Carolyn’s Next Five

Carolyn is our local philosopher. She works in customer service and shipoing. These are the next five books she thinks she might read when she’s not writing her thesis this summer.


Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis



Learning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor


The Brothers Karamazov by Fydor Dostoyevsky


Becoming Human by Jean Vanier


Take this Bread by Sara Miles

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The Next Five Books

Here at Crux, the staff members have put together lists of the next five books we might read. All of us have the habit of drifting off into what looks interesting at the moment, so these lists may not actually reflect what we read over the summer. They do reflect books that are on our current reading horizons and in our To Be Read piles.

Dr. Heather’s Next Five:


Jesus and the Victory of God by N.T. Wright

This is the one book on my list that I am confident that I will finish this book this summer. I’ve already started reading, and am into the second major section. I once had a discussion with a colleague about whether Wright’s big books are actually serious scholarship because they are readable. I argued that the readability factor makes them Very Serious Scholarship because more people may actually understand what Wright is saying, thus his ideas have a better chance of intelligent acceptance, or intelligent rebuttal.


The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction by Alan Jacobs

This is my book about reading for this summer. The one I read last summer was a great disappointment, and it has taken a while for me to pick a book about books again. We’ll see how this one goes.


One Was a Soldier by Julia Spencer-Fleming

I need at least one mystery to read in the summer. I’ve enjoyed Spencer-Fleming’s series featuring the detecting duo of an Episcopal Priest and the local Police Chief, and this is the one I’ve not read yet.


Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis

People keep telling me that this is the best novel Lewis wrote. I haven’t read it yet. I’ll let you know if I agree with my friends.


C.S. Lewis, A Life by Alister McGrath

I’ve had this book on my to-be-read pile for too long. I hope to actually read it this summer. I’ve heard good things about it. I’ll let you know what I think after I’ve read it.


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May Staff Picks: Relaxing Reading part 4



A Preface to Paradise Lost by C.S. Lewis

Alain appreciates this book as a work of general literary criticism, particularly on the epic poems. Before Lewis even begins to talk about Paradise Lost he sets the poem in the contexts of its genre. Alain read this long before attempting Milton, and recommends it highly.

(Has anyone else noticed that Crux staff have a fondness for Lewis no matter what he writes?)



May part 3 Monthly Staff Picks

May Staff Picks: Relaxing Reading Part 3



Homeless at Harvard by John Christopher Frame

While the author was a student at Harvard, he decided to spend one summer living on the streets with the homeless people that he had become acquainted with through his volunteer work.  He became “homeless” becoming part of the Harvard Square community.  This book is the story of that summer and the stories of three individuals who befriended him, taught him how to survive and shared their lives with him.



A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

There is a great joy in rereading a beloved book from one’s childhood.  You are transported through time to remember again the awe and wonder such tales invoked and, simultaneously, are brought to realise how the work has shaped and reshaped your thinking and your imagination from the first encounter.
Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time offers to its readers first and foremost an excellent story.  The characters are engaging, the writing evocative and at times even lyrical.  Without giving away too much, we encounter, through the characters, a cosmic battle between good and evil.  The dangers of conformity and the importance of standing on the side of truth even, and perhaps especially, when it costly are unfolded.  This is a book for adults and children alike.  If you have not read it before, please do.  If you have, try re-reading it.  I promise you that you will enjoy it still more.
May part 2 Monthly Staff Picks May part 4

May Staff Picks: Relaxing Reading Part 2

More iced tea and sunglasses books for your spring and summer reading:

Dr. Heather:


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallowsby J. K. Rowling

This conclusion to the Potter series by Rowling, filled with theologically significant images and incidents, makes a great summer read. The ultimate battle of good vs. evil with some interesting twists thrown in for good measure.



Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott

I love a good spiritual memoir. Lamott shares her story with candor, reminding us that the road to faith is as unique as the individual traveling it.

May part 1 Monthly Staff Picks May part 3

Staff Picks for May: Relaxing Reading Part 1

Here in the Crux-world, the winter term is over. This means we can do some relaxing reading! Hammock! Sun-glasses! Relax! Here are the first couple of relaxing reading recommendations. Look for more in the next few days.

Rev. Heather:


A Wee Worship Book

As we head into the summer months and things start to slow down, it is a perfect time to get creative in worship. Maybe you’re planning a contemporary service at night with a jazzed up Liturgy, or perhaps a campfire prayer service at a summer camp, this book can help you plan those services ans many more! From special prayers for creation, peace, and healing to liturgies broken down by the time of day of the service, this book has something for any priest, pastor, or worship leader looking to try something new!



The Chosen by Chaim Potok

This is a great read. It has baseball, biblical studies, fathers and sons, and friendship. What more could you want in a relaxing summer read?

April Monthly Staff Picks May part 2

Next Five Follow Through

A few weeks ago, Crux Staff posted their next five reads. I’ve been working away at my particular next five list, and recently finished reading Still by Lauren F. Winner. Let me tell you about it.


If you’ve read Winner’s other books, this is different from those. Winner uses memoir in all of her writing, but not all of her books are properly memoirs. The books reflect on her own life as an illustration for the more general spiritual life. Girl Meets God is clearly more of a memoir than book of spiritual direction, and Mudhouse Sabbath is clearly more a book of spiritual direction than a memoir. Still leans toward spiritual direction, but memoir and spiritual reflection are deeply entangled in the work.

Winner examines the middle of the spiritual life, that part of the life of faith that most of us live most of the time. The excitement and newness of conversion are past and the wisdom of age is not yet upon us. We are in the middle — and middles are not usually perceived as the exciting part of anything. Winner looks around for positive ideas around middles and finds them in chess and other places.

I read most of this book sitting on a porch in Muskoka, not while on vacation, but in my breaks from directing a leadership training program for potential camp cabin leaders. The week was a crisis for me as I had not planned to be there — but God through circumstances had other plans. I read Winner’s words on mid-faith crises in the middle of continuing to serve in a place and situation when I thought I’d passed my responsibilities on. Winner still went to church and still continued in Christian practices as she moved into the middle of her faith journey; I was still at camp. I found the book helpful in my particular location; you will find it helpful for other reasons and in other circumstances.

Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis by Lauren F. Winner is available at Crux.