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Light from Heaven
Jan Karon
0670034533
Nov 2005
Hardcover
·
 
Book Description
All good things—even laughter and orange marmalade cake—must come to an end. And in Light from Heaven, the long-anticipated final volume in the phenomenally successful Mitford Years series, Karon deftly ties up all the loose ends of Father Timothy Kavanagh’s deeply affecting life. On a century-old valley farm where Father Tim and Cynthia are housesitting, there’s plenty to say grace over, from the havoc of a windstorm to a surprising new addition to the household and a mystery in the chicken house. It’s life on the mountaintop, however, that promises to give Father Tim the definitive challenge of his long priesthood. Can he step up to the plate and revive a remote, long-empty mountain church, asap? Or has he been called to accomplish the impossible? Fortunately, he’s been given an angel—in...


March
Geraldine Brooks
0143036661
January 2006
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Brooks's luminous second novel, after 2001's acclaimed Year of Wonders, imagines the Civil War experiences of Mr. March, the absent father in Louisa May Alcott's Little Women. An idealistic Concord cleric, March becomes a Union chaplain and later finds himself assigned to be a teacher on a cotton plantation that employs freed slaves, or "contraband." His narrative begins with cheerful letters home, but March gradually reveals to the reader what he does not to his family: the cruelty and racism of Northern and Southern soldiers, the violence and suffering he is powerless to prevent and his reunion with Grace, a beautiful, educated slave whom he met years earlier as a Connecticut peddler to the plantations. In between, we learn of March's earlier life: his whirlwind courtship of quick-tempered...


Parish Priest : Father Michael McGivney and American Catholicism
Douglas Brinkley, Julie Fenster
0060776846
January 1, 2006
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Fr. Michael McGivney (1852–1890) is under consideration for sainthood in the Roman Catholic Church. So why has almost no one heard of this Connecticut parish priest who helped to transform American Catholicism? McGivney entered seminary when he was just 16 and studied there until his father's unexpected death forced him, the eldest child, to abandon his studies and support his family. Although the diocese eventually came through with a scholarship, McGivney never forgot the devastation of his family's sudden poverty and devoted much of his priestly life to helping the Catholic poor. He founded the Knights of Columbus, an organization that simultaneously met two critical needs of Catholics in the late 19th century: it was an insurance policy for the indigent, and its devotion to America and patriotic ideals...


Gilead
Marilynne Robinson
0374153892
Nov 2004
Hardcover
·
 
Book Review
In 1981, Marilynne Robinson wrote Housekeeping, which won the PEN/Hemingway Award and became a modern classic. Since then, she has written two pieces of nonfiction: Mother Country and The Death of Adam. With Gilead, we have, at last, another work of fiction. As with The Great Fire, Shirley Hazzards's return, 22 years after The Transit of Venus, it was worth the long wait. Books such as these take time, and thought, and a certain kind of genius. There are no invidious comparisons to be made. Robinson's books are unalike in every way but one: the same incisive thought and careful prose illuminate both.

The narrator, John Ames, is 76, a preacher who has lived almost all of his life in Gilead, Iowa. He is writing a letter to his almost seven-year-old son, the blessing of his second marriage. It is a summing-up, an...



Gilead
Marilynne Robinson
031242440X
January 2006
Paperback
·
 
Book Review
In 1981, Marilynne Robinson wrote Housekeeping, which won the PEN/Hemingway Award and became a modern classic. Since then, she has written two pieces of nonfiction: Mother Country and The Death of Adam. With Gilead, we have, at last, another work of fiction. As with The Great Fire, Shirley Hazzards's return, 22 years after The Transit of Venus, it was worth the long wait. Books such as these take time, and thought, and a certain kind of genius. There are no invidious comparisons to be made. Robinson's books are unalike in every way but one: the same incisive thought and careful prose illuminate both.

The narrator, John Ames, is 76, a preacher who has lived almost all of his life in Gilead, Iowa. He is writing a letter to his almost seven-year-old son, the blessing of his second marriage. It is a summing-up, an...



