September Staff Reading List

The CSW faculty is comprised of men and women who share a deep passion for continued education through intellectual and leisure reading. We would like to share with you some of the titles our faculty are reading or have recently finished.

Dani Poe
The book I wanted to write has already been written: “The Art of Rivalry” by Sebastian Smee

Dan Snyder
“The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” by William L. Shirer
This is a classic by now. The contemporary views of Shirer, a journalist in Austria during the rise of Hitler, assure plenty of eyewitness insight. I thought it was a timely read as I considered what happens to prematurely senile republics. I read it after reading Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy.

“Homer and the Heroic Tradition” by Cedric H. Whitman
Fabulous is the word, as the fables of the Homeric world are revealed in their history and presence. Now in my third year of teaching the Iliad, I found a treasure in this book – out of print I believe and hard to find, but a fountain source of scholarship and fascination with tradition that grips us on the surface, but reveals much much depth with a patient scrutiny. My tenth graders this year are the beneficiaries of Whitman in absentia. I can’t recommend this enough to anyone who cares about Homer or the epic tradition.

“Joseph and His Brothers” by Thomas Mann (in German)
I occasionally get books in their original languages to challenge and revive the skills I studied to acquire, and to enjoy the fruit of that labor; namely, literature in another voice and mind. Thomas Mann is an author with a thrilling grasp and integration of much study. This background of his is displayed in a meditative style as he recounts the story of Joseph, from the time of the protopatriarchs forward. The story presents Genesis and Exodus in light of mid twentieth century biblical and historical criticism in a novelized form. As such, it is a twofer. A story of criticism and its implications, and an historical novel of the patriarchal age. If you would like to know what the secularizing theologians were thinking of the Old testament in the 1930’s, this is a great series of books. If you would like to experience the layout of the time of Abraham forward from a first person perspective, this is also your book.
Can an orthodox Christian appreciate this book? Yes. There are some anachronisms of archeology and critical literary theory in the suppositions, but if you notice them, they add to the double historical layer of the presentation. This book explains how a phenomenon like the Cecil B. Demille ‘Ten Commandments’ could find its place in pop culture. Notice that the recent ‘Moses’ movie and the ‘Noah’ movie fell flat. There is a cultural reason, both in the construction of the story for those efforts, and in the underlying assumptions of the secular mind in the two ages (20th versus 21st century).
Great writing, a mythic theorist of the Jungian variety to argue with, and my seventh graders are benefitting from new creative insights into the story of Abraham and his sons – foremost Joseph.

Deborah Toews
“A Sun Scorched Land” by Jennifer Ebenhack.
A very personal story by a mom and missionary wife who endured and sacrificed in incredible ways to complete the adoption of her Haitian children.

Kevin Thames
“When the Lights Go Down” by Mark D. Eckel
I enjoy watching movies because they depict truth that is all around us in their story lines. Whether the truth is internal struggle, or good vs evil, every movie contains some truth that people can identify with. If this were not the case, there would be no interest in watching the movie.
Mark challenges us to review movies critically through the lenses of a biblical worldview. This tool helps us to engage our culture with challenging thoughts centered around God’s truth. Enjoy!

Jacob Allee
“Anna Karenina” by Leo Tolstoy
Aristotle’s poetics
Boethius’ “Consolation of Philosophy”
Eusebius’ “The Church History”
Cicero’s “The Value of Literature”

Justin Kenas
9th Grade Omnibus: We finished “Frankenstein” and have started “Of Plymouth Plantation”
12th Omnibus: We finished “Robinson Crusoe” and have started “Emma”
9th Bible: We finished Foxe’s “Book of Martyrs” and have started the Westminster Confession of Faith.
10th Bible: We finished Proverbs and have started Job

Josh Dyson
Dante’s “Inferno”
The book is a beautiful reminder that though mankind has achieved many great things, it is only God’s grace that can bring us to God.
“The Brothers Karamazov” by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (audio book)

Jen Bookhout
“The Seven Laws of Teaching” by John Milton Gregory
“The Language of Sisters” by Cathy Lamb

Ian Snyder
“Operation of Grace” by Gregory Wolfe

Wade Ortego
Recently finished:
“Desert Solitaire” by Edward Abbey (ebook)
“My First Summer in the Sierra” by John Muir (ebook)
“Poems Household Edition” by Ralph Waldo Emerson (ebook)
“Walking” by Henry David Thoreau (ebook)
“Lost in the Yellowstone: ‘Thirty-seven days of Peril’ and ‘A Handwritten Account of Being Lost’ by Truman Everts and Lee H. Whittlesey (paperback)

Pastor Allen Hoger
Pastor Hoger and his wife, Sue Hoger, are reading The Collected Stories of P.G. Wodehouse together. “P.G. Wodehouse is amazing,” he said. He finds the stories quite amusing.
He is also reading periodic literature regarding the text of the New Testament.