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.

What Does Summer Reading Mean to You?

Recently Crux staff discussed the idea of summer reading. For some people, summer is vacation time, a time to take a break from assigned books and catch up on all the things you really wanted to read when you were studying Greek. For others, summer is the perfect time to dive into a challenging read and learn about Greek verbal aspects. If you have a look at the Crux Staff “Next Five Reads” series you can see some books we hope to read in the next few months in all the sunshine and heat. Some of us are going for the challenging reads, others are hoping for a break from Greek.

What does summer reading mean to you?

Our Foreign Correspondent’s Next Five

Heather worked at Crux over the past year and has left us for the moment, first to be at home, but then (all being well) to travel and study in Asia and Europe during the fall term. She plans to contribute to this blog from away as time and circumstances allow. Heather’s next five reads are:

  1. Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis.
  2. Being Salt: A Theology of an Ordered Church by George R. Sumner
  3. Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend
  4. On The Incarnation by Athanasius (with an introduction by C.S. Lewis)
  5. Down To My Last Skin – Antjil Krog


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Sheila’s Next Three

Sheila worked on Crux staff this past winter. Before she worked in the store she was a constant customer. Here are her next three reads:


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(Dr.) Heather’s Next Five

Heather is our used books and communication specialist. She particularly enjoys writing about herself in the third person. Her next five reads (in no particular order) are:

How to Write a Sentence and How to Read One by Stanley Fish. “I hope I write better after reading this. I hope I read better as well!”

Lit! A Christian Guide to Reading Books by Tony Reinke. “Not that I need convincing to read more, but the excerpts I’ve read from this book are interesting.”

Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis by Lauren F. Winner. “I’m looking forward to this one as I found her other memoirs and spiritual writing engaging.”

Leviticus (Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible) by Ephraim Radner. “This is part of my larger project of learning to take Leviticus seriously.”

Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies by Marilyn Chandler McEntyre. “Words are important!”


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Alain’s Next Five Books

Today we feature the next five books Alain, another member of our customer service team, plans to read. Alain prefers philosophy and history as you can see from this selection.

  1. God, Freedom, and Evil by Alvin Plantinga
  2. Warranted Christian Belief by Alvin Plantinga
  3. Constantine the Emperor by David Potter
  4. How to Read a Book by Mortimer Adler
  5. The Discarded Image by C.S. Lewis


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Andrew’s Next Five

Here are the next five books that Andrew, one of our customer service representatives, plans to read. Actually, there are more than five books on this list as Andrew has lumped four of the Chronicles of Narnia into one item. Hmm. This is a list of the next eight books Andrew plans to read, disguised as five books:

  1. Sacred Pauses by April Yamasaki
  2. Chronicles of Narnia 4-7 (Prince Caspian, Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, The Last Battle) by C. S. Lewis
  3. Confessions by Augustine of Hippo
  4. Many Religions – One Covenant by Joseph Ratzinger (A.K.A. Benedict XVI)
  5. Reluctant Saint: The Life of St. Francis of Assisi by Donald Spoto


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