Abide with Me : A Novel
Elizabeth Strout
1400062071
March 14, 2006
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Strout's satisfying follow-up to her 1999 debut, Amy and Isabel, follows a recent widower from grief through breakdown to recovery in 1959 smalltown Maine. The father of two young girls and the newly appointed minister of the fictional town of West Annett, Tyler Caskey is quietly devastated by wife Lauren's death following a prolonged illness. Tyler's older daughter Katherine is deeply antisocial at school and at home; his adorable younger daughter Jeannie has been sent to live upstate with Tyler's overbearing mother. Talk begins to spread of Katherine's increasing unsoundness and of Tyler's possible affair with his devoted-though-suspicious housekeeper, Connie Hatch. It's spearheaded by the gossipy Ladies' Aide Society, whose members bear down on Tyler like the dark clouds of a gathering storm. Meanwhile,...


Casting the First Stone
Kimberla Lawson Roby
0758201796
July 2002
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
There are few surprises in the insubstantial plot of Roby's third novel (after Here and Now), a story of a marriage that, obviously doomed from the book's opening pages, drags on through repetitive and melodramatic scenes. When she married him eight years ago, Tanya Black thought that Curtis would be a dedicated evangelist preacher, but the power of his current position as pastor of a prominent African-American Baptist church in Chicago has turned his head, and their "model marriage had long since turned into something very ugly and dreadfully different." Curtis flaunts his expensive wardrobe and lifestyle, and he continually begs his congregation for more money. He's having an affair with the deacon's wife, lies outrageously, neglects his daughter and eventually grows physically abusive. Although most of his...


Englisher
Beverly Lewis
0764201069
May 2006
Paperback
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Book Description
Annie Zook, the preacher’s daughter, struggles to keep her promise to her father—to abandon her art for a full six months. Will she succeed, only to succumb to another "forbidden" desire? And what would her father do if he discovered her friendship with a handsome Englisher? Ben Martin has recently moved to Pennsylvania from Kentucky on a secret search of his own. He is mysteriously drawn to Paradise and especially to the covered bridge depicted in Annie’s painting, a folded copy of which he carries in his pocket...along with a smooth peach stone. Will Ben’s keen interest in Annie derail her intention to join the Amish church come autumn? (Annie's People Book 2) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author
BEVERLY LEWIS was born...


Arthur & George
Julian Barnes
030726310X
January 10, 2006
Hardcover
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Book Review
A real tour de force from masterful author Julian Barnes is Arthur & George, which was short-listed for the 2005 Man Booker Prize. Late-Victorian Britain is brought to vivid life in the true story of the intersection of two lives: one an internationally famous author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and the other, an obscure country lawyer, George Edalji, son of a Parsi Midlands vicar and a Scottish mother. They start out very differently. Arthur pursues a career in medicine before he discovers that he is really a writer; George, on his way to becoming a lawyer--near-sighted, timid and friendless--is victimized by locals because he is easy to scapegoat--a half-Indian in lily-white Great Wyrley.

The victimization of George takes the form of nasty letters, the theft of a school key, and finally, the accusation that...



Mansfield Park (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
Jane Austen
1593083564
August 2005
Hardcover
·
 


Shepherds Abiding
Jan Karon
0142004855
Oct 2004
Paperback
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
Esther Bolick, mayor of Karon's beloved make-believe Mitford, bakes a marmalade cake for Christmas that is as sweet as her hometown. Her story, Esther's Gift, and The Mitford Snowmen--"both included in this holiday collection--are previously published, stocking stuffer--sized narratives that Karon's fans have mostly likely already consumed with zeal, but the title novel is fresh entertainment that Mitford aficionados can enjoy while they do their own holiday baking. Sounding like Santa himself might, reader McDonough rumbles out these cheery tales, using dramatic pauses, lilting character voices and, at times, simple a cappella renditions of hymns to convey the upbeat innocence of the town and its residents. Choir music by Journey of the Soul fills the gaps between the novel and short stories, soaring as high as...


