During every summer recess from the academic year, I come up with a reading plan, which is usually too ambitious. Nevertheless, these are the books that I want to read in the coming months.
L E I S U R E
F I C T I O N
- Willa Cather, The Song of the Lark (1915). Having read O Pioneers! (1913) and My Ántonia (1918) in this author’s Prairie Trilogy, I look forward to The Song of the Lark, which is set in my native Colorado and college town of Chicago.
- N. Scott Momaday, House Made of Dawn (1968). To deepen my sense of place in the American West, I am eager to read this masterpiece of Native American literature and 1969 Pulitzer Prize winner for fiction.
- Walker Percy, The Second Coming (1980). Since I read The Last Gentleman (1966) this spring, I shall continue the story of protagonist Will Barrett in the sequel that was published fourteen years later.
N O N – F I C T I O N
- Søren Kierkegaard, Training in Christianity (trans. Walter Lowrie). Of the many works he wrote during 1848, his “richest and most fruitful year,” the Danish philosopher specified Training in Christianity as “the most perfect and truest thing.”
- Sylvia Walsh, Kierkegaard and Religion: Personality, Character, and Virtue. Sylvia Walsh, along with C. Stephen Evans, is my favorite Kierkegaard scholar. Her latest contribution sounds very promising because of its focus on “personality, character, and virtue,” which will tie into my reading on the Enneagram (see below).
- Arthur F. Holmes, The Idea of a Christian College. This is a classic work by the late professor of philosophy at Wheaton College. Even though it is concerned with higher education, the insights are relevant to secondary education.
- Todd C. Ream & Perry L. Glanzer, The Idea of a Christian College: A Reexamination for Today’s University. Much has changed since 1975 when Holmes published his book, so these authors “account for changes in how people view the church and themselves as human agents, and propose a vision for the Christian college in light of the fact that so many Christian colleges now look and act more like research universities.”
- Peter Wehner, The Death of Politics: How to Heal Our Frayed Republic After Trump. More than anyone else, Peter Wehner persuaded me to vote against Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election thanks to his New York Times op-eds. Wehner is a senior fellow at the Ethics & Public Policy Center who has served three Republican administrations. With the 2020 election looming, I want to read this new book by one of President Trump’s most ardent critics, whose objections are based on conservative and Christian principles. The Axe Files (with David Alexrod), The Long Game (with Jon Ward), and The Bulwark (with Charlie Sykes) podcasts feature Peter Wehner, who is a fascinating guest.
- David Brooks, The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life. I am a longtime reader of conservative writer David Brooks. His creative, searching, and intelligent writing earns my admiration. On a recent road trip, I heard Brooks interviewed on his new and, arguably, most personal book for a Barnes & Noble podcast. Watch or listen to Brooks who appeared as a guest on Oprah Winfrey’s Super Soul Conversations.
W O R K
- Oscar Wilde, The Happy Prince and Other Tales (1888).The Victorian writer authored two collections of fairy tales. I held a summer seminar on his first collection. Every story has the same heartbeat: what ails human beings is our profound selfishness and what heals us is conformity to the self-sacrificial love of Jesus Christ. See my document with seminar questions and take-aways for each of the five tales.
- Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890). I will re-read the assigned summer book for 12th grade English.
- Christopher L. Heuertz, The Sacred Enneagram: Finding Your Unique Path to Spiritual Growth. This title is the common reading for our upper school students. Heuertz shares his perspective on Typology, a podcast hosted by Ian Morgan Cron, author of a bestselling book, The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery.