Books On My Table Right Now
1. Mishkan T’filah (for travelers): A Reform Siddur—A collection of prayers, scriptures, and song designed for use in Reform communal services year-round. This edition, modified from the full-length Mishkan T’filah, is best represented by the editor’s comment: “Abraham knew that just ten people made a difference. In worship, all should be reminded of the social imperatives of community… Prayer should not reflect ‘me’; prayer should reflect our values and ideals.”
2. Queer Virtue: What LGBTQ People Know About Life and Love and How It Can Revitalize Christianity—Liz Edman, doing positive theology, outlines both her individual faith and identity stories and areas of consonance among queer, Christian, and queer Christian ethics. Her vantage point is Episcopalian.
3. Queer African Reader—Editors Sokari Ekine and Hakima Abbas bring together 36 queer-identified African writers and artists from across the gender and sexuality spectrum. Some contributors are based on the continent, and some write in diaspora. An especially interesting essay comes from Kenne Mwikya, who takes a fresh look at the international “spectacle” of homophobia in Uganda and East Africa from 2009 to 2012 or so. “Big Gay” (resourced Western, White-dominant non-profits, media advocates, and funders), make an appearance in Mwikya’s account.
- Butler, O. (2000). Parable of the Talents. [4 stars]
- Gaiman, N. & Pratchett, T. (1990/2006). Good Omens. [4 stars]
- Roy, A. (2016). The End of Imagination. [4 stars]
- Brueggemann, W. The Prophetic Imagination (2001) and Sabbath as Resistance: Saying No to the Culture of Now. (2014) [4 stars, both]
- London, Jr., S.G. (2009). Seventh-day Adventists and the Civil Rights Movement. [4 stars]
- Moraga, C. & Anzaldúa, G. (2015). This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color (4th ed). [5 stars]
- Muhammad, U. (2014). Confronting Injustice: Social Activism in the Age of Individualism. [4 stars]
- Davis, A. (2016). Freedom is a Constant Struggle. [3 stars]
- Carlson Brown, J. & Bohm, C. (eds.) (1989). Christianity, Patriarchy, and Abuse: A Feminist Critique. [4 stars]
- Cone, J. (2013). The Cross and the Lynching Tree. [3 stars]
- Twist, L. (2006). The Soul of Money: Reclaiming the Wealth of our Inner Resources. [4 stars]
- Tabor, J. (2013). Paul and Jesus: How the Apostle Transformed Christianity. [3 stars]
- Copeland, M. S. (2009). Enfleshing Freedom: Body, Race, and Being. [4 stars]
- Williams, A. K. (2002). Being Black: Zen and the Art of Living with Fearlessness and Grace. [5 stars]
- Friedman, R.E. (1997/1987). Who Wrote the Bible? [4 stars]
- Hull, A. (G.T.), & Bell-Scott, P. (1993/1982). But Some Of Us Are Brave: All the Women Are White, All the Blacks Are Men: Black Women’s Studies. [Not perfect but priceless]
- Brown Douglas, K. (1999). Sexuality and the Black Church: A Womanist Perspective. [4 stars]
- Goodburn, A., Lecourt, D., & Leverenz, C. (2012). Rewriting Success in Rhetoric and Composition Careers (Lauer Series in Rhetoric and Composition). [4 stars]
- Brown, B. (2012). Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. [3-4 stars]
- Oreskes, N. & Conway, E. (2010). Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming. [4 stars]
- Godin, S. (2010). Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?. [4 stars]
- Wheatley, M. (2012). Turning to One Another: Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the Future. [4 stars]
- MacLeod, H. (2009). Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity. [3 stars for text, 4 for cartoons]
- Marable, M. (2013). Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention. (unabridged audio) [3 stars]
- Willis, C. (1993). Doomsday Book. [4 stars]
- Crichton, M. (2004). State of Fear: A Novel. [4 stars]
- Malamud Smith, J. (2003/1997). Private Matters: In Defense of the Personal Life. [4 stars]
- Pressfield, S. (2002). The War of Art. [4 stars]
Books in My Tsundoku and A-Little-At-A-Time Piles
- Baker-Fletcher, K. (2006). Dancing with God: The Trinity from a Womanist Perspective
- Lorde, A. (1995) The Black Unicorn: Poems—Read more poetry this year. Just do it. It’s good for you!
