Religion Book Reviews

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 >

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 >
Released: April 7, 2015

"In a book for readers from both parties, Kruse ably demonstrates how the simple ornamental mottoes 'under God' and 'In God We Trust,' as well as the fight to define America as Christian, were parts of a clever business plan."
Kruse (History/Princeton Univ.; White Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism, 2007, etc.) explains the links between capitalism and Christianity.Read full book review >
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 >

FIELDS OF BLOOD by Karen Armstrong
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 >
AMERICA'S PASTOR by Grant Wacker
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 >
Released: July 1, 2014

"In affording a fresh perspective on the difficult but exhilarating birth of this country, Stewart shows that the often superficially misunderstood words of the Declaration of Independence are even more profound than they appear."
Stewart (The Management Myth: Why the Experts Keep Getting it Wrong, 2009, etc.) delivers a penetrating history of an American Revolution not yet finished and a stirring reassertion of the power of ideas unbound by the shackles of superstition. Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 2014

"'The mind remains, to a tantalizing degree, a realm of secrets and wonder,' writes the author, and so, too, does the world around us, which he entertainingly scours for the possibility of crucial anomalies."
A cerebral ride into the world of the unorthodox. Read full book review >
Released: March 18, 2014

"A multifaceted story artfully woven by an expert historian."
Witty, nimble and completely in his element, Schama (History and Art History/Columbia Univ.; Scribble, Scribble, Scribble: Writing on Politics, Ice Cream, Churchill, and My Mother, 2011, etc.), in a book tie-in to a PBS and BBC series, fashions a long-planned "labor of love" that nicely dovetails the biblical account with the archaeological record. Read full book review >
Released: March 18, 2014

"A slow-building saga that delivers a powerful final wallop."
A carefully constructed study—featuring a chilling denouement—of the disruptive effects of "civilizing" mission work among indigenous peoples. Read full book review >
THE BROKEN AND THE WHOLE by Charles S. Sherman
Released: March 11, 2014

"Deeply moving, extraordinarily thought-provoking and entirely humane."
A meaningful portrayal of how tragedy affected and transformed one family and especially one religious leader. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
John Sandford
author of SATURN RUN
October 6, 2015

Saturn Run, John Sandford’s new novel, is quite a departure for the bestselling thriller writer, who sets aside his Lucas Davenport crime franchise (Gathering Prey, 2015, etc.) and partners with photographer and sci-fi buff Ctein to leave Earth’s gravitational field for the rings of Saturn. The year is 2066. A Caltech intern inadvertently notices an anomaly from a space telescope—something is approaching Saturn, and decelerating. Space objects don’t decelerate; spaceships do. A flurry of top-level government meetings produces the inescapable conclusion: whatever built that ship is at least 100 years ahead in hard and soft technology, and whoever can get their hands on it exclusively and bring it back will have an advantage so large, no other nation can compete. A conclusion the Chinese definitely agree with when they find out. The race is on. “James Bond meets Tom Swift, with the last word reserved not for extraterrestrial encounters but for international piracy, state secrets, and a spot of satisfyingly underhanded political pressure,” our reviewer writes. View video >