Look Back & Look Ahead: July – August

A look back at what I read and watched in July, and a look forward to what's on top of my to-read list for August - read on KateRaeDavis.com

It’s time for a July/August look back and ahead! I’ve gotten quite a bit of feedback that readers like this feature, so I’m sticking with it. Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

I believe that everything is formational, so here’s what’s been forming me. A look back on what I read and watched in July, a look forward to what I plan/hope to engage in August.

Let me know if you want a more detailed review or discussion guide for anything you see here!

The Ever-Expanding Resource Library is ever seeking to expand.

Look back on books I finished in July

  • Fiction
    • How to Be a Good Wife by Emma Chapman. The August pick for Literary Wives. Click through for full review and thoughts.
    • Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey. This was a Michigan-author beach read pick for my trip there, and…well, I abandoned it. It was marketed to me as sci-fi, but was more like erotica in a fake country.
    • A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers. A wonderful allegory for USAmerica and the hopelessness of our place in the Middle East. And surprisingly page-turning for a novel with very sprase action. Has anyone seen the movie? Is it worthwhile?
  • Nonfiction: Church / Theology
    • A Brief History of the Episcopal Church by David Holmes. Reading to help me in my ordination process. Informative, but probably not interesting for everyone (or even most people).
    • New Beginnings: A Pastorate Start-up Workbook by Roy Oswald. Accessible and pragmatic, a good primer for entering a new congregation as a pastoral leader.
    • Beginning Ministry Together by Roy Oswald, James Heath, Ann Heath. More of a “transitions” book than a “beginnings” book. It was … eh. Lots of its advice seems pretty common-sense.
    • The Year of Living Like Jesus by Ed Dobson. Ed was the teaching pastor of the church I attended in high school, and it was so good to get to hear some of his voice. It reads like a themed journal and ends with some great conclusions. I’d highly recommend it for anyone who is interested and/or skeptical about understanding Jesus as a Jew, or understanding Jesus in today’s world.
  • Nonfiction: General
    • The Book of Human Emotions by Tiffany Watt Smith. Another one I abandoned. It was entertaining, and I could see myself using portions for a sermon, but it’s not that helpful to have words for emotions if others don’t know what the word conveys.
  • Art & Poetry
    • You Can Draw in 30 Days – by Mark Kistler. This was fun! It starts easy to give some good foundations, and then really accelerates in the last few lessons. I feel much improved, and much more confident! (Though not confident enough to post a drawing here. Sad trombone.)

Look forward to books I’ll be spending some time with in August

  • Fiction
    • I Am Not Sidney Poitier by Percival Everett. I’m trying to read more African American literature — three chapters on, this one is already an ultra-relevant look at race relations in USAmerica today.
  • Nonfiction: Church / Theology
    • A Convergent Model of Renewal: Remixing the Quaker Tradition in a Participatory Culture by C Wess Daniels. I’m really enjoying this. His ideas are applicable so far beyond the Quaker tradition — it’s really a reflection for doing church in today’s context. Already highly recommend; full review to follow as soon as I’m done absorbing the goodness in its pages.
    • Sacred Terror: Religion and Horror on the Silver Screen by Douglas Cowan. Which I really need to get through because I owe a review to the Anglican Theological Review by the end of the month. Eep.
    • Pastor’s Start-Up Manual by Robert Ramey. Research for my internship.
  • Nonfiction: Art / Creativity
    • Writing from the Body: For Writers, Artists, and Dreamers Who Long to Free Their Voice
      by John Lee. I started this when I was working on my master’s thesis and am returning to it as I struggle to make space to engage my blog writing. The exercises are a bit too much for me, but sometimes it’s just good to hear that sitting down at a desk is hard for others, too.
  • Nonfiction: General
    • Who We Be: The Colorization of America by Jeff Chang. Reading more about African American culture and experience is important right now, and this helps put our current crisis into the wider narrative. It’s really giving me a deeper understanding of how we got where we are.

TV shows I’m into right now:

An ultra-short list since I was on vacation in Michigan during beach season.

  • Star Trek: Voyager. Into Season 3 now.

Look back to movies I saw in June:

  • The Lady in the Van. It’s a little slow, but overall enjoyable.
  • Ghostbusters. I loved it. So much. I cried at how kickass awesome it is. More thoughts to follow, likely.

I’d love to hear…

What have you been into lately? What’s on the top of your to-read and to-watch list?

Is there anything from this list that you’d like me to post about?

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