Recommended Reading List For Self-Isolation

Hi all! With the COVID-19 pandemic keeping us all cooped up for much longer than we’d like, I thought I’d share some recommended reading in case you’re looking for some books to pass your time.

Literature and Fiction

The Muskoka Trilogy by Gabriele Wills (Including Summer Before The Storm, Elusive Dawn, and Under The Moon 
This series was a fortunate find several years back. Wills, an author from Guelph, Ontario, writes about life in the Muskokas from the early to mid twentieth century. The first book takes place immediately before World War I until the Lusitania sinking; the second book continues the tale until just after the end of the war; the final book runs straight through until just before the start of World War II. A fun read filled with romance and drama.

Green Grass, Running Water by Thomas King 

I was introduced to this book in Grade 11 English class and it’s a fun read. A fiction work by Thomas King that can be a challenging read but is well-worth the effort.

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis 
One of the lesser known works by C.S. Lewis this takes the form of correspondence from a demon named Screwtape to his nephew Wormwood about how to best tempt humans. A fun insight into C.S. Lewis’ theology on human nature.

The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis 
Another fun one by C. S. Lewis that provides an insight into Lewis’ theology on how to live in this life to lead to the best outcome in the next.

Sci-Fi/Fantasy 

The Dragonriders of Pern Saga by Anne McCaffrey 
An excellent sci-fi series by Anne McCaffrey with several novels to read. Anne McCaffrey was part of a surge of female writers in the 1960s breaking into science-fiction in an effort to write strong and realistic female characters who previously had been under-represented in the sci-fi works of the 50s. Contains some problematic elements by today’s standards, and the continuity is not well-maintained but contains some good lessons.

Merlin’s Descedants Series by Irene Radford 
A delightful five-book series on Merlin and his descendants taking place from the time of King Arthur until the American Revolution. Contains some very explicit sex scenes, but has some good lessons and provides a compelling historical fantasy

Star Wars/Star Trek Books and Comics 
These two franchises alone contain a near endless source of stories to read and check out. Often drawing from excellent leading authors in the world of sci-fi/fantasy, there’s plenty of excellent works in these universes, and are perhaps my most re-read franchises

Christian Themed 

Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis 
An excellent summary of the fundamentals of Christianity. The occasional thing I disagree with, but all in all, this book ages suprisingly well.

Learning to Walk In The Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor 
One of my favourite reads of all time, providing a challenge to the narrative of light=good and dark=bad and a very good book to read in this time of COVID-19 pandemic.

Holy Envy by Barbara Brown Taylor 
An excllent book on how Christians can navigate interfaith exchanges, with some very practical advice on best practices.

Shameless by Nadia Bolz-Weber 
An excellent book tearing apart some long-standing teachings on sexuality and exposing a lot of the unstable foundation on which they’re built.

Holy Disunity by Layton E. Williams 
An excellent book challenging the goal of unity and advocating for the goal of relationship.

Good Christian Sex by Bromleigh McCleneghan 
An excellent book that challenges traditional teachings on Christianity and sexuality even more than Nadia Bolz-Weber

Bible, Gender, Sexuality by James V. Brownson 
Perhaps one of the best and most scholarly approaches to the whole question of same-sex relationships and Christianity that remains an excellent resource for understanding the social-historical context.

Inspired by Rachel Held Evans 
The last work released by Rachel Held Evans and arguably the best one of all, looking at famous and infamous Bible stories and providing a framework to understand them well.

Miscellaneous 

The Gospel According to Star Wars by John C. McDowell 
An excellent approach to Star Wars and Christianity, McDowell does not try to force theology into the films–rather, he draws out lessons in the films that Christians would do well to be reminded of.

Star Wars and History by Lucasfilm 
An excellent collection of short essays by various authors who had access to George Lucas and were able to finally reveal what historical events inspired various aspects of the films.

Wicca for Beginners by Thea Sabin 
An excellent introduction to Wiccan faith and practices that I still draw on aspects of today.

Published by Devin Hogg

My name is Devin Hogg. I was born and raised in Carnarvon, Ontario, Canada. I moved to Guelph, Ontario, Canada in 2009 for university and lived here ever since. In my free time, I enjoy reading, watching TV and movies, going on long walks, swimming, and practicing Chen style Tai Chi. I love to write poetry and blog regularly about topics such as mental health, sci-fi/fantasy series, faith, sexuality, and politics.

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