Spring religion titles this season issue from well-known authors and others who will be unfamiliar to most readers.
Top of the short list has to be What We talk about When We Talk about God by Rob Bell (HarperOne, Mar. 12), the iconoclastic pastor without a bricks-and-mortar congregation these days. This time last year, Bell’s Love Wins—at the time unpublished—had already earned him excommunication from the fold by conservative Christian pastors irked by his nondogmatic message of universal salvation (and perhaps threatened by the prospect of job loss should too many of their sheep ask questions based on critical thinking). Hard to say what’s inside this year’s Bell volley without advance galleys, but HarperOne is betting a first printing of 150,000 that many readers will be quite curious.
John Thavis, former Rome bureau chief for Catholic News Service, is in the right place at the right time. His The Vatican Diaries: A Behind the Scenes Look at the Power, Personalities, and Politics at the Heart of the Catholic Church (Viking, Feb.) comes out when the world is abuzz over the resignation (or do you say abdication?) of Pope Benedict XVI. Timing, timing, timing will boost this book from a journalist who covered the Vatican for three decades.
Another couple of titles can be characterized as “get to know your essential sacred figures better.” Jesus: The Human Face of God by novelist-poet-academic Jay Parini (Houghton Mifflin/New Harvest, June) promises a fresh look at the heart of Christian belief from a man who is skilled with a pen and not professionally religious. The book comes from HMH’s new Amazon-related imprint. Perfect for Easter reading is Iscariot by novelist Tosca Lee (Howard, Feb.). Lee’s attention-getting writing invites deeper reflection on one of the great archetypes of treachery; PW called it both “unorthodox” and “masterful. Ancient Israel: The Former Prophets: Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings (Norton, Apr.) continues the ambitious and distinguished translation work of literary scholar Robert Alter, who here takes on some troubling biblical books with stories of great kings and great slaughters.
In a more contemporary vein, look to Jewish Megatrends: Charting the Course of the American Jewish Future, edited by Sidney Schwarz (Jewish Lights, Mar). “This stimulating book is a thoughtful commentary,” said PW in a starred review of this collection of essays.
Some writers simply deserve to be better known, and those include Robert Benson, whose Moving Miss Peggy (Abingdon, May) gives reflective voice to the pain and love of a family whose matriarch develops dementia, a situation in which millions of families find themselves. Pastors who write are a-dime-a-two-dozen, but Brian Zahnd is a Missouri pastor with a knowledge of Dostoevsky that distinguishes him. Radical Forgiveness is Zahnd’s second examination of an essential religious imperative.
Bret Lott is already established as a novelist (his Jewel was an Oprah’s Book Club pick in1999); Letters and Life (Crossway, June) may help to amplify his voice as a writer of faith and provide still more evidence that the profession of Christian faith does not addle a writer’s imagination or contradict creative skills.
The runaway winner of best book title of the season: How to Pray when You’re Pissed at God: or Anyone Else for that Matter by Ian Punnett (Harmony, Apr.), an Episcopal deacon and radio host. This could be a book for everyone at one time or another, atheists and agnostics excepted.
PW’s Top 10: Religion
What We Talk about When We Talk about God Rob Bell. HarperOne, Mar. 12
The Vatican Diaries: A Behind the Scenes Look at the Power, Personalities, and Politics at the Heart of the Catholic Church John Thavis. Viking, Feb. 25
Jesus: The Human Face of God Jay Parini. HMH/New Harvest, June 4
Iscariot Tosca Lee. Howard, Feb.
Ancient Israel: The Former Prophets: Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings: A Translation with Commentary Robert Alter. Norton, Apr. 1
Jewish Megatrends Sidney Schwarz. Jewish Lights, Mar.
Moving Miss Peggy Robert Benson. Abingdon, May
Radical Forgiveness Brian Zahnd. Charisma House, May
Letters and Life Bret Lott. Crossway, June
How to Pray When You’re Pissed at God: Or Anyone Else for That Matter Ian Punnett. Harmony, Apr. 30
Moving Miss Peggy: A Story of Dementia, Courage, and Consolation by Robert Benson (May, $15.99, ISBN 978-1-4267-4957-5). A family helps their mother face dementia, renewing relationships at the same time.
The Cat that God Sent by Jim Kraus (Mar., paper, $14.99, ISBN 978-1-4267-6561-2). A very sentient cat named Petey believes he is on a mission from God to redeem his new owner.
My Soul Feels Lean by Joyce Rupp (Feb., $15.95, paper, ISBN 978-1933495569) is an entirely new collection of 106 meditative poems on a theme woven through all Rupp’s writing—the pain of loss and the hope of restoration.
