Religion Book Reviews

RELIGION
Released: March 31, 2015

"Contains a wealth of information for secular or mixed-religion families preparing for the God talk with kids."
Written for secular parents from a nonreligious perspective, this guide explores methods of teaching youngsters about God, religion, and spirituality. Read full book review >
THE FUTURE OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH WITH POPE FRANCIS by Garry Wills
RELIGION
Released: March 10, 2015

"A welcome, thoughtful menu for the new pope on how to proceed with reform."
Beautifully conceived and wrought essays that systematically address the wrongheadedness of the Catholic Church over centuries—and the space therein for Francis' long-needed reforms. Read full book review >

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 >
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 >

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 >
Myth and Ideology : Creating History in the Bible by Stuart A. West
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 16, 2014

"A bitter pill for ultra-Orthodox Jews; others will find the intellectual adventure quite thrilling."
A highly detailed textual analysis of the Old Testament. Read full book review >
THE SHADOW OF THE SWORDS by Chenar Med
RELIGION
Released: Nov. 14, 2014

"Earnest, passionate, and sure to ignite controversy, though it does so with a range of Islamic sources."
From debut author Med, fiery polemic criticizing the Quran, the Prophet Muhammad, and the rise of Islam. Read full book review >
FIELDS OF BLOOD by Karen Armstrong
HISTORY
Released: Oct. 30, 2014

"An intriguing read, useful resource and definitive voice in defense of the divine in human culture."
Comparative religions expert Armstrong (Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life, 2010, etc.) provides a comprehensive and erudite study of the history of violence in relation to religion. Read full book review >
CHRISTIANITY IN STAINED GLASS by Lynne Alcott Kogel
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Oct. 28, 2014

"A striking volume of remarkable art and informative commentary."
Kogel documents the extensive stained glass of Michigan's Grosse Pointe Memorial Church in her debut photography book. Read full book review >
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 >
THE PIOUS ONES by Joseph Berger
RELIGION
Released: Sept. 9, 2014

"Through Berger's solid research and approachable writing, readers will gain a clear, well-rounded understanding of who the Hasidim are, where they came from and where they are going as a people."
A fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the world of Hasidim. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Frank Bruni
March 31, 2015

Over the last few decades, Americans have turned college admissions into a terrifying and occasionally devastating process, preceded by test prep, tutors, all sorts of stratagems, all kinds of rankings, and a conviction among too many young people that their futures will be determined and their worth established by which schools say yes and which say no. In Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni explains why, giving students and their parents a new perspective on this brutal, deeply flawed competition and a path out of the anxiety that it provokes. “Written in a lively style but carrying a wallop, this is a book that family and educators cannot afford to overlook as they try to navigate the treacherous waters of college admissions,” our reviewer writes. View video >