Scott’s Summer Reading List

What's in your summer stack?

Here are my 2022 hammock-ready suggestions:

Richard Powers, The Overstory, W. W. Norton & Company, 2019
This fall, the clergy of Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church will be preaching about Faith and the Environment. To prepare for this work, I recently read Richard Powers’ Pulitzer Prize winning novel, The Overstory. It is a magnificent and wrenching book. The Overstory did two things for me. It gave me hope, and it totally changed the way I look at trees.

Min Jin Lee, Pachinko, Grand Central Publishing, 2017.
This book sits on top of my stack, and I am eager to dig in. Writing for National Public Radio, Jean Zimmerman describes Pachinko as “the kind of book that can open your eyes and fill them with tears at the same time.” A finalist for the National Book Award, Pachinko takes readers on epic saga following a Korean family over four generations. A member (with her husband and son) of Fifth Avenue Church, Ms. Lee has graciously agreed to speak about Pachinko at an adult education event in the fall.

James McBride, Deacon King Kong, Riverhead Books, 2020.
Winner of the Gotham Book Prize, Deacon King Kong is a stunning book about race, class, New York history and the power of religious community. It’s all in this book! And here’s the kicker: James McBride is going to address this congregation, in-person, at the 2022 Gotto Lecture on November 3, 2022. Save the date! Bonus points to anyone who reads McBride’s acclaimed autobiography, The Color of Water, Riverhead Books, 2006.

The Rev. Dr. Scott Black Johnston