Orphan Justice: How to Care for Orphans Beyond Adopting by Johnny Carr and Laura Faidley (Mar. 1, paper, $14.99, ISBN 978-1433677984) combines biblical theology and a personal journey with the latest social research to move readers from talking about global orphan care to actually doing something about it.
Imagining the Kingdom: How Worship Works by James K. A. Smith (Feb. 1, paper, $22.99, ISBN 978-0801035784). In the second of a three-volume theology of culture, a leading Reformed philosopher shows how worship shapes Christians through liturgical practices; earned a starred PW review.
Get Off Your Donkey! Help Others and Help Yourself by Reggie McNeal (Feb. 1, paper, $13.99, ISBN 978-0801014970) calls readers to move beyond themselves, serve with purpose, and ultimately play a part in redeeming our world.
Fully Alive: A Biblical Vision of Gender That Frees Men and Women to Live Beyond Stereotypes by Larry Crabb (June 1, hardcover, $19.99, ISBN, 978-0801015304) presents a biblically grounded understanding of gender uniqueness.
Only God: Change Your Story, Change the World by Dwight Mason (Feb. 1, paper, $12.99, ISBN 978-1616268800) shows how God uses people to transform other people, communities, and the world.
Bear & Company
Rastafarian Children of Solomon: The Legacy of the Kebra Nagast and the Path to Peace and Understanding by Gerald Hausman (Feb. 13, paper, $14, ISBN 978-1591431541) shares the spiritual wisdom of Rastafari through the stories, teachings, and traditions of Rastas in Jamaica.
Revealing Jesus: A 365-Day Devotional by Darlene Zschech (Apr. 1, hardcover, $19.99, ISBN 978-0764211201). The worship leader and bestselling author offers a devotional to accompany her upcoming live album of the same name.
On God’s Side: What Religion Forgets and Politics Hasn’t Learned about Serving the Common Good by Jim Wallis (Apr., hardcover, $21.99, ISBN 978-1587433375 ) shows how to reclaim Jesus’ ancient and compelling vision of the common good—a vision that impacts and inspires not only politics but also individual lives, families, churches, neighborhoods, and the world.
I Heart Sex Workers: A Christian Response to People in the Sex Trade by Lia Claire Scholl (Mar., paper, $19.99, ISBN 9780827216624) offers another perspective on workers in the sex trade by examining the forces leading individuals into prostitution and gives a Christian response of how to help.
Radical Forgiveness by Brian Zahnd (May 7, paper, $16.99, ISBN 978-1621362524) will confront readers with the need to reach deeply within to really show Christlike forgiveness and mercy to those to whom they may feel least inclined to forgive.
It Is Finished: Finding Lasting Victory Over Sin by David Wilkerson (Apr. 1, paper, $13.99, ISBN 978-0800795498). The founder of Teen Challenge and author of The Cross and the Switchblade shows how to defeat persistent sins and life-draining, life-controlling bondages.
Rainbow Theology: Bridging Race, Sexuality, and Spirit by Patrick S. Cheng (Apr., paper, $24, ISBN 978-1-59627-241-5) explores the theologies of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people of color, and addresses issues of homophobia in communities of color, including ethnic churches, as well as racism in LGBT communities.
The Problem with God: Why Atheists, True Believers, and Even Agnostics Must All Be Wrong by Peter Steinberger (June 25, hardcover, $29.50, ISBN 978-0231163545) helps readers think critically and constructively about various certainties and modes of being in the world.
Words for Readers and Writers by Larry Woiwode (Apr., paper, $19.99, ISBN 978-1-4335-3522-2) invites readers to explore the significance of writing from a distinctly Christian perspective.
Letters and Life by Bret Lott (June, hardcover, $22.99, ISBN 978-1-4335-3783-7) explores everything from the importance of literary fiction to the pain of personal loss.
Da Capo Press
Hope after Faith: An Ex-Pastor’s Journey from Belief to Atheism by Jerry DeWitt and Ethan Brown (June 25, hardcover, $25.99, ISBN 978-0306822247). A former Louisiana pastor chronicles his conversion to atheism. Announced first printing: 50,000.
David C. Cook
New Man Journey: Finding Meaning in Retirement by Steve Silver (Feb., paperback, $14.99, ISBN 978-0781408677) offers guidance to senior men longing to find post-career purpose and meaning.
More or Less: Choosing a Lifestyle of Excessive Generosity by Jeff Shinabarger (Mar., paperback, $17.99, ISBN 978-0781408202). Defining “enough” is a responsibility—and an opportunity.
Create Your Own Religion: A How-To Book Without Instructions by Daniele Bolelli (Apr. 1, paper, $19.95, ISBN 978-1938875021) leads the reader through 3,000 years of mythology, misogyny, misinformation, and the flat-out lies about “revealed truth” that continue to muddle our ability to live a peaceful life, free of guilt and shame.
