You would think that after spending hours and hours with words, the last thing the editors at Christianity Today would want to do is go home and read books. Or spend their summers catching up on their reading lists.

Well, you'd be wrong. To paraphrase one of the Twelve Steps, we admit that we are powerless over words—that our lives have become unmanageable (you should see the stacks of books and magazines in our offices). But I already talked about this addiction/love affair in the February issue. Let's make good use of this dysfunction.

As summer rapidly approaches, many people start pulling together lists of books to open when we have a few lazy hours to kill at the beach or the campsite. So I asked the staff to (again paraphrasing Alcoholics Anonymous) make a searching and fearless reading inventory of themselves and tell readers what they hope to dig into—a sampling that may spark an addition to your own summer reading list.

Katelyn Beaty, our copy editor, seems to have the most refined tastes:

The Name of the Rose, by Umberto Eco
The Gospel in a Pluralist Society, by Lesslie Newbigin
Reordered Love, Reordered Lives, by David Naugle
Columbine, by Dave Cullen
Wise Blood, by Flannery O'Connor

Stan Guthrie, managing editor for special projects, wins the most eclectic award: He wants to finish Riven, by Jerry B. Jenkins, and then get into Miss Betsey: A Memoir of Marriage, by Eugene D. Genovese, and The Life and Death of Planet Earth, by Peter Ward and Donald Brownlee.

Mark Moring, editor of CT Movies, apparently has been watching too many movies, because he's only now finishing Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince before dipping into The Deathly Hallows. He's also hoping to get through Craig Det-weiler's Into the Dark: Seeing the Sacred in the Top Films of 21st Century, and he highly recommends a book he recently finished, Susan Isaacs's Angry Conversations with God: A Snarky but Authentic Spiritual Memoir ("very Don Miller-ish," he says).

Editor in chief of the CT Media Group David Neff has his nose in Mark Noll's The New Shape of World Christianity. He recommends another historian's recent efforts: Chris Armstrong's Patron Saints for Postmoderns. Can you guess that David is the point person for the Christian History blog?

And yours truly wins the anachronism award. I don't seem to be very happy living in the current century. I'm trying to finish Christopher Lasch's 1970s The Culture of Narcissism, the 1930s classic by Evelyn Underhill, Mysticism, and another spiritual classic, this one from the 16th century, Saint John of the Cross's Ascent of Mount Carmel. All that is balanced by my audio listening, which is currently set to a mystery, Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

This sampling suggests that our staff is pretty diverse in our reading tastes—and that we're not likely to follow Step Six: to be entirely ready to have God remove this defect of character.

Next Month: We'll reveal how the church in Cuba is reaching that nation for Christ, consider how churches might respond to the onslaught of gay marriage initiatives, and look at ministries to returning soldiers afflicted with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Related Elsewhere:

For more reading suggestions, visit Christianity Today's Book Review section.

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