Best Books 2011: Spiritual Living

ljx111201webBBspiritLiv Best Books 2011: Spiritual Living

Carlson, David. Peace Be with You: Monastic Wisdom for a Terror-Filled World. Thomas Nelson. ISBN 9780849947186. pap. $15.99.
This is one of the most touching and surprising spiritual responses to a post-9/11 world, consisting in part of encounters and interviews with abbots, nuns, monks, and other spiritual figures and striving to find places where the differing worldviews of Christianity and Islam might meet. (LJ 7/11)

Chittister, Joan. Happiness. Eerdmans. ISBN 97890802864819. $20.
Chittister, a Benedictine nun and prolific spiritual writer, turns her attention to the pursuit of happiness. Her fluent and charming prose, informed by many approaches to happiness, delivers the message that we ourselves are capable of creating happiness. (LJ 10/1/11)

Creech, Jimmy. Adam’s Gift: A Memoir of a Pastor’s Calling To Defy the Church’s Persecution of Lesbians and Gays. Duke Univ. ISBN 9780822348856. $29.95.
Famously defrocked for conducting same-sex marriage ceremonies, Creech here tells with calm determination the story of his pioneering work with gays and lesbians and the obstinate refusal of his own denomination to open its heart to its own faithful. (LJ 3/1/11)

Fox, Matthew. Christian Mystics: 365 Readings and Meditations. New World Library, dist. by PGW. ISBN 9781577319528. pap. $16.95.
Fox, celebrated and reviled author of Original Blessing and Creation Spirituality, keeps his eye on the mystical experience of wonder and creativity as he offers and discusses excerpts from Julian of Norwich, Howard Thurman, St. Thomas Aquinas, and many others. (LJ 3/1/11)

Frykholm, Amy. See Me Naked: Stories of Sexual Exile in American Christianity. Beacon, dist. by Random. ISBN 9780807004661. $24.95.
Despite the prurient promise of the title and subtitle, Frykholm’s excellent and serious study shows, through nine exemplary stories, the genuine and painful trials believing Christians endure as they attempt to reconcile their faith with their varied sexual impulses. (LJ 10/1/11)

Peterson, Brian H. The Blossoming of the World: Essays and Images. Tell Me Pr. ISBN 9780981983585. $34.95.
A touching memoir and a visual delight, Peterson’s book tells the story of his struggles with Parkinson’s disease and loneliness, as well as moments of triumph and insight, all accompanied by his luminous photography. (LJ 5/1/11)

Pitchford, Susan. God in the Dark: Suffering and Desire in the Spiritual Life. Liturgical Pr. ISBN 9780814633519. $19.95.
Pitchford draws welcome attention to Christians in tertiary vows‚ committed spiritual lives in the world, with worldly ties and commitments‚ and the neglected spiritual examples of the medieval Beguines and St. John of the Cross and their utility in serious spiritual search. (LJ 3/1/11)

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