ORDER “A Burning in Our Bones: The Authorized Biography of Eugene Peterson” by Winn Collier ON SALE NOW – 20% OFF

Whew, that last BookNotes — the newsletter/blog/book review column from our Hearts & Minds Bookstore here in central Pennsylvania — was a delight to send out and was apparently enjoyed by many of our subscribers. Thanks for the encouraging notes.

There was that link to our admittedly limited and temporary spiffy new e-commerce website that we called the Jubilee Bookstore because it was a platform designed to supplement that big conference on the grand story of the gospel and how it effects every area of life. Designed firstly for college students, it has over 50 categories of books — art, science, education, nursing, politics, social action, spirituality, church life, engineering, business, sports, and more — easy to order with a automatic shopping cart and easy-peasy media mail shipping costs all figured out for you. More efficiently slick then our usual style here at our old-school website from our old-school bricks and mortar, small town shop.

And there were those 15 reviews of 15 brand new books. From the must-read Dear Doctor by Marilyn McEntyre to the powerful The Gravity of Joy by Angela Williams Gorrell to the latest Anne Lamotte (Dusk, Night, Dawn) to the new Broadleaf edition of Padraig O’Tuama’s beautiful In the Shelter to the notable companion to the PBS series, The Black Church by Henry Louis Gates, and the new release of a collection of old Eugene Peterson sermons (preached during Lent in 1984 at Christ Our King) that BookNotes offered some great, great titles for your consideration.

One little sidebar, though, added as an after-though, almost, to that list of recent titles, was really noticed. It was just this, in eye-catching blue:

We are still taking PRE-ORDERS for Winn Collier’s forthcoming, authorized biography of Eugene Peterson which releases March 23, 2021. It is called A Burning in My Bones: The Authorized Biography of Eugene H. Peterson (Waterbrook Press) $28.00. Our SALE PRICE = $22.40.

And so, here, again, is a reminder to order this now. (Just click on the link at the bottom of the page which will take you to our secure order form page. Enter your info and we’ll take it from there, shipping them March 23rd, as soon as they become available.)

A Burning in My Bones: The Authorized Biography of Eugene H. Peterson by Winn Collier (Waterbrook Press) $28.00



We reviewed this forthcoming biography of “Pastor Pete” by our friend Winn Collier initially in a BookNotes early last fall inviting folks to pre-order it, back when we thought it was to be released in November. (You can read that review here.)

We announced it again, later, noting that due to Covid, the new publication date was March 2021. (In that review we also highlighted a lovely book co-authored by Eugene and one of his sons, Eric, who himself is a Presbyterian pastor in Washington state. That book was a lovely set of letters exchanged back and forth between father and son about the nature of the pastoral vocation and stuff about serving the church well. (You can read that review here.)

And we mentioned A Burning in My Bones in passing in another list or two over these long, hard, Covid months. It has given us all something to look forward to, eh? This authorized biography of Eugene Peterson is, no doubt, one of the best and most anticipated books of 2021.

I want to keep this fairly brief for those wanting to pre-order the book now, so won’t say too much more. I trust you know that Peterson was considered one of the most important religious writers of our time, thoughtful, learned, but down to Earth; no-nonsense about church and discipleship. He didn’t like formulas or cheap faith or anything glitzy. He was awkward even about his fame. Peterson was a Presbyterian pastor for many years in Bel Air, Maryland, translated (or, as his publishers insisted saying, paraphrased) the entire Bible into what is known as The Message. He wrote numerous others books, including some of my personal, all-time favorites. He was a writer in residence for a year at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and then he taught at Regent College, an amazingly good graduate school in Vancouver, British Columbia. That got him back closer to his beloved Montana where he retired with Jan, hiking and birdwatching and writing and praying — and reading. What a reader he was! (We know this because he was a loyal Hearts & Minds customer, sending us orders via fax back before he gave in to email. Often he’d call, with his deep and gruff voice. In the collection of letters to his son that I mentioned above (Letters to a Young Pastor: Timothy Conversations Between Father and Son) he has a paragraph or two telling Eric about a book he was enjoying. We had recommended that very book to him and he got it from us and I was so glad, here, years later, to see our little bookselling efforts paying off as he spread the word about good authors, fiction, poetry, and literary nonfiction.

