Featured new additions to DPL’s Religion and 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.


51zqYF24+iL__SX337_BO1,204,203,200_The Name of God is Mercy by Pope Francis – In his first book published as Pope, and in conjunction with the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, Pope Francis here invites all humanity to an intimate and personal dialogue on the subject closest to his heart—mercy—which has long been the cornerstone of his faith and is now the central teaching of his papacy.

 

 

 


Breaking+Busy+CoverBreaking Busy: How to Find Peace on Purpose in a World of Crazy by Alli Worthington – Marrying popular secular research with solid biblical principles, Allie Worthington instills confidence that you, too, can move from crazy busy to confident calm. With refreshing candor, uproarious true stories, and a Christian worldview, Alli delivers truths that dismantle common happiness myths. Then she empowers you to get unstuck, to let go of the good to make way for the great, to know yourself and your Creator, and ultimately to find peace and purpose in this world of crazy.

 


9781611801002The Vow-Powered Life: A Simple Method for Living with Purpose by Jan Chozen Bays – Making a vow is a powerful mindfulness practice—and all you have to do to tap into that power is set your intention consciously. A vow can be as “small” as the aspiration to smile at someone at least once every day, or as “big” as marriage; as personal as deciding to be mindful when picking up the phone or as universal as vowing to save all sentient beings. It can be deeply spiritual, utterly ordinary, or both. Zen teacher Jan Chozen Bays looks to traditional Buddhist teachings to show the power of vows—and then applies that teaching broadly to the many vows we make. She shows that if we work with vows consciously, they set us in the direction of achieving our goals, both temporal and spiritual.


Battling-the-Gods-coverBattling the Gods: Atheism in the Ancient World by Tim Whitmarsh – How new is atheism? Although adherents and opponents alike today present it as an invention of the European Enlightenment, when the forces of science and secularism broadly challenged those of faith, disbelief in the gods, in fact, originated in a far more remote past. In Battling the Gods, Tim Whitmarsh journeys into the ancient Mediterranean, a world almost unimaginably different from our own, to recover the stories and voices of those who first refused the divinities.

 


Out-of-Sorts-Cover-525x800Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith by Sarah Bessey – Blogger Bessey  shares with her readers the power of uncertainty in the face of the transformative reality of the Spirit. Instead of arguments, Bessey invites readers into a conversation of loosely topical vignettes. These biographical reflections are a feast of wit, passion, criticism, intelligence, and, above all, gentleness. Whether Bessey is addressing how to handle theology, the authority of Scripture, social justice, or the problem of evil, it is always as a story. Along the way, we walk with her in her early embrace of the Charismatic Movement, her disillusionment with it and Christianity in general, and finally her critical reconciliation.


for_the_love_jhFor the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards by Jen Hatmaker – Best-selling author Jen Hatmaker is convinced life can be lovely and fun and courageous and kind. She reveals with humor and style how Jesus’ embarrassing grace is the key to dealing with life’s biggest challenge: people. The majority of our joys, struggles, thrills, and heartbreaks relate to people, beginning with ourselves and then the people we came from, married, birthed, live by, go to church with, don’t like, don’t understand, fear, compare ourselves to, and judge. Jen knows how the squeeze of this life can make us competitive and judgmental, how we can lose love for others and then for ourselves. She reveals how to: Break free of guilt and shame by dismantling the unattainable Pinterest life.

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.

