Faculty & Staff Summer Reading Ideas: Nelson Edition

By Hannah Nelson

  • Abu Bakh Muhammad ibn Tufail, The Legend of Hayy Ibn Yaqzan: Alive, Son of Awake – While teaching about Umayyad Spain this past quarter, I developed an interest in Moorish poetry.
  • Peter Adamson, Interpreting Avicenna – While teaching about Avicenna in a 5th grade geography lesson on Uzbekistan, I became curious to learn more about this man than mere biographical facts. Considering the impact he has had on learning and philosophy, I regret that I do not know more about him and I hope to change that.
  • Dan Crenshaw, Fortitude: American Resilience in the Era of Outrage – I did not grow up in the United States and it’s easy to fall into a narrow view of culture and cultural changes in today’s America. I wanted to explore a perspective from someone whose life and background were very different from my own. This book contains some strong language and in places reads a little like a stoic self-help book, but the message is well stated and clear. 
  • Josephus, The Jewish War – I finally decided that I was tired of reading about Josephus and wanted to read Josephus for myself (I realize that I’m only reading about Avicenna, but that’s sure to change in the wake of Josephus). This book is truly fascinating for a Christian. It helped me situate so many of the important events of Acts within the broader context of Roman history. As a Christian history teacher, I think reading Acts and Josephus at the same time was about the most informative and exciting few weeks I’ve had in a long time.
  • C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock – I have always had a great admiration for C.S. Lewis and I have read most of his works save this one. Of this book, I had previously read only a few selected essays, but this past month I read the whole book and found great comfort and insight in Lewis’s words. 
  • Robert Longacre, The Grammar of Discourse – As a grammar teacher and the daughter of a linguist, I have long been fascinated with discourse grammar. In regular English classes we tend to get hung up on syntax and leave discourse up to intuition. So in an effort to better introduce students to the grammar of discourse, I’m reviewing an old SIL discourse grammar book (lent to me by my dad).
  • Dorothy Sayers, The Mind of the Maker – Morgan Crain speaks very highly of Dorothy Sayers. C.S. Lewis (in one of his essays in The Weight of Glory) mentions her book in which she explores the concept of the Trinity and uses the analogy of a writer’s creative process. I am very much enjoying her book and excited to learn more about the ideas of this remarkable woman.
  • Christiane Seydou, Silamaka et Poullori – Having devoted my MA studies to the Malinké epic of Sunjata, I wanted to branch out and explore some other African epic traditions. I actually read this book shortly after finishing my MA, but I am rereading it this summer.