Featured new additions to DPL’s Religion & Spirituality collections! Click on the title to place a hold. For more new books, visit our Upcoming Releases page. As always, if there’s a title you would like to read, please send us a purchase suggestion.

41PEVN8z0kLA Call to Mercy: Hearts to Love, Hands to Serve by Mother Teresa of Calcutta – For millions of people from all walks of life, Mother Teresa’s canonization is providentially taking place during Pope Francis’s Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. This is entirely fitting since she is seen both inside and outside of the Church as an icon of God’s mercy to those in need. Compiled and edited by Brian Kolodiejckuk, M.C., the postulator of Mother Teresa’s cause for sainthood, A Call to Mercy presents deep yet accessible wisdom on how we can show compassion in our everyday lives. In her own words, Mother Teresa discusses such topics as: the need for us to visit the sick and the imprisoned, the importance of honoring the dead and informing the ignorant, the necessity to bear our burdens patiently and forgive willingly, the purpose to feed the poor and pray for all, the greatness of creating a “civilization of love” through personal service to others. Featuring never before published testimonials by people close to Mother Teresa as well as prayers and suggestions for putting these ideas into practice, A Call to Mercy is a living testament to the teachings of a saint whose ideas are important, relevant and very necessary in the 21st century.

27840705Uninvited: Living Loved when you Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely by Lysa TerKeurst – In Uninvited, Lysa shares her own deeply personal experiences with rejection–from the incredibly painful childhood abandonment by her father to the perceived judgment of the perfectly toned woman one elliptical over. With biblical depth, gut-honest vulnerability, and refreshing wit, Lysa helps readers  release the desire to fall apart or control the actions of others by embracing God-honoring ways to process their hurt, to know exactly what to pray for the next ten days to steady their soul and restore their confidence, and to overcome the two core fears that feed our insecurities by understanding the secret of belonging. Stop feeling left out and start believing that “set apart” does not mean “set aside.” End the cycle of perceived rejection by refusing to turn a small incident into a full-blown issue.

27214167The Vanishing Messiah: The Life and Resurrections of Francis Schlatter by David Wetzel – In 1895, an extraordinarily enigmatic faith healer emerged in the American West. An Alsatian immigrant and former cobbler, Francis Schlatter looked like popular depictions of Jesus, and it was said that his very touch could heal everything from migraines and arthritis to blindness and cancer. By November of 1895, it is estimated that Schlatter was treating thousands of people every day. Then, one night, Schlatter simply vanished. Eighteen months later, his skeleton was reportedly found on a mountainside in Mexico’s Sierra Madre range. Within hours of the announcement of Schlatter’s found remains, a long-haired man emerged in Cleveland to say that he was Francis Schlatter, and over the next twenty-five years, several others claimed to be Denver’s great healer. In The Vanishing Messiah , a modern researcher painstakingly pieces together evidence from letters, newspaper reports, hospital records, mug shots, and published reminiscences of the healer to find out what really happened to Francis Schlatter after he left Denver in the middle of the night in November 1895.

k10684After One-Hundred-And-Twenty: Reflecting on Death, Mourning, and the Afterlife in the Jewish Tradition by Hillel Halkin After One-Hundred-and-Twenty provides a richly nuanced and deeply personal look at Jewish attitudes and practices regarding death, mourning, and the afterlife as they have existed and evolved from biblical times to today. Taking its title from the Hebrew and Yiddish blessing to live to a ripe old age–Moses is said to have been 120 years old when he died–the book explores how the Bible’s original reticence about an afterlife gave way to views about personal judgment and reward after death, the resurrection of the body, and even reincarnation. It examines Talmudic perspectives on grief, burial, and the afterlife, shows how Jewish approaches to death changed in the Middle Ages with thinkers like Maimonides and in the mystical writings of the Zohar, and delves into such things as the origins of the custom of reciting Kaddish for the deceased and beliefs about encountering the dead in visions and dreams. After One-Hundred-and-Twenty is also Hillel Halkin’s eloquent and disarmingly candid reflection on his own mortality, the deaths of those he has known and loved, and the comfort he has and has not derived from Jewish tradition.

Naomi Levy wrote Hope Will Find You as she was in the midst of her daughter’s health crisis. Spending much of her time in doctor’s waiting rooms, and trying to deal with the uncertainty of the diagnosis, Naomi began, unsurprisingly, to show signs of depression. She’d suspended her enjoyment of life and her career as a rabbi.

This book is a series of very short chapters that chronicle her climb out of that despair. She gains wisdom from other rabbis, mentors and, most of all, Noa, her daughter. Noa suffers from learning and physical disabilities, that may or may not be fatal. She is incredibly positive and energetic, and she is the one who actually comes up with the title.

One of Naomi’s breakthroughs is a realization that she can’t let her fear of the unknown destroy the happiness she can enjoy with her family and friends now. As Naomi lets go of her crippling fear, she is able to go back to work and even starts a new congregation.

Not only is her story inspirational, the book is a fascinating glimpse into Judaism and the Jewish principles of faith.

jerusalem

Many readers are trying to get context for what’s going on in Jerusalem and Palestine. Novels can give social and cultural insight into ancient (and modern) disputes beyond the strife of war and conflict.

The Walls of Jericho by Jon Land

This is a thriller that proves that  the stereotypical “strife in the Middle East” can be woven into highly entertaining crime fiction. The first in the series about a pair of detectives (one Israeli and one Palestinian American) who are assigned to work together to catch a serial killer. Danielle Barnea is an Israel Security Agency officer, and works with Ben Kamal to unravel the plot that may threaten the Arab-Israeli peace process.

The Samaritan’s Secret by Matt Beynon Rees

Rees keeps the “military maneuvers in the background and [focusses] on ordinary people struggling to live ordinary lives,” according to the New York Times. The hero is a Palestinian teacher, who helps with the investigation of  the theft of a priceless scroll.

Damascus Gate by Robert Stone

This is a mystery that “transcends its genre” and is a “novel of place, securely grounded in the stones of Jerusalem.” Religious radicals (Christian and Jewish) plan to blow up Mosques in Jerusalem, for their own convoluted reasons. Stone ‘s “meditation on belief”….and “suspense all come together is a stunning finale that satisfies on all levels.” Booklist

Martyr’s Crossing by Amy Wilentz

An incident at a Jerusalem checkpoint sparks riots and the soldier and young Palestinian mother are reluctantly pulled into the ensuing chaos. The author is the Jerusalem correspondent for the New Yorker and is “masterful at turning the Israeli/Palestinian predicament like a prism to expose multifaceted viewpoints, leaving the reader with insight into the politics and an overwhelming empathetic vision of the human pain that is part of daily living in this region of the world,” according to Booklist.