Staff members recommend these titles for your summer reading list. 




Spiritual growth

  • Freeing Jesus: Rediscovering Jesus as Friend, Teacher, Savior, Lord, Way and Presence by Diana Butler Bass. A historical and theological look at how Christians experience Jesus during a time when many have left church but not Jesus.
  • Dusk, Night, Dawn: on Revival and Courage by Anne Lamott, exploring our many dark places of life and faith with grace, humor, and hope.
  • A Guide to the Good Life (The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy) by William B Irvine. Very solid, refreshing and surprising advice on how to deal with all life’s challenges — even handling insults.

Interesting ideas

  • Uproar: Calm Leadership in Anxious Times by Peter Steinke. Senior Pastor Jill Duffield led a study of this book with the staff leadership team this spring. As we imagine the next era of FPC ministry, this is a good foundation for thinking about working in community.
  • The Pine Barrens by John McPhee. Excellent writing about a fascinating region of New Jersey.
  • Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey.  A true classic on a park ranger’s year at Arches National Park in Utah.
  • Caste by Isabel Wilkerson, using the power of story to explore what underlies caste systems and how they have shaped America.
  • My Grandmother’s Hands by Resmaa Menakem. A revealing look at racism through the lens of body trauma including lots of practical exercises for all of us.
  • Stamped: Racism, AntiRacism and You by Reynolds and Kendi. A journey through how racist ideas started and spread, and how they can be discredited.

Thought-provoking fiction

  • American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins. A historical fiction story of a  Honduran mother and family addressing violence and the perilous journey of immigration, Mexican-American border.
  • The Exiles by Christiana B. Kline. Many men convicts were transported to Great Britain’s penal colony in Australia but few know that 25,000 women were also sent there. In The Exiles we learn of the brutal and unfair treatment of 3 women in particular, but how it is also an opportunity for redemption, for a new way of life, and for unimagined freedom for them and some other female convicts. Kline also wrote Orphan Train and A Piece of the World. FPC Library has all three.
  • The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates, historical fiction story about slavery, the Underground Railroad, and violent separation of families.

Family life

  • The Hopeful Family by Amelia Richardson Dress
  • Liturgy of the Ordinary by Tish Harrison Warren
  • Parenting Forward by Cindy Wang Brandt
  • Sabbath in the Suburbs by MaryAnn McKibben Dana
  • Bless This Mess by Molly Baskette & Ellen O’Donnell

For the joy of it

  • For a Little While, collected short stories of Rick Bass. For their energy, entertainment, and love of life itself.
  • The Invisible Life Of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
  • The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James
  • The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

Next year in the Currie Library book clubs

  • Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer
  • Afterlife by Julie Alvarez
  • The Professor and the Madman by Simone Winchester
  • The Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate
  • The Rector of Justin by Louis Auchincloss
  • Speechless No More: A Life Transformed by a Voice Disorder by our member Dot Sowerby
  • Scholarship Boy by Larry Palmer
  • This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger

Faith for children


  • Holy Troublemakers & Unconventional Saints by Deneen Akers
  • Words With Wings by Nikki Grimes
  • Maddi’s Fridge by Lois Brandt
  • Melena’s Jubilee by Zetta Elliott
  • A Good Night for Mr. Coleman by Kathy Izard
  • Journey to the Heart by Frank Jelenek & Ann Boyajian
  • Brian the Brave by Paul Stewart, a story of difference, acceptance and working together.
  • Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story about Racial Injustice and Police Brutality by Marianne Celano
  • The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy. Follow Charlie on Instagram for daily drawings and quotes from this fun and insightful book for all ages on living courageously with more kindness for yourself and others.


  • Maybe I Can Love My Neighbor Too by Jennifer Grant
  • You Are So Wonderful by Jacqueline J. Lewis
  • What Is God Like by Matthew Paul Turner & Rachel Held Evans
  • Don’t Forget to Remember by Ellie Holcomb
  • Rain Before Rainbows by Smriti Prasadam-Halls
  • Brother Sun, Sister Moon by Katherine Paterson
  • The Story of AND by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso
  • Who Is My Neighbor by Amy Jill Levine