Biographer Winn Collier was deeply influenced by Peterson. Winn did a PhD in American literature at UVA on the great Wendell Berry (who Peterson and I talked about on occasion) in part because Eugene encouraged him to do so. Winn wrote a very creative and fabulous novel, himself, called Love Big, Be Well: Letters to a Small-Town Church, published by Eerdmans ($16.99) — written as a series of letters by a down-to-Earth, almost cranky older pastor who grows to love his small-town, small congregation. Eugene Peterson called it a tour de force and exclaimed that it captured things about the church and a pastor better than anything he had ever read!

Winn’s earliest books were paraphrases of classic writing, too, channelling for us the deep contemplative spiritually of the likes of older mystics like Francois Fenelon. No wonder Peterson liked him so.

I say this to assure you that I can hardly think of anyone better suited to putting pen to paper (and before that, the ear to the phone, and car on the road, interviewing hundreds of people from Peterson’s past, tracking down archival stuff, going over letters and papers from his earlier days, etc. etc. etc. doing the primary research with lively curiosity and reverence.) Jan (who died a year after Eugene) and the Peterson kids, all grown now, of course, have affirmed Winn as the authorized biographer and we are very glad to commend his own integrity and insight and wit and faith as the sort who would “get” Reverend Eugene Peterson, “Pastor Pete.”

When I had the great privilege of reading an early version of this I was taken with how some of the prose resembled Peterson’s own. I doubt that that was intentional. The other day I read a page or two out loud to Beth (a passage about how understanding Montana is important to understand the man) and we both felt it was so good it nearly took our breath away. The book has charm and substance, it is a good read, as we say, and really insightful. Knowing something about the life and formation, the work and ministry, the legacy and love of this man from Montana, is a delight as is reading any good biography, of course. But because the subject is himself so interesting and thoughtful and faithful in ways that are needed now, I think reading A Burning in My Bones will be a deeply influential and transformative experience for some of us. We invite you to enter into the story, learn about Peterson’s childhood and young adult life, his ministry and writing, his older life and times, and revel in the beautiful, artful prose.

I could tell you just a bit more about Petersons life (and reading habits!) and that we stock all of his books, here. But telling that tale is a privilege and duty given by God to Winn Collier. Tolle Lege, as Peterson sometimes said, quoting Saint Augustine. Pick up and read!

The book releases March 23rd. Our sale price at 20% off makes it $22.40.

If you click on the link below it will take you to our secure order form page. As we say there, it is secure so you can safely enter credit card information. Tell us how you want it sent and we’ll take it from there, doing the discount and enclosing the receipt in the package. OR you can ask for us to just send you a bill so you can pay by check later. That works for us.

We can send the book to another person if you’d like — if it’s a gift, we can gift wrap it for free and tuck in a little note saying who its from. Just let us know how we can help. It would be our pleasure, especially this time around, with A Burning in My Bones.

Please don’t forget to tell us how you’d like us to ship your order. As a basic guideline, for one book, anyway, here are some options.

  • USPS has the option called “Media Mail” which is cheap but slow and probably delayed. That’s $3.25. Ever since the former President cut the budget for the USPS they are understaffed and slower than ever.
  • USPS has “Priority Mail” which is about $7.00 and that gets more attention than does “media mail.” Both can be delayed since USPS is struggling, but it might be faster.
  • UPS is more reliable these days but about $8.00 for one book to most places.

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If you would like to be part of a very special celebration of the book — an on-line, virtual book launch party — we’d invite you to register for the event with Winn Collier, Eric Peterson, and Liz Vice (an amazing African American vocalist and artist who we have noticed on the great Porters Gate worship albums.) It is being called “An Evening with Eugene, Story and Song” and we hope you can join in at 8:00 EST on Tuesday evening, March 23rd.



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We are still closed for in-store browsing due to our commitment to public health and concerns for the common good and the safety of our staff and customers. We are doing outdoor backyard service, curb-side delivery, and can show any number of items to you if you call us from our back parking lot. We are eager to serve and grateful for your patience as we work to mitigate the ongoing pandemic.

We are here 10:00 – 6:00 Monday – Saturday; closed on Sunday. Thanks for your support.