New Spirituality and Religion in July

Featured new additions to DPL’s Spirituality & Religion collections! Click on the book title to place a hold. For more new books, visit our Upcoming Releases page. As always, if you have a book that you would like to recommend, call or email the Reference Department.

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Anchor and Flares: A Memoir of Motherhood, Hope and Service by Kate Braestrup – Kate Braestrup’s life was transformed by the loss of her husband; now Kate faces the possibility that she may lose her son. As a young mother Kate Braestrup discovered the fierce protectiveness that accompanies parenthood. In the intervening years–through mourning her husband and the joy of remarriage and a blended family-Kate has absorbed the rewards and complications of that spirit. But when her eldest son joins the Marines, Kate is at a crossroads: Can she reconcile her desire to protect her children with her family’s legacy of service? Can parents balance the joy of a child’s independence with the fear of letting go?
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Destiny: Step Into Your Purpose by T. D. Jakes – Jakes, author of more than 25 books and “bishop” of the popular nondenominational syndicated TV show the Potter’s Touch, builds on his previous works in this conversational sermon, proposing a framework for readers to discover their purpose and achieve their full potential. According to Jakes, we are all placed on the Earth for a specific purpose that can only be discovered by listening to our instincts. In this book, he takes the next step: “Instinct must merge with purpose to find Destiny.”
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St Paul: The Apostle we Love to Hate by Karen Armstrong – St. Paul is known throughout the world as the first Christian writer, authoring fourteen of the twenty-seven books in the New Testament. But as Karen Armstrong demonstrates in “St. Paul: The Apostle We Love to Hate,” he also exerted a more significant influence on the spread of Christianity throughout the world than any other figure in history. While we know little about some aspects of the life of St. Paul–his upbringing, the details of his death–his dramatic vision of God on the road to Damascus is one of the most powerful stories in the history of Christianity, and the life that followed forever changed the course of history.
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Approaching the End of Life: A Practical and Spiritual Guide – From making a will and planning a memorial service to finding peace in the toughest circumstances, Donna Schaper offers practical and spiritual guidance to anyone wrestling with the end of a life. With sensitivity and humor she helps readers face ageing and mortality with freedom rather than fear, encourages readers to find a spiritual home of some kind, and offers helpful suggestions on memorials and funeral services that will be well suited to the departed while also serving the loved ones in their grief and celebration.
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One Thousand Wells: How an Audacious Goal Taught Me to Love the World Instead of Save It by Jena Lee Nardella –  Ten years ago, Jena Lee Nardella was a fresh-out-of-college, twenty-something with the lofty goal of truly changing the world. Armed with a diploma, a thousand dollars, and a dream to build one thousand wells in Africa, she joined forces with the band Jars of Clay to found Blood:Water and begin her mission. But along the way she faced many harsh realities that have tested her faith, encountered corruption and brokenness that nearly destroyed everything she’d fought for, and taught her that wishful thinking will not get you very far. Jena discovered that true change comes only when you stop trying to save the world and allow yourself to love it, even when it breaks your heart.
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Relax, It’s Just God: How and Why to Talk to Your Kids about Religion When You’re Not Religious by Wendy T. Russell – A rapidly growing demographic cohort in America, non-religious parents are at the forefront of a major and unprecedented cultural shift. Unable to fall back on what they were taught as children, many of these parents are struggling–or simply failing–to address complicated religious questions and issues with their children in ways that promote curiosity, kindness, and independence. Author Wendy Thomas Russell sifts through hard data–including the results of her own survey of 1,000 nonreligious parents–and delivers gentle but straightforward advice to this often-overlooked segment of the American population.
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Living Out Islam: Voices of Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Muslims by Scott Kugle and Siraj Al-Haqq – Living Out Islam documents the rarely-heard voices of Muslims who live in secular democratic countries and who are gay, lesbian, and transgender. It weaves original interviews with Muslim activists into a compelling composite picture which showcases the importance of the solidarity of support groups in the effort to change social relationships and achieve justice. This nascent movement is not about being out as opposed to being in the closet. Rather, as the voices of these activists demonstrate, it is about finding ways to live out Islam with dignity and integrity, reconciling their sexuality and gender with their faith and reclaiming Islam as their own.

