2014 Summer Reading List

Norm Allen

My Bright Abyss, Meditation of a Modern Believer,
Christian Wiman: Farrar Straus & Giroux
An award winning poet’s journey from declared atheist to believer and then faces terminal illness- a very powerful story.
Opened Ground  Poems,1966-1996
Seamus Heaney: Faber & Faber
includes his speech on receiving Nobel Prize 1995. His recent death had me reading his poetry – very evocative, earthy and spiritual.
Voices of Time: A Life in Stories,
Eduardo Galeano: Metropolitan Books, Henry Holt & Co.
A wonderful Latin-American writer who will expand your vision for the world and its stories.
Spiritual Friendship: The Classic Text with a Spiritual Commentary,
Aelred of Rievaulx: Christian Classics
I didn’t discover this nugget until after I had written my own classic on the subject-He wrote in the 1100’s and speaks powerful affirmation to what we have been discovering about this subject.
Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics,
Ross Douthat: Free Press, Simon & Schuster
New York Times columnist and catholic makes a case for the need for orthodoxy to provide abase for the free exploration of belief
One Hundred Years of Solitude,
Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Harper Perennial.
His death this year finally had me read this reputed classic- it will stretch your imagination and view of the world.
David Stiller – Companions
Knowing Christ Today: Why we can trust Spiritual Knowledge,
Dallas Willard: Harper Collins eBooks.
Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God,
Dallas Willard: IVP Books.
Dallas Willard is a philosopher and was a full time professor in Philosophy and logic at UofC, Berkley. His writings and lectures have made a huge impact on my spiritual development.
Knowing Jesus,
James Alison: Amazon.
James Alison is a Catholic writer who interestingly deals with the gift of personal salvation. Very good.
The Betrothed,
Alessandro Manzoni: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.
I decided to read this 1827 novel after I read an interview with Pope Francis who said that he read this book every year.I had to know why. It’s a verbose piece of literature, considered a classic and after I read it I think I know why he reads it but I’ll have to read it again for a better insight.
Matthias Benfey – Board & Companions
The Qur’an,
Many versions
It is a good foil. And if we’re going to be Christ-centred Companions, we’ll need to (be able to) engage all people we encounter.
Daryl Wilson – Board & Companions
Sacred Fire: A Vision for a Deeper Human and Christian Maturity,
Ron Rolheiser: Random House Canada.
Heidi Allen – Companions
Forgotten Among the Lilies,
Ronald Rolheiser: The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group.
Why Men Lie,
Linden Macintyre: Random House Canada.
(3rd of the series ofnovels set in or connected to Cape Breton.  The others are – The Long Stretch and The Bishop’s Man)
The Skeptical Believer, Telling Stories to Your Inner Atheist,
Daniel Taylor: BogWalk Press.
And might I also suggest the first season of a show on Netflix called “Derek’ starring Ricky Gervais. If you can get past the crude bits it becomes a deeply moving and profound piece of TV.  I think there is a lot to be learned from this about Jesus and where he shows up in our world.
Blair Sinclair – Board & Companions
Toward God: The Ancient Wisdom of Western Prayer,
Michael Casey: Ligouri.
(I stole this from Keith, so he gets the credit but I keep the book)
Frank Brewster – Companion
Own Your Game,
Dave Stockton: Gotham Book Mart.
Any Known Blood,
Lawrence Hill: Harper Collins.
Keri Tabet- keeps us on track at Board and Companions
Behind the Beautiful Forevers,
Katherine Boo: Random House.
Scott Cameron – Board
The Bully Pulpit,
Doris Kearns Goodwin: Doubleday Canada.
Ted Smith – Companion
The Cost of Discipleship,
Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Touchstone.
It is fairly heavy going, but very worthwhile.
Keith Martin – Companion
The Dance of Life,
Henri Nouwen:Ave Maria Press-
has been like ointment poured forth for my soul.
R J Palacio: Random House Children’sBooks.
Simple children’s novel profoundly moved both Jen and me….should be mandatory reading…but don’t feel strongly about it!
Melanie Reist – Board
Ragged Company,
Richard Wagamese: Doubleday Canada.
Glenn Smith – Companion
Solo New Testament: An Unconventional Devotional,
Eugene Peterson: The Navigators.
Linda Tripp – Board
Susan Cain: Crown Publishing Group.
The Hare with Amber Eyes,
Edmundde Waal: Picador.
Home by Another Way,
Barbara Brown Taylor: Cowley Publications.
Gretchen Van Riesen – Companion
Life of the Beloved,
Henri Nouwen: The Crossroads Publishing Company.