Dr. Scott Black Johnston: Summer Reading

After worship last Sunday, I traveled to Montreat, North Carolina, to attend the Presbyterian Worship and Music Conference. This annual conference is held in the green, green valley where Billy Graham still lives - a place where the hillsides echo with the sounds of practicing choirs and children yelping in the cold mountain water.

To me, Montreat means good worship, old friends and a chance to start my summer reading - a chance to work through a stack of books that I have been collecting all year long, many of them at your recommendation.

So, what's in my summer stack?  Well, here are a few:

Waiting for Snow in Havana by Carlos Eire.  I have just started this beautiful memoir. Eire gives a magical account of growing up in Cuba in the 1950s. Only 50 pages in, I can tell you that it is full of memorable characters, including a father who believes that he is the reincarnation of Louis XVI. A couple spooky portraits of Jesus also figure prominently in this compelling story.

God's Secretaries by Adam Nicolson.  2011 is the 400th anniversary of the making of the King James translation of the Bible. So I figure it's the perfect time to read this acclaimed historical account of Jacobean England and its most famous literary accomplishment.

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt.  This shoot-'em-up novel was recommended by a friend. While I usually don't read Westerns, yet I am really looking forward to the story of Eli and Charlie Sisters-gunslingers pursuing a thief across the American West in the 1850s.

Real Kids, Real Faith by Karen-Marie Yust.  Writing about how children develop faith, Yust claims that children are capable of deeper beliefs than we usually give them credit for. Yes, belief that grounds them in the love of God (Jesus loves me, this I know), but also belief that will eventually give direction and purpose to their entire lives.

Please let me know what's on your summer list; after all, I may have a little more room in my bag!

And, all good blessing to you, my friends.  May your summer be full of cold beverages, belly laughs and satisfying reads,

[Taken with permission from Scott's blog, "Sharp About Your Prayers," originally posted 6/16/2011]