By Ann Boyd, Andrea Bridges, Karen Hice Guzmán, Jasmine Obeyesekere Fernando and Caroline Triscik

Summer Reads: Recommendations from the WAP Team

from Jasmine’s shelf

A History of Christianity in Asia Vol 1: Beginnings to 1500 by Samuel Moffett
A fascinating account of the mostly forgotten reality that Christianity spread and thrived in the East long before the era of western colonization. There is also an accompanying second volume that covers the years 1500-1900.


Letters to a Diminished Church: Passionate Arguments for the Relevance of Christian Doctrine by Dorothy Sayers
In this collection of Sayers’ essays (some of which were read by WAP book club), I loved seeing a learned woman in a period inhospitable to female learning powerfully discussing theology and work/public life. Her detective fiction — especially the Lord Peter Wimsey mystery stories — are also delightful and gives us a glimpse of a Christian writer at her craft.


The Common Rule: Habits of Purpose for an Age of Distraction by Justin Whitmel Earley (IVP 2019)
Would love to read this in community with my church small group and explore voluntarily trying this out together.




from Karen’s shelf

A Long Obedience in the Same Direction by Eugene Peterson
Peterson’s gift with the English language + his understanding of life in Christ for the long haul + his pastor’s heart =  an encouraging and helpful read that I do annually.


Liturgy of the Ordinary by Tish Harrison Warren  
Tish helps us see, experience, and know God in the everyday activities of life.




from Caroline’s shelf

The Book of Delights: Essays by Ross Gay
(On the lighter side…) Ross Gay — poet, author, and professor at Indiana University — sets out to document small delights each day for a year and invites us to join with him in looking for beauty and joy in the mundane.




A Human Being Died That Night: A South African Woman Confronts the Legacy of Apartheid by Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela
(On the heavy-ish side…) In the midst of conducting interviews with Eugene de Kock the imprisoned commanding officer of state-sanctioned death squads, Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, a black South African psychologist, wrestles with her own internal responses to the hate crimes de Kock and others committed under apartheid. Gobodo-Madikiezela offers a glimpse into her personal reflections of these interviews, as well as her thoughts on forgiveness.


Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson
Shout is in some ways a follow up to her best-selling young adult novel Speak from nearly 20 years ago. Shout is Laurie Halse Anderson's memoir written entirely in poetry, sharing the story of her childhood and the finding of her voice.




from Ann’s shelf

Three books I’m reading while recovering from pneumonia —

A Curious Beginning (Veronica Speedwell #1) by Deanne Raybourne
Veronica Speedwell’s sense of adventure and capability is just the kind of inspiration I need to get off the couch while my lungs learn to breathe properly again. I’m hoping I’ll be fully on the mend by the time I finish all four of the volumes currently in print.



The Next Right Thing: A Simple, Soulful Practice for Making Life Decisions by Emily Freeman
I’m crazy about Emily Freeman’s podcast by the same title and looking forward to delving more deeply into her thoughtful lessons about life and faith. Her refrain to “do the next right thing” got me through the worst of my feverish days.



Outer Order, Inner Calm by Gretchen Rubin
A long convalescence makes itself evident in layers of clutter around one’s home. Looking around our house, a person might think I’ve been recovering for two years — and in some ways that’s true. I can tell that part of my recuperation will require some clear-eyed decluttering, and Gretchen Rubin’s short book is just the accompaniment I need for these times.



from Andrea’s shelf

Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art by Madeleine L’Engle
This is a beautiful book about following God as a creator of art, whether the written word or a watercolor. It’s been a number of years since I read it, and I’m ready to pull it off the shelf.




The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters by Priya Parker
Parker dives deep into the specifics of creating meaningful meetings — whether parties or mergers or run of the mill team brainstorms.




And I'm thinking about trying Louise Penny mysteries  — has anyone else read them? They keep popping up as recommended reading.







About the Author

Ann is the Women Scholars and Professionals Podcast host and the interim editor for The Well. She has worked for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship since 1997, exploring her interests in community, spiritual formation, and writing. Ann has a BM in Music Education from Northwestern University and lives in Chicago, Illinois with one husband, two spunky teenage daughters, and three snuggly cats. You’ll often find Ann baking sweet treats in the kitchen while listening to a podcast or audiobook.

Andrea Bridges works in the Graduate College at the University of Illinois. She is a former Editor at The Well and believes words can create connection over space and time. Andrea has an MDiv from Duke Divinity School and lives in Urbana, Illinois with her husband, Matt, three kids, and one dog. You’ll often find her in the garden or cheering at various youth sports.


Karen Hice Guzmán is the Director of Women Scholars and Professionals. Except for some years taken off to raise children, Karen has spent her adult life in and around InterVarsity. She loves to use her gifts of hospitality and teaching to create a welcome place to connect with God and one another. Karen has a BS in Horticulture from Michigan State University and lives in Marietta, Georgia. She and her husband have three adult sons and a daughter-in-law. She loves dark chocolate, good coffee, and British TV. 

Jasmine is WSAP’s book club host and vocation specialist. She hails from Sri Lanka and has a thirty-year relationship with its national university ministry, the Fellowship of Christian University Students (FOCUS). She has also been involved with InterVarsity for twenty years. She has a BA (Hons.) in English from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, and a MA in International Relations from Syracuse University. She loves writing about theology impacting real life and enjoys British, Korean, and Chinese drama. Jasmine lives in upstate New York with her professor husband and two teenage children.

Caroline served with InterVarsity since 2002 as a campus staff member in northwest Indiana and most recently in central Pennsylvania. She received her bachelor’s degree in English with a focus on creative writing from Purdue University in 2002 and holds a master's degree in clinical mental health counseling from Messiah College. Caroline, her husband, and their three children live in “the sweetest place on earth,” otherwise known as Hershey, Pennsylvania. In her spare time, she likes to read, discover new music, and attempt to train her exuberant Labrador retriever, Pax. Caroline is a clinical mental health counselor and a former associate with Women in the Academy and Professions.

Comment via Facebook