Skip to content

Summer Reading And Beyond

Jesus tells the disciples to cast the net to the other side (Matthew 4:18-22, Mark 1:16-20, Luke 5:4-11, John 1:40-42, John 21:6). Jesus also calls us to “Love the Lord” and “Love Your Neighbor” (Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:30-31, Luke 10:27). Jesus calls us to new perspectives and to expand His table. Being curious learners helps us to grow in our faith and discipleship.

Below are suggestions of books that will challenge us in our discipleship and the love of our neighbors. Pick at least one book this summer to explore (paper, digital, audio). There are book discussion groups with the Northwest Synod of Wisconsin staff (via Zoom) and with Zion Lutheran (in-person) to continue discussion and learning.

Zion Book Club

Northwest Synod of Wisconsin Book Club

* Zoom Links will be available closer to the Book Club date. 

Thursday, June 23 from 1-2pm
“Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership”
Ruth Haley Barton

Thursday, July 28 from 1-2pm
“Toxic Charity”
Robert D. Lupton

Thursday, August 25 from 1-2pm
“Emotional Intelligence for the Modern Leader”
Christopher D. Conners

On Your Own Suggested Readings

  • “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” – Michelle Alexander
  • “Freeing Jesus: Rediscovering Jesus as Friend, Teacher, Savior, Lord, Way, and Presence” – Diana Butler Bass
  • “Things That Matter: Overcoming Distraction to Pursue a More Meaningful Life” – Joshua Becker
  • “The Last Week” – Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan
  • “No Cure for Being Human: (And Other Truths I Need to Hear)” – Kate Bowler
  • “Braving the Wilderness” – Brené Brown
  • “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” – Dee Brown
  • “Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others” – Barbara Brown Taylor
  • “Unsettling Truths: The Ongoing, Dehumanizing Legacy of the Doctrine of Discovery” – Mark Charles
  • “Transcend!” –  Dr. Habib Chamoun-Nicolas
  • “Negotiate Like a Phoenician” –  Dr. Habib Chamoun-Nicolas
  • “I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness” – Austin Channing Brown
  • “Between the World and Me” – Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • “The Cross and the Lynching Tree” – James H. Cone
  • “The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World” – His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu
  • “God is Red: A Native View of Religion and Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto” – Vine DeLoria
  • “Evicted” – Matthew Desmond
  • “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism” – Robin DiAngelo, PhD
  • “Baptized in Tear Gas” – Elle Dowd
  • “Untamed” – Glennon Doyle
  • “Dear Church: A Love Letter from a Black Preacher to the Whitest Denomination in the US” – Lenny Duncan
  • “Nickel and Dimed” – Barbara Ehrenreich
  • “Paddle Pilgrim: An adventure of learning and spirit, kayaking the Mississippi River” – Dave Ellingson
  • “I Love Jesus But I Hate Christmas” –  W. Todd Elliott
  • “Happy Now” – Courtney Ellis
  • “Divided by Faith” – Michael Emerson and Christian Smith
  • “Wholehearted Faith” – Rachel Held Evans
  • “The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times” – Jane Goodall and Douglas Abrams
  • “One Square Inch of Silence” – Gordon Hempton
  • “Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of a Life Interrupted” – Suleika Jaouad
  • “One Coin Found” – Emmy Kegler
  • “How To Be An Antiracist” – Dr. Ibram X. Kendi
  • “Stalking God” – Anjali Kumar
  • “Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong” – James Loewen
  • “The Rediscovery of North America” – Barry Lopez
  • “The Sixth Grandfather” – John Neidhart
  • “The Eternal Current: How a Practice-Based Faith Can Save Us from Drowning” – Aaron Niequist
  • “Born A Crime” – Trevor Noah
  • “So You Want to Talk About Race” – Ijeoma Oluo
  • “Grace and Gigabytes” –  Ryan M. Panzer
  • “A Bigger Table: Building, Messy, Authentic, and Hopeful Spiritual Community” – John Pavlovitz
  • “Giving to God: The Bible’s Good News about Living a Generous Life” – Mark Allan Powell
  • “Squeezed: Why Our Families Can’t Afford America” – Alissa Quart
  • “Natural Prayers – Chet Raymo
  • “A Plain Life: Walking My Belief” – Scott Savage
  • “From Age-Ing to Sage-Ing: A Revolutionary Approach to Growing Older” – Zalman Schachter-Shalomi and Ronald S. Miller
  • “Just Mercy” – Bryan Stevenson
  • “The Book of Forgiving” – Desmond Tutu and Mpho Tutu
  • “The Underground Railroad” – Colson Whitehead