Mabee Library | MidAmerica Nazarene University

Summer Reading Suggestions from MNU Professors

The Mabee Library has developed a list of professor-recommended summer reading suggestions in the hope that current and future students will find this of interest, and will be drawn to read a few of these important books. We also hope that these reading suggestions will help you learn more about our outstanding MNU faculty members. You will notice that some of the recommendations are "just for fun," while others may speak to your faith journey as a disciple of Christ, or encourage scholarly interests.


Dr. Neil Friesland

Dr. Neil Friesland

Book to Read Just for Fun
The curious incident of the dog in the night-time by Mark Haddon, and Letters from a nut by Ted L. Nancy.

Book to Read to Grown Your Faith Journey
What's so amazing about grace by Philip Yancey, and Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis.

Book to Read on Teaching/Scholarship
Good blood, bad blood: Science, nature and the myth of the Kallikaks by David Smith & Michael Wehmeyer, and Front of the class: How Tourette Syndrome made me the teacher I never had, by Brad Cohen.


Dr. Russ Reglin

Dr. Russ Reglin

Book to Read Just for Fun
Mad in America by Robert Whitaker. It provides an interesting picture into how the history of mental health perception, treatment and social awareness (fears and assumptions) has evolved.

Book to Read to Grow Your Faith Journey
The sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. It takes a look at the big picture of faith through the eyes of a futuristic journey of a man who went through a tremendous amount of confusion via life events and circumstances.

Book to Read on Teaching/Scholarship
Counseling and Christianity, edited by Stephen P. Greggo and Timothy A. Sisemore. In the arena of counseling and therapy, this book does a good job of looking at individuals from five perspectives. It provides evidence to the fact that there is not a "one size fits all" way to conduct effective treatment.

Additional Thoughts
Happy reading and growing.


Dr. Mike Gough

Dr. Mike Gough

Book to Read Just for Fun
To be honest, I don't read books for the fun of it. I know that sounds weird. I don't like fiction. I know Tyler Blake and Jamie Myrtle can't imagine a person who doesn't like fiction. Prof. Myrtle bought a fiction book for me a few years ago. I did read it because I really value her friendship. It is still the only fiction book I have read in 20 years. One fun thing I guess I did for this year is that I bought each member in my family a leather New Testament that is divided so you read a chapter a day for a year. This way every one in my family, sometime during the day, reads the same portion of Scripture. I think that is fun.

Book to Ready to Grow Your Faith Journey
Every good endeavor by Timothy Keller. The subtitle is Connecting Your Work to God's Work. I think every book by Timothy Keller is great. He is the pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York. This is an excellent book concerning the theology of work. Every person should read it. It discusses how the value of work fits into God's plan for our life.

Book to Read on Teaching/Scholarship
The advantage by Patrick Lencioni. This is the best book I have ever read on organizational health. Every leader should read this book to gain valuable insights into leading an organization. Every person who works for someone should read this and see how they ought to be lead.

Additional Thoughts?
Even though I said I don't read books for the fun of it, I read about a book a week. When I was in high school I was terrible at reading. I would agonize over my reading every night. My parents paid for me to take speed reading lessons at the local junior college to see if it would help. It was a great help. I learned to stay focused better. I don't read a thousand words a minute like some can but I can read much better. I really appreciate my parents for seeing the trouble I had and for finding a way to help me.


Dr. Abby Hodges

Dr. Abby Hodges

Book to Read Just for Fun
A short history of nearly everything by Bill Bryson was a fun book for me to read as it included quite a bit about the history of science. Science, like most academic fields, has had some interesting characters so it is fun to see some of the personalities behind the theories I teach! My husband and I also really enjoyed listening to The big burn: The fire that saved the forests by Timothy Egan on one of our summer road trips through the national parks of California; the book was engaging, intense at times, and very informative. It also really made us want to explore Idaho at some point in the future!

Book to Read to Grow Your Faith Journey
I read Jesus Christ and the life of the mind by Mark Noll a few years ago and really appreciated his elevation of scholarship as a calling. In the book, he takes a few different academic fields and illustrates for the reader what it would really look like to perform Christ-driven and Christ-centered scholarship without compromising either faith or scholarship.

Book to Read on Teaching/Scholarship
The immortal life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot was a very important book for all scientists who carry out biomedical research and for all patients who have benefitted from biomedical research. (That's you!!) The book weaves together the human stories of cancer patients, biomedical scientists, and doctors along with some basic history of modern cancer medicine.  Most importantly, however, the book provides an eye-opening example of why a strong understanding of and commitment to biomedical ethics, social justice, and diversity are important for ALL citizens.

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8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday
12 p.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday
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