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
Learning to Dream Again: Rediscovering the Heart of God by Samuel Wells (Apr. 30, paper, $18, ISBN 978-0802868718) helps Christians who have been to church for years as well as new Christians ponder the ambiguities and hard questions of faith and life.
A Story of God and All of Us: A Novel Based on the Epic TV Miniseries The Bible by Roma Downey and Mark Burnett (Feb.1, hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-1455525584). The Bible’s most fascinating stories are brought to life in an original work of fiction by the husband and wife team Burnett and Downey.
Making Good Habits, Breaking Bad Habits: 14 New Behaviors That Will Energize Your Life by Joyce Meyer (Apr., hardcover, $19.99, ISBN 9781455517381) zeroes in on 14 life-enhancing habits and provides practical tools that will help readers adopt those good habits.
Life After Death: Practical Help for the Widowed by Elizabeth Bookser Barkley (Apr. 10, paper, $14.99, ISBN 978-1616365226) helps readers deal with the shock and intense grief of spousal loss.
Tradition and Modernity: Christian and Muslim Perspectives by David Marshall (May 15, paper, $24.95, ISBN 978-1589019492) focuses on how Christians and Muslims connect their traditions to modernity, looking especially at understandings of history, changing patterns of authority, and approaches to freedom.
The Golden Sufi Center
(Dist. by IPG)
Spiritual Ecology: The Cry of the Earth, ed. by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee (July, paper, $15.95, ISBN 978-1890350451) provides a vital spiritual response to the ecological crisis, and includes essays by Thich Nhat Hanh, Brian Swimme, Wendell Berry, and Richard Rohr.
How to Pray When You’re Pissed at God: Or Anyone Else for That Matter by Ian Punnett (Apr. 30, hardcover, $20, ISBN 978-0307986030). A radio host and Episcopalian deacon provides a spiritual path for expressing emotions through prayer and rebuilding a relationship with one’s higher power.
What We Talk about When We Talk about God by Rob Bell (Mar, hardcover, $27.99, ISBN 978-0062049667). The sequel to the maverick minister’s phenomenon Love Wins addresses who God is and how people relate to God. 150,000 first printing.
Destiny by Tony Evans (Feb.1, paper, $12.99, ISBN 978-0-7369-49972) shows readers the importance of finding their God-given purpose.
Reveal: A Sacred Manual for Getting Spiritually Naked by Meggan Watterson (Apr. 1, paper, $16.95, ISBN 978-1401938208) provides what religions have left out— the spiritual voice of a woman who has found the divine inside her.
Building Below the Waterline by Gordon MacDonald (Feb., paper, $14.95, ISBN 978-1-61970-059-8) gives a blueprint for strengthening the inner life of a leader by telling stories from the author’s own life and sharing the wisdom of people like Henri Nouwen and Richard Foster.
Words of Fire and Faith: A View from the Edge by Lee Lozowick, ed. by M. Young (June, paperback, $24.95, ISBN 978-1935387350) compiles the final teachings of Western Baul spiritual master Lozowick (1943–2010), written during the last 18 months of his life.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/New Harvest
Jesus: The Human Face of God by Jay Parini (June 4, hardcover, $20, ISBN 978-0544025899) brings the narrative skills of an award-winning novelist to a figure who has affected and changed many lives profoundly. Announced first printing: 40,000.
A New New Testament: A Bible for the 21st Century Combining Traditional and Newly Discovered Texts by Hal Taussig (Mar. 5, hardcover, $32, ISBN 978-0547792101) includes 10 more recently found texts, selected by a council of scholars and spiritual leaders, alongside the canonical books, with introductions and background from Taussig. Announced first printing: 50,000.
The Chance by Karen Kingsbury (Mar., hardcover $22.99, ISBN 978-1451647037) narrates the story of childhood friends, broken lives, and an 11-year-old promise to meet under an oak tree, proving it’s never too late for love.
Iscariot by Tosca Lee (Feb., hardcover, $22.99, ISBN 978-1451683769) humanizes the man whose very name is synonymous with betrayal. PW called it “impeccable and masterful.”
Consuming the Word: The New Testament and the Eucharist in the Early Church by Scott Hahn (May 28, hardcover, $23, ISBN 978-0307590817) considers many of the mysteries of ancient Catholic tradition and explains why they are relevant today.
The Church: Unlocking the Secrets to the Places Catholics Call Home by Cardinal Donald Wuerl and Mike Aquilina (Mar. 5, hardcover, $21.99, ISBN 978-0770435516) explores the architectural and spiritual components of the Catholic Church.
Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church’s Mission by Amy Simpson (May, paper, $16, ISBN 9780830843046) looks at the social and physical realities of mental illness, calling the church to a renewed commitment to people who suffer from mental illness and the families that suffer with them.
