Russell Moore's Bookshelf

Books . Movies . Music . More
Russell Moore's Bookshelf
Russell Moore's Bookshelf
Books . Movies . Music . More

Russell Moore

Southern Baptist Convention

My Current Favorites

Five books, movies, or songs influencing me now
J. I. Packer: An Evangelical Life
J. I. Packer: An Evangelical Life
by Leland Ryken
WHY I LIKE IT
Packer is one of my heroes. He is one of the brilliant lights of contemporary evangelicalism, who has demonstrated throughout his life a genuine, personal, close walk with Christ, and a refusal to see himself as anything other than a sinner saved by grace. I love the man, and so far, I love this book.
Lady Bird and Lyndon: The Hidden Story of a Marriage That Made a President
Lady Bird and Lyndon: The Hidden Story of a Marriage That Made a President
by Betty Boyd Caroli
WHY I LIKE IT
I listen about once a year to the recordings that President Johnson made in the Oval Office. Most intriguing to me about these recordings are the times when Lady Bird Johnson makes an appearance. She is, to me, one of the most fascinating First Ladies, and he President at one of the most complex times in US history.
The Work of the Dead: A Cultural History of Mortal Remains
The Work of the Dead: A Cultural History of Mortal Remains
by Thomas W. Laqueur
WHY I LIKE IT
This is morbid, I know. Nonetheless a Christian view of the present age must include an understanding of the body and the culture’s response to death. Reading this book reminds me of Hebrews 2:15: Apart from Christ we are all held in lifelong captivity through fear of death. The issues in this book range from questions about burial and cremation to cemeteries.
God or Nothing: A Conversation on Faith
God or Nothing: A Conversation on Faith
by Cardinal Robert Sarah,Nicolas Diat
WHY I LIKE IT
This series of interviews with a prominent African cardinal is particularly instructive given the Catholic church’s recent synod on the family. Cardinal Sarah is stout and unambiguous on issues of marriage and sexuality, as well as the need to maintain and emphasize the supernatural.
Selected Poems
Selected Poems
by John Updike
WHY I LIKE IT
This is a collection of poetry across the life of the famous writer. My favorite ones are from the later years, near Updike’s death, where he is unusually nostalgic and reflective of home. Updike once wrote, “Perhaps we meet heaven at the start and not the end of life.” Of course I disagree with him there, but I do think our start teaches us to long for the things we find at the end.

My Essentials

My all-time favorite books, movies and music
Merle Haggard: The Running Kind (American Music (University of Texas))
Merle Haggard: The Running Kind (American Music (University of Texas))
by David Cantwell
Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong
Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong
by Terry Teachout
The Writings of the Late Elder John Leland: Including Some Events in His Life (Classic Reprint)
The Writings of the Late Elder John Leland: Including Some Events in His Life (Classic Reprint)
by John Leland
WHY I LIKE IT
This biography is very influential on my view of the relationship between the kingdom of God and the kingdoms of this age.
The End of the Affair (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)
The End of the Affair (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)
by Graham Greene
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Confederacy of Dunces
by John Kennedy Toole
WHY I LIKE IT
This is the funniest book I've ever read, and I re-read it often if for no other reason than to hear the voices and accents of my home region—accents that are fast erasing, even most lamentably long ago from my own voice, in a culture-flattening America.
Jayber Crow
Jayber Crow
by Wendell Berry
WHY I LIKE IT
One of my favorite fiction books
Christianity and Liberalism, new ed.
Christianity and Liberalism, new ed.
by J. Gresham Machen
WHY I LIKE IT
I read this rather often, and always find it prophetic and timely.
The City of God
The City of God
by Saint Augustine of Hippo
Confessions (Oxford World's Classics)
Confessions (Oxford World's Classics)
by Saint Augustine
On the Apostolic Preaching
On the Apostolic Preaching
by Irenaeus Saint Bishop of Lyon
Signposts in a Strange Land: Essays
Signposts in a Strange Land: Essays
by Walker Percy
The Moviegoer
The Moviegoer
by Walker Percy