The Scarlet Letter
Nathaniel Hawthorne
0142437263
Dec 2002
Paperback
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From AudioFile
In the early days of Puritan Boston Hester Prynne braves the stigma of adultery by wearing the embroidered scarlet "A" on her clothing. Hill's reading captures the story's pathos and gives the reader empathy for the characters while clarifying Hawthorne's views. Hill distinctly portrays each character and reads the narration clearly and swiftly. The pace conveys a sense of urgency and breathlessness. After hearing this novel, readers will understand why it continues to be a classic. P.A.J. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

Review
"[Nathaniel Hawthorne] recaptured, for his New England, the essence of Greek tragedy." --Malcolm Cowley


From the Trade Paperback edition. --This text refers to the...


The Right Road: Life Choices for Clergy (Prisms)
Gwen Wagstrom Halaas
0800636570
May 2004
Paperback
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Book Description
Many clergy are in startlingly bad health. Not only do they regularly report depression, stress, and serious family and financial problems, they also exhibit higher than normal incidences of obesity, high cholesterol levels, inactivity, high blood pressure, and heart disease. How effective can professionals in ministry be with such debilities and vulnerabilities? Are clergy too busy helping others to take care of themselves? Gwen Halaas's caring and savvy book addresses clergy health directly: clergy have a spiritual as well as physical need to care for themselves, to live to the fullest, to ensure that they enjoy the life and gifts God gave them. Building her brief, practical book around the wellness wheel, Halaas emphasizes not just healthy eating but a whole array of life-affirming choices for clergy. Halaas...


Mansfield Park (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
Jane Austen
1593081545
November 2004
Paperback
·
 


Sex, Priests, and Secret Codes : The Catholic Church's 2,000-Year Paper Trail of Sexual Abuse
Thomas P. Doyle, et al
1566252652
March 29, 2006
Hardcover
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Book Description
Sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable adults by Catholic clergy burst onto the American scene in 1984. Revelations about such abuse since then have confirmed that this tragedy is not limited to the U.S. Catholic Church, nor is it a new phenomenon that grew out of so-called secularizing trends of the late twentieth century. The Doyle-Sipe-Wall report clearly demonstrates a deep-seated problem that spans the Church's history. This collection of documents from official and unofficial sources begins its survey in 60 CE and concludes with the contemporary scandal. It reveals an institution that has tried to come to grips with this devastating internal problem from its earliest years. At times circumspect and at other times open and direct, Church leaders tried a variety of means to rein in the various violations of...


Church Folk
Michele Andrea Bowen
0446615382
Mar 2005
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
This third book in Warner/Walk Worthy's copublishing venture spotlighting African-American culture shows promise for the general market, but will be a hard sell to the CBA. Young, handsome Theophilus Simmons is learning the ropes of being a black clergyman in the 1960s. He's also regretting his affair with the hot-to-trot Glodean, who's pleased numerous pastors with her sex-capades. After Simmons marries "jook joint" cook Essie Lee Lane, the couple settles into pastoral life at Greater Hope Gospel United Church where Glodean is a member. There's trouble brewing. It's not long before they discover that the church leadership is actually running a call-girl service out of a local funeral home. The issues are hot but not as hot as the characters. In every chapter, pastors are either leaping into bed, resisting sex,...


The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming
Henri J. M. Nouwen
0385473079
March 1994
Paperback
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Book Review
The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming is a spiritual adventure story. A chance encounter with a poster depicting a detail of Rembrandt's The Return of the Prodigal Son set in motion a chain of events that enabled Nouwen to redefine and claim his vocation late in his life. In this book, which interweaves elements of art history, memoir, Midrash, and self-help, Nouwen brings the parable to life with empathic analyses of each character. Nouwen's absorption in the story (and the painting) is so complete that the father's challenge to love the son, and the son's challenge to receive that love, become Nouwen's own. And Nouwen's writing is so clear and his tone is so appealingly frank and humble that readers--no matter how far from home--will find hope for themselves in the prodigal peace Nouwen ultimately...