Snake Oil: The Art of Healing and Truth-Telling by Becca Stevens (Mar., hardcover, $21.99, ISBN 978-1455519064) tells the story of the Episcopal priest who created a non-profit to help women who have survived prostitution, trafficking, and addiction find sanctuary and security.
Faith, Doubt & Other Lines I’ve Crossed: Walking with the Unknown God by Jay Bakker with Andy Meisenheimer (Feb.1, hardcover, $19.99, ISBN 978-0446539524) explores why doubt is an essential aspect of faith and how it can help people welcome “the other” and read the Bible differently and better.
Jewish Lights Publishing
Relational Judaism: Using the Power of Relationships to Transform the Jewish Community by Ron Wolfson (Mar., hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-58023-666-9) presents practical strategies and case studies to transform the old model of Jewish institutions into relational communities.
Jewish Megatrends: Charting the Course of the American Jewish Future by Sidney Schwarz, foreword by Ambassador Stuart E. Eizenstat (Mar., hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-58023-667-6) offers visionary solutions for a community ripe for transformational change, provided by 14 leading innovators of Jewish life.
Gratitude Works! A 21-Day Program for Creating Emotional Prosperity by Robert A. Emmons (Apr. 1, hardcover, $19.95, ISBN 978-1118131299) is a purposeful guide for cultivating gratitude as a way of life, exploring evidence-based practices for its ameliorative qualities.
Midlife, Manhood, and Ministry by Donald Hilliard Jr. and Rhoda McKinney-Jones (Apr. 15, paper, $15.99, ISBN 978-0817017293) provides wisdom and advice for ministering after age 40.
(Dist. by Consortium)
Sharing Eden by Harfiyah Haleem, Natan Levy, and David Shreeve (Apr., paper, $8.99, ISBN 978-1847740410) shows how respect for the environment is at the heart of the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim faiths.
Your College Faith: Own It! by Matt and Colleen Swaim (Feb.1, paper, $12.99, ISBN 978-0764821929) helps college students take the initiative for faith in college and provide strategies to keep college life in balance, prepare for new perspectives and new scenarios, and find one’s true self.
(Dist. by IPG)
Slaying the Dragons: Destroying Myths in the History of Science and Faith by Allan Chapman (May 1, paper, $16.95, ISBN 978-0745955834) examines popular misunderstandings about key events like Galileo’s trial to reveal how such events involving science and religion acquired their misleading statuses.
Love & Salt: A Spiritual Friendship Shared in Letters by Amy Andrews and Jessica Mesman Griffith (Feb., paper, $14.95, ISBN 978-0829438314) portrays through letters the emotional struggle of how one spiritual friendship is formed and tested in tragedy, tempered, and proven in hope.
The Surprising Grace of Disappointment: Finding Hope when God Seems to Fail Us by John M. Koessler (May 1, paper, $13.99, ISBN 978-0802410566) is a resource for people struggling with life’s hard times as well as for counselors or pastors seeking to help others.
The Real Win: A Man’s Quest for Authentic Success by Colt McCoy and Matt Carter (May 7, hardcover, $19.99, ISBN 978-1601424822). NFL quarterback McCoy and Carter, a pastor, lay down the building blocks of positive character to help men embrace their full potential for “strong, tender, gospel-centered” influence.
New Leaf Publishing Group
I Am Ruth: A Story of Loss, Love & Legacy by Brenda Duff and Kenneth Berg (Mar., hardcover, $18, ISBN 978-0-89221-719-9) presents the story of the biblical heroine Ruth through a collection of photos from the location in Israel near the historic location of her life.
New York University Press
Called to Serve: A History of Nuns in America by Margaret M. McGuinness (Mar. 4, hardcover, $35, ISBN 978-0814795569) provides a concise history of Catholic sisters and nuns in American life, from the colonial period to present day, highlighting their roles in the creation of schools, hospitals, childcare institutions, and their involvement with immigrant communities.
North Atlantic Books
The Tibetan Book of the Dead: Awakening Upon Dying translated by Elio Guarisco, introduction by Chogyal Namkhai Norbu (Mar. 12, paper, $17.95, ISBN 978-1583945551). Norbu, head of the Dzogchen Tibetan community, offers a new translation of the ancient sacred Buddhist text designed to help in navigating the interval between death and rebirth.
When Sorry Isn’t Enough: Making Things Right with Those You Love by Gary D. Chapman and Jennifer M. Thomas (May 1, paper, $15.99, ISBN 978-0802407047) will help readers discover why certain apologies clear the path for emotional healing, reconciliation, and freedom, while others fall desperately short.
W. W. Norton & Company
Ancient Israel: The Former Prophets: Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings: A Translation with Commentary by Robert Alter (Apr. 1, hardcover, $35, ISBN 978-0393082692) continues the award-winning translation of the Hebrew Bible with the narrative of Israel’s ancient history.
