Summer is here and, hopefully, that will mean you have some time to read. Here are six suggestions that run the gamut from academic and thought-provoking to down right fun.
Pick one and give it a read.
The Enneagram from a Christian Perspective by Richard Rohr
I know, I know, another Enneagram book. They are ubiquitous, and you likely fall either fall into the camp of Enneagram Enthusiast (in which case you probably read this title long ago) or Enneagram Skeptic (in which case you probably haven’t, and won’t, because you’re counter-cultural like that).
However, if you somehow fall into a middle camp of somewhat-interested and are looking for a good primer, this one is it. Particularly for those who are Christians and are a little fuzzy on whether or not the Enneagram is awesome or heresy, I’d encourage you pick this book up and give it a shot.
The Ride of a Lifetime by Bob Iger
Lovers of biography will really enjoy this title. Tracing his career from production assistant on a daytime television show at ABC to the head seat at The Walt Disney Company, Bob Iger speaks with a refreshingly honest voice. If you’re looking for a raw leadership advice book, this isn’t it (although advice can be found within). It’s more a life story in a narrative voice.
It also includes lots of facts that make you go, “I didn’t know that!” My favorite one was that Iger married Willow Bay from the awesome 90s sports show, NBA Inside Stuff. This is a perfectly light and interesting read for your summer pool or beach side.
All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy
The author of The Road and No Country for Old Men pleasantly surprised me with this title. Set in the deserts of Texas and Mexico, McCarthy (who is one of the best, truly) makes the reader feel something. I could see the stretched-out landscapes, hear the drawling dialogue, and feel the pain embedded in the story of unfulfilled dreams. Growing up around horses didn’t hurt as they play a vital role in the plot imagery, but a city dweller could read this and be moved as well.
As a part of a trilogy, I’m excited to complete the set. This was an incredibly enjoyable first installment.
Winners Take All by Anand Giridharadas
This book takes home the most challenging read of the month prize for me. Giridharadas, who in the acknowledgements admits that his thesis is one he has not always personally embraced or honored, takes on what I would call the Philanthropic Industrial Complex. Essentially, he argues that the rich may fund antidotes to the difficult societal problems we face via their foundations and initiatives, but it would be better if they didn’t continue to perpetuate a system that caused those problems. It’s akin to When Helping Hurts on a systemic scale and with a lot more zeroes.
I didn’t agree with everything he said or, perhaps more accurately, the way in which he said it, but I do think anyone involved in the philanthropic sector should give it a look and wrestle with his points.
Breathing Under Water by Richard Rohr
This is a lesser-known title by one of my favorite authors, and by no means was it my favorite. However, my counselor recommended it to me so I was obedient and gave it a read. Taking the twelve steps as his guide, Rohr points out that we are all addicts of something, and in need of the helpful teaching of what has classically been considered reserved for Alcoholics Anonymous.
While I found it helpful, I wouldn’t make it the first Richard Rohr book you try, and I wouldn’t read it in isolation — I think having a counselor or spiritual director to talk through it with would be helpful.
11/22/63 by Steven King
In short, this is my favorite fiction title I’ve ever read. This was my second pass through, and I loved it as much this time as the first. It helped me cleanse my pallet from the Hulu show based on the book that, frankly, fell far short of the book’s heart and emotion.
If King’s horror reputation scares you off, don’t let it. This is, by even King’s admission, a Stephen King book that people who aren’t Stephen King fans will enjoy. It’s true.
What happens with you combine a time travel story, an assasination story, and a love story? 11/22/63 happens. It’s the ultimate “What if?” I love it. If you haven’t read it, do it. You’ll love it, too.