Introducing this anthology of essays on the Bible, The New Yorker’s Adam Gopnik identifies the four main ways of reading The Good Book (Simon & Schuster, $27) as aesthetic, accommodationist, anthropological, and antagonistic. All these commentators follow the first way, though this involves a combination of skepticism, admiration, befuddlement, and consolation. In it for the language, Lydia Davis gives a close reading of the King James Version of Psalm 23, one translator appreciating the decisions of another. Charles McGrath tries to understand his attraction to “the sublime bleakness” of Genesis, and in a wild reading/retelling of the story of Jonah and the whale, Daniel Menaker combines Biblical cadences with postmodern interrogation for a performance worthy of a poetry slam. Most read for the stories, and whether looking for drama, for characters to identify with, or for the sheer intellectual pleasure of texts open to endless interpretations, writers as diverse as Paul Elie, Pico Iyer, Edwidge Danticat, Lois Lowry, and twenty-eight others find it in the Bible, and are moved to tell stories of their own. These range from reverent to funny, from poem to parody, from family memoirs to accounts of social and political activism; all are personal, and, charting the Bible’s impact on their lives, all show how this ancient book is in fact forever new—not “the holy knick-knack” poet Thomas Lynch grew up with, but, as the Reverend Al Sharpton says of the Psalms, something “for real people. Living with real problems.”

The Good Book: Writers Reflect on Favorite Bible Passages Cover Image
By Andrew Blauner (Editor)
ISBN: 9781476789965
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Simon & Schuster - November 10th, 2015

The Good Book: Writers Reflect on Favorite Bible Passages Cover Image
By Andrew Blauner (Editor)
ISBN: 9781476789972
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Simon & Schuster - March 28th, 2017

The culture that Hisham Aidi covers in Rebel Music extends far beyond the Muslim youth culture of the subtitle, taking a vast canvas to tell a truly global story. He has created a thrilling and sympathetic entreaty to revise talk of “clash of civilizations” to allow for the endless ways that Islam has infused American and European life for centuries and how American and European life, from musical genres to race politics, is now infiltrating Islam in turn. By showing the ways hip-hop, jazz, Sufism, Andalusian history, and Brazilian pride can unite and inspire disparate populations, while also helping authorities influence and police the same groups, Aidi exudes hope without succumbing to blind utopianism. It’s a unique and invaluable history.

Rebel Music: Race, Empire, and the New Muslim Youth Culture Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307279972
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - December 2nd, 2014

Catholic scholar Garry Wills sparks a flint of life into the modern Church. In Why Priests?, through erudite, succinct, and readable chapters Wills picks apart the historical development of the priesthood, making a case for its theological incongruity with the beliefs and spirit of the early Church. Wills contextualizes problems that the Church faces today and offers great hope for renewal.

Why Priests?: A Failed Tradition Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143124399
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Penguin Books - January 28th, 2014