Religion Book Reviews

AMERICA'S PASTOR by Grant Wacker
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 29, 2014

"Some readers may tire of the uniform patterns of the chapters and the author's dispassionate voice, but vast research composes the foundation of a very sturdy structure."
A scholarly, analytical and sympathetic biography of the evangelist Billy Graham (b. 1918), who for decades was what the title proclaims. Read full book review >
NATURE'S GOD by Matthew Stewart
HISTORY
Released: July 1, 2014

"In affording a fresh perspective on the difficult but exhilarating birth of this country, Stewart shows that the often superficially misunderstood words of the Declaration of Independence are even more profound than they appear."
Stewart (The Management Myth: Why the Experts Keep Getting it Wrong, 2009, etc.) delivers a penetrating history of an American Revolution not yet finished and a stirring reassertion of the power of ideas unbound by the shackles of superstition. Read full book review >

THE UNPERSUADABLES by Will Storr
RELIGION
Released: April 1, 2014

"'The mind remains, to a tantalizing degree, a realm of secrets and wonder,' writes the author, and so, too, does the world around us, which he entertainingly scours for the possibility of crucial anomalies."
A cerebral ride into the world of the unorthodox. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: March 18, 2014

"A slow-building saga that delivers a powerful final wallop."
A carefully constructed study—featuring a chilling denouement—of the disruptive effects of "civilizing" mission work among indigenous peoples. Read full book review >
THE STORY OF THE JEWS by Simon Schama
HISTORY
Released: March 18, 2014

"A multifaceted story artfully woven by an expert historian."
Witty, nimble and completely in his element, Schama (History and Art History/Columbia Univ.; Scribble, Scribble, Scribble: Writing on Politics, Ice Cream, Churchill, and My Mother, 2011, etc.), in a book tie-in to a PBS and BBC series, fashions a long-planned "labor of love" that nicely dovetails the biblical account with the archaeological record. Read full book review >

THE BROKEN AND THE WHOLE by Charles S. Sherman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 11, 2014

"Deeply moving, extraordinarily thought-provoking and entirely humane."
A meaningful portrayal of how tragedy affected and transformed one family and especially one religious leader. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 2014

"Kertzer is unflinching and relentless in his exposure of the Vatican's shocking actions."
More deeply troubling revelations around Vatican collaboration with evil. Read full book review >
DARLING by Richard Rodriguez
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 7, 2013

"With compassion and profundity of vision, Rodriguez offers a compelling view of modern spirituality that is as multifaceted as it is provocative."
An acclaimed gay intellectual and journalist's musings on the state of and interrelationship among Christianity, Judaism and Islam in the post-9/11 digital age. Read full book review >
THE RAINBOROWES by Adrian Tinniswood
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 10, 2013

"An extraordinary glimpse into a pivotal epoch in Western history."
A marvelously rendered tale of how one extended family helped shape, and was shaped by, the England and New England of the 1600s. Read full book review >
SOIL AND SACRAMENT by Fred Bahnson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 6, 2013

"A profound, moving treatise on finding God in gardening."
A soul-searching memoir and travelogue about finding God in the food produced by community agriculture. Read full book review >
ZEALOT by Reza Aslan
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 16, 2013

"Why has Christianity taken hold and flourished? This book will give you the answers in the simplest, most straightforward, comprehensible manner."
A well-researched, readable biography of Jesus of Nazareth. Read full book review >
CREATION by Adam Rutherford
RELIGION
Released: June 13, 2013

"While it is unlikely that scientists will synthesize a human in the near future, genuinely amazing biology is in the works, and Rutherford delivers a fascinating overview."
The day is nearly here when scientists will create the first purely synthetic life. This prediction turns up regularly, but British science writer and Nature editor Rutherford insists that the time is ripe, and he makes his case with contagious enthusiasm. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Dick Cavett
October 20, 2014

In Brief Encounters: Conversations, Magic Moments, and Assorted Hijinks, quick-witted talk show host Dick Cavett dishes on some of the famous people he’s interviewed: There’s much ado about Marlene Dietrich, Groucho, Carson and the Burtons, Jonathan Winters, Mel Brooks and Stan Laurel. Brief Encounters, taken from Cavett’s online columns for The New York Times, offers piquant commentary on contemporary politics, the indignities of travel, the nature of comedy writing and the utter improbability of being alive at all. We’ll ask him about his career and his writing life on Kirkus TV this week. View video >