Happiness in this Life, a collection of homilies, speeches, and daily messages from Pope Francis, and the latest self-help title from Cheryl Richardson (Stand Up for Your Life), are among some of the big religion and spirituality titles publishing in December.


Dec. 1

Holy Rascals: Advice for Spiritual Revolutionaries by Rami Shapiro (Sounds True, $16.95 paper, ISBN 978-1-62203-746-9). A rabbi and professor of religious studies at Middle Tennessee State University describes the making of a “holy rascal,” or someone who approaches religion with humor, creativity, and critical thinking.

Dec. 5

The Illusion of Certainty: How the Flawed Beliefs of Religion Harm Our Culture by James T. Houk (Prometheus Books, $19 paper, ISBN 978-1-63388-323-9). Anthropologist Houk examines religion’s influence on society via critiques of fundamentalism and all mindsets based on rigid cultural certainties, making a case for a global humanistic outlook.

Happiness in this Life by Pope Francis, translated by Oonagh Stransky (Random House, 978-0-5255-1097-0) is a collection of the pope’s homilies, speeches, and daily messages on finding joy in daily life.

Dec. 8

The Awakened Dreamer: How to Remember & Interpret Your Dreams by Kala Ambrose (Llewellyn, $15.99 paper, ISBN 978-0-7387-5311-9). A spiritual teacher, motivational speaker, and intuitive coach helps readers combine daydreams with visualizations that can be channeled into nightly dreams in order to strengthen the connection between the conscious and unconscious self.

Dec. 12

I Ching: The Book of Change, trans. by Thomas Cleary (Shambhala, $12.95 paper, ISBN 978-1-61180-500-0) is a translation of the well-known ancient Chinese oracle and source book of Asian wisdom that draws on ancient Confucian commentary and applies its teachings to everyday affairs.

Dec. 14

This Child of Faith: Raising a Spiritual Being in a Secular World by Sophfronia Scott and Tain Gregory (Paraclete, $17.99 paper, ISBN 978-1-61261-925-5). This mother-son writing team share stories, experiences, and ideas to help parents get to the heart of the question: how do you help a child have faith in the challenging world we live in today?

Dec. 15

Finding Jesus Among Muslims: How Loving Islam Made Me a Better Catholic by Jordan Denari Duffner (Liturgical, $16.95 paper, ISBN 978-0-8146-4592-5). A research fellow at Georgetown University’s Bridge Initiative explains why Catholics and all Christians should participate in interreligious dialogue, especially with Muslims.

Passionate and Pious: Religious Media and Black Women’s Sexuality by Monique Moultrie (Duke Univ., $23.95 paper, ISBN 978-0-8223-7004-8). The professor of religious studies at Georgia State University explores the impact of faith-based sexual ministries on black women’s sexual agency to trace how these women navigate sexuality, spirituality, and religious authority.

Dec. 19

Eating Ethically: Religion and Science for a Better Diet by Jonathan Crane (Columbia Univ., $35, ISBN 978-0-231-17344-5). Drawing on religion, medicine, philosophy, cognitive science, art, and ethics, Crane, a scholar at the Emory University Center for Ethics, provides evidence and arguments for more adaptive eating practices.

Waking Up in Winter: In Search of What Really Matters at Midlife by Cheryl Richardson (HarperOne, $26.99; ISBN 978-0-06-268166-9). Author and personal coach Richardson shares her account of finding spiritual contentment and purpose despite challenges in her marriage, work, friendships, and priorities at midlife. 50,000-copy announced first printing.


Dec. 1

Jerusalem Rising by Barbara M. Britton (Pelican, $14.99 paper, 978-1-6111-6940-9) is a retelling of the Bible story of Adah, whose father Shallum ruled half of Jerusalem, and her fight to memorialize her family.

Dec. 5

Holding the Fort by Regina Jennings (Bethany, $15.99 paper, 978-0-7642-1893-4) follows Louisa Bell who poses as the governess for the children of Major Daniel Adams and must convince herself and others of her capabilities.

Dec. 12

You’re Gonna Love Me by Robin Lee Hatcher (Thomas Nelson, $12.99 paper, 978-0-7180-8597-1). After losing her father in a skiing accident, Samantha Winters must overcome her aversion to risk if she is to find happiness with Nick Chastain.