The Collar
Jonathan Englert
0618251464
April 7, 2006
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Sacred Heart, located in Hales Corners just outside Milwaukee, is America's largest Catholic seminary specializing in second-career priests: men who have already held jobs and, in some cases, married and raised families. A generation ago, when priests were plentiful, such older men would not normally have become candidates for holy orders. In Sacred Heart's entering class of 2002, however, the average age was 45. Englert, a Columbia School of Journalism graduate and Catholic convert, spent a school year trailing five of the seminary's 80 students—a hyperactive ex-Marine, a blind proponent of social justice, two middle-aged divorcés and a widowed septuagenarian—chronicling their classes and their downtime, their conflicts and their hopes. Most but not all would complete the course: "The aura...


Walk to Remember
Nicholas Sparks
0446608955
September 2000
Mass Market Paperback
·
 
Book Review
In the prologue to his latest novel, Nicholas Sparks makes the rather presumptuous pledge "first you will smile, and then you will cry," but sure enough, he delivers the goods. With his calculated ability to throw your heart around like a yo-yo (try out his earlier Message in the Bottle or The Notebook if you really want to stick it to yourself), Sparks pulls us back to the perfect innocence of a first love.

In 1958 Landon Carter is a shallow but well-meaning teenager who spends most of his time hanging out with his friends and trying hard to ignore the impending responsibilities of adulthood. Then Landon gets roped into acting the lead in the Christmas play opposite the most renowned goody two-shoes in town: Jamie Sullivan. Against his best intentions and the taunts of his buddies, Landon finds himself falling for...



Esther's Gift
Jan Karon
0670031216
Nov 2004
Hardcover
·
 
From Library Journal
Esther isn't so sure that she should spend so much time and money making her famous two-layer marmalade cake for holiday gifts but then she remembers the meaning of Christmas. Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Book Description
Readers flocked home to Mitford last Christmas, making The Mitford Snowmen a New York Times bestseller.

In Esther's Gift, Esther Bolick is filled with the holiday spirit as she prepares to bake the annual batch of her famous-and utterly scrumptious-orange marmalade cakes. Right after Christmas Eve service at Lord's Chapel, she and Gene will deliver a two-layer marmalade to each of seven friends and neighbors, all of them favorite Mitford characters. Then Gene calculates what it costs to bake this...


The Wounded Healer
Henri Nouwen
0385148038
March 1, 1979
Paperback
·
 
Book Description
The Wounded Healer is a hope-filled and profoundly simple book that speaks directly to those men and women who want to be of service in their church or community, but have found the traditional ways often threatening and ineffective. In this book, Henri Nouwen combines creative case studies of ministry with stories from diverse cultures and religious traditions in preparing a new model for ministry. Weaving keen cultural analysis with his psychological and religious insights, Nouwen has come up with a balanced and creative theology of service that begins with the realization of fundamental woundedness in human nature. Emphasizing that which is in humanity common to both minister and believer, this woundedness can serve as a source of strength and healing when counseling others. Nouwen proceeds to develop his...


The Amen Sisters
Angela Denise Benson
0446531537
Sept 2005
Hardcover
·
 
Book Description
After witnessing the suicide of a church sister, Minister Francine Amen is disgusted with herself for turning against the young woman and refusing to accept her claim of sexual abuse by their pastor. Now, after a short stay in a psychiatric hospital, Francine is trying to pull her life and her ministry back together. But first she must face all of the people she has hurt so deeply--including her younger sister, Dawn. But can Dawn trust her? Francine used to date Dawn's husband, Sly--who now seems just a little too interested in Francine's recovery. As far as Dawn is concerned, Sly would be better off spending his time making amends to her for his own sins.

About the Author
ANGELA BENSON lives in Urbana, Illinois


Pope Joan
Donna Woolfolk Woolfolk Cross
0345416260
August 1997
Paperback
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Book Review
One of the most controversial women of history is brought to brilliant life in Donn Woolfolk Cross's tale of Pope Joan, a girl whose origins should have kept her in squalid domesticity. Instead, through her intelligence, indomitability and courage, she ascended to the throne of Rome as Pope John Anglicus.

The time is 814, the place is Ingelheim, a Frankland village. It is the harshest winter in living memory when Joan is born to an English father and a Saxon mother. Her father is a canon, filled with holy zeal and capable of unconscionable cruelty. His piety does not extend to his family members, especially the females. His wife, Gudrun, is a young beauty to whom he was attracted beyond his will--and he hates her for showing him his weakness. Gudrun teaches Joan about her gods, and is repeatedly punished for it by...



