We’ve still got weeks before Christmas so we’re happy to keep suggesting books — perhaps to put on your list (send your elves here, please) or for you to buy for a lucky loved one. Maybe you just need to know about these so you can order them later. Whatever the case, we are thankful for your willingness to “shop small” and support our very indie family business. We are grateful for you all.

Here are a dozen very recent books (some brand new) and then I’ll remind you of twelve others that we’ve already highlighted but that are so great I wanted to mention them again. If your stuck for gift ideas, just ask. I love playing book match-maker.

As always, scroll down to the end of this column and click on the link to the secure order page. All books mentioned are 20% off.  If you need them much before Christmas, be sure to let us know. We’ll figure it out for you. I’ll reply promptly to confirm everything.


Zero at the Bone: Fifty Entries Against Despair Christian Wiman $30.00  OUR SALE PRICE = $24.00

Those who have seriously followed serious poetry in the last decades know Wiman; he was rightly known in the last 20th century as poet, translator, editor. When his memoir My Bright Abyss took the literary world by storm — it was a luminous book about his return to faith after his seemingly terminal brain tumor — he became known in wider circles and more conventional Christian readers took up his volumes of poetry and a few on the work of writers and artists. Few writers are esteemed in the New York Times Books Review and The Christian Century and CT. I have followed him closely, especially after sitting next to him at an IAM event (hosted by Mako Fujimura) in New York years ago. Zero at the Bone just came this week.

You may have seen a number of interviews Wiman has done already and if you, you know this is an important work. The flyleaf notes that Zero at the Bone begins with Wiman’s “preoccupation with despair, and through pity brief pieces, he unravels its seductive appeal.” Some have linked his serious work to novelist and essayist Marilyn Robinson; like her work, he is very highly regarded as a public intellectual. Amit Majmudar says this quintessentially Wiman work is “astringently, transcendently human.”

 If there is one word to describe this beautiful and unsparing book, it is ‘truthful’: Christian Wiman interrogates pain, joy and God with a rare depth of honesty and a wonderful range of conversational partners, literary, mystical, scientific and more. — Archbishop Rowan Williams

Jesus Through Medieval Eyes: Beholding Christ with the Artists, Mystics, and Theologians of the Middle Ages Grace Hamman (Zondervan Reflective) $29.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $23.99

I know I’m not the only sucker for good stuff on the Middle Ages. From knights and peasants, high literature and remarkable art, weird theology and amazingly astute thinkers (not to mention nuns and monks and mystics!) this was a truly generative time in Western history. And this brand new book looks like a lovely masterpiece — not even 200 pages, so not overwhelming, but great.

Good, classical thinkers like Jessica Hooten Wilson remind us that we enter a “school of love” under author Grace Hamman’s tutelage. Endorsements are robust and lovely, from the poetical Catholic writer Fritz Bauerschmidt to black literature prof (and pastor) Claude Atcho. Knowing how appreciated she is by sharp folks, I invite you to turn these pages and encounter Margery Kemp (1373-1440) and Fra Angelico (1395-1455) and the likes of Marguerite of Oingt (1240-1310.) And so much more.

Jesus Through Medieval Eyes has a foreword by historian Beth Allison Barr. You can hear Hamman on her podcast “Old Books With Grace.” Hooray.

Working from the Inside Out: A Brief Guide to Inner Work That Transforms Our Outer World Jeff Haanen (IVP) $18.00  OUR SALE PRICE = $14.40

I hope to describe this in greater detail later, but for now you should know three quick things, three audiences for this fabulous, accessible work.

First, if you are (as we are) a fan of the faith and work conversation — that is, thinking Christianly about labor, careers, the vocations we take up, our call to work, to serve in marketplaces and labs and schools and homes and cubicles and more — if you like those Christian perspectives on serving God in the work world, you will love this. There are a lot of books on this (and yet, some churches still speak nothing of the 9 – 5 lives of most congregants) but don’t miss this one. It is for us, friends, direct from one of the epicenters of this movement, the Denver Institute for Faith and Work, where Haanen has creatively served.

Secondly, if you do not know much about this impressive movement, the organizations and think-tanks and ministries and blogs and books about Christ’s Lordship over our labor, and how to relate work and worship, then this book really is for you. Not as dense as some, and yet not simplistic as some, it really is a truly excellent primer on all things about work. That it carries rave endorsements from two leaders of the movement (Katherine Leary Alsdorf, founding director of Redeemer Presbyterian Church’s Center for Faith and Work and Tom Nelson, president of Made to Flourish) speaks volumes. Philip Yancey doesn’t endorse many books, but there he is, opining that Jeff is an expert in this crucial “intersection of faith and work.” He’s right.