New Spiritualty & Religion – June

Featured new additions to DPL’s Spirituality & Religion collections! Click on the book cover or the title to place a hold. For more new books, visit our Upcoming Releases page. As always, if you have a book that you would like to recommend, call or email the Reference Department.

faith Faith versus Fact: Why Science and Religion are Incompatible by Jerry Coyne – The best-selling author of Why Evolution Is True discusses the negative role of religion in education, politics, medicine and social policy, explaining how religion cannot provide verifiable or responsible answers to world problems.
index10LBVWIJ A Trip around the Sun: Turning Your Everyday Life Into the Adventure of a Lifetime by Mark Batterson – What happens when we take Jesus at his word when he says, “I have come that you might have life and have it to the full?” New York Times bestselling author Mark Batterson and his mentor Richard Foth have done just that with their lives–and in A Trip around the Sun, they show readers how they too can experience their life and faith as the ultimate adventure.
indexWHIVNNTT How to Walk by Thich Nhat Hahn – How to Walk is the fourth title in Parallax’s popular Mindfulness Essentials Series of how-to titles by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, introducing beginners and reminding seasoned practitioners of the essentials of mindfulness practice.
indexSZABOKCH If the Oceans Were Ink : An Unlikely Friendship and a Journey to the Heart of the Quran by Carla PowerThe eye-opening story of how American Carla Powers and her longtime friend Sheikh Mohammad Akram Nadwi found a way to confront ugly stereotypes and persistent misperceptions that were cleaving their communities.
index1ED600SL How to Read the Bible by Harvey Cox – Renowned religion expert and Harvard Divinity School professor Harvey Cox deepens our experience of the Bible, revealing the three primary ways we read it, why each is important, and how we can integrate these approaches for a richer understanding and appreciation of key texts throughout the Old and New Testaments.
indexLP25KRF7 A Force for Good: The Dalai Lama’s Vision for Our World by Daniel Goleman and Dalai Lama – In A Force for Good,  the Dalai Lama explains how to turn our compassionate energy outward. This revelatory and inspiring work provides a singular vision for transforming the world in practical and positive ways.
indexC2VX7MS5 Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion by Sam Harris – For the millions of Americans who want spirituality without religion, Waking Up is a guide to meditation as a rational practice informed by neuroscience and psychology. Throughout this book, Harris argues that there is more to understanding reality than science and secular culture generally allow, and that how we pay attention to the present moment largely determines the quality of our lives.
preaching Preaching: Communicating Faith in an Age of Skepticism by Timothy Keller – Most Christians—including pastors—struggle to talk about their faith in a way that applies the power of the Christian gospel to change people’s lives. In this accessible guide for pastors and laypeople alike, Keller helps readers learn to present the Christian message of grace in a more engaging, passionate, and compassionate way.

New Spirituality & Religion

Featured new additions to DPL’s Spirituality & Religion collections! Click on the book cover or the title to place a hold. For more new books, visit our Upcoming Releases page. As always, if you have a book that you would like to recommend, call or email the Reference Department.

61MGvoxdiSL Finding God in the Verbs: Crafting a Fresh Language of Prayer  by Jennie Isbell and Brent Bill – Prayer can be formulaic, inauthentic and boring in a thousand ways, but Isbell and Bill, both Quakers, take to heart a charge to refresh prayer as expressive language and as a means to speak with and about God. Accessible theology underlies their eminently practical approach, asking pray-ers—those who pray—to take stock of their own assumptions and preferences in developing a way to pray.
The Future of the Catholic Church with Pope Francis   by Gary Wills – Historian Garry Wills argues that changes have been the evidence of life in the Catholic Church. It has often changed, sometimes with bad consequences, more often with good, good enough to make it perdure. In this study, he gives seven examples of deep and serious changes that have taken place (or are taking place) within the last century.
Stay: Lessons My Dogs Taught Me about Life, Loss, and Grace by Dave Burchett – Hannah was Burchett’s best friend, so when he first learned of Hannah’s cancer diagnosis, he decided to take whatever time he had left with Hannah to cherish the moments and capture his thoughts in a journal. As he wrote about his canine friend, he soon realized that Hannah was an able (and furry) mentor of faith, grace, kindness, and forgiveness.
 The Nuns of Sant’Ambrogio : The True Story of a Convent in Scandal by Hubert Wolf – In 1858, a German princess, recently inducted into the convent of Sant’Ambrogio in Rome, wrote a frantic letter to her cousin, a confidant of the Pope, claiming that she was being abused and feared for her life. The subsequent investigation by the Church’s Inquisition uncovered illicit behavior of the convent’s beautiful young mistress, Maria Luisa. What emerges through the fog of centuries is a sex scandal of ecclesiastical significance.
Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms : Journeys into the Disappearing Religions of the Middle East by Russell Gerard – Despite its reputation for religious intolerance, the Middle East has long sheltered many distinctive and strange faiths: one regards the Greek prophets as incarnations of God, another reveres Lucifer in the form of a peacock, and yet another believes that their followers are reincarnated beings who have existed in various forms for thousands of years. These religions represent the last vestiges of the magnificent civilizations in ancient history: Persia, Babylon, Egypt in the time of the Pharaohs. Their followers have learned how to survive foreign attacks and the perils of assimilation. But today, with the Middle East in turmoil, they face greater challenges than ever before.
Living with Intent: My Somewhat Messy Journey to Purpose, Peace, and Joy by Mallika Chopra – A chronicle of Mallika Chopra’s search to find more meaning, joy, and balance in life. She hopes that by telling her story, she can inspire others with her own successes (and failures) as well as share some of the wisdom she has gathered from friends, experts, and family along the way— people like her dad, Deepak, as well as Eckhart Tolle, Marianne Williamson, Arianna Huffington, Andrew Weil, and Dan Siegel. She also provides a practical road map for how we can all move from thought to action to outcome.
41XuJnXemhL  Bad Faith: When Religious Belief Undermines Modern Medicine  by Paul Offit – In Bad Faith, acclaimed physician and author Paul Offit gives readers a never-before-seen look into the minds of those who choose to medically martyr themselves, or their children, in the name of religion. Never afraid of controversy, Offit takes a stark and disturbing look at our surprising capacity to risk the health and safety of children in service of our beliefs.
Get your Hopes Up!: Expect Something Good to Happen to You Every Day  – Joyce Meyer teaches readers how to transform their lives by tapping into the power of hope. One of the most powerful forces in the universe is hope–the happy and confident anticipation that something good is going to happen.