The Catholic Church: What Everyone Needs to Know by John L. Allen Jr. (Apr. 1, paper, $16.95, ISBN 978-0199975105) provides an authoritative and accessible primer on the Catholic Church today.
‘Til Faith Do Us Part: How Interfaith Marriage is Transforming America by Naomi Schaefer Riley (Apr. 1, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-0199873746) takes a sobering look at the many complex issues that interfaith couples often ignore.
(Dist. by PGW)
A Love Letter to the Earth by Thich Nhat Hanh (June 11, paper, $12.95, ISBN 978-1937006389) is Nhat Hanh’s passionate appeal for ecological mindfulness and the strengthening of our relationship to the Earth.
God Revised: How Religion Must Evolve in a Scientific Age by Galen Guengerich (May 28, hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-0230342255) offers a new understanding of God for the majority who stand between convinced atheists and true believers.
Pauline Books & Media
Man to Man, Dad to Dad: Catholic Faith and Fatherhood, ed. by Brian Caulfield (June, paperback, $12.95, ISBN 978-0819849182) collects faith-filled reflections by Catholic dads who explore topics related to being a Catholic man and father today.
The Sistine Chapel: A Biblical Tour by Christine Panyard (May, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-0-8091-0593-9) links Michelangelo’s paintings in the Sistine Chapel with the Scripture on which they were based.
The Outsider Test for Faith: How to Know Which Religion Is True by John W. Loftus (Mar. 1, paper, $18, ISBN 978-1616147372). Minister turned atheist Loftus thinks people would all be better off if they viewed any religion, including their own, with the informed skepticism of an outsider.
Red Wheel Weiser Conari Hampton Roads/Hierophant
The Five Levels of Attachment: Toltec Wisdom for the Modern World by Don Miguel Ruiz Jr. (Mar., paper, $18.95, ISBN 978-1-938289-08-8) picks up where The Four Agreements left off in exploring the ways in which people attach themselves inappropriately to beliefs and the world.
I Believe in Heaven by Cecil Murphey and Twila Belk (June, paper, $15, ISBN 978-0830766369). The bestselling author team shares inspirational true stories of people who have been to heaven and back.
Taylor’s Gift by Todd and Tara Storch with Jennifer Schuchmann (Apr., hardcover, $22, ISBN 978-0800721886). A 13-year-old girl’s death gives new life to five other people in this story of grief and redemption told by her parents.
The Way of the Wise by Dr. Kevin Leman (Feb., hardcover, $16, ISBN 978-0800721572). The psychologist-author shares the wisdom that has shaped his life and will change readers’ lives. PW said, “Leman is an affable teacher.”
The Bronfman Haggadah by Edgar M. Bronfman, illus. by Jan Aronson ( Feb.12, hardcover, $29.95, ISBN 978-0847839681) is an illustrated contemporary Haggadah for the Passover Seder, as interpreted by the philanthropist and Jewish leader Bronfman.
Rowman & Littlefield
American Catholics in Transition by William V. D’Antonio, Michele Dillon, and Mary L. Gautier (Mar., hardcover, $80, ISBN 978-144221991-5; paper, $27.95, , ISBN 978-1442219922) reports on five surveys carried out over 25 years, finding significant changes in Catholics’ attitudes and behavior as well as many enduring trends.
The Evangelicals You Don’t Know: Introducing the Next Generation of Christians by Tom Krattenmaker (Apr., hardcover, $38, ISBN 978-1442215443) challenges stereotypes about evangelical Christians and introduces readers to evangelicals who are bringing forth a nonpartisan expression of evangelicalism and creating opportunities for alliances and partnerships to advance the common good.
Saint Benedict Press
Candles in the Dark: Father Ho Lung and the Missionaries of the Poor by Joseph Pearce (Mar., hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-1618903983) is the authorized biography of Richard Ho Lung, founder of the Missionaries of the Poor.
Beyond Belief: The Secret Lives of Women in Extreme Religions, ed. by Cami Ostman and Susan Tive (Apr. 2, paper, $16, ISBN 978-1580054423) offers a glimpse into real women’s experiences in the throes of the rigorous faith and rituals of extreme religion.
Tweet Inspiration: Faith in 140 Characters (or Less) by Mark Hart (Feb. 26, paper, $12.99, ISBN 978-1616365363) is a compact treasury of inspiration, with a good dose of humor, gathered from the author’s extensive collection of tweets on faith and life.
The Heart Is Noble: Changing the World from the Inside Out by the Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje (Feb. 19, hardcover, $21.95, ISBN 978-1611800012). His Holiness the Seventeenth Karmapa discussed topics ranging from food justice to gender identities to sustainable compassion with 16 American college students spending a month in India with him; the teachings in this book are the product of those meetings.
