesn’t fit into easy categories: an African American man raised in the Black church tradition, ordained as a priest in the Anglican Church, and a professor at one of the nation’s foremost evangelical colleges. His writing reflects this complicated and nuanced perspective, inviting readers of all backgrounds to engage the Black church tradition of reading scripture, shaped by community, struggle, and ultimately hope. Scott Dickison

A Most Remarkable Creature: The Hidden Life and Epic Journey of the World’s Smartest Birds of Prey, by Jonathan Meiburg. This is a fascinating look at the Caracara species of the world through the lens of history, geography, and adventures in the wilderness. A bonus neat thing to know is that Jonathan is the nephew of Martha Malone, my friend and Mercer colleague. Also, Jonathan is the leader of the band Shearwater. Anne Armstrong

I Found God in Me: A Womanist Biblical Hermeneutics Reader, edited by Mitzi J. Smith. It is a collection of articles on womanist interpretive theories and theology as well as womanist readings of biblical texts by womanist biblical scholars. I read articles from this book for a class I took last fall and it is one that I keep coming back to read more of. Reading womanist hermeneutics has changed the questions I ask Biblical text. Kelsey Stillwell

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, by Kim Michele Richardson. It’s just a good story and reminded me of people I grew up around. Thanks to Don Midkiff for recommending it. Connie Pursiful

Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy, by Gary D. Schmidt. Although this is written for young readers, I think people of any age would enjoy this book (I certainly did)! While this coming-of-age story clearly and fairly deals with the topic of race, it also touches on faith, family, loss, and finding one’s place in the world in a way that is natural and unforced. JD Granade

Prison by Any Other Name, by Maya Schenwar and Victoria Law. This book tackles the issue of the prison industrial complex, shining a light on all of its forms, such as house arrest, the mental health system, and policing. I recommend this book to anyone up for a journey of challenging their perceptions of systems that contribute to racism and injustices in our country. This book reshaped a lot of my views and pushed me to dive deeper into the complexities of these systems. Phoebe Capps

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