Summer reading list

I can’t tell you what to do. But I thought I’d suggest some books to read this summer.

Life Together
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German pastor and professor who was killed in 1945 in a Nazi concentration camp. Before the war, he taught in an underground seminary. This book is less about what they studied in class and more on how they lived in community. It’s short in pages but demanding in writing style and in application. But it’s necessary. I’m part of a project called Made-Up Grad School right now and we’re reading this book.

Switch: How to change things when change is hard
A younger friend asked me for a list of books I’d suggest for a new pastor. I suggested Switch, by Chip and Dan Heath. I keep going back to this book for understanding how to help people take steps toward change. (I wrote about it at

A Great Work
I know that I wrote this conversation with the person Nehemiah about the book of Nehemiah. But I believe that It can bring a different perspective on reading the Bible.

Paul Through Mediterranean Eyes.
This is a large commentary on the book of 1 Corinthians. The author, Kenneth Bailey, lived and taught in the Middle East, and so brings that understanding. And his way of approaching the text as a set of arguments was very helpful to me.

Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Matthew.
These books give a story arch from Jews entering the promised land to the sending out of the disciples into the rest of the world. It’s a story that is often brutal, but ends with hope.


For more suggestions, see my growing page on Spiritual Formation books. I’m adding more reviews all the time.

What are you reading this summer?