Zaleski, a professor of religion and literature (Smith Coll. and Wesleyan Univ.) and longtime contributor to Kirkus, provides a detailed guide to spiritual retreat. On the practical side, he offers suggestions for retreat locations (home is one possibility), necessary accoutrements and reading material, and sample schedules for a three-day experience. In addition, Zaleski tells of historical and personal retreats; quotes sources both religious and secular, including the Bible, Emerson, and Jane Austen; and gives a selection of prayers and psalms. Although clearly intended for an audience that is either devoutly Christian or seeking religion, this book can serve as a lesson to all on the importance of quiet time for meditation and contemplation.