My 2014 Reading/Rereading/Deeper reading list…

I don’t make resolutions, but of course new years always bring a new hope of some sort.  I have one… I hope to be surprised by something this year.  I think I am at an age and have done enough stuff that it starts to look like the same loop repeating…. Work, travel, scenery, news… sometimes feels like “ain’t nothin’ new under the sun”… to the extreme.  So my hope for this year is to be surprised by something… in a good way.    So where does a professor start?  With books of course! (actually, this could be my problem –ha!)….

Here’s my reading/re-reading/deeper reading list for 2014:

My day gig requires me to read quite a bit of leadership and organizational behavior literature (mostly journals… sometimes a yawn).  However, in February, Peter Greer’s new book “Mission Drift:  The Unspoken Crises facing Leaders, Charities and Churches” (Greer/Horst) is coming out.  Because I’m special ☺ I read an advance copy in November.  It’s a good read on a critical issue.  I will likely blog some more on some of his points when it’s available for purchase (Amazon, Feb 8).  In addition to the “day job” reading list… I’m hoping to read the following:


“The Idea of Justice” by Amartya Sen…. Because he’s Amartya Sen and I’ve had it on my shelf for too long…

“Pursuing Justice” (read deeper) by Ken Wytsma, because he sent me a copy after Justice conference and because he seems to walk his talk… I like that.

“Journey toward Justice:  Personal Encounters in the Global South” by Nicholas Wolterstorff…. Met him recently at Micah Network gathering and was quite taken by his brain.

— My interest has been piqued in the area of justice and the organizational sphere and see research emerging in the difference that it makes to “lead justly”.


Its mid-term election year in America… all together now say “blach”… yes, yes, it is a privilege to have the right to vote and I am more than aware of the many, many places where a fair election is still out of reach of the masses.  What I find distasteful about American elections is the massive amounts of untraceable money spent, the amount of half-truths pedaled and with very little change in the status quo of how the machinery works.    The system is broken and needs a major overhaul.

The list?:

“Left, Right and Christ” by Lisa Harper and D. C. Innes because I liked what Lisa Sharon Harper had to say at Justice Conference

“On God’s Side:  What Religion Forgets and Politics hasn’t learned about serving the common good” by Jim Wallice (on its way thanks to Sojourners renewal ☺)

“Radical” by David Platt… because it comes from numerous recommendations

“I am not a social activist:  Making Jesus the Agenda” (reread) by Ron Sider…. Because its Ron Sider!

After all this, I think I’m going to need a good dose of inspiration….

“I am Malala” by Malala Yousafzai, …. courage, conviction, change leadership

“Love Does” by Bob Goff, because my friend Chelsie Frank sent it to me and my friend Shanna McClarnon was photographed with this gent… I’m intrigued…

“Stories of Transformation:  experiences of transformation from development work” by Ravi Jayakaran because he gave it to me at Accord and asked for feedback.  And because he’s one of the long-serving brothers in the field of transformational development and a delightful gent.

Lastly…. Some re-reads as a reminder of why I love education…

“Pedagogy of the Oppressed” by Paulo Freire

“We Make the Road by Walking:  Conversations on Education and Social Change” by Myles Horton and Paulo Freire

“Teaching Defiance:  Stories and Strategies for Activist Educators” by Michael Newman

I’m sure the list will grow as I discover (remember) others I’ve wanted to read.  If you come across a good one, send it along, you see the general themes of where my brain is going this year!

Happy New Year and keep your eyes open for pleasant surprises in 2014!


About Dr. Beth A. Birmingham

Follower of Jesus, peculiar at times, but not always in the good biblical sense of the word, professor of leadership and international development, walking with people and organizations who end poverty, fight injustice and stand with the vulnerable... a rockin' good group of people!

Posted on January 3, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. love this! miss you!

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