Here’s a rundown of the 8 books I read in August. It’s late – but here’s the list! This brings my 2022 total to 62 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.)
One Summer America, 1927 by Bill Bryson
I’ve recently discovered Bill Bryson (yes, I know he is extremely popular). The four Bryson books I’ve already finished are keepers. They sit on a sacred bookshelf. One Summer was loaned to me by a church member. It was an extremely fun read. It was a perfect book for the beach (I read it on vacation in early August) but it is not a keeper. It is less of a cohesive book and more of string of interesting stories.
Others: New and Selected Poems by Jane Kenyon
I’ve read this book cover to cover a number of times and regularly pick it up to read the poem “Otherwise.” If you’ve never read “Otherwise” see this post now: (Click here). Kenyon’s poetry is ground level. It’s descriptive, not flowery. It’s honest, not showy. She’s a perfect introduction to poetry.
The Pastor as Minor Poet: Texts and Subtexts in the Ministerial Life by Craig Barnes
This is another reread for me. Barnes highlights the power of the Biblical text and the pastor’s call to speak into the lives of his congregation. Yet, the pastor’s speech should be driven by the poetic vision provided by the word of God. The pastor must combine the subtext of the Scripture and the subtext of the human life.
The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen
This is an all-timer for me. If I created a list of my favorite books, this would not only be on the list, but it would be near the top. In this volume, Nouwen combines my love for Biblical studies and art. He provides insight on both Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son and Rembrandt’s depiction of the story.
The Stranger by Albert Camus
Another reread for me. I can’t fully describe why I like this book. But I do. Please don’t judge me. The Stranger is the story of a strange, but ordinary man who commits a senseless murder on an Algerian beach. Camus won the 1957 Nobel Prize for literature. He died in in 1960, age 46, in a car accident.
Monument Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History by Robert Edsel
Have you seen the movie? Don’t. Read this book and then watch the movie. I love both. The book tells the story of Hitler’s attempt to take over the western world – to include hoarding the finest art treasure in Europe. As Hitler was destroying and stealing classic works, a team of American and British museum directors, curators, historians risked their lives to preserve culture. It was a race against time and Hitler’s army.
The Rape of Europa: The Fate of Europe’s Treasure in the Third Reich and the Second World War by Lynn Nicholas
This volume tells the same story as Monument Men (discussed above) in greater academic detail and with a wider scope. Do you need to read both? No. If I had to pick one? Go with Monument Men.
Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon
I picked this up from the Little Free Library a block away from my church. It’s not much of a book. It’s a collection of quotes, 10 principles, and drawings aimed at invoking one’s creative side. I read it in one sitting – and loved it. But don’t pay for it. Find it in a Little Free Library.