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 >
Released: May 19, 2015

"Deeply religious readers may not even pick it up, but this is an important book that deserves an open-minded readership."
A scientist assails superstition and irrationality. 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 >