Religion Book Reviews (page 2)

BEWILDERMENTS by Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg
RELIGION
Released: Feb. 24, 2015

"A powerful, important textual deconstruction of the mystical fourth book of the Old Testament."
An exploration of the book of Numbers, the penultimate of the Hebrew Bible, a strange and edifying story of the passing of an entire generation while the Israelites wandered toward the Promised Land. Read full book review >
RELIGION
Released: Feb. 24, 2015

"In a mix of engaging scholarship and gripping storytelling, Gibson and McKinley offer a page-turner for a wide audience."
Balanced examination of famed and infamous relics connected to the life of Jesus. Read full book review >

GRANADA by Steven Nightingale
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 10, 2015

"A romantic, at times overly sentimental homage to a city 'perfected by catastrophe' and transformed into a place of 'concentrated joy.'"
Poet and novelist Nightingale (The Wings of What You Say, 2013, etc.) makes his nonfiction debut in this rhapsodic paean to the Spanish city, where he, his wife and young daughter now live part of each year.
Read full book review >
RICHARD JOHN NEUHAUS by Randy Boyagoda
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 10, 2015

"A useful, provocative spotlight on one of the leading lights of the 20th century."
The many sides of Richard John Neuhaus (1936-2009). Read full book review >
WANTED by Chris Hoke
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 3, 2015

"A liberating, transformative chronicle of how spirituality can foster inspiration and hope while emboldening the downtrodden through their darkest days."
A jail chaplain's memoir of a life spent ministering to the prison populations of northwestern Washington. Read full book review >

GOD'S BANKERS by Gerald Posner
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 3, 2015

"A meticulous work that cracks wide open the Vatican's legendary, enabling secrecy."
A dogged reporter exhaustively pursues the nefarious enrichment of the Vatican, from the Borgias to Pope Francis. Read full book review >
ONE NATION, UNDER GODS by Peter Manseau
HISTORY
Released: Jan. 27, 2015

"An eye-opener. After reading Manseau, readers will see the influences he writes about not only dot, but shape, the landscape."
Smithsonian fellow Manseau (Rag and Bone: A Journey Among the World's Holy Dead, 2009, etc.) unspools a web of gods who have had an impact on the development of the United States.Read full book review >
THE NUNS OF SANT'AMBROGIO by Hubert Wolf
HISTORY
Released: Jan. 13, 2015

"An eye-opening story of evil in a holy place."
The long-hidden story of the ultimate convent scandal, masterfully retold. Read full book review >
RELIGION
Released: Jan. 9, 2015

"A field guide of armchair psychological diagnostics to be used within a congregation."
A pastor trained in psychology examines the personality dynamics at work in any diverse congregation. Read full book review >
LIVING THE SECULAR LIFE by Phil Zuckerman
RELIGION
Released: Dec. 4, 2014

"As Zuckerman makes clear, without resorting to smugness, secularity is not nothing but rather a way of living that enhances moral virtues and promotes human decency."
Zuckerman (Sociology and Secular Studies/Pitzer Coll.; Faith No More: Why People Reject Religion, 2011, etc.) seeks to sever the association of secularity with nothingness.Read full book review >
CHRISTENDOM DESTROYED by Mark Greengrass
HISTORY
Released: Dec. 2, 2014

"A tour de force of scholarship that begins with a gradual and accessible buildup and then descends, like the century, into a convulsion of dynastic entanglements."
Greengrass (Emeritus, Early Modern History/Univ. of Sheffield; Living with Religious Diversity in Early Modern Europe, 2009, etc.) reaches deeply behind the early myth of a united Europe.Read full book review >
BEN-GURION by Anita Shapira
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 25, 2014

"A brief but full-color biography of an essential leader."
In her valuable new biography, Shapira (Emerita, Humanities/Tel Aviv Univ.; Israel: A History, 2012) provides a concise appraisal of a founding father of the nation that was once only the dream of generations.Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Fatima Bhutto
April 14, 2015

Set during the American invasion of Afghanistan, Fatima Bhutto’s debut novel The Shadow of the Crescent Moon begins and ends one rain-swept Friday morning in Mir Ali, a small town in Pakistan’s Tribal Areas close to the Afghan border. Three brothers meet for breakfast. Soon after, the eldest, Aman Erum, recently returned from America, hails a taxi to the local mosque. Sikandar, a doctor, drives to the hospital where he works, but must first stop to collect his troubled wife, who has not joined the family that morning. No one knows where Mina goes these days. But when, later in the morning, the two are taken hostage by members of the Taliban, Mina will prove to be stronger than anyone could have imagined. Our reviewer writes that The Shadow of the Crescent Moon is “a timely, earnest portrait of a family torn apart by the machinations of other people’s war games and desperately trying to survive.” View video >