One of my dreams is to own a used bookstore. I will sit on the front porch (because my bookstore will have a front porch), and I will pick out books for my customers.
This is kind of my first front porch.
For Realizing the Bible was Written for People Like Us.
Eugene Peterson has helped shape the way I view the Bible and the way I write about the Bible. I was especially impacted by his discussion of the language the New Testament writers used (hint hint…they used the common language, NOT the fancy language) and what that means for us today.
This is a great book to guide you in your discovery of the beauty of scripture.
Biblical Studies (2006).
For Experiencing Black Autonomy and White Oppression.
This is a surreal book. It spans eras and compresses time and leaves you a better person for it. Written with beautiful language, Colson Whitehead refuses to give us white folks a white-hero to save the day.
Written with honesty and beauty, this is a book to marinate in.
For Recognizing the Beauty of Life.
Marilynne Robinson's Gilead mesmerizes and moves and makes you recognize the beauty of a sunrise. Specifically, it's her description of communion that has deeply impacted my own view of the physicality of the bread and wine.
"This is an interesting planet. It deserves all the attention you can give it." (28)
For Finding Christ in America.
This book revolutionized my understanding of Christ and the US church. Growing up, I always heard that Jesus died for my sins because I'm a sinner. I also always grew up white (#obvi).
But what if Christ didn't just die for our sins but also for our suffering? What if the cross stands in solidarity with those who suffer? What if the greatest example of Christ on the cross in American history is the person of color hung on a southern tree? What are white people missing (and how are we sinning) by refusing to recognize our tragic past?
For Discovering the Beauty of a Sunrise.
First off, the title makes it sound like this is the most boring book in the world. Trust me, it's not. In fact, the book is titled Orthodoxy because Chesterton felt like everyone made orthodoxy sound so stuffy and boring, but he felt like it was exciting and alive.
The entire book changed my life, but I would tell you to DEFINITELY read chapters 4 and 6. Seriously, Chesterton is a quote machine.
"Man must have just enough faith in himself to have adventures, and just enough doubt of himself to enjoy them." (117)
For Simplicity and Place.
Wendell Berry is a firm believer in place and memory. Place, not time, anchors experience, relationship, and memory. In That Distant Land, Berry collects the majority of his short stories in one place so you can easily walk around Port William, KY and sit in the memories of the town.