91bcwKzOLGL Betrayal: The Crisis in the Catholic Church by The Investigative Staff of the Boston Globe – The story behind this groundbreaking book has been brought to life on the screen in the new movie Spotlight . Here are the devastating revelations that triggered a crisis within the Catholic Church. Here is the truth about the scores of abusive priests who preyed upon innocent children and the cabal of senior Church officials who covered up their crimes. Here is the trail of “hush money” that the Catholic Church secretly paid to buy victims’ silence Here as well is a vivid account of the ongoing struggle, as Catholics confront their Church and call for sweeping change.
91zRIUZpPdL Mythology by Edith Hamilton – Since its original publication in 1942, Edith Hamilton’s Mythology has sold millions of copies throughout the world and established itself as a perennial bestseller. Mythology succeeds like no other book in bringing to life for the modern reader the Greek, Roman, and Norse myths and legends that are the keystone of Western culture – the stories of gods and heroes that have inspired human creativity from antiquity to the present.
NotInGodsName_unapproved-e1427725666846 Not in God’s Name: Confronting Religious Violence by Jonathan Sacks – In this powerful and timely book, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks tackles the phenomenon of religious extremism and violence committed in the name of God. If religion is perceived as being part of the problem, Rabbi Sacks argues, then it must also form part of the solution. When religion becomes a zero-sum conceit violence between people of different beliefs, violence appears to be the only natural outcome.But through an exploration of the roots of violence and its relationship to religion Rabbi Sacks shows that religiously inspired violence has as its source misreadings of biblical texts at the heart of all three Abrahamic faiths.
81KTjecgtLL Parables: The Mysteries of God’s Kingdom by John MacArthur – As a master storyteller, Jesus used ingeniously simple word pictures to impart profound spiritual lessons. In this insightful exploration of Christ’s parables, respected expositor and commentator MacArthur helps to understand each story and comprehend how it fits into the narrative of Scripture and the gospel message.
81lXcrfhwcL Pope Francis Among the Wolves: The Inside Story of a Revolution by Marco Politi – Marco Politi takes us deep inside the power struggle roiling the Roman Curia and the Catholic Church worldwide, beginning with Benedict XVI, the pope who famously resigned in 2013, and intensifying with the contested and unexpected election of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, archbishop of Buenos Aires, now known as Pope Francis. Politi’s account balances the perspectives of Pope Francis’s supporters, Benedict’s sympathizers, and those disappointed members of the Catholic laity who feel alienated by the institution’s secrecy, financial corruption, and refusal to modernize.
142227 This Is Not A Love Story: A Memoir by Judy Brown – The third of six children in a family that harks back to a gloried Hassidic dynasty, Judy Brown grew up with the legacy of centuries of religious teaching, and the faith and lore that sustained her people for generations. But her carefully constructed world begins to crumble when her “crazy” brother Nachum returns home after a year in Israel living with relatives. Though supposedly “cured,” he is still prone to retreating into his own mind or erupting in wordless rages. The adults’ inability to make him better – or even to give his affliction a name – forces Judy to ask larger questions: If God could perform miracles for her sainted ancestors, why can’t He cure Nachum? And what of the other stories her family treasured?

Featured new additions to DPL’s Religion and 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.

51j2QVhAyfL__SX334_BO1,204,203,200_  Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People by Nadia Bolz-Weber – Tattooed, angry and profane, this former standup comic turned pastor stubbornly, sometimes hilariously, resists the God she feels called to serve. But God keeps showing up in the least likely of people—a church-loving agnostic, a drag queen, a felonious Bishop and a gun-toting member of the NRA. As she lives and worships alongside these “ac­cidental saints,” Nadia is swept into first-hand en­counters with grace and by this grace, people are trans­formed in ways they couldn’t have been on their own.
y450-293  Grounded: Finding God in the World by Diana Butler Bass – The headlines are clear: religion is on the decline in America as many people leave behind traditional religious practices. Author and commentator Diana Butler Bass argues that what appears to be a decline actually signals a major transformation in how people understand and experience God. The distant God of conventional religion has given way to a more intimate sense of the sacred that is with us in the world. This shift, from a vertical understanding of God to a God found on the horizons of nature and human community, is at the heart of a spiritual revolution that surrounds us.

