My Reading List

Last updated November 25, 2012

This will never be a civilized country until we expend more money for books than we do for chewing gum. – Elbert Hubbard

Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it. – P. J. O’Rourke

Reading takes us away from home, but more important, it finds homes for us everywhere. – Hazel Rochman

A writer only begins a book. A reader finishes it. – Samuel Johnson

We read to know we are not alone. – C. S. Lewis

In On Reading – and reading and reading . . .  I provided at least a partial list of the books I’ve been reading. Here’s the list again with additions. I’ll update this page as I add more titles in an effort to keep it current. Check back on occasion. The newest books will be added at the bottom. Many of these books are available through your local library. I also purchase books through, a clearinghouse for booksellers all over the country. Many of the books are used, though usually gently. Great prices. And, no, I’m not affiliated with them. It’s a good way to support small booksellers.

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, by Anne Lamott (Anchor Books)

Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith, by Anne Lamott (Pantheon)

Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith, by Anne Lamott (Riverhead Books)

Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith, by Anne Lamott (Riverhead Books)

Good Goats: Healing Our Image of God, by Dennis, Sheila, and Matthew Linn (Paulist Press)

The Spirituality of Imperfection: Storytelling and the Search for Meaning, by Ernest Kurst and Katherine Ketcham (Bantam Books)

The Shack, by William P. Young (Windblown Media)

The Art of Biblical Narrative, by Robert Alter (Basic Books, Inc.)

What’s So Amazing About Grace?, by Philip Yancey (Harper Collins)

Your God Is Too Small, by J.B. Phillips (Touchstone)

In Quest of Jesus: A Guidebook, by W. Barnes Tatum (John Knox Press)

Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time, by Marcus Borg (Harper San Francisco)

The God We Never Knew: Beyond Dogmatic Religion to a More Authentic Contemporary Faith, by Marcus Borg (Harper San Francisco)

The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith, by Marcus Borg (HarperOne)

Jesus, A New Vision: Spirit, Culture, and the Life of Discipleship, by Marcus Borg (HarperOne)

The First Paul, by Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan (HarperOne)

The Last Week: A Day-by-Day Account of Jesus’s Final Week in Jerusalem, by Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan (Harper)

Excavating Jesus: Beneath the Stones, Behind the Texts, by John Dominic Crossan and Jonathan L. Reed (HarperOne)

The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See, by Richard Rohr (Crossroad Publishing)

The History of the Church: From Christ to Constantine, by Eusebius (Penguin Classics)

The Wounded Healer: Ministry in Contemporary Society, by Henri J.M. Nouwen (Image Books)

Open Mind, Open Heart: The Contemplative Dimension of the Gospel, by Thomas Keating (Continuum)

The Jesus I Never Knew, by Phillip Yancey (Zondervan Publishing House)

Legacy of the Heart: The Spiritual Advantages of a Painful Childhood, by Wayne Muller (Touchstone)

Learning to Pray, by Wayne Muller (Bantam Books)

Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in Our Busy Lives, by Wayne Muller (Bantam Books)

How, Then, Shall We Live?, by Wayne Muller (Bantam Books)

Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith, by Kathleen Norris (Riverhead Books)

The Cloister Walk, by Kathleen Norris (Riverhead Books)

When Bad Christians Happen to Good People: Where We Have Failed Each Other and How to Reverse the Damage, by Dave Burchett (Waterbrook Press)

Wounded Prophet: A Portrait of Henri J.M. Nouwen, by Michael Ford (Doubleday)

The Liturgical Year, by Joan Chittister (Thomas Nelson)

This is What a Preacher Looks Like: Sermons by Baptist Women in Ministry, edited by Pamela R. Durso (Smyth & Helwys)

The Shame and the Sacrifice: The Life and Martyrdom of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, by Edwin Robertson (Collier Books)

Gratefulness, the Heart of Prayer, by Brother David Steindl-Rast (Paulist Press)

Jesus the Son of Man, by Kahlil Gibran (Arkana, Penquin Books)

Crashing Without Burning: Life After Failure, by C. David Matthews (Peake Road)

Home by Another Way, by Barbara Brown Taylor (Cowley Publications)

Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith, by Barbara Brown Taylor (HarperOne)

Faces of Jesus: A Life Story, by Frederick Buechner (Paraclete Press)

Peculiar Treasures: A Biblical Who’s Who, by Frederick Buechner (Harper & Row)

The Help, by Kathryn Stockett (Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam)

Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life, by C.S. Lewis (Harcourt, Brace, & World, Inc)

Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew, by Bart D. Ehrman (Oxford University Press)

Apostasy: A Study in the Epistle to the Hebrews and in Baptist History, by Dale Moody (Smyth & Helwys)

The Eternal Now, by Paul Tillich (Scm Press)

A Room Called Remember: Uncollected Pieces, Frederick Buechner (Harper San Francisco)

Blue Like Jazz, by Donald Miller (Thomas Nelson)

A Million Miles In A Thousand Years, by Donald Miller (Thomas Nelson)

