What will you be reading?

Christmas Break is officially here for me, and Kris will have a full week off as well, and we will find some warm place to hole up with family … but this always means that as we approach this time off we begin to set up what we will be reading.

Assuming you may well be carving out time for reading, What will you be reading during Christmas break?

One of Kris’ books is Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide (Vintage) but she’s also planning to read The Girls from Ames: A Story of Women and a Forty-Year Friendship. Depending on how much she gets time to read — and Kris prefers the chatting time to the reading time more than I do — she’s got a few others lined up too.

As for me, I’ve got Isabel Wilkerson’s The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration, and no I did not pick this book because of its appropriate title! And next to her is Louise Knight’s new one-volume study, Jane Addams: Spirit in Action.

Then I want to read Craig Nelson’s Thomas Paine: Enlightenment, Revolution, and the Birth of Modern Nations and Tom Segev’s Simon Wiesenthal: The Life and Legends .

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  • As mentioned in Twitter: “Almost Christian” by Kenda Dean and “Completely Pro-Life” by Ron Sider.

  • I will be reading Christ, History, and Apocalyptic by Nate Kerr, Torture and Eucharist by William Cavanaugh, and Sanctorum Communio by Bonhoeffer.

  • Pat

    I’m going to try to finish up “The Greatest Prayer” by John Dominic Crossan.

  • Can I say I’ll be reading John Grisham, or is that not holy enough? 😉

  • I loved Half the Sky. My list for the break: Abraham Verghese’s Cutting for Stone, Jay Z’s Decoded, Caroline Knapp’s Appetites: Why Women Want, Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals, Frank Bruni’s Born Round. My favorite fiction of the year: Stockett’s The Help & Tana French’s Faithful Place. And the best memoir of the year, in my view, is Patti Smith’s Just Kids.

  • JoeyS

    What is this ‘Christmas break’ of which you speak?

  • nathan

    Waking up in Heaven (the contemporary rendering of Centuries of Meditations) by Thomas Traherne

  • rjs

    Some break … I don’t even give my final until Monday … then term starts again on Jan. 4th (classes on the 5th).

  • Lived in Wien!

    The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff (Mormon historical fiction mixed in with realistic fiction/mystery involving a Mormon “Lost Boy” amidst a polygamous society)
    Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
    We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver (fictional account of a Columbine-type tragedy)

  • Alan K

    “Dietrich Bonhoeffer: A Biography” by Eberhard Bethge

  • Matt Edwards

    I will be cram re-learning Hebrew. I haven’t looked at it in four years and I want to start working through the Psalms on January 1. Do Basics of Biblical Hebrew by Pratico and Van Pelt and Introduction to Hebrew Syntax by Waltke and O’Connor count?

  • rjs

    Although – I intend to read the rest of Evolutionary Creation, and assuming Amazon delivers as promised: One.Life and The Real Mary (neither of which I’ve yet read). I doubt if there will be time for more, but I’ve got Surprised by Hope, After You Believe, The Mission of God, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses, and a number of others on my “I really want to read these” shelf.

  • Walker Percy’s “The Last Gentleman.” Peter Kreeft’s “Between Allah & Jesus.” Thomas Merton’s “Passion for Peace.”

  • Aaron Tiffany

    Isaiah by Brevard Childs

    Interpreting Isaiah by David Firth

    for seminary class on Isaiah at Nazarene Theological Seminary.

  • rob

    “Reading Theory: An Introduction to Lacan, Derrida and Kristeva” by Michael Payne

  • At present I’m finishing up David C. Downing’s “Looking for the King: An Inklings Novel,” http://www.lookingfortheking.com, and A.J. Jacobs’ “The Year of Living Biblically,” http://www.ajjacobs.com/books/yolb.asp.

    After which I’ll return to Jeff Bach’s “Voices of the Turtledoves: The Sacred World of Ephrata,” “The Amish Way: Patient Faith in a Perilous World” (Donald B. Kraybill, Steven M. Nolt, David L. Weaver-Zercher.), and “Straight Man” by Richard Russo (Note: probably my choice for “time in the air” heading out to InterVarsity’s National Staff Conference).

  • Andy

    @Alen K Are you going to start and finish all of the Bonhoeffer biography? I wish.

  • Looking forward to The Next Christians and the Bonhoeffer autobiography.

  • DRT

    I’m with JoeyS, all I am taking off is Christmas eve….

  • Player One by douglas copeland.
    Linchpin by Seth godin
    After you believe by nt wright

  • In the next couple of days I will be finishing The Accidental Anglican: The Surprising Appeal of the Liturgical Church by Todd D. Hunter, and Liturgical Life Principles: How Episcopal Worship Can Lead to Healthy and Authentic Living by Ian S. Markham.

    I will then begin reading Infant Baptism in Reformation Geneva: The Shaping of a Community, 1536-1564 by Karen E. Spierling over break, published by Westminster John Knox Press, 2009.

  • Kenton

    In a large part because of your displeasure I haven’t read Brian McLaren’s A New Kind of Christianity yet.