The Vatican Prophecies: Investigating Supernatural Signs, Apparitions, and Miracles in the Modern Age by John Thavis – A behind-the-scenes look at how the Vatican investigates claims of miraculous events. Apocalyptic prophecies and miraculous apparitions are headline-grabbing events that often put the Catholic Church’s concept of “rational faith” at odds with the passion of its more zealous followers. To some, these claims teeter on the edge of absurdity. Others see them as evidence of a private connection with God. For the Vatican, the issue is much more nuanced as each supposed miraculous event could have serious theological and political consequences. In response, the Vatican has developed a highly secretive and complex evaluation system to judge the authenticity of supernatural phenomena. Former journalist John Thavis sheds light on this little-known process,
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Why I Am a Salafi by Michael Muhammad Knight – The Salafi movement invests supreme Islamic authority in the precedents of the Salaf, the first three generations of Muslims, who represent a “Golden Age” from which all subsequent eras can only decline. In Why I Am a Salafi, Michael Muhammad Knight confronts the problem of origins, questioning the possibility of accessing pure Islam through its canonical texts. It is also a confrontation of Knight’s own origins as a Muslim, exploring not only Salafism’s valorization of the origins, but takes the Salafi project further than its advocates are willing to go, and reflects upon the consequences of surrendering the origins forever.
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Witches of America by Alex Mar – When most people hear the word “witches,” they think of horror films and Halloween, but to the nearly one million Americans who practice Paganism today, witchcraft is a nature-worshipping, polytheistic, and very real religion. So Alex Mar discovers when she sets out to film a documentary and finds herself drawn deep into the world of present-day magic. With keen intelligence and wit, Mar illuminates the world of witchcraft while grappling in fresh and unexpected ways with the question underlying every faith: Why do we choose to believe in anything at all? Whether evangelical Christian, Pagan priestess, or atheist, each of us craves a system of meaning to give structure to our lives. Sometimes we just find it in unexpected places.
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Where I am Heaven, Eternity, and Our Life Beyond by Billy Graham – Now in his 97th year, preacher and evangelist Graham invites readers to follow the “Gospel Plan of Salvation” to the “ultimate destination… Heaven found in Jesus Christ.” Graham evokes biblical authority with his trademark “the Bible says,” interspersing stories from scripture alongside reminiscences from his lengthy global ministries. In the moving final chapter of what may be his last book, Graham’s reflections on “when the Lord calls me home” proclaim his steadfast faith in the gospel message he has preached.

 

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 you have a book that you would like to recommend, call or email the Reference Department.

 gregory How’s Your Faith?: An Unlikely Spiritual Journey by David Gregory – While covering the White House as NBC newsman and Meet the Press moderator Gregory had the unusual experience of being asked by President George W. Bush “How’s your faith?” Gregory’s answer was just emerging. Gregory approaches his faith with the curiosity and dedication you would expect from a journalist accustomed to holding politicians and Presidents accountable. But he also comes as a seeker, one just discovering why spiritual journeys are always worthwhile.
51YSj4NuaUL__SX320_BO1,204,203,200_ Uncovered: How I Left Hasidic Life and Finally Came Home by Leah Lax – In Uncovered, Leah Lax tells her story–beginning as a young teen who left her liberal, secular home for life as a Hasidic Jew and ending as a forty-something woman who has to abandon the only world she’s known for thirty years in order to achieve personal freedom. In understated, crystalline prose, Lax details her experiences with arranged marriage, fundamentalist faith, and motherhood during her years with the Hasidim, and explores how her creative, sexual, and spiritual longings simmer beneath the surface throughout her time there.
61dDCcEM3IL__SX406_BO1,204,203,200_ Pope Francis and the New Vatican by Robert Draper and David Yoder – National Geographic goes behind-the-scenes of the new papacy with unprecedented, exclusive access to Pope Francis. Embedded with the Pope inside the Vatican for 6 months, award-winning photographer David Yoder captures intimate moments in never-before-seen photographs presented here for the first time. Complementary essays by acclaimed journalist and author Robert Draper–drawn from interviews around the world with many who had never spoken publicly before–insightfully cover Pope Francis’s personal story, his journey to the papacy, and the heart of his ministry.
51giUOdOteL__SX322_BO1,204,203,200_ The Battle Plan for Prayer by  Stephen Kendrick & Alex Kendrick – Inspired by the Kendrick Brothers’ new movie, War Room, is designed to help anyone learn how to become a powerful person of prayer. The Battle Plan for Prayer begins with prayer’s core purpose, its biblical design, and its impact throughout history. Readers will be guided scripturally through the fundamentals of how effective prayer works, inspired towards a closer, more intimate relationship with God, and shown how to develop specific prayer strategies for each area of life.
 index9H5OIPZ3  How to Eat by Thich Nhat Hanh – Eating is a chance to return to the present moment. How to Eat clearly and succinctly explains how you can incorporate eating as a form of meditation. The book provides practical advice on how to become truly nourished through the mindful preparation, serving, eating, and cleaning up of food. How to Eat encourages moderation and taking time to truly savor what we eat. By doing so, you too can become healthier, more fully enjoy what you eat, and help reduce waste.
410ae8DkPCL The Gratitude Diaries: How a Year Looking on the Bright Side Can Transform Your Life by Janice Kaplan – On New Year’s Eve, journalist and former Parade editor in chief Janice Kaplan makes a promise to be grateful and look on the bright side of whatever happens. She realizes that how she feels over the next months will have less to do with the events that occur than her own attitude and perspective. Getting advice at every turn from psychologists, academics, doctors, and philosophers she brings readers on a smart and witty journey to discover the value of appreciating what you have.

