Religion Book Reviews

Released: Oct. 6, 2015

"A wider range of viewpoints might have made this discussion even more valuable, but readers with a knee-jerk opinion of Islam will learn a lot."
Can an American atheist who has said that "the West is at war with Islam" and a secular, former Islamist Muslim find common ground? Read full book review >
NOT IN GOD'S NAME by Jonathan Sacks
Released: Oct. 6, 2015

"A humane, literate, and sincere book, one with something truly new to say."
A remarkable exploration of the reasons behind religious violence and solutions for stopping it. Read full book review >

CHURCH OF SPIES by Mark Riebling
Released: Sept. 29, 2015

"Not only a dramatic disclosure of the Vatican's covert actions, but also an absorbing, polished story for all readers of World War II history."
Riebling (Wedge: The Secret War Between the FBI and CIA, 1994), an expert on secret intelligence, compellingly explores the papacy's involvement in espionage during World War II.Read full book review >
BLACK FLAGS by Joby Warrick
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 >
A STREET DIVIDED by Dion Nissenbaum
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 >

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 >
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
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
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 >
WHY I AM A SALAFI by Michael Muhammad Knight
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 >
Released: June 22, 2015

"A surprisingly winning long-distance love story."
The story of a Christian relationship, revealed in a series of letters. Read full book review >
Maimonides & Metabolism by Rabbi Yonason Herschlag
Released: June 12, 2015

"Readers looking to understand all the factors in weight-loss management will find this a good supplement to material produced by experts."
A reconsideration of the physiology of weight loss, supported by the writings of the Jewish philosopher Maimonides. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Elin Hilderbrand
October 13, 2015

In Winter Stroll, a sequel to last year's holiday novel Winter Street, Elin Hilderbrand improves on the first by delving deeper into the emotional lives of the Quinn clan. Christmas on Nantucket finds Winter Street Inn owner Kelley Quinn and his family busily preparing for the holiday season. Though the year has brought tragedy, the Quinns have much to celebrate: Kelley has reunited with his first wife Margaret, Kevin and Isabelle have a new baby; and Ava is finally dating a nice guy. But when Kelley's estranged wife Mitzi shows up on the island, along with Kevin's devious ex-wife Norah and a dangerously irresistible old fling of Ava's, the Inn is suddenly overrun with romantic feuds, not to mention guests. “Although some of the Quinns' problems are resolved, many are not, happily promising a third installment next year,” our reviewer writes. View video >