    But he was in town earlier this month, so I went ahead and bought it and had him sign it. I plan to read it over the holidays.

  • Dn4sty

    Hauweras Reader (hopefully)


    Understanding Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism

  • Thanks to your strong recommendation, I’m going to be reading Eugene Peterson’s Practice Resurrection. And I hope W.H. Auden’s For the Time Being as well. Perhaps I’ll get to James Davison Hunter’s new book, too: To Change the World: The Irony.

    Enjoy the warm weather and the good books!

  • Scot,
    if you are away for a nice week with family and books, does that mean you are back for the celebration of Christmas Day at WC?
    As a Pastor, I’d like to ask a question, with an observation beforehand…
    …In lots of places church members go away for Christmas (perhaps to family, perhaps to somewhere warmer, perhaps…). Since Christmas is one of the two great Christian Festivals, is there a responsibility upon us to celebrate it with our church family, and do we diminish the formational power of the event by going elsewhere?

    It’s a question, and althougth I have a personal hunch about the answer I’d like to hear thoughts of yours and others.

  • Assuming I can finish my current reads – Madeleine L’Engle’s advent reflection The Irrational Season and Bruce Shelley’s Church History in Plain Language – in time, I would like to read one of the following in the next two weeks:
    Marie Antoinette: The Journey – Antonia Fraser
    The Bohemian Manifesto – Laren Stover
    The Book and the Sword – David Halivni
    The Long Loneliness – Dorothy Day

  • scotmcknight


    We will celebrate Christmas at Willow. But you may know Willow is too big for a single service on Christmas.

  • Jean

    Good question! I am reading “OneLife” by yours truly as soon as the UPS guy drops it off. Then trying to work off the pile on my nightstand which includes, “The Barbarian Way” by Erwin McManus and “Joshua” by J Gordon McConville and Stephen N Williams.

  • Terry

    I don’t really have anything like a break either, but I am making a valiant attempt at “The Good and Beautiful God: Falling in Love With the God Jesus Knows” by James Bryan Smith; as for breaks, I fortunately had a major headache one day last week, and since I was down for most of a day I was pretty much able to read One.Life in One.Day. You take the breaks when you can get ’em.

  • SteveL

    One.Life for me!

  • Scot,

    I read Craig Nelson’s last year. You will not view Washington (or Paine for that matter) in the same way after reading it. By the way, Scott Liell’s 46 Pages (on Paine and Common Sense) is very good. Lots of great insight in short compass.


  • DAK

    I have three weeks between semesters, with two of those getting out of Michigan’s cold to Florida’s relative warmth. I’ll be reading Population: 485, Truck, and Coop, all by Michael Perry, Prodigal God by Keller, The Blind Side by Michael Lewis, The Language of God by Francis Collins, Ghost Train to the Easter Star by Paul Theroux, and may even start the Harry Potter series if I get all the books on my list read!!

  • “Traversing Philosophical Boundaries” by Max O. Hallman, in preparation for a class I’m teaching in the Spring
    “Useless Beauty” by Robert K. Johnston, about themes from Ecclesiastes in modern film.
    “Orthodoxy” by G.K. Chesterton, need I say more??
    “The Powers That Be” by Walter Wink, a theology about systemic evil, as related to the biblical concept of powers and principalities.

  • ER

    Not much of a Christmas break for me this year either, but I’ll be reading Abusing Scripture by Manfred Brauch when I have free moments.

  • Alan K

    @Andy #17,
    When it was delivered I must say that it was much thicker than I thought it would be! I’ve been lumbering through Barth’s dogmatics the last couple of years and so I’ve encouraged myself with the thought: “at least Bethge only wrote 1000 instead of 8000 pages.” Happy reading and Merry Christmas to you.

  • rkastens

    I’m currently finishing “The Return of the Prodigal” by Nouwen. Next up is “Glamorous Powers” by Susuan Howatch and “A Place on Earth” by Wendell Berry.

  • Washington by Chernow
    The Development of Greek and the NT Caragounis
    Almost Christian by Ceasy

  • Pat

    I also just picked up “Words for Silence: A Year of Contemplative Meditations” by Fr. Gregory Fruehwirth.

  • 1) Scot’s One.Life
    (Prepping for an interview in Jan.)
    2) David Ulin’s THE LOST ART OF READING
    (Thanks for the tip on this one, Scot)
    3) BESIDES THE BIBLE: 100 Books that Have,
    Should, or Will Create Christian Culture
    4) Continuing to work my way through
    Slavoj Zizek’s new LIVING IN THE END TIMES
    (Just for fun…)

  • David McAfee’s “33 A.D.” Yes, that one. The horror novel about how vampires killed Jesus. I’m a horror fan and Jesus fan, so it made sense to get it.
    Hauerwas’ “Hannah’s Child”.
    Some chapters from Archbishop Williams’ and Larry Elliot’s “Crisis and Recovery”.
    And, if there’s time, I want to finish Kathryn Joyce’s “Quiverfull”, the reading of which always get interrupted by other books.