Spirituality and Religion
Sacred Liberty: America's Long, Bloody, and Ongoing Struggle for Religious Freedom by Steven WaldmanWhat it is: A well-researched and accessible overview of the state of religious freedom in America, past and present.
Topics include: Faith and the Founders; religion and slavery; the rise of Mormonism; and landmark Supreme Court cases.
Don't miss: The timely discussion of what challenges the separation between church and state continues to face today.
Books You Might Have Missed
Witness: Lessons from Elie Wiesel's Classroom by Ariel BurgerWhat it's about: Orthodox rabbi Ariel Burger's experiences with Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel, first as a student and later as a colleague and friend.
Read it for: Burger's palpable esteem for Wiesel and reflections on Wiesel's unique teaching methods.
Aristotle's Way: How Ancient Wisdom Can Change Your Life by Edith HallWhat it is: An upbeat and thought-provoking look at Aristotle's perspectives on life, family, morality, responsibility, and one's place in the world.
Why you should read it: The medieval "rediscovery" and subsequent translations of Aristotle's writings into Arabic and later, from Arabic to Latin, had an incalculable effect on both Islam and Christianity and their development.
When in Rome (or Greece): Given the time period in which he lived, it's not surprising that Aristotle's views on women and slavery are outmoded, but author Edith Hall isn't shy about including them for full context.
Antisemitism: Here and Now by Deborah E. LipstadtWhat it's about: Sobering and well-researched, this examination of the possible origins of antisemitism also discusses the forces that have allowed it to continue into modern times.
Read it for: The epistolary format, which gives a difficult topic a unique intimacy; the evaluation of the unique ways antisemitism mutated when it arrived in America.
About the author: Award-winning scholar Deborah E. Lipstadt's other books include The Eichmann Trial.
The Pope: Francis, Benedict, and the Decision That Shook the World by Anthony McCartenWhat it is: A high-drama chronicle of the events leading up to Pope Benedict XVI's resignation and the choice of his unlikely successor, Pope Francis.
Media buzz: A film adaptation is in the works with Jonathan Pryce and Sir Anthony Hopkins slated to star.
Did you know? In 1943, Pope Pius XII prepared resignation documents that would immediately remove him from office if a Nazi plot to kidnap him came to fruition.
No Happy Endings by Nora McInernyWhat it's about: The author's experiences with rebuilding her life after the death of her husband, with insights about feminism and religion and the expectations behind the word "widow."
Read it for: The moving and reflective tone, which is punctuated (but not undermined) by moments of humor and joy.
About the author: Nora McInerny hosts the podcast Terrible, Thanks For Asking and has previously published It's Okay To Laugh (Crying is Cool Too) and The Hot Young Widows Club.
Contact your librarian for more great books!
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