Dakini Power: Twelve Extraordinary Women Shaping the Transmission of Tibetan Buddhism in the West by Michaela Haas (Apr. 9, paper, $16.95, ISBN 978-1559394079) profiles 12 female Tibetan Buddhist teachers, both Westerners and Tibetans, who share insights into how they discovered their true calling, overcame barriers, and progressed on the spiritual path.
(Dist. by Norton)
The Star Spangled Buddhist: Zen, Tibetan, and Soka Gakkai Buddhism and the Quest for Enlightenment in America by Jeffrey Ourvan (June 1, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-1620876398) tells the story of Buddhism in the United States.
SkyLight Paths Publishing
Birthing God: Women’s Experiences of the Divine by Lana Dalberg (Mar., paper, $18.99, ISBN 978-1-59473-480-9) compiles narratives of suffering, love and hope that inspire both personal and collective transformation, from women’s voices of many traditions.
Finding God Beyond Religion: A Guide for Skeptics, Agnostics & Unorthodox Believers Inside & Outside the Church by Tom Stella (Apr., paper, $16.99, ISBN 978-1-59473-485-4) reinterprets traditional religious teachings central to the Christian faith to connect with those who have outgrown the beliefs and devotional practices that once made sense to them.
Square One Publishers
La Cristiada: The Mexican People’s War for Religious Liberty by Jean Meyer (Mar. 1, paper, $29.95, ISBN 978-0757003158) weaves text with hundreds of photographs and illustrations to provide a perspective on the Cristero War—La Cristiada—in 1920s Mexico, a conflict ignited by anti-religious laws.
Swedenborg and Five Artists by Diane Apostolos-Cappadona and Jane Williams-Hogan (July, paper, $19.95, ISBN 978-0-87785-347-3) examines the impact of Swedenborg’s visionary theology on five visual artists: William Blake, John Flaxman, Hiram Powers, William Page, and George Inness.
Thomas Dunne Books
Mortal Sins: Sex, Crime, and the Era of Catholic Scandal by Michael D’Antonio (Apr. 23, hardcover, $26.99, ISBN 978-0312594893) offers an account of the pedophile scandal that has damaged the Church.
The Lamb’s Agenda: Why Jesus Is Calling You to a Life of Righteousness and Justice by Samuel Rodriguez (Apr. 2, paper, $15.99, ISBN 978-1400204496). A leading spokesperson for Hispanic Evangelicals considers Jesus’ agenda.
Unfinished: Believing Is Only the Beginning by Richard Stearns (Apr. 30, hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-0849948510). The author of ECPA’s book of the year in 2010 tells readers how to apply faith in their lives.
Follow Me by David Platt (Feb.1, paper, $15.99, ISBN 978-1-4143-7328-7) offers a biblical picture of what it means to truly be a Christian.
Damascus Countdown by Joel Rosenberg (Mar., hardcover, $26.99, ISBN 978-1-4143-1970-4) continues Rosenberg’s string of Middle East spy thrillers, as Israel’s successful first strike on Iran causes the Twelfth Imam to order a full-scale retaliation while U.S. President William Jackson threatens to support a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning the Israel’s aggression.
Univ. of Nebraska/Jewish Publication Society
The Gods Are Broken! The Hidden Legacy of Abraham by Jeffrey K. Salkin (Apr. 1, paper, $19.95, ISBN 978-0827609310) argues that the story of Abraham smashing his father’s idols might be the most important Jewish story ever told and the key to how Jews define themselves.
Why Priests? A Failed Tradition by Garry Wills (Feb. 12, hardcover, $27.95, ISBN 978-0-670-02487-2) argues that the anonymous Letter to Hebrews, a late addition to the New Testament canon, helped inject the priesthood into a Christianity where it did not exist. PW hailed it as “brilliant work written by a scholar whose love for the Church compels him to make it better.”
The Vatican Diaries: A Behind the Scenes Look at the Power, Personalities, and Politics at the Heart of the Catholic Church by John Thavis (Feb. 25, hardcover, $27.95, ISBN 978-0-670-02671-5) offers an inside look at one of the world’s most powerful and secretive institutions from the man who covered the Vatican for more than three decades for Catholic News Service.
Sent: How One Ordinary Family Traded the American Dream for God’s Greater Purpose by Hilary Alan (Feb. 19, paper, $14.99, ISBN 978-0307731579) chronicles a family’s journey of giving up the American dream to pursue God’s calling them to a densely populated province in Southeast Asia in the wake of the 2004 tsunami.
