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Summer Reading Guide Longlist

Dave Johnson and I are writing the Summer Reading Guide for the July/August issue of Relevant Magazine. So for the past several weeks I have surfed the web, trolled Amazon.com, and flipped through publisher’s catalogs to look for potential books. We also received a couple recommendations via Twitter. Yesterday I compiled a longlist of books that will probably be great for the article. Over the next couple weeks, Dave and I have to whittle this down to just 15 to 17 titles.

I decided to post the longlist on the blog for two reasons. First, we would love more of your recommendations. If you know of a book coming out between April and September that just has to be included in the Summer Reading Guide, you should tell us about it in the comments. We’ll try check it out, though sometimes it’s hard to get Advanced Readers Copies so far in advance.

The second reason I’m posting the longlist is because we sometimes get frustrated that there isn’t one website, tailored to our tastes, with an extensive list of compelling forthcoming titles. (The “Most Anticipated” list at The Millions comes close.) This list is our attempt to fill that gap, assuming your tastes are similar to our own. I’ll likely update this list several times between now and September. We hope it helps you as you make your spring and summer book plans. Looking at this list, it’s clear we are in for a rich season of good reading.


The Long Goodbye: A Memoir, by Meghan O’Rourke
The Uncoupling: A Novel, by Meg Wolitzer
The Tragedy of Arthur: A Novel, by Arthur Phillips
Say Her Name: A Novel, by Francisco Goldman
The Great Night: A Novel, by Chris Adrian
Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life, by Richard Rohr
The Record Players: DJ Revolutionaries, by Bill Brewster and Frank Broughton
1861: The Civil War Awakening, by Adam Goodheart
Selected Poems, by Robert Pinsky
The Garbage Eater: Poems, by Brett Foster
Horoscopes for the Dead: Poems, by Billy Collins
The Watery Part of the World: A Novel, by Michael Parker
The Love of My Youth: A Novel, by Mary Gordon
Devotions (Phoenix Poets), by Bruce Smith
Figures in a Landscape (Phoenix Poets), by Gail Mazur
Recruiting Young Love: How Christians Talk about Homosexuality, by Mark D. Jordan
The Faith of Leap: Embracing a Theology of Risk, Adventure & Courage, by Alan Hirsch and Michael Frost
The Pale King: A Novel, by David Foster Wallace
Wait: Poems, by C.K. Williams
The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie, by Wendy McClure
Bossypants, by Tina Fey


Doc: A Novel, by Mary Doria Russell
Pulse: Stories, by Julian Barnes
Kamchatka: A Novel, by Marcelo Figueras
Economies of Good and Evil: The Quest for Economic Mean from Gilgamesh to Wall Street, by Thomas Sedlacek
Bye and Bye: Selected Late Poems, by Charles Wright
Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths, by Shigeru Mizuki
Adventures in Churchland, by Dan Kimball
Faith & Culture: The Guide to a Culture Shaped by Faith, by Kelly Monroe Kullberg and Lael Arrington
Trophy, by Michael Griffith
The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the End of Nature-Deficit Disorder, by Richard Louv
I’ll Never Get Out of this World Alive: A Novel, by Steve Earle
Flies, by Michael Dickman
The Colors of Hope: Becoming People of Mercy, Justice, and Love, by Richard Dahlstrom
Come and See: Poems, by Fanny Howe
Embassytown: A Novel, by China Mieville
Mondo and Other Stories, by J.M.G. LeClezio
Caleb’s Crossing: A Novel, by Geraldine Brooks
Unseen Hand: Poems, by Adam Zagajewski
Food and Faith: A Theology of Eating, by Norman Wirzba


Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me: A Memoir…of Sorts, by Ian Morgan Cron
The Pleasures of Reading in a Distracted Age, by Alan Jacobs
Jamrach’s Menagerie: A Novel, by Carol Birch
Vegetables: A Biography, by Evelyne E. Bloch-Dano
Why Niebuhr Now?, by John Patrick Diggins
Parts of a World: A Novel, by A.G. Mojtabai
A Wild Surge of Guilty Passion: A Novel, by Ron Hansen
Beauty Will Save the World: Recovering the Human in an Ideological Age, by Gregory Wolfe
The Astral: A Novel, by Kate Christensen
Novels & Stories, 1963-1973 (Library of America), by Kurt Vonnegut
Bright’s Passage: A Novel, by Josh Ritter


Turn of Mind: A Novel, by Alice LaPlante
Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles: The Authorized Adaptation, by Ray Bradbury and Dennis Calero
American Masculine: Montana Stories, by Shana Ray
Once Upon a River: A Novel, by Bonnie Jo Campbell
Estonia: A Ramble Through the Periphery, by Alexander Theroux
Nature as Measure: The Selected Essays of Wes Jackson
Practicing the Way of Jesus: Life Together in the Kingdom of Love, by Mark Scandrette


Paradise Lust: Searching for the Garden of Eden, by Brook Wilewsky-Lanford
Desert America: Boom and Bust in the New “New West,” by Ruben Martinéz
Night Film: A Novel, by Marisha Pessl
Anatomy of a Disappearance: A Novel, by Hisham Matar


25 Books Every Christian Should Read: A Guide to the Essential Spiritual Classics, by Renovare
Traveling at Home, by Wendell Berry and John DePol




One comment on “Summer Reading Guide Longlist

  1. A friend who saw a manuscript of the Griffith novel, Trophy, tells me it’s awesome. Am very much looking forward to the Pessl book, too. (Yes, there should be a single place to go for what books to anticipate!)

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