Thirdly, maybe you don’t care about this crucial intersection. This book is still for you. Catch the title’s theme — how does our interior life effect our normal lives? How does our “outer world” come to be shaped by our “inner work”? This “pulls back the veil on the deep emotional and vocational challenges faced by the majority” of North American folks, offering a way out of the “disintegration” both of our culture and our lives. In this, he is a master of the literature and theology of our emotional, relational, vocational, intellectual, and civil health. He wants to change the world and knows it has something to do with our inner worlds.

If you are into this topic, you have may even have been waiting for this. It’s here! If you’re new to this call, start here. If you aren’t particularly interested in the marketplace and shop floor, still, you surely care about the relationship of the journey inward and the journey outward and how discovering a reintegrated life can help heal our land. I highly recommend Working from the Inside Out.

A Different Kind of Fast: Feeding Our True Hungers in Lent Christine Valters Painter (Broadleaf Books) $19.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $15.99

I know, I know, a Lenten book listed during Advent? Well, there are connections between the seasons — read the magnificent Advent: The Once and Future Coming of Jesus Christ by Fleming Rutledge if you don’t believe me — but in any season, this invitation to reflect on your true hungers as a way to nourish your soul (as she puts it) is a blessing. Right?

Fasting is an act of letting go, she says “making more internal space to listen to the sacred whispers of our lives.” In this stunning, little book she unpacks seven different kinds of fasts (including fasting from control, from our attachments, from our grasping, from multi-tasking and inattention, from the idol of certainty, and more.)

This is arranged very nicely, in a handsome compact paperack with a great cover. It has been called a “multistory approach to contemplation that is sensitive, thoughtful, and inclusive.”

Adam Bucko, author of the recent Let Your Heartbreak Be Your Guide: Lessons in Engaged Contemplation, says, simply, that it is “a transformative pilgrimage of self-discovery and spiritual growth.”

“A transformative pilgrimage of self-discovery and spiritual growth.”

The Book of James: The Power, Politics, and Passion of LeBron Valerie Babb (Public Affairs) $30.00  OUR SALE PRICE = $24.00

I’m just going to admit it: I have no interest in basketball. At all. I hardly knew who LeBron James was until, reading a collection of essays by a writer I adore (David Giffels) about growing up in rust-belt Akron, Ohio (The Hard Way on Purpose) he told of the importance of the sport to his high school, the town, and the general importance of King James who had lived and played there. I came to realize that he was a larger than life figure, a black role model, philanthropist, activist. If Giffels liked him, I would care, too.  I started to pay attention.

And now we have this brand new volume that is said to be stunning, brilliant, exquisite, sharp. It is about the ethics of fame, the loyalty to place and family, about race and injustice. Mirin Fader says it is “an outright clinic on how to write about basketball, race, culture, and America itself.” It just came out, but it’s on my wish list. Ha.

 The Book of James is bigger than LeBron and bigger than basketball. Be careful handling this work because Babb’s insights are so sharp you might hurt yourself. Basketball fan or not, this book will take you places you never intended–and you will enjoy every moment of the ride.– Tayari Jones, author of An American Marriage

You Are Changing the World Whether You Like It or Not David LaMotte (Chalice Press) $19.99 OUR SALE PRICE = $15.99

Okay, David LaMotte is not a cool, urban, basketball staff. With his signature cowboy hat and acoustic guitar he may be more akin to Neil Young or maybe Wendell Berry. But yet, he’s a mystic (and has a great endorsing blurb on the back by author and poet Kathleen Norris.) He is friends with Bishop William Barber, who knows a thing or two about the “rhythm and artistry” that fuels changing the world for the better.

This recent book is truly one of the best guides I’ve ever seen to learn how to put feet to your ideals, to get involved in deeper forms of activism and social change. We are all planting seeds, all the time, he notes, and the question is whether we know it or not, and whether we are asking about what kind of seeds we are sowing. This book will help you take steps to be more wisely and fruitfully involved.

David LaMotte himself is a gift and he comes through in this new book. It is, in a way, a large gift, a resource, a manual, a hope-filled antidote to the myth of powerlessness. We can make a difference. He has the stories — some global and exciting, others more routine and local — to prove it.

He knows a bit about toxic movements, too, organizations and groups that are not empowering, not healthy. His discernment about this (sometimes learned the hard way) is excellent. He’s a fun and funny teacher, a fine folk singer, and a great storyteller.

