The King and the Catholics: England, Ireland, and the Fight for Religious Freedom, 1780-1829 by Antonia FraserWhat it's about: the politically charged, occasionally violent battle in 18th-century Britain to allow Catholics the same civil rights that Protestants enjoyed.
You might also like: Alice Hogge's God's Secret Agents, which outlines the fraught, fluid relationship between the British monarchy and its Catholic subjects in the late Tudor and early Stuart period.
Author alert: Popular historian Antonia Fraser is best known for her biographies of royal figures like Marie Antoinette and Mary Queen of Scots.
The next person you meet in Heaven
by Mitch Albom
"In this enchanting sequel to the number one bestseller The Five People You Meet in Heaven, Mitch Albom tells the story of Eddie's heavenly reunion with Annie--the little girl he saved on earth--in an unforgettable novel of how our lives and losses intersect. Fifteen years ago, in Mitch Albom's beloved novel, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, the world fell in love with Eddie, a grizzled war veteran- turned-amusement park mechanic who died saving the life of a young girl named Annie. Eddie's journey toheaven taught him that every life matters. Now, in this magical sequel, Mitch Albom reveals Annie's story. The accident that killed Eddie left an indelible mark on Annie. It took her left hand, which needed to be surgically reattached. Injured, scarred, and unable to remember why, Annie's life is forever changed by a guilt-ravaged mother who whisks her away from the world she knew. Bullied by her peers and haunted by something she cannot recall, Annie struggles to find acceptance as she grows. When, as ayoung woman, she reconnects with Paulo, her childhood love, she believes she has finally found happiness. As the novel opens, Annie is marrying Paulo. But when her wedding night day ends in an unimaginable accident, Annie finds herself on her own heavenly journey--and an inevitable reunion with Eddie, one of the five people who will show her how her life mattered in ways she could not have fathomed. Poignant and beautiful, filled with unexpected twists, The Next Person You Meet in Heaven reminds us thatnot only does every life matter,but that every ending is also a beginning--we only need to open our eyes to see it"
Bathed in Prayer: Father Tim's Prayers, Sermons, and Reflections from the Mitford... by Jan KaronWhat's inside: Best known for her Mitford novels, Jan Karon presents this touching collection of sermons, prayers, advice, and inspirational quotes from Father Tim, the star of the series.
Is it for you? Although this collection will appeal most to established Mitford fans, it also includes essays from the author about her own faith journey and her writing.
Almost Everything: Notes on Hope by Anne LamottWhat it's about: This candid, funny collection from the bestselling author of Hallelujah Anyway reflects on hope, encouraging readers to rely on its power even when things look grim.
Reviewers say: "Those who enjoy Lamott's consistently self-deprecating humor, vulnerability, and occasional nuggets of positivity will enjoy her latest" (Kirkus Reviews).
Want a taste? "I am stockpiling antibiotics for the Apocalypse, even as I await the blossoming of paperwhites on the windowsill in the kitchen."
Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence by Karen ArmstrongWhat it is: a thorough exploration of the relationship between religion and violence, from early human civilization through the post-9/11 era.
Why you should read it: the unprecedented and comprehensive scope of the author's research, which is expertly condensed and recounted.
Reviewers say: "Provocative and supremely readable" (Publishers Weekly).
Black Elk: The Life of an American Visionary by Joe JacksonWhat it's about: The life of Black Elk, the legendary Lakota Sioux healer who led the late 19th century religious revival known as the Ghost Dance movement.
Why you should read it: Although the most widely read book about Black Elk is John Neihardt's Black Elk Speaks, which details his religious beliefs, Joe Jackson's work is the first exhaustive biography of the man himself.
Did you know? In 2016, steps were taken within the Catholic Church to nominate Black Elk for sainthood.
The Story of the Jews: Volume Two, Belonging: 1492-1900 by Simon SchamaWhat it is: the 2nd volume of Simon Schama's expansive yet accessible history of the Jewish people, covering the years between their 1492 expulsion from Spain and the rise of modern Zionism in the 19th century.
What's inside: Gripping depictions of some of the less well-known figures in this era of Jewish history, in locations as diverse as Venice, Ming China, and the court of Suleiman the Magnificent.
Book buzz: This book and the other volumes in the series were originally published as companions to the BBC/PBS series of the same name.
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