Spirituality and Religion
Living Kindness: Metta Practice for the Whole of Our Lives by Kevin GriffinWhat it is: a thought-provoking guide to and examination of metta, the Buddhist principle of loving kindness, with exercises to assist readers as they develop their capacity for compassion and goodwill.
Who it’s for: those new to Buddhist ideas and practice.
Don't miss: the discussion of common Western misunderstandings and misuses of metta that can be counterproductive.
Marriage Minded: 10 Ways to Know You've Found the One by Chelsea Hurst and Nick HurstWhat it's about: the importance of compatibility and how couples can be proactive in understanding their spiritual, financial, and emotional compatibility and break destructive communication patterns before they start.
About the authors: Chelsea and Nick Hurst have a popular YouTube channel where they post videos about their lives, relationship, and faith, as well as co-hosting the podcast Forever Changed together.
Why you might like it: Instead of hard-and-fast rules, the authors present the included examples from their own relationship as inspiration for other couples to discover their own struggles and develop strategies that might suit them better.
The Half Known Life: In Search of Paradise by Pico IyerWhat it is: a lyrical, thought-provoking look at the meaning of paradise, which took talented author Pico Iyer to a variety of places and led him to ponder how people can live more peacefully in a divided world.
Locations include: Iran, Sri Lanka, Jerusalem, Japan, Ethiopia, India, North Korea, and Northern Ireland.
Reviewers say: "Immersive and profound" (Publishers Weekly); "With keen observation and beautiful language, Iyer shows us the essential truths of places, people, and ideas" (Kirkus Reviews).
Dancing in the Darkness: Spiritual Lessons for Thriving in Turbulent Times by Otis Moss IIIWhat it's about: navigating spiritual, political, and day-to-day challenges without succumbing to the darkness, even when it feels overwhelming.
Topic include: activism; impulse control; developing a reserve of spiritual and emotional strength to draw from in times of need.
About the author: Yale Divinity School graduate Otis Moss III is the pastor of the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago and a board member of the magazine The Christian Century.
When Children Come Out: A Guide for Christian Parents by Mark Yarhouse and Olya ZaporozhetsWhat it is: a pragmatic, hopeful guide for Christian parents of children who come out as LGBTQIA+, with advice on navigating next steps and maintaining a loving relationship with both their children and their understanding of their faith.
Don't miss: the discussion of what role churches have to play in creating supportive and inclusive environments for believers.
You might also like: Messy Truth by Caleb Kaltenbach; Building a Bridge by James Martin.
Books You Might Have Missed
Wild Ride: A Memoir of I.V. Drips and Rocket Ships by Hayley ArceneauxWhat it's about: pediatric bone cancer survivor Hayley Arceneaux’s life story and the relationship she's developed with her faith, her fears, and her hopes for the future in her adult life.
A life well-lived: highlights from Arceneaux’s story so far include climbing Mount Ranier, mission trips to Nicaragua and Peru, fighter jet training, and becoming the youngest American to visit space (representing St. Jude’s Children's Research Hospital).
Reviewers say: “This uplifting tale soars” (Publishers Weekly).
Invisible Boy: A Memoir of Self-discovery by Harrison MooneyWhat it is: A candid and heartwrenching memoir about how the author Harrison Mooney’s childhood racial and religious trauma informed his adult understanding of society, faith, family.
Don't miss: the moving discussion of James Baldwin as a fellow “child of the church,” which gave Mooney a Black man he could relate to during his journey of self-discovery.
Why you should read it: Mooney’s story is “vital” because it frankly discusses the problems that arise in ”the all-too-frequent cases where white parents simply decline to engage with the realities facing their non-white children” (Booklist).
The Contemplative Tarot: A Christian Guide to the Cards by Brittany MullerWhat it's about: how tarot can be a tool for anyone - - even Christians -- to thoughtfully reflect on their struggles and experiences in unexpected ways.
What's inside: tips for tarot practice, Christian interpretations of the cards, and research into the origins of tarot decks and their historical context.
Did you know? Western tarot began as card games like any other, and even began to be used for divination in Christian parts of Europe before acquiring its more occult reputation 18th century France.
American Crusade: How the Supreme Court Is Weaponizing Religious Freedom by Andrew L. SeidelWhat it is: a thought-provoking and persuasive survey of important Supreme Court cases of the last few decades and how the current composition of the Court might effect religious freedom in the years to come.
Why you should read it: No matter a reader's political affiliation or stances on social Issues, Supreme Court cases can have ripple effects that effect everyone in unanticipated ways.
About the author: Attorney Andrew L. Seidel is a constitutional law specialist known for his previous book The Founding Myth.
Reorganized Religion: The Reshaping of the American Church and Why It Matters by Bob SmietanaWhat it's about: the ways that modern American Christianity is transforming due to changes in demographics, technology, and society in general.
Topics include: eroding trust in large institutions; virtual faith communities; political polarization; closing age gaps.
Reviewers say: Reorganized Religion is “a must-read for anyone invested in the fate of the American church (Publishers Weekly).
Contact your librarian for more great books!