Sacred Nature: Restoring Our Ancient Bond with the Natural World by Karen ArmstrongWhat it is: a thought-provoking exploration of the role of nature in spirituality around the world and across centuries.
Want a taste? "A great deal of environmental discussion is scientific: we constantly hear about emissions, particles, pollution levels and the ozone layer. This provides us with essential information and we have become familiar with the terminology. But it does not move us emotionally."
About the author: Karen Armstrong is a bestselling British writer and critic known for her memoir The Spiral Staircase and her works of comparative religion, including The Battle for God and Fields of Blood.
An American Martyr in Persia: The Epic Life and Tragic Death of Howard Baskerville by Reza AslanWhat it's about: American teacher and missionary Howard Baskerville, whose relative obscurity in the West is at odds with his reputation in Iran, where he is remembered for supporting local revolutionaries during the Persian Constitutional Revolution of 1908 (and his death in the 1909 siege of Tabriz).
Why you should read it: Martyr provides important context for the history of revolutionary ideas in Iran, which is especially relevant now due to the ongoing protests in response to the death of Mahsa Amini.
Celebrities for Jesus: How Personas, Platforms, and Profits are Hurting the Church by Katelyn BeatyWhat it is: a well-researched but accessible examination of the affect that celebrity status has had on the evangelical movement and how things got this way.
Topics include: early evangelical influencers; the role of social media; obscurity as a Christian virtue.
Reviewers say: "This is a must-read for anyone invested in the fate of evangelicalism" (Publishers Weekly).
How We Live Is How We Die by Pema ChödrönWhat's inside: thoughtful reflections on life transitions, with a focus on embracing endings without fear.
Want a taste? “To be fully intimate with life, I feel we have to be fully intimate with death."
For fans of: Gratitude by Oliver Sacks; Growing Moral by Stephen C. Angle.
Silencing White Noise: Six Practices to Overcome Our Inaction on Race by Willie Dwayne Francois IIIWhat it is: a persuasive and thought-provoking call for Christians to embrace antiracism as a core personal and spiritual value.
Don't miss: the argument that reframes white supremacy as form of idolatry.
Reviewers say: In White Noise author Willie Dwayne Francois offers "reliably sharp analysis whether dissecting the Bible or Foucault" that makes for a "superior volume on Christian antiracism" (Publishers Weekly).
You've Been Chosen: Thriving Through the Unexpected by Cynt MarshallWhat it's about: the life, career, and faith of Dallas Mavericks CEO Cynt Marshall, from her education and groundbreaking executive roles to her cancer diagnosis and how prayer has sustained her through it all.
Read it for: the candor, heartwarming tone, and advice for getting through the the most difficult challenges life throws at you.
You might also like: Believe IT by Jamie Kern Lima.
Catholicism: A Global History from the French Revolution to Pope Francis by John T. McGreevyWhat it is: a sweeping, well-researched analysis of the notion of progress within the modern Catholic Church, from the French Revolution to the Second Vatican Council to the present day.
Topics include: the roles clerics played on both sides in Revolutionary France; repression in Poland and South Korea; liberation theology in Latin America.
About the author: Historian and University of Notre Dame provost John T. McGreevy's previous work examining the Church and society includes Catholicism and American Freedom and Parish Boundaries.
Uncultured by Daniella Mestyanek YoungWhat it's about: growing up in the cult The Children of God (aka The Family Internation) and how author Daniella Mestyanek Young survived, escaped, and built a new life for herself.
Don't miss: Young's reflections on joining the military and how her experiences there paralleled parts of her childhood.
Is it for you? As with most memoirs about life as part of The Children of God, Young discusses the physical and sexual abuse she endured as a child.
The Prophet of the Andes: An Unlikely Journey to the Promised Land by Graciela MochkofskyWhat it is: a moving and richly detailed account of the unusual journey one rural Peruvian community took from Catholicism to Judaism, which began in the late 1940s when a young man named Segundo Villanueva read the Bible for the first time.
Don't miss: the discussion of the mixed reception members of the community received when they were finally allowed to immigrate to Israel.
Reviewers say: Prophet is "an intimate chronicle of faith" (Publishers Weekly) that is "at times inspiring, at times heartbreaking" and "always engrossing" (Kirkus Reviews).
Contact your librarian for more great books!
McFarland E.D. Locke Public Library
5920 Milwaukee St.
McFarland, Wisconsin 53558