Summer is in full swing. Now is the time to craft your perfect summer reading list. In the coming weeks, Intersect contributors would like to recommend their suggestions. (Read the first and second list of recommendations.)
This week’s reading list is a change of pace. Today, we highlight books from two novelists, a Puritan, bio-ethicist and a Pixar exec from Amy Whitfield, Topher Thomas, Jeremy Bell, Nathaniel Williams and Thomas West — so you can have a (well rounded) #FaithandCulture summer.
by Wendell Berry (Berkley: Counterpoint, 2004)
Amy Whitfield: Summer is a great time for fiction, and anything from Wendell Berry’s Port William series is an excellent choice.
My personal favorite is Hannah Coulter, but you can’t go wrong with anything in the series. The themes of community and vocation are woven throughout as the reader sees the life of a town through many perspectives.
All Things for Good
by Thomas Watson (1663)
Topher Thomas: All Things for Good, or A Divine Cordial, as it was originally titled, was penned by the Puritan Thomas Watson nearly 400 years ago, and is a great read for any Christian in the midst of trials. In it he expounds on Romans 8:28, and endeavors to show how all things work for the good of the believer, both the good and the bad in life. In a day and age when satisfaction is so tied to circumstances, I think this book is a lovely reminder that we exist for God’s purposes, not our own.
BioEthics: A Primer for Christians
by Gilbert Meilaender (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2013)
Jeremy Bell: We live in a culture that is advancing rapidly in the area of modern medicine. This book will give Christians a biblical overview on various bioethical issues like: abortion, genetics and life and death ethics.
This book is called a “primer” for a reason. Its brevity on the subject matter and biblical worldview will provide a solid foundation for any Christian to think more openly about these controversial topics.
Gilead: A Novel
by Marilynne Robinson (New York: Picado, 2004)
Nathaniel Williams: John Ames, an aging pastor with failing health, writes letters to his seven-year-old son who he’ll never really get a chance to know. He begins by telling his son about generations past, the history of their small town and his pontifications about faith. But, along the way, the story shifts, and it becomes much more than the sum of its parts. In the end, Gilead is a poignant reflection on God, fatherhood, death and grace, and it’s the most beautiful novel I’ve ever read.
Creativity Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace (New York: Random House, 2014)
Thomas West: Edwin Earl “Ed” Catmull is a computer scientist and the current president of Pixar. This book traces the inventive process that he and his teams embarked on to create the movie Toy Story and other movies since then. It’s a book written for managers and creatives alike. This book is insightful for many reasons, and I especially appreciate Catmull’s ability to highlight barriers to creativity and work around them.
What books are you reading this summer?