 

Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

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Set in rural Appalachia, Flight Behavior introduces readers to fiery haired Dellaboria Turnbow, a 28-year-old mother of two and wife of sweet, but dull Cub. After getting pregnant at 17, she traded college for rural poverty — helping her in-laws on their sheep farm.  We meet Dellaboria as she makes her way toward an adulterous rendezvous, which she skips after seeing what “looked like the inside of joy” that she interprets as a sign from God.  Her vision turns out to be a sea of Monarch butterflies that arrive in rural Tennessee after changing weather patterns disturb their flight behavior.  The butterflies bring in a cast of characters — from environmental activists to scientists to tourists to journalists — that push Dellaboria to challenge her expectations of herself and those around her.

This book reads as deeply personal, with Kingsolver’s fondness for these characters only matched by the urgency in her description of possible near-future effects of climate change.  Kingsolver lives in rural Appalachia (and has a background in ecology and biology), and you can tell that she looks on her home with a mix of affection and frustration.  She writes Dellaboria and her family and friends with enough respect to make them complicated, thoughtful, intelligent, and flawed.  Readers that enjoyed Kingsolver’s other forays into family and politics in  The Poisonwood Bible and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle will enjoy this beautifully written novel.  

 

 

Armchair Traveler – Novels of Jerusalem and Palestine

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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.

Apocalypse, Atheists, the Ark, oh my!

How important is religion to you? Well it’s important to someone, as several of these new red-hot religious book have a starting print run of 200,000 copies.

Here are a few titles that just came off the mountain at DPL for your perusal:

Sylvia Browne – End of Days: Predictions and Prophecies about the End of the World
The world has become a scary place—religious wars, global terrorism, and genocide are all over the news, and thanks to the Internet, the Information Age has ushered in the Anxiety Age. Who better to lead the way out than Sylvia Browne, the most popular psychic working today?

Jack Kerouac – Wake Up: A Life of the Buddha
Published for the first time in book form, an account of the life of the Buddha by the author of On the Road

T.D. Jakes – Before You Do: Making Great Life Decisions
A guide by the author of Reposition Yourself identifies twenty-five spiritual and psychological tools for reevaluating one’s place in life before making decisions about relationships with family, friends, and others

A Friendly Letter to Skeptics and Atheists: Musings on Why God Is Good and Faith Isn’t Evil
Social Psychologist David Myers admits that many people throughout history who have claimed to believe in God have caused much evil in the world. He is respectful of his atheist interlocutors, like Richard Dawkins, preferring to discuss how Surely, in some ways I’m wrong, you’re wrong, we’re all wrong.

The lost ark of the covenant: Solving the 2,500 year of fable of the biblical ark
With painstaking historical scholarship, groundbreaking genetic science, and hair-raising fieldwork, Parfitt, who the Wall Street Journal calls “a British Indiana Jones,” debunks the previous myths and reveals the shocking history of the Ark and its keepers. From Israel to Egypt, Ethiopia, and the ruins of Great Zimbabwe, the journey leads to places Parfitt could never have imagined.

Anne Rice – Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession
In a haunting memoir, the best-selling author of Interview with a Vampire presents an intensely personal journey of faith that records her New Orleans Catholic childhood; loss of faith and involvement with secular humanism; the alienation and tragedy that marked her life; and her eventual return, after thirty-eight years as an atheist, to New Orleans and a belief in Christ

Joel Osteen – Daily Readings from Become a Better You: 90 Devotions for Improving Your Life Every Day
An anthology of inspirational and motivational readings by the pastor author of Become a Better You includes pieces that illustrate his seven principles for leading an improved life