In the Days of Rain: A Daughter, a Father, a Cult by Rebecca StottAs a child, acclaimed author Rebecca Stott belonged to a separatist Christian fundamentalist sect in Britain called the Exclusive Brethren. Her father, Roger, was a leader in the group, which shunned all kinds of worldly things, but he later left the cult and became an actor and filmmaker. In the Days of Rain details Rebecca's experiences with the Exclusive Brethren, Roger's struggles, and her own gradual understanding of the sect and its effect on her family over four generations. Reflecting on her relationship with her father, Rebecca pens a thought-provoking and absorbing memoir.
Of Mess and Moxie: Wrangling Delight Out of This Wild and Glorious Life
by Jen Hatmaker
A guide to self-esteem and resiliency in accordance with Christian principles counsels women of faith to reevaluate their perspectives about the role of pain and failure in life, sharing frank and often riotous stories from the author's own experiences with missteps and setbacks.
Great Books You Might Have Missed
Unashamed by Lecrae, with Jonathan MerrittPopular, Grammy-winning Christian hip hop artist Lecrae was raised by his single mother. Though there were positive influences in his life, he experienced instability, abuse, and neglect, engaging in criminal activities throughout his teen years. Rap provided an outlet for his creativity; Christianity rescued him from crime when he was 19 and gave him a new focus for his music career. Unashamed offers Lecrae's reflections on the negative aspects of his early life, revealing how he decided to become a positive influence on younger people. Publishers Weekly calls this memoir a "wonderfully inspirational and entertaining story."
Grace without God: The Search for Meaning, Purpose, and Belonging in a Secular Age by Katherine OzmentAfter journalist Katherine Ozment's young son asked her what religion their family practiced, Ozment realized that "none" wasn't a very helpful answer. She then set out to learn more about how "Nones" (nearly one-fourth of the American population) replace the rituals, sense of community, and moral guidance that religion offers. In Grace without God, she reports on her interviews with academics, statistical studies, and conversations with other "Nones" at events around the country. Focusing on the need to raise kind, morally upright, and compassionate children, she relates her personal experiences and considers how others are answering those questions.
The Givenness of Things: Essays by Marilynne RobinsonThoughtfully addressing the divisions expressed in contemporary arguments about religion, award-winning novelist and theologian Marilynne Robinson critiques both reductionist atheists and self-righteous Christians. In her elegant, rich prose, she discusses 17 topics, including Humanism, Servanthood, Memory, and Experience, connecting them to current politics while clearly stating her own faith and viewpoints. Warning about unrestricted power, greed, and cynicism, The Givenness of Things presents "bravely and brilliantly argued" essays (Booklist, starred review) about matters of great consequence.
Not in God's Name: Confronting Religious Violence by Jonathan SacksIn Not in God's Name, Jonathan Sacks, Emeritus Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, analyzes the justifications for violence that have supposedly been derived from Hebrew scriptures. Arguing that people in all three Abrahamic faiths (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) have misconstrued the Bible, he debunks the notion that violence is inherent to religion. Finding powerful messages of peace in the book of Genesis, he offers an antidote to the sectarian strife that currently plagues the world. In a starred review, Kirkus Reviews notes that this book says "something truly new."
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