Summer Reading List: Book Recommendations from Flourish

The fourth of July has come and gone, but its not too late to get some good summer reading in. Here are some recommendations from the Flourish staff.

The Bond
By Wayne Pacelle

This first book by the executive director of the Human Society of the United States is filled with stories—sad, heroic, and uplifting—told from the perspective of a veteran in animal welfare work. Pacelle’s tone is humble and his love for animals obvious as he details the various threats animals face to their welfare and explains the history behind the animal welfare movement that has tried to curb and eliminate those threats. What is most compelling in this book for Christian’s is Pacelle’s defense of the call to mercy—not animal rights or utilitarianism—as the primary motivation to care for animals. This is a great comprehensive introduction to animal welfare issues.

Walking Gently on the Earth
By Lisa Graham McMinn and Megan Anna Neff

A mother-daughter team tackles issues like food justice, modern-day slavery, population, climate change, and energy consumption through a Biblically centered lens of obedience to God and love for our neighbors. McMinn and Neff gently lead readers into what may be new territory for some: the confluence of environmental stewardship and compassion ministry. For readers already familiar with this territory, the book is still a comprehensive, encouraging look at the issues. Read “Abundant Life: Creation Care and Divine Generosity” a review of Walking Gently on the Earth by Flourish managing editor Kendra Langdon Juskus for more.

Summer: A Spiritual Biography of the Season
By Gary Schmidt and Susan Felch

The perfect, meditative collection of poems, essays, and images to fill a long summer afternoon. Part of a seasonal set of four books that encourage paying attention to and living within a seasonal framework, this volume does so by illuminating the delight that is summer with excerpts of classic works from some of history’s most talented Christian writers and thinkers.

Portfolios of the Poor: How the World’s Poor Live on $2 a Day
By Darly Collins, Jonathon Morduch, Stuart Rutherford, and Orlanda Ruthven

This book is the result of a study conducted by the authors in which people living on less than two dollars a day were asked to keep “financial diaries.” What they found surprised them—even those living on so little employed complex financial strategies to make ends meet. This book is a good example of “bottom-up” thinking about how people in impoverished situations cope and make decisions.

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