Here’s a rundown of the 9 books I read in July. This brings my 2022 total to 54 books. Happy reading!
(I must always clarify that I read many books with which I disagree. I learn the most by reading things that do not represent my position.)
The Mind in Another Place: My Life as a Scholar by Luke Timothy Johnson
I read this book in three long sittings. It is Johnson’s telling of his own story, from childhood to retirement, and an analysis of the life of an academic scholar. I have vivid memories of reading Johnson’s introduction to the New Testament volume as a seminary student (It was not an assigned text. I read it for fun!). Did I enjoy this memoir? Yes. Will I keep it? No. I’ll get a few pennies for it and use the money in search for my next favorite book.
River of the Gods: Genius, Courage, and Betrayal in the Search for the Source of the Nile by Candice Millard
Candice Millard is officially a rock star in my eyes. She was a new author to me when a good friend hand me a Destiny of the Republic early in the year. I have since read all four of her books. Each could easily be considered for my favorite book of the year. Destiney of the Republic will likely be my favorite of the year – unless it is knocked off by a yet-to-be-read title. River of the Gods is a new release that retells the wild adventure that led to the discovery of the source of the Nile. Like all good books, it has led me down a trail of reading related books. River of the Gods has created an appetite for books on Richard Burton, John Hanning Speke, and Sidi Mubarak Bombay.
Hebrew for Life: Strategies for Learning, Retaining, and Reviving Biblical Hebrew by Adam Howell, Ben Merkle, and Robert Plummer
I took a weekly Hebrew class this summer. Before you think too highly of me – my Hebrew is horrible. Terrible. Extremely poor. I picked this book up in attempt to make Hebrew studies a healthy habit.
Revivals of the Old Testament by CE Autrey
This is a fantastic study of the revivals found in the pages of history as recorded in the Old Testament. There is no fluff. It cites the Scriptures and then gives an even-handed, fast-paced analysis through the revivals at Sinai, under Samuel, on Mount Carmel, at Nineveh, under Asa, by Hezekiah, and under Josiah. I loved this volume. I will return to it often.
Damien the Leper: A Life of Magnificent Courage, Devotion and Spirit by John Farrow
I picked up this beautiful copy in the used bookstore in the Milwaukee airport. It tells of how Joseph De Veuster left his secure life in Belgium to live among the sick and dying in a leper colony on the island of Molokai. While unfamiliar to me, this is a classic worth reading and rereading. I love a good missionary tale – and this is a good one.
Earth & Altar: The Community of Prayer in a Self-Bound Society by Eugene Peterson
I thought I had read all of Peterson’s books until I saw this one mentioned a while back. While on a mission trip to Milwaukee, I finally completed it. This book is reflection on a handful of Psalms and provides Peterson typical deep spiritual insight and quick wit. From the preface: “This is a book about changing the life of America, from the inside out. The change is already in process. Many are involved in it. I hope to enlist others in the action. The source action is prayer.” Peterson makes the argument that the prayers recorded in the Psalms provide an avenue to shape society and nurture our souls.
West with the Night: A Memoir by Beryl Markham
A lyrical book that goes on my shelf of favorites. British-born Markham was raised in Kenya’s farmlands. She trained as a bush pilot at a time when most Africans had never seen a plane. In 1936, she accepted the ultimate challenge: to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean from east to west, a feat that fellow female aviator Amelia Earhart had completed in reverse just a few years before. It is beautifully written and tells a powerful story. All who love memoirs should read it. All who write memoirs should imitate it.
Discipleship Sermons complied by Roy Edgemon and William Stephens
This is a collection of sermons on the topic of disciples complied by William Stephens and my church member, Roy Edgemon. Both compliers also have a chapter included. Dr. Edgemon offered a sermon titled, “A Biblical Model of Discipleship” from Philippians Philippians 3: 8-17. There is nothing like a collection of good sermons. They are literally good for the soul.
Father Price of Maryknoll : A Short Sketch of the Life of Reverend Thomas Frederick Price, Missioner in North Carolina, co-founder of Maryknoll, Missioner in China by Patrick James Bryne
Another beautiful copy I picked up in the Milwaukee airport. Father Price was co-founder of the Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America. This small biography details is ordinary, but extraordinary, faithful life. From the preface: “Father Price, the subject of this little book, would shrink at the idea of its publication. We who knew and loved him have felt, however, that it is good to manifest to others the light of his splendid faith and the strength of his untiring zeal.” My copy has a personal inscription dated 1923, the year it was published.