It’s been a great summer of reading, and I just finished these three terrific books since returning to NYC. I’d highly recommend each of them.
1) Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith by Barbara Brown Taylor. I was first introduced to Barbara Brown Taylor by Emma Baez, and ever since, I’ve been drawn to her fun and poignant writing. I can’t think of a book that spoke more to me during this season of my life. This book is a memoir of Taylor’s transition out of being a vocational minister, and she describes many of the same thoughts and feelings that have surfaced for me in recent weeks. Although I still plan on pursuing vocational ministry (unlike BBT), Taylor’s writing centered me again as I enter this new season.
2) A Good and Perfect Gift: Faith, Expectations, and a Girl Named Penny by Amy Julia Becker. Andy Crouch mentioned this book in one of his tweets, and I pre-ordered it back when he suggested it. Lo and behold, Tina and I got pregnant earlier this summer, and I began reading this book when we returned to NYC last week. Amy’s experiences and reflections as a mother of Penny, her first child who also happens to have Down’s Syndrome, are depicted so honestly and soulfully, and my heart was stirred in so many ways. In other words, I cried and learned so much about God and a parent’s heart.
3) The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. This book has been on the bestseller list for awhile, but I first heard of it when Andrew Favilla recommended it for reading. I finally got around to it, and was enveloped in the true story of Henrietta Lacks, her legacy to modern medicine, and the back story of her family and their plight as they finally discover the truth behind how Henrietta’s cells and their influence became so widespread without them knowing. The book was painful to read at times, especially as issues of race, injustice, and their effect on broken families emerged. I’m so grateful this book was written, though, because you’ll find just how worthy the Lacks’ story is to be told. The research and prose are quite splendid in this book, too.