2019 Staff Summer Reading List

2019 Summer Reading & Podcast List

Compiled by Christ Church’s Staff Members

A meaningful but not overtly Christian read…

(The Rev. Mary Davila) The Unwinding of the Miracle by Julie Yip Williams
This Harvard-educated lawyer writes beautifully about her journey toward healing in the midst of a Stage IV cancer diagnosis. Her words are powerful, convicting, and heartbreaking, as are those of her husband, who finishes her story.

(The Rev. Mary Davila) Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

(The Rev. Mary Davila) An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

(The Rev. Jenny Brown) The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson
This is a breathtaking epic – I listened on audiobook; it won the Pulitzer Prize. I learned so much from her chronicle of the decades-long migration of black citizens toward the north and west in search of a better life. The story is told through the eyes of three unique individuals, and you get so caught up in their stories that you feel like you know them.

(Liz Stroff) Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

(Liz Stroff) The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

(The Rev. Daniel Reeves) The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
If you love dogs and cars, and want a heartwarming story, this one’s for you.

(Elizabeth McKinnon) Spying on the South: An Odyssey Across the American Divide by Tony Horwitz
Horwitz retraced Frederick Law Olmsted’s steps across the American South, and compares Olmsted’s writings about the slave and free states (pre-Civil War) with his own experiences in today’s red and blue states. Olmsted designed some of America’s most significant outdoor spaces (Central Park, the grounds of the U.S. Capitol, and the Biltmore Estate) but before that, he completed a writing/reporting project for the New York Daily Times to follow slavery’s effects on agriculture and the economy. -this summary is taken loosely from The Bitter Southerner’s 2019 Summer Reading Roundup

(Martha Cox) Being Mortal by Atul Gawande
No matter your age or stage of life, this anecdotal book will help to encourage what questions we ask.

A Christian book…

(The Rev. Mary Davila) Liturgy of the Ordinary by Tish Harrison Warren
This book is just right, theologically rich without being too heavy. Anglican priest Tish Warren opens our eyes to the sacred within the humdrum of life, inviting us to think of making the bed, answering emails, and preparing dinner as sacred rites.

(The Rev. Jenny Brown) Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others by Barbara Brown Taylor
I plan to lead a book study on this book on Sundays in the fall. Barbara is an Episcopal priest and world religions professor. This wonderful combination of expertise, plus the experiences of her college students, results in a delightful book that I just couldn’t put down.

(Liz Stroff) Healed by Kate Moorehead
Kate was the speaker from this year’s Christ Church women’s retreat. This wonderful, short book is about the life and ministry of Mary Magdalene, who she really was and her important role and connection to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

(The Rev. Daniel Reeves) Living Gently in a Violent World by Jean Vanier and Stanley Hauerwas
This short book delves into, “the prophetic witness of weakness.” Vanier and Hauerwas explore notions of power, weakness, and brokenness and their relationship to who God is and who God is calling the Church to be.

(Elizabeth McKinnon) Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others by Barbara Brown Taylor
Taylor shares her experiences of “finding sacred in unexpected places while teaching the world’s religions to undergraduates in rural Georgia.”

(Martha Cox) Even at the Grave by the Rev. Lisa Saunders
A poignant compilation of short stories reflecting on her 20+ years of walking alongside parishioners in all phases of life, and particularly around funerals.

A book I want to read this summer…

(The Rev. Mary Davila) Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others by Barbara Brown Taylor

(The Rev. Jenny Brown) Frederick Douglass; Prophet of Freedom by David W. Blight

(Liz Stroff) Learning to Speak God from Scratch by Jonathan Merritt

(The Rev. Daniel Reeves) Exodus by Carol Meyers

(The Rev. Daniel Reeves) Acts by Willie Jennings

(The Rev. Daniel Reeves) One True Life by Kavin Rowe

(The Rev. Daniel Reeves) The New Testament by David Bentley Hart

(Elizabeth McKinnon) We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter

(Martha Cox) Educated by Tara Westover

Favorite Podcasts…

The Rev. Mary Davila

  • The Daily (news)
  • Kate Bowler’s Everything Happens
  • Storycorps
  • This is Love
  • Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations
  • (Extra)Ordinary Time (produced by Christ Church, releasing in July 2019)

The Rev. Jenny Brown

  • The Book Review (The New York Times)
  • Charged – Slate Presents: Charged (Emily Bazelon)
  • On Being with Krista Tippett

Liz Stroff

  • Kate Bowler’s Everything Happens – Kate is a young mother, writer and professor who was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer at age 35. In warm, insightful, often funny conversations, Kate talks with people about what they’ve learned in dark times.
  • Rewatchables – The Ringer – Great way to go back and remember a movie you loved and pick it apart in the best way possible!

The Rev. Daniel Reeves

  • How I Built This with Guy Raz
  • The Dave Chang Show
  • Freakonomics Radio

Martha Cox

  • One Shining Podcast. Reflects on my personal obsession with all things college basketball.
  • N.C. Food & Beverage. The ins and outs of the growing scene; mostly Triangle guests.
  • On Being with Krista Tippett. Examines what it calls the, “animating questions at the center of human life: What does it mean to be human, and how do we want to live?”