My Summer Reading List

One of the many tasks I hope to accomplish during both my study leave and vacation is to get caught up on some reading. My colleagues post their summer reading lists. My friends post their “beach” reading. Although their isn’t a beach in my plans this year, there is some sitting out by the pool soaking in the sun and hopeful that I’ll have read everything I plan to this summer. I’ve borrowed from both colleagues and friends for ideas. Let me know what you’re reading this summer and I’ll see if I can fit it all in.

 The Second Mountain: The Quest for the Moral Life by David Brooks. This book appears on a couple of colleagues’ lists and is the Horizon book club’s choice for September. The second mountain referred to in the title is the second mountain people often climb after they’ve climbed the one they thought they were supposed to – the one of career and family. The second mountain is about becoming other-centered rather than self-centered; it is about interdependence as opposed to independence. 

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin J. DiAngelo. This one has been in my reading queue for a while. It was published a year ago by Beacon Press, the publishing house of Unitarian Universalism and was a New York Times best-seller. White fragility is a set of behaviors that white people often make when challenged by racism. Ultimately these behaviors (anger, fear, guilt are a few) only serve to reinforce racial inequality. 

After the Good News: Progressive Faith Beyond Optimism by Nancy McDonald Ladd. The Rev. Nancy McDonald Ladd is senior minister of River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Bethesda, Maryland. Rev. Ladd offers a critique of overly optimistic liberal religion that calls for a more authentic, vulnerable faith – a faith that recognizes the tragic nature of our lives and the need for greater resilience. 

Dare to Lead: Brave Work, Tough Conversations, Whole Hearts by Brené Brown. Several of my friends who own their own businesses have been encouraging me to read this book. I’ve read most of Brown’s other books and look forward to learning from her latest research and her direct, vulnerable style. According to Brown, “When we dare to lead, we don’t pretend to have the right answers; we stay curious and ask the right questions. We don’t see power as finite and hoard it; we know that power becomes infinite when we share it with others.” 

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra. I need to read a novel and I really need to read this one because it is my book club’s pick for August. I’ve been a member of a book club for 27 years now, having formed it after the birth of my youngest child. Reading and discussing books with my friends enriches my life and gives me opportunities to step off the world for a while. This book has been called a 21st Century War and Peace so it will probably take me further into reality than I may want, but I’m willing to go on that journey with what has also been called a work of sweeping breadth, profound compassion, and lasting significance.

Rev. Lora will be on study leave and vacation until August 4th. If you need immediate assistance please contact office administrator Rebecca Stanczak.

Lora Brandis