My Bookshelf Archive

my archived books, movies, music, and more
Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights: A Novel
Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights: A Novel
by Salman Rushdie
WHY I LIKE IT
This book is by the controversial author of The Satanic Verses, who became an international symbol of religious freedom and free speech after a fatwa was put on his life by radical Islamic authorities due of his depiction of the prophet Mohammed. This book is quite different; it is based on the imagery of 1,001 Nights. Rusdhie explores the interactions of the jinn, spirit beings from Arabic mythology and Islamic lore, with human beings from contemporary America. I find the book fascinating even though I am not far into it yet, because it comes from a committed atheist who nonetheless shows a longing for something supernatural, even if it is not God.
The Givenness of Things: Essays
The Givenness of Things: Essays
by Marilynne Robinson
WHY I LIKE IT
Robinson is one of the most adept writers of the modern age at crafting beautiful truths beautifully. Her collection of essays stimulates my thought almost as much as her fiction, especially her collection The Death of Adam. I have just started this book and look forward to profiting from it.
Russell Kirk: American Conservative
Russell Kirk: American Conservative
by Bradley J. Birzer
WHY I LIKE IT
This book follows the life and thought of one of the most important thinkers of the last century. Kirk was a complicated figure. He was a political writer who distrusted ideology and wrote ghost stories. The book weaves between personal biography and history of ideas in a helpful way.
Jack Kemp: The Bleeding-Heart Conservative Who Changed America
Jack Kemp: The Bleeding-Heart Conservative Who Changed America
by Morton Kondracke,Fred Barnes
WHY I LIKE IT
I have this book marked up from cover to cover. Kemp was a great conservative catalyst, and one who persistently called on his party to be the party of Lincoln, standing up for civil rights against racial dogwhistles and immigrant bashing. Kemp was also deeply committed to the Christian faith, a theme that shows up often in this book. One anecdote I found particularly inspiring takes place when Kemp is running for president in 1988 and speaks at a fundraiser in my home state of Mississippi. Kemp is warned to avoid references to Lincoln and race, given the crowd in the room. As can be expected, Kemp spent the entire speech calling for a convictional embrace of civil rights and Lincoln’s ideas.
Quack This Way: David Foster Wallace & Bryan A. Garner Talk Language and Writing
Quack This Way: David Foster Wallace & Bryan A. Garner Talk Language and Writing
by Bryan Garner,David Foster Wallace
WHY I LIKE IT
This is a very good conversation between two thinkers on what it means to write, communicate and create. One fascinating anecdote for me is David Foster Wallace’s noting why he does not read reviews of his books. He says, “No, no, only because they make insane. Even if it’s a nice review, I’ll focus only one the one or two bad reviews.”
My Life on the Road
My Life on the Road
by Gloria Steinem
WHY I LIKE IT
It’s hard to think of anyone in American life with whom I have sharper differences than Gloria Steinem. She is, of course, one of the pioneers of the modern feminist movement and its accompanying abortion rights movement. The book is dedicated to the abortionist who took the life of her child when she was 22. The book is a sad autobiography but one that points out, in one life, much of the cultural tumult we have experienced over the last fifty years.
Blood Will Out: The True Story of a Murder, a Mystery, and a Masquerade
Blood Will Out: The True Story of a Murder, a Mystery, and a Masquerade
by Walter Kirn
Surviving Technopolis: Essays on Finding Balance in Our New Man-Made Environments
Surviving Technopolis: Essays on Finding Balance in Our New Man-Made Environments
by Arthur W. Hunt III
The Art of Memoir
The Art of Memoir
by Mary Karr
WHY I LIKE IT
One of the leading lights of the contemporary memoir genre writes about her craft.
Isaac Backus on Church, State and Calvinism Pamphlets 1754-1789
Isaac Backus on Church, State and Calvinism Pamphlets 1754-1789
by Isaac Backus
The Next America: Boomers, Millennials, and the Looming Generational Showdown
The Next America: Boomers, Millennials, and the Looming Generational Showdown
by Paul Taylor,Pew Research Center
Buchanan Dying: A Play
Buchanan Dying: A Play
by John Updike