Moving Forward: Six Steps to Forgiving Yourself and Breaking Free from the Past by Everett Worthington, Jr. (July 16, paper, $15.99, ISBN 978-0307731517). A respected Christian psychologist provides a path toward self-forgiveness for those stuck in a cycle of regret and self-loathing, interwoven with the author’s tale of his own journey to self-forgiveness.
Westminster John Knox
The Search for Truth about Islam: A Christian Pastor Separates Fact from Fiction by Ben Daniel (Mar., paper, $20, ISBN 9780664237059) tackles common stereotypes and misconceptions that tend to define Islam in the popular imagination.
Yale University Press
Christian Beginnings: From Nazareth to Nicaea by Geza Vermes (Mar. 4, hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-0300191608). The respected authority on early Christianity tells the story of its emergence.
Christians, Muslims, and Jesus by Mona Siddiqui (May 6, hardcover, $32.50, ISBN 978-0300169706) examines the way Muslim thinkers have approached and responded to Jesus through the centuries.
Chasing Francis: A Pilgrim’s Tale by Ian Morgan Cron (May, paper, $14.99, ISBN 978-0310336693). Pastor Chase Falson loses his faith—right in front of the congregation of his megachurch. When elders want him to take some time away, preferably far away, the pastor crosses the Atlantic to Italy to visit his uncle, a Franciscan priest, and encounters the teachings of Francis of Assisi that help him rediscover his faith.
Victim of Grace: When God’s Goodness Prevails by Robin Jones Gunn (Apr., paper, $15.99, ISBN 9780310324799) The popular novelist now tells her own story of being a grateful recipient of God’s grace, bestowed on her in unexpected ways.
Bubble Troubles by Wanda E. Brunstetter (May 1, paper, $5.99, ISBN 978-1620291481). In Holmes County, Ohio, twins Mattie and Mark Miller experience “bubble troubles” and eventually learn an important life lesson. Ages 8 to 12.
Seven Steps to Knowing and Doing the Will of God for Teens by Tom Blackaby, Mike Blackaby, and Daniel Blackaby (May 1, paper, $12.99, ISBN 978-1433679834) adapts for teenagers the “Experiencing God” teachings of Henry Blackaby. Ages 10 to 16.
Hey God… launches with … I’m Having an Awful Vacation in Egypt Thanks to Moses!: The Frog Tells Her Side of the Story (May 1, hardcover, $9.99, ISBN 978-1433679629); I’ve Got Some Guy Named Jonah in My Stomach and I Think I’m Gonna Throw Up!: The Whale Tells His Side of the Story (May 1, hardcover, $9.99, ISBN 978-1433679643); Can You Stop the Rain So I Can Get Off Noah’s Stinky, Smelly Ark?: The Raven Tells His Side of the Story (May 1, hardcover, $9.99, ISBN 978-1433679636), all by Troy Schmidt, illus. by Cory Jones. Ages 3 to 8.
The Boy and the Ocean by Max Lucado, illus. by T. Lively Fluharty (Mar., hardcover, $17.99, ISBN 978-1433539312) uses the story of a boy, his parents, and the wonder of creation to teach the love of God.
David C. Cook
The Action Bible Handbook: A Dictionary of People, Places, and Things by Sergio Cariello (Mar., hardcover, $17.99, ISBN 978-1434704832) is a companion to Cariello’s graphic The Action Bible. Ages 8-12.
On This Night by Nancy Stiner, illus. by Wendy Edelson (Mar. 1, hardcover, $10.95, ISBN 978-1929628643) explains the Seder in rhyme. Ages 3 to 6.
Because God Is Awesome! by Brad and Kathy Bright, illus. by Lori Day (Feb.1, paper, $9.99, ISBN 978-0-7369-5406-8) helps children understand how much God loves them.
Awesome Bible Verses Every Kid Should Know by Rebecca Lutzer (Mar., paper, $9.99, ISBN 978-0-7369-3938-6) teaches the Bible’s most important passages. Ages 7-12.
Stones for Grandpa by Renee Londner (Mar., hardcover, $17.95, ISBN 978-0761374954; paper, $7.95 ISBN 978-0761374961). A little boy and his family gather at the cemetery for the unveiling of his beloved grandpa’s gravestone. Ages 5 to 9.
The Purim Superhero by Elisabeth Kushner (Mar., hardcover, $17.95, ISBN 978-0761390619; paper, $7.95, ISBN 978-0-7613-9062-6). Nate wants to wear an alien costume for Purim, but his friends are dressing as superheroes and he wants to fit in. With the help of his two dads, he makes a surprising decision. Ages 5 to 9.
It’s a Mitzvah, Grover! by Tilda Balsley and Ellen Fischer (Apr., hardcover, $16.95, ISBN 978-0761375623; paper, $6.95,; ISBN 978-0761375630). Grover does a mitzvah (good deed) by joining his friends to spruce up the neighborhood playground. Ages 2 to 6.
