Pastor Matt’s Summer Reading List

Posted: June 8, 2010 in Uncategorized

This summer I have a number of books on church planting and recommended books for a church planter with my personality type, but I won’t bore you with those, however, I’ve heard great things about the following and encourage you to check them out:

1. Long for this World: The Strange Science of Immortality by Jonathan Weiner.  An Amazon pick for June, here is the blurb from Publisher’s Weekly: The promise of eternal youth is both tantalizingly close and far-fetched in this fascinating primer on longevity research. Pulitzer Prize–winning science writer Weiner (The Beak of the Finch) focuses on amateur gerontologist and oddball visionary Aubrey de Grey, a charismatic motormouth who has won a respectful scientific hearing for his argument that we will soon achieve life spans of thousands of years. (His immortality program starts with the removal of a gunky cellular buildup called lipofuscin.) Weiner takes readers on an engrossing tour of cutting-edge research, while citing established life-cycle experts like Shakespeare and Yeats, and he has a knack for translating science into evocative metaphor. He tempers the “prolongevist” optimism with some daunting reality: evolution never engineered humans to last forever, the body’s myriad modes of decay may make that goal impossible, and reaching it, he speculates, might render us morbidly averse to risk or even to having children. Weiner’s erudite, elegant exposition of the underlying science is stimulating yet sobering.  Along with You Are Not A Gadget by Jaron Lanier, this could compete for my favorite secular, eccentric book of the year.

2. Audrey’s Door by Sarah Langan.  The most recent Bram Stoker Award winner.  One of my guilty pleasures is to read a horror novel or two (I’ve been writing one myself on and off for some time).  I read Langan’s last Stoker winner…it was okay.  Hoping for better this time around. 

3. Off the Rails: Aboard the Crazy Train in the Blizzard of Ozz by Rudy Sarzo.  Anyone who knows me, knows that I still love the ’80’s hard rock and metal that I grew up with and a book by ex-Ozzy, ex-Quiet Riot, ex-Whitesnake, ex-Dio bassist Rudy Sarzo on his legendary tour with Ozzy and Randy Rhodes is a must read for me!

4. Churchill by Paul Johnson.  Love history, fascinated by Churchill and dig Paul Johnson’s stuff. ’nuff said.

5. Secret Lives of Great Filmmakers: What Your Teachers Never Told You About the World’s Greatest Directors by Robert Schnakenberg.  The Secret Lives series is awesome. Check them all out.

6. The Dude Abides: The Gospel According to the Coen Brothers by Cathleen Falsani.  This one had me at the title! Are there better film makers than the Coen Brothers working anytime in the last 25 years? Nope.  Just watched A Serious Man last night…brilliant!  Look forward to this.

7. A whole lot of other stuff like Emotional Intelligence 2.o by Travis Bradberry, The Making of a Leader by Robert Clinton, The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkein (reading them to my 6-year old son) and a slew of other leadership and pastoral counseling books stacked up on my desk.

Be sure to check some of these out. 

Lord willing, have an awesome summer.

Grace and peace.

Pastor Matt

  1. Ryan says:

    Good titles. Also check out THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO THE WORLD’S GREATEST SUPERHERO, and see how Superman has become an allegory for Jesus Christ and many of the comic book and movie adventures mirror the stories of Christ.

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