The Prophetic Imagination, by Walter Brueggemann (Fortress Press)

The Imitation of Christ, by Thomas à Kempis (Dunstan Press)

The Bible Makes Sense, by Walter Brueggemann (John Knox Press)

Two Types of Faith, by Martin Buber (Syracuse University Press)

Who Moved My Pulpit? A Hilarious Look at Ministerial Life, by Brett Younger (Smyth & Helwys)

For God’s Sake, Shut Up!: Lessons for Christians on How to Speak Effectively and When to Remain Silent, by Brian Kaylor (Smyth & Helwys)

Where Do You Go to Give Up?: Building a Community of Grace, by C. Welton Gaddy (Smyth & Helwys)

The Cost of Discipleship, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Collier Books, Macmillan Publishing Company)

Same Kind of Different As Me, by Ron Hall & Denver Moore, with Lynn Vincent (Thomas Nelson)

Resurrection People: Studies in the Resurrection Narratives of the Gospels, by David Catchpole (Smyth & Helwys)

Prayers & Litanies for the Christian Seasons, by Sharlande Sledge (Smyth & Helwys)

Our Baptist Tradition, by William Powell Tuck (Smyth & Helwys)

Life Is a Miracle: An Essay Against Modern Superstition, by Wendell Berry (Counterpoint)

The First to Follow: The Apostles of Jesus, by John R. Claypool (Morehouse Publishing)

Religion In America: A Political History, by Denis Lacorne (Columbia University Press)

The Brothers Karamazov, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Barnes & Noble Classics)

Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son’s First Year, Anne Lamott (Fawcett Columbine)

The Evolution of God, Robert Wright (Little, Brown, and Company)

The Four Things That Matter Most, Ira Byock, M.D. (Free Press)

Heaven is for Real, Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent (Thomas Nelson)

An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith, Barbara Brown Taylor (HarperOne)

Simple Truths: Clear & Gentle Guidance on the Big Issues in Life, Kent Nerburn (New World Library)

UnChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity, David Kinnaman (Baker Books)

Have a Little Faith: A True Story, Mitch Albom (Hyperion)

Fingerprints of God: The Search for the Science of Spirituality, Barbara Bradley Hagerty (Riverhead)

Gilead, Marilynne Robinson (Picador)

A New Kind of Christian, Brian D. McLaren (Jossey-Bass)

Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life, Richard Rohr (John Wiley and Sons)

Nicholas and Alexandra, Robert K. Massie (Random House)

The Way of the Heart: Desert Spirituality and Contemporary Ministry, Henri J.M. Nouwen (HarperSanFrancisco)

A Second Touch, Keith Miller (Key-Word Books)

My Grandfather’s Blessings: Stories of Strength, Refuge and Belonging, Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D. (Penguin)

Liberating the Gospels: Reading the Bible with Jewish Eyes, John Shelby Spong (HarperSanFrancisco)

The Boy Kings of Texas: A Memoir, Domingo Martinez (Lyons Press)

On the Craft of Preaching, Fred Craddock (Chalice Press)

Craddock Stories, Fred Craddock (Chalice Press)

The Glad River, Will D. Campbell (Smyth & Helwys)

When Jesus Became God: The Epic Fight over Christ’s Divinity in the Last Days of Rome, Richard E. Rubenstein (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Acedia and Me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer’s Life, Kathleen Norris (Penguin Group)

Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, Reza Aslan (Random House Publishing Group)

Modern Slavery, Kevin Bales, Zoe Trodd, & Alex Kent Williamson (OneWorld Publications)

The Collected Sermons of Fred B. Craddock, Fred B. Craddock (Westminster John Knox Press)

Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope, and Repair, Anne Lamott (Riverhead Books)

Speaking Christian, Marcus Borg (HarperCollins)

6 thoughts on “My Reading List

  1. Quite a list, Ben. Quite a list. All good “stuff.” We would all do well to read a lot of good books like these. There are many on the list that I have “intended” to read, but just have never gotten around to. Now I wonder if at my age, I have the time. But then the only way to see is to begin.

    • Yes, begin. I hear lots of people say, “I don’t have time to read.” Like everything else, we make the time to do something we really want to do. People wonder how I read so many books. I just read a little here, a little there, during the day. Before you know it, I’m back at the library again! I pretty much read nothing but technical manuals for many years. I suppose I’m playing catch-up.

    • You are most welcome. Lamott is one of my favorite authors. She’s profane, but I relate to her in a way that helped heal a wound I had for a very long time about church. And, it doesn’t hurt that I find her hilarious.

  2. Ben–
    Have you experienced Gilead by Marilynne Robinson? I’m an English professor and read to keep breathing. Gilead is the only book I have ever re-read immediately after finishing reading it–then read it a third time two weeks later. Not everyone responds that way–just those of us who love words and have the gift of discernment!! (and humility).

    But consider it and, if you read it, I would love to hear your reaction.

    –craig bird (at BUA)

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