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.

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.

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.

 

Shelter for the SpiritVictoria Moran believes that housekeeping is actually a form of affection for your home. All caregiving (for people or things)  should  lead one to gradually love what one cares for. Thomas More says in the introduction to Shelter for the Spirit,  “Ordinary chores satisfy primal longings.”

This book is not about practical tips and tricks, or full of lists of the many tasks you need to do, year-round. It’s more about changing your attitude and savoring everyday acts. This is an inspiring work for those of us stressed and depressed about how much endless, repetitive work is involved in taking care of a house.

The author says, “Human beings need a place to foster an inner life….It is about reclaiming home as the primary center for our spirituality, our resourcefulness, and the best moments of our lives.”

Besides the high-flown spirtual benefits of creating your own personal haven, you, as  Moran says, “feel more in control of your life when your house is in order.”

Subtitled the “Art and Science of Keeping House,” Home Comforts is an 800+ page book , with an incredible index.  Cheryl Mendelson has written a work of reference, but it’s very readable. It’s a combination of the ultimate in practicality and an appreciation of the home as a place of refuge and the comfort that can be derived from home keeping.

The author grew up on a farm where she learned the domestic arts.  She is a spiritual Martha Stewart concerned about how daily life affects the soul. Mendelson has an soothing tone; the tasks addressed in the huge tome seem entirely doable, not overwhelming.

The book is divided into sections such as Food, Cloth, Cleanliness, Daily Life (which includes caring for books,  and “some quiet occupations”), Sleep and Safe Shelter. Like How to Get Things Really Flat, there are sections on clothing care labels and how you should sometimes disregard them. This book not only tells you how to do things, but why.

Are you trying to figure out what to do with your life, the meaning of life, or making plans for what happens after you stop breathing? Walk to the 100’s range of the Davenport Public Library. The 100’s are the destination for philosophy, psychology, new-age spirituality, and the supernatural. Here are a few brand-new “100’s” you might enjoy:

Thanking the Monkey
By Karen Dawn of the Washington Post is a look at the issues of animal rights, past and present, pulling quotes from celebrities in the use of animals as pets, entertainment, food, and test subjects

Just Who Will You Be
Maria Shriver pens this bestseller, which addresses living a full life when the foundations of one’s self image are taken away. Shriver was forced to resign upon husband Arbold Schwartzenegger’s election as California governor after 25 years as a national news anchor/reporter.

Ghosts Among Us
Van Praagh, the New York Times bestselling author and co-executive producer of the CBS series The Ghost Whisperer, shares his knowledge and life experience about ghosts. Contains true ghost stories and details about their active participation in our lives.