Ryan Waller's Bookshelf

Books . Movies . Music . More
Ryan Waller's Bookshelf
Ryan Waller's Bookshelf
Books . Movies . Music . More

Ryan Waller

Young Adults Minister

My Current Favorites

Five books, movies, or songs influencing me now
The Paris Wife: A Novel (Random House Reader's Circle)
The Paris Wife: A Novel (Random House Reader's Circle)
by Paula McLain
WHY I LIKE IT
This novel does something I would have thought impossible: it reads like a Hemingway novel while telling a story about Hemingway, and doesn’t come off as cheap. Incredible and really fun.
Death and Afterlife: A Theological Introduction
Death and Afterlife: A Theological Introduction
by Terence Nichols
WHY I LIKE IT
This is the best treatment of death I have perhaps ever read. If you’re interested in the notion of “dying well”—check it
An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith
An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith
by Barbara Brown Taylor
WHY I LIKE IT
This book is a beautiful look at everyday spirituality. I will read anything Barbara Brown Taylor writes.
Darkness Is My Only Companion: A Christian Response to Mental Illness
Darkness Is My Only Companion: A Christian Response to Mental Illness
by Kathryn Greene-McCreight
WHY I LIKE IT
This is an interesting look into the Christian response to mental illness, as told by an episcopal priest who suffers from bipolar disorder.
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
by Ben Fountain
WHY I LIKE IT
Another book from Ben Fountain. I read it last year but it has stuck in my brain. It’s certainly not for everyone (content wise) but it was a finalist for the National Book Award and Mr. Fountain is, in my opinion, one of the greatest living American novelists. Plus, he’s a really nice guy who replies to my emails, which I think is very cool.

My Essentials

My all-time favorite books, movies and music
The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life In God
The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life In God
by Dallas Willard
WHY I LIKE IT
Dr. Willard was my professor in college and had a profound impact on my life. This book is his seminal work on the Christian life. If you want to dive deep into the life of discipleship of Christ, it’s a must read.
The Great Gatsby
The Great Gatsby
by F. Scott Fitzgerald
WHY I LIKE IT
Come on... what can you say about a book with the finest line ever written in the English language? “And so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
To Kill a Mockingbird
To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee
WHY I LIKE IT
What can I say? When I closed this book after reading it for the first time as a kid, I knew my life would never be the same. I now loved books and wanted to spend my life inside them and then creating my own.
The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha, Revised Standard Version, Expanded Edition (Hardcover 8910A)
The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha, Revised Standard Version, Expanded Edition (Hardcover 8910A)
 
WHY I LIKE IT
The gospel of Mark is simply thrilling. That’s the only thing I can say. If you’ve never sat down to read it in one sitting, like you would for a great novel, try it. You’ll be changed. I promise.
Book of Common Prayer Chapel Edition: Red Hardcover
Book of Common Prayer Chapel Edition: Red Hardcover
by Church Publishing
WHY I LIKE IT
When people ask me why I became Episcopalian, I tell them I never made a decision to do so; God simply found me in a new way when I began worshipping with the Book of Common Prayer. This book has since become a part of my life in a way that can only be described as integral.
Brief Encounters with Che Guevara: Stories
Brief Encounters with Che Guevara: Stories
by Ben Fountain
WHY I LIKE IT
Ben Fountain is a Dallas-based writer and this collection of short stories is a book I return to constantly, both for its brilliant writing and its nuanced look at what it means to be human.
The Road Less Traveled, Timeless Edition: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth
The Road Less Traveled, Timeless Edition: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth
by M. Scott Peck
WHY I LIKE IT
M. Scott Peck was a genius psychiatrist with the gift of weaving together spiritual and psychological insights. If you’re looking for an excellent meditation on what true love is and the value of every human being, check it out.
Canonical Theism: A Proposal for Theology and the Church
Canonical Theism: A Proposal for Theology and the Church
 
WHY I LIKE IT
A total necessity for any protestant curious about incorporating the wider canonical heritage of the church into her worship life. In seminary, this book opened my eyes to the rich resources of the church and totally changed my understanding of the word “canon”.
The Prophet
The Prophet
by Kahlil Gibran
WHY I LIKE IT
I return to this short book time and time again to drink from its fountain of wisdom. If you’re looking for timeless truths written with beauty and grace, look no further.
Revelations of Divine Love (Short Text and Long Text)
Revelations of Divine Love (Short Text and Long Text)
by Julian of Norwich
WHY I LIKE IT
Simply put: the most beautiful prose describing mystical union with God. Period.
The Lords of Discipline: A Novel
The Lords of Discipline: A Novel
by Pat Conroy
WHY I LIKE IT
This might be my favorite novel. Not because it’s the best novel I’ve ever read but because it made me want to be a writer. I was so captured by it in college that I became determined to offer that same kind of experience to other readers.
The Gold Coast
The Gold Coast
by Nelson DeMille
WHY I LIKE IT
This novel is totally underrated. Demille is often known only for thrillers but this is a well-written bit of literature with fabulous characters and an exciting plot. I can’t put my finger on it, but I’ve always just loved it and read it several times.
The Poetry of Robert Frost: The Collected Poems
The Poetry of Robert Frost: The Collected Poems
by Robert Frost
WHY I LIKE IT
Robert Frost comforts me in a way no other poet can. Read him at night, in the warmth of your bed, and just try and tell me our world isn’t beautiful.