- Blackmon, D. (2009). Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II.
- Brownson, J. (2014). Bible, Gender, Sexuality: Reframing the Church’s Debate on Same-Sex Relationships.
- Dunaway, W. (2003). The African-American Family in Slavery and Emancipation (Studies in Modern Capitalism).
- Greven Jr., P. (1991). Spare The Child: Religious Roots of Punishment and the Psychological Impact of Physical Abuse.
- Kashtan, M. (2015) Reweaving our Human Fabric: Working Together to Create a Nonviolent Future.
- Plantak, Z. (1998). The Silent Church. (Hard to find.)
- Thompson, A. (1991). Inspiration: Hard Questions, Honest Answers. (Hard to find.)
Reviews and Recommendations
- “Summer Reading Group: Mindsets of Respect, Regimes of Respect” (Aug. 2016) | Re. Volf, M. (2016). Flourishing: Why We Need Religion in a Globalized World. Yale University Press. (304 pages) [–no rank–]
- “Summer Reading Group: Sex and Privy” (Oct. 2015) | Re. Beck, R. (2011) Unclean. Wipf & Stock Pub. (212 pages) [–no rank–]
- “Making the ‘Invisible’ Visible with the Religion Institute” (Jun. 2014) | Re. Alford-Harkey, M. & Haffner, D. (2014). Bisexuality: Making the Invisible Visible in Faith Communities. The Religious Institute. (102 pages) [3 stars]
- “Beyond the Literal: John Spong on the Gospel of John” (Aug. 2013). | Re. Spong, J. S. (2013). The Fourth Gospel: Tales of a Jewish Mystic. HarperOne. (368 pages) [5 stars]
- “Torn and Not Mended” (Mar. 2013). | Re. Lee, J. (2012). Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate. Jericho Books. (272 pages) [3 stars]
- “Habibi: A Review” (Jan. 2013). | Re. Thompson, C. (2011). Habibi. Pantheon. (672 pages) [4 stars]
- “Assumptions Matter (Sept. 2011). | Re. Dudley, J. (2011). Broken Words: The Abuse of Science and Faith in American Politics. [Kindle edition] Random House Digital. (208 pages) [4 stars]
All-Time Top Ten-plus
These are ten-plus of my all-time favorite books. They span literature, research, theology, epistemology, post-colonial education, and peace-building. Add them to your collection!
- Free of Charge: Giving and Forgiving in a Culture Stripped of Grace — Miroslav Volf
- Tao Te Ching (I love the translations from Gia-Fu Feng and Jonathan Star)
- Freedom, Glorious Freedom: The Spiritual Journey to the Fullness of Life for Gays, Lesbians, and Everybody Else — John J. McNeill
- Black Like Us: A Century of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual African American Fiction —ed. Devon Carbado
- Strategic Ambiguities: Essays on Communication, Organization, and Identity — Eric M. Eisenberg
- The Art of Peace — Ueshiba Morihei
- Parable of the Sower — Octavia Butler
- Anatomy of the Spirit — Caroline Myss
- The Fifth Sacred Thing — Starhawk
- Everything Is God: The Radical Path of Nondual Judaism — Jay Michaelson
- Pedagogy of the Oppressed — Paolo Freire
- Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination — Toni Morrison
- The Different Drum: Community Making and Peace — M. Scott Peck
- The Psychic Grid: How We Create the World We Know — Beatrice Bruteau
- East of Eden — John Steinbeck
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