Spiritual Help for Lost Sheep

Fans of Wallace and Gromit, get ready: now there's a book to help you naaaaaaaavigate life's spiritual ups and downs! In Feng Shaun: Discover Inner Peace with Shaun the Sheep, you'll find simple tips on handling stress, eating right, praying, forgiving and keeping an open mind. Authored by Wallace ("a middle-aged Englishman") and Gromit ("his faithful dog"), the gift book is already a bestseller across the pond, and features photos from the film A Close Shave, which also stars Shaun the Sheep. Ordinary feng shui was never this much fun. Cheese and crackers not included. (Simon & Schuster, $9.95 48p ISBN 0-7432-5410-4; Dec. 15)

19th-Century Classics Made New

The Vedanta Society offers a new rendition of the classic biography Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play, translated from the original Bengali by Swami Chetanananda, a monk of the Ramakrishna Order. The colossal task of translating the early 20th-century book took him five years. The epic work's hagiographic life story of Sri Ramakrishna (1836—1886), possibly India's most important 19th-century saint, is particularly timely in its testimony of the vitality of all religions and the need for a harmonious religious pluralism. ($39.95 1,000p ISBN 0-916356-65-5; Dec.)

When most people today hear the name Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844—1889), they remember him as a British poet. But during his lifetime he was known primarily as a Jesuit priest, a zealous Roman Catholic who converted from Anglicanism at the age of 22 and devoted his life—including his literary talents—to the Catholic Church. According to his own wishes, most of his poems were not published until after his death. In Mortal Beauty, God's Grace: Major Poems and Spiritual Writings of Gerard Manley Hopkins, John Thornton and Susan Varenne gather not just Hopkins's spiritual poetry, but also some relevant "weather journal" entries (which use seemingly mundane observations on the weather as springboards to spiritual prose) and letters, including personal letters about his conversion. ($13 paper 240p ISBN 0-375-72566-0; Dec. 9)