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C.J. Mahaney:

Albert Mohler is my very good friend. And the man is scary smart! If you happen to see Al today, ask him a question about, well, anything--politics, biology, British history, the history of stained glass, whatever. Ask him a question about any of these subjects (except sports) and he will answer you as if it were the subject of his professional expertise.

Besides wondering how smart Al could be if I'm one of his friends, you might also be wondering about Al's recent recommended summer reading list. If you're like me and you think of summer reading as synonymous with enjoyable reading, you might find Al's list somewhat intimidating (here and here). I know I did.

Now, don't misunderstand. For Al Mohler, this is enjoyable reading! But for those of us with average intelligence, this is difficult reading and not what we have in mind for the summer months (or any time of the year actually). So for those of you not eager to read a 600-page book on the rise and development of communism, or a 700-page book on America's development between the years 1788-1800, and for those of you not looking to earn college credit this summer, I'm here for you with an alternative summer reading list.

As a public service to men of average intelligence, I present you with my less demanding--and more enjoyable--summer reading list.

See C.J.’s twelve picks here.

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9 thoughts on “Mahaney’s Alternate Summer Reading List”

  1. Loren Eaton says:

    And not a single work of fiction. That makes me sad …

  2. Chase says:

    I like that he basically calls Mohler a nerd for reading 600 pages on the development of communism, and then recommends a 250 page book about a football game that happened in 1958.

  3. Philip says:

    Chase–I agree with the sentiment you express. When I saw Mohler’s list my initial response was, “Great, guns and snakes, now that’s what I call learning!” Add to that Sports and we’ve got a full set of Testosterone filled thrillers!

    And this from the supposed champions of something called a Biblical Worldview!

  4. JT says:

    That makes me sad …

    . . . And this from the supposed champions of something called a Biblical Worldview!

    Yikes! May be time to lighten up a bit, folks? :)


  5. Loren Eaton says:

    Sorry! Wasn’t intending it as a slam. I just wish evangelicals would interact a little more with narrative fiction — that’s all.

  6. Hayden says:

    What made me laugh was that CJ recommended two books on his list that Al Mohler recommended last year.

    I would agree that “Manhunt” by Swanson was one of the best books that I have ever read and it reads much like narrative fiction. Loren, if you haven’t read this one it is worth the time.

  7. wayner says:

    After reading Dr. Mohler’s list it inspired me to get back to reading which I haven’t done nearly as much as I used to. I love reading about the “founding” period of the U.S. Here is my list:
    1. The Expository Genius of John Calvin-Lawson

    2. Alexander Hamilton-American-Brookhiser

    3. John Jay-Founding Father-Stahr

    4. Alexander Hamilton-Chernow

    5. Capitalism & Freedom-Friedman

    6. Finish the Narnia books.

    Numbers 1-4 I ordered cheap from 3rd party sellers via Amazon and they are all hardback. Number 5 I have owned for years when I subscribed to the “The Classics of Liberty Library”. They are beautifully bound volumes. Number 6 is the 1 volume version by Harper-Collins that I bought when the first movie came out, but I never made it past “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”.

    Anyone else have a reading list for this summer?


  8. Loren Eaton says:


    I might have to pick it up. I did think it looked interesting.

  9. casebo says:

    When is someone going to call CJ Mahaney out for calling himself “average” over and over again? Gimme a break. We know better.


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Justin Taylor, PhD

Justin Taylor is executive vice president of book publishing and book publisher for Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds. You can follow him on Twitter.

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