Extravagant: Discovering a Life of Dangerous Generosity by Brady BoydWhat it is: an inspiring rallying cry toward Christian generosity, taking the Good Samaritan parable as its center.
What makes it unique: the distinction drawn between the concept of charity and "true" generosity; a candid exploration of less-discussed obstacles to generosity such as distraction and fear.
About the author: Pastor Brady Boyd leads the New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and has published other works about the intersection of faith and lifestyle including Let Her Lead and Addicted to Busy.
The Saint Makers: Inside the Catholic Church and How a War Hero Inspired a Journey of Faith by Joe DrapeWhat it is: the engaging biography of military chaplain Father Emil Kapaun, whose service in World War II and death in a Korean War POW camp have put him on the path to canonization.
Read it for: author Joe Drape's discussion of the way his research for this book encouraged him to reexamine his own relationship with faith and the church.
You might also like: No Greater Glory by Dan Kurzman, which tells the story of four other military chaplains whose service cost them their lives.
Let Us Dream: The Path to a Better Future by Pope FrancisWhat's inside: a concise and accessible call to reckon with the most pressing problems facing the world and to resist the urge to "return to the false securities of the political and economic systems we had before the crisis."
Why you might like it: Thoughtfully organized into digestible parts, Let Us Dream maintains an attitude that the world's seemingly insurmountable problems can be approached as opportunities to grow and change as individuals and as a whole.
Reviewers say: "Informed by spiritual sources and the thinking of some of the world's foremost scientists, economists, and activists, Pope Francis offers tools for creating a better, more just world" (Library Journal).
Religion and the Rise of Capitalism by Benjamin M. FriedmanWhat it is: a scholarly exploration of the role that Protestant Christianity played in the development of modern economic thought and how it continues to influence contemporary beliefs about the free market.
Who it's for: readers interested in religion as a social force.
Don't miss: the discussion of Adam Smith's ideas about scarcity and how they might have been shaped by hot-button religious topics of his day.
The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.What it's about: This compelling history of the Black church in America looks at its central role in Black cultural life, including the ways it has helped (and sometimes hindered) social progress and political resistance.
Media buzz: The Black Church has been adapted by PBS into a documentary miniseries of the same name.
About the author: scholar, journalist, and Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. has published books such as Life Upon These Shores and The Trials of Phyllis Wheatley. He also hosts the PBS family history series Finding Your Roots.
Benedict XVI: A Life. Volume 1, Youth in Nazi Germany to the Second Vatican Council... by Peter SeewaldWhat it is: the engaging and well-researched 1st entry in a multi-volume biography of pope emeritus Benedict XVI (born Joseph Ratzinger).
You might also like: Absolute Monarchs by John Julius Norwich, which covers the history of each pope, from St. Peter up to the election of Benedict XVI.
Reviewers say: Author Peter Seewald "artfully weaves together politics, church history, philosophy, and theology to show how these influenced and shaped the man who would become Pope Benedict XVI" (Library Journal).
Happiness Becomes You: A Guide to Changing Your Life for Good by Tina TurnerWhat it's about: the personal philosophy and life advice of legendary artist Tina Turner, informed by her nearly 50 years of practicing Buddhism.
Why you might like it: Happiness Becomes You is more than just another celebrity memoir. Although Turner does reflect on the way her practice has supported her through personal struggles, readers will also find an accessible guide to Buddhist practice and terminology with relevant inspirational quotes inside.
Black & Buddhist: What Buddhism Can Teach Us About Race, Resilience, Transformation... by Pamela Ayo Yetunde and Cheryl A. Giles (edited by)What it is: a timely and engaging anthology of essays by Black Buddhist practitioners, about their spiritual journeys and the intersections of their racial and religious identities.
Topics include: healing from intergenerational trauma; the search for wholeness as both an individual and social phenomenon.
Try this next: Be the Refuge by Chenxing Han, which aims to return Western conversations about Buddhism to an Asian context and explores the relationships that modern Asian Americans have to the faith.
Contact your librarian for more great books!