(Dist. by Consortium)
Helping the Polonskys by Khaleel Muhammad (June 4, paper, $8.95, ISBN 978-0860374541). In this series launch, a group of Muslim kids help an elderly man whose wife has had major surgery. Ages 8 to 11.
Islamic Fairy Tales adds Snow White by Fawzia Gilani, illus. by Shireen Adams (May 14, hardcover, $14, ISBN 978-0860375265), ages 5 to 8.
Dear God, I Don’t Get It by Patti Maguire Armstrong (Apr., paper, $7.99, ISBN 978-0764822469) blends drama and humor in this novel about sixth-grade student Aaron and his family that addresses the questions children face when God doesn’t seem to answer prayers.
(dist. by IPG)
Baby’s Tiny Bible and Prayers: Mini Boxed Set by Sarah Toulmin, illus. by Kristina Stephenson (July 1, hardcover, $14.99, ISBN 978-0745962054) is two padded books, one a collection of 20 Bible stories, the other prayers. Ages up to 2.
The Lion Bible to Keep for Ever by Lois Rock, illus. by Sophie Allsopp (Apr. 1, hardcover, $17.99, ISBN 978-0745969145) retells 50 favorite Bible stories. Ages 7 to 9.
The Lion Book of Prayers for Me by Christina Goodings, illus. by Emily Bolam (Apr. 1, hardcover, $9.99, ISBN 978-0745963464) offers occasion-based prayers for toddlers. Ages 3 to 5.
Safe This Night: A Book of Bedtime Prayers by Elena Pasquali, illus. by Dubravka Kolanovic (May 1, hardcover, $12.99, ISBN 978-0745963785) illustrates nighttime prayers with reassuring scenes. Ages 5 to 7.
A Treasury of Prayers: For Now and Always by Mary Joslin (May 1, hardcover, $16.99, ISBN 978-0745963471). A treasury of 250 prayers including traditional, classic, childhood favorites, and new classics from a wide variety of sources. Ages 7 to 12.
(dist. by Consortium)
The Enduring Ark by Gita Wolf, illus. by Joydeb Chitrakar (May 14, hardcover, $21.95, ISBN 978-9380340180) is an Indian retelling of the Noah’s ark story illustrated in the Patua style of Indian scroll painting. Ages 6 and up.
(dist. by Ingram)
The Story of Angulimala by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso (July 1, paper, $8.95, ISBN 978-1616060213) recounts a story of hope and personal transformation from the life of Buddha Ages 4 to 7.
The Story of Buddha by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso (July 1, paper, $9.95, ISBN 978-1616060220) relates the story of the life of the Buddha. Ages 7 and up.
Heaven Is for Real for Little Ones by Todd Burpo, illus. by Sonja Burpo (May 7, board book, $7.99, ISBN 978-1400322275) is an adaptation of the bestselling book about a boy who visits heaven. Ages 1 to 4.
My ABC of God Loves Me (June 4, board book, $6.99, ISBN 978-1400322756) spells out God’s love to little ones. Ages 1 to 4.
The Blessings Jar by Colleen Coble (July 9, board book, $12.99, ISBN 978-1400322732). Alexa Grace is having a bad day, but then Grandma arrives with something special. Ages 2 to 5.
Humble Heart: A Book of Virtues by Amy Meyer Allen (Mar. 1, hardcover, $14.99, ISBN 978-1414380698) is a collection of nine stories from illustrator and author Allen based on her Humble Bumbles characters. Ages 2 to 4.
Always Daddy’s Princess by Karen Kingsbury, illus. by Valeria Docampo (Mar. 26, hardcover, $15.99, ISBN 978-0310716471). A daughter discovers the plans God has for her life, while never forgetting the special bond she has with her father. Ages 4 to 7.
Nora’s Ark by Eileen Spinelli , illus. by Nora Hilb (Feb. 19, hardcover, $14.99, ISBN 978-0310720065). Nora uses her imagination to follow in Noah’s footsteps. Ages 4 to 7.
Wonderfully Made by Joyce Meyer (May 7, hardcover, $15.99, ISBN 978-0310723530). Hayley Hippo finds her own unique talent. Ages 4 to 7.
How to Make Friends and Monsters by Ron Bates (July 21, hardcover, $12.99, ISBN 978-0310736073). Thirteen-year-old Howard Boward is a genius with a chip on his shoulder and no friends until a science experiment goes haywire and “creates” a friend— who just happens to be a monster. Ages 9 to 12.
Merlin’s Blade by Robert Treskillard (Apr. 16, paper, $9.99, ISBN 978-0310735076). A meteorite brings a mysterious black stone whose sinister power ensnares everyone except Merlin, the blind son of a swordsmith, who must destroy the stone or die trying. Ages 13 to 18.