For many of us, the final weeks of summer are the last chance for reading before the deluge of fall begins. Summer reading is also a great opportunity to reflect on the big spiritual questions of life, such as wisdom, grief, and calling. Consider adding one of these great books below to your reading list:
You don’t have to be an avid fan of Krista Tippett’s weekly spirituality podcast, On Being, to love this book. In Becoming Wise, religion journalist Tippett takes readers through the best of her radio interviews with religious leaders, academics, and public officials. She covers the expected topics of religion, life, and community, but also creates new conversations between earlier interview partners—weaving in and out of past dialogues and asking new questions in response. Pulling on themes from her life’s work, she studies words, flesh, love, faith, and, finally, hope. In a climate of heated rhetoric, Becoming Wise will restore your faith in the simple power of difficult questions, honest conversations, and the act of listening.
“Perhaps tragedies are only tragedies in the presence of love, which confers meaning to loss.” InThe Light of the World, poet Elizabeth Alexander offers cutting and vulnerable insights into her journey after her husband’s unexpected death. Remembering her husband, Ficre, Alexander offers a modern love story replete with the complexities of a life lived together. Through pedestrian moments of joy and grief, Alexander testifies to the beauty of human relationships and offers a hopeful vision for anyone mourning losses in their own life.
“Wandering has become the foundation of my spiritual life … My faith doesn’t end my search; it inspires it.” In his acclaimed spiritual memoir and call to action, progressive evangelical leader Brandan Robertson tells his story of traveling within and outside of the institutional church. In Nomad, Robertson questions the church’s obsession with boundaries and exclusion; instead, he offers a new vision of religious community based on radical inclusivity and “learn[ing] to live life in wonder.” For anyone who has struggled with church, or found spirituality in unexpected corners of life, Nomad offers comfort and inspiration for the continued journey.
Billy Kluttz works as the Evening Service Coordinator at Immanuel (5:30 pm on Sundays). Originally from North Carolina, he is a recent graduate of Wesley Theological Seminary. He loves college basketball, country and folk music, and all things southern. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.