Religion Book Reviews (page 4)

BLACK FLAGS by Joby Warrick
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 29, 2015

"Warrick stops short of offering policy solutions, but he provides a valuable, readable introduction to a pressing international security threat."
Crisply written, chilling account of the personalities behind the emergence of the Islamic State, or ISIS. Read full book review >
Sightseeing in the Undiscovered Country by Louisa Oakley Green
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: Sept. 23, 2015

"A compassionate, intelligent survey of supernatural experiences."
The wife of a psychic gathers reports from everyday people who believe they've glimpsed the beyond. Read full book review >

A STREET DIVIDED by Dion Nissenbaum
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 22, 2015

"A must-read for anyone interested in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian drama."
The revealing story of a street "at the epicenter of one of the world's most intractable conflicts." Read full book review >
Women Who Knew Jesus by Bonnie Ring
RELIGION
Released: Sept. 17, 2015

"An important contribution to the scholarly literature on Jesus, both feminist and otherwise."
A debut book offers a reconsideration of the role of women in Jesus' life and ministry. Read full book review >
RELIGION
Released: Sept. 15, 2015

"While Thavis makes no attempt to verify or disprove the authenticity of the phenomena he covers, his book is an engaging introduction to the subject for lay readers—though it may prove dull for those expecting the drama of The Da Vinci Code."
From angelic apparitions to demonic possessions, the realm of the supernatural makes its presence felt in Catholic communities around the world—but the Vatican often maintains a certain distance. Read full book review >

Faith, Doubt, Mystery by James J. Tracy
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 3, 2015

"A sympathetic but unflinchingly honest testament of indoctrination and embattled faith."
An affecting account of one man's experiences with the Catholic faith. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"An incisive sociological lens on a religion in flux, which, though centuries distant, continues to hold relevance for the present day."
How evangelical missionaries, dispatched from New England to the Ottoman Empire in the early 19th century, failed spectacularly to convert the Muslim masses but had a lasting impact on the face of American Christianity. Read full book review >
POPE FRANCIS by Paul Vallely
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"Discovering a pope with a controversial past and a revolutionary style of leadership in the present, Vallely provides a highly worthwhile resource for Catholics and non-Catholics alike."
An exhaustive look at the newest pope. Read full book review >
THE GRAMMAR OF GOD by Aviya Kushner
RELIGION
Released: Aug. 18, 2015

"A paean, in a way, to the rigors and frustrations—and ultimate joys—of trying to comprehend the unfathomable."
A freelancer debuts with a memoir/disquisition about the Hebrew Bible and the difficulties—linguistic and personal—that translators into English have faced. Read full book review >
How and Why God Evolved by Babar Shah Khan
RELIGION
Released: Aug. 13, 2015

"A bracing, comprehensive deconstruction."
A clinical assessment of the human origins of organized religion. Read full book review >
WHY I AM A SALAFI by Michael Muhammad Knight
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 11, 2015

"A vigorous treatment of how the sacred, in all its multifarious forms, continues to exercise power, even if sometimes it just feels like 'we're arguing over what the mystery god intended to say in his address to a mystic in a cave some fifteen centuries ago.'"
Knight (Tripping with Allah: Islam, Drugs, and Writing, 2013, etc.) traverses the scenic highways of Islamic history, seeking paths that connect him to Muhammad. Read full book review >
Not That God by Ryan Andrew Smith
RELIGION
Released: Aug. 7, 2015

"A lucid and approachable guide to re-evaluating conventional ideas about Jesus."
A debut book advocates refocusing on Jesus through biblically informed insights. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Emma Straub
author of MODERN LOVERS
May 30, 2016

In Emma Straub’s new novel Modern Lovers, friends and former college bandmates Elizabeth and Andrew and Zoe have watched one another marry, buy real estate, and start businesses and families, all while trying to hold on to the identities of their youth. But nothing ages them like having to suddenly pass the torch (of sexuality, independence, and the ineffable alchemy of cool) to their own offspring. Back in the band’s heyday, Elizabeth put on a snarl over her Midwestern smile, Andrew let his unwashed hair grow past his chin, and Zoe was the lesbian all the straight women wanted to sleep with. Now nearing fifty, they all live within shouting distance in the same neighborhood deep in gentrified Brooklyn, and the trappings of the adult world seem to have arrived with ease. But the summer that their children reach maturity (and start sleeping together), the fabric of the adult lives suddenly begins to unravel, and the secrets and revelations that are finally let loose—about themselves, and about the famous fourth band member who soared and fell without them—can never be reclaimed. “Straub’s characters are a quirky and interesting bunch, well aware of their own good fortune, and it’s a pleasure spending time with them in leafy Ditmas Park,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >