It is important to find ways to rest this summer, knowing that when autumn arrives, your desk will be plenty full with books to read and papers to write. We also know that many in our community enjoy curling up with a good book in the sun to read and reflect. So, we asked faculty to share titles for those of us who love a good book recommendation!
These books are not required for any particular course, but instead are a peek into our hearts and minds as we enter this new season. The suggestions are listed by faculty member, in alphabetical order.
As you discern what books you’d like to add to your summer list, we invite you to consult this resource and consider buying a book from a Black-owned independent bookstore.
Now and Then by Frederick Buechner
Recommended by Peter Hopkins, MA, Adjunct Faculty:
Buechner recounts his experience of going to graduate school—seminary—and the ambivalence, confusion, as well as insight that came from it all, and bringing a theological lens to his lived experience:
“I [look] also in the hope of encouraging others to do the same—at least to look back over their lives, as I have looked back at mine, for certain themes and patterns and signals that are so easy to miss when you’re caught up in the process of living them.”
The Art of Noticing by Rob Walker
Recommended by Dr. Pat Loughery, Affiliate Faculty
This quote from the introduction sets the frame:
“Paying attention, making a habit of noticing, helps cultivate an original perspective, a distinct point of view. That’s part of what I try to teach my students, and it’s part of what I try to practice myself.
“But paying attention isn’t easy.”
Loveless by Alice Oseman
Recommended by Dr. Kj Swanson, Affiliate Theology Faculty
As a student, you will be reading a ton of texts that challenge, inform, and inspire through the concepts and critiques they introduce. Before your fall fills up with academic material, I recommend leaning into fiction that refreshes as well as informs and inspires.
Alice Oseman’s novel about a young person awakening to their sexual orientation is powerful in its simplicity and kindness—a big-hearted reflection on the meaning of friendship and the gift of finding language for self-understanding.
Additional Faculty Recommendations
Dr. O’Donnell Day, Associate Professor of Counseling Psychology
- Internal Racism by M Fakhry Davids
- Racist States of Mind by Narendra Keval
- Thinking Space by Frank Lowe
Dr. Paul Hoard, Assistant Professor of Counseling Psychology
- Freud and Beyond by Stephen Mitchell and Margaret Black
- Philosophy and Theology by John Caputo
- A Guide to Gender: The Social Justice Advocate’s Handbook (latest edition) by Sam Killerman
- My Grandmother’s Hands by Resmaa Menakem
- The Gift of Fire by Richard Mitchell
Dr. Stephanie Neill, Associate Professor of Counseling Psychology
- After Whiteness: An Education in Belonging by Willie James Jennings
- Just Us: An American Conversation by Claudia Rankine
- A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety: How to Keep Your Cool on a Warming Planet by Sarah Jaquette Ray
- The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben
- The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief by Francis Weller
Dr. Ron Ruthruff, Associate Professor of Theology and Culture
- Chief Seattle and the Town That Took His Name: A Change of Worlds for Native People and Settlers On Puget Sound by David M. Buerge
- We Goin’ Be Alright: Notes in Race and Desegregation by Jeff Chang
- The River That Made Seattle: A Human And Natural History Of The Duwamish by B.J. Cummings
- The Removed by Brandon Hobson
- The History of White People by Nell Irvin Painter
- Sigh, Gone: A Misfit’s Memoir of Great Books, Punk Rock, and the Fight to Fit In by Phuc Tran
- Sharks in the time of Saviors by Kawai Strong Washburn
Dr. Chelle Stearns, Associate Professor of Theology
- The Art of New Creation: Trajectories in Theology and the Arts by Jeremy Begbie, Daniel Train, and W. David O. Taylor, editors.
- Enfleshing Freedom by M. Shawn Copeland
- Practicing Lament by Rebekah Eklund
- Magnus or Beside the Ocean of Time by George MacKay Brown
- Becoming Friends of Time: Disability, Timefullness, and Gentle Discipleship by John Swinton
- Being Christian: Baptism, Bible, Eucharist, Prayer by Rowan Williams
We look forward to being in conversation with you about the places your own readings and curiosities take you this summer when we enter into learning together this fall. Until then, we hope each of us can find some good time in the sun.