My Descent Into Death : A Second Chance at Life
Howard Storm
0385513763
February 15, 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Although numerous studies and books have explored near-death experiences, the phenomenon has been viewed with caution by many Christian denominations. So it is intriguing to read a first-person report of such an event from the perspective of a pastor in the United Church of Christ. While visiting Paris on a European tour nearly 20 years ago, 38-year-old Storm, then an atheist and art professor at Northern Kentucky University, was stricken with an almost lethal attack of peritonitis. In this necessarily subjective but absorbing chronicle of what is essentially a conversion, the writer describes a descent into Hell, where he confronted his anger and self-centered personality. After praying for the first time, he was rescued by Jesus and brought to heaven for an extensive conversation with Jesus and various angelic...


In This Mountain
Jan Karon
0142002585
April 2003
Paperback
·
 
Book Review
Father Tim Kavanagh and his wife, Cynthia, return from Whitecap Island to "the little town with the big heart" in Jan Karon's seventh novel in the bestselling Mitford series, In This Mountain. Retirement holds challenges Father Tim hasn't anticipated, and even as Cynthia's career as a children's book author and illustrator brings her new accolades, he finds himself dogged by health troubles and dissatisfaction with the way his life is turning out. However, the beloved villagers of Mitford are on hand to offer support and humor through every crisis, and a few new characters are introduced to keep interest in the series fresh. Throughout the tale, Karon folds in themes of grace and forgiveness, and offers hope for even the most difficult situations. Fans will be delighted to find that this installment of the series is full of...


A Change of Heart
Philip Gulley
0060006366
July 2005
Hardcover
·
 
From Booklist
Mix Garrison Keillor, Tom Bodett, and Jan Karon, and you have Quaker minister Gulley's Harmony series featuring Pastor Sam Gardner. The stakes aren't as high in this fifth entry as they were in Just Shy of Harmony (2002), when Sam questioned whether he still believed in God, or in Signs and Wonders (2003), when evidence of miracles gave him pause. This time there are only subplots revolving around members of Sam's congregation: spinster Deena Morrison, rehearsing for a perfect wedding; mean old Dale Hinshaw, at death's door and in need of a new heart; and Ellis and Miriam Hodge, who years ago took in their niece, Amanda, and raised her as their own. Now they face Amanda's biological parents, Ellis' brother and his wife, dedicated alcoholics who have dried out and want a place in their daughter's life....


At Home in Mitford
Jan Karon
014025448X
February 1996
Paperback
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Book Review
Father Tim, a cherished small-town rector, is the steadfast soldier in this beloved slice of life story set in an American village where the grass is still green, the pickets are still white, and the air still smells sweet. The rector's forthright secretary, Emma Garret, worries about her employer, as she sees past his Christian cheerfulness into his aching loneliness. Slowly but surely, the empty places in Father Tim's heart do get filled. First with a gangly stray dog, later with a seemingly stray boy, and finally with the realization that he is stumbling into love with his independent and Christian-wise next-door neighbor. Much more than a gentle love story, this is a homespun tale about a town of endearing characters-- including a mysterious jewel thief--who are as quirky and popular as those of Mayberry, R.F.D. ...


A Light in the Window
Jan Karon
0140254544
Feb 1996
Paperback
·
 
Book Review
A Light in the Window is the second installment in this enormously popular series about a small-town rector, Father Tim, and the heartwarming cast of characters surrounding him. This time Father Tim, a lifelong bachelor, finds his heart distracted by his free-spirited neighbor Cynthia, but his stomach and the rectory cash box are distracted by Edith, a wealthy widow who is wooing the rector with love potion casseroles. At every turn, including when a brooding Irish cousin decides to move in, Father Tim must decide whether he will practice what he preaches.

Fans of the series say they long to buy real estate in Mitford, just so they can live next door to these funny and endearing characters and feel the embrace of such a loving community. But what author Jan Karon probably knows, and many readers are starting to figure...


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