LaMotte, from the Black Mountain area of North Carolina, is rooted in the Christian faith. Indeed. Yet he is generous and gracious about others, interested in collaboration and interfaith work. He has done thousands of concerns and talks all over the world. He is a Rotary Peace Fellow, has started a non-profit in Guatemala, and has set down here just about everything one needs to know to become a better human, engaging in the world, willing to work to turn around hopelessness and find joy in service. Brian McLaren is really right: it “rings true and will touch you deeply.”

Pilgrim: 25 Ways God’s Character Leads Us Onward Ruth Chou Simons (Harvest House) $34.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $27.99

I’m not always a fan of social media influencers and instagram stars and fashion gurus; okay I’ll admit, I don’t even know who most are, but I mostly don’t care. Increasingly they all have books and it irritates me. Too much rizz, not enough substance.

And then comes along an artist who is a conservative evangelical, an obviously Godly woman with much to say and a lovely touch. I’ve been won over by Ruth Chou Simons and her artfully illustrated journals and Bibles and all the stuff. Her actual books are good and this one is a hefty, larger-sized devotional inviting us on pilgrimage, to “travel the path Jesus sets before you.” This uplifting mediation on the character of God can accompany you on your pilgrim journey.

There are here twenty-five mature devotions that explore God’s faithfulness, explore a theological teaching about God’s attributes, supplemented with hymns that “illuminate the timeless truths about who God is.”

I think what is so appealing about this solid hardback are the pastel flowers, the illumination, the design, the tender watercolor art. She calls it a collection of “guideposts of grace” and some of that surely is in the presentation itself. Very handsomely done.

Sacred Seasons: A Family Guide to Center Your Year Around Jesus Danielle Hitchen, art by Stephen Crotts (Harvest House) $29.99   OUR SALE PRICE = $23.99

Kudos to publisher Harvest House (who did the nice Chou Simons book, above) for doing a evangelically-rooted family prayer book that is attentive to the liturgical calendar. Some of you enjoyed that webinar we did with Paul Louis Metzger last week (around his book Setting Your Spiritual Clock ) and had I found time, I would have given this new resource a great shout-out. It is just slightly oversized, a nice hardback, with some etchings and woodcuts in gold and red ink — it’s fabulous, very cool without being too glitzy.

Malcolm Guite has a great endorsement on the back (which is sort of rare) saying that Sacred Seasons is “a warm, winning, and above all practical introduction to the traditional church year.”

“A warm, winning, and above all practical introduction to the traditional church year.”

It is a handsomely designed book but it also has fun activities, delicious recipes, alongside the meaningful liturgies. It gently invites families into the ancient Christian disciplines of attending to the rhythms and cycles of the church calendar with a clear gospel focus on Jesus. Nice.

Meaning in the Moment: How Rituals Help Us Move Through Joy, Pain, and Everything in Between Amy F. Davis Abdallah (Brazos Press) $19.99   OUR SALE PRICE = $15.99

Amy Davis is an amazing writer, poet, liturgist, pray-er. She is a theologian and minister and here she quite simply offers tools for “creating effective rituals that explore their meaning and mystery.” She invites us to mark “ends, middles, and beginnings of life.”

Get this: she’s got a PhD from Drew and she teaches practical theology and worship at Alliance University. She has been involved in Missio Alliance and the North American Academy of Liturgy. She obviously gets around.

In our forty years of bookselling we’ve seen some fads come and go, trends both good and weird. Ritual studies are fascinating and while some of this sort of thing can go off-kilter pretty quickly, Abdallah is a reliable guide and Meaning in the Moment never gets too woo-woo. It may not be what your fundamentalist grandma wants and it may be a bit much for some strict dogmatists, but for most of us in the vast middle — wanting healthy faith, solid doctrine, practical ways to live out faith in the real world, and a pinch of mystery and ritual — this is fantastic.  As Mimi Haddad of Christians for Biblical Equality International puts it, “If life’s transitions find you confused, discouraged, and stuck, this is your book!”

It is, I should be clear, more than a handful daily liturgies or mystical rituals. It actually has plenty about the topic so you can get under your belt the key notions of ritual, how it all works and why, what ritualization means and ways it can enhance our sense of God’s inbreaking Kingdom. There is a short but wise forward by David O. Taylor (who recently wrote the stunning A Body of Praise: Understanding the Role of Our Physical Bodies in Worship.)

Somebody I trust in all of this is Dru Johnson (we reviewed his Human Rites quite favorably when it came out years ago and still commend it.) Now at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, Dru  writes:

Davis Abdallah gives us a feast of ritual thinking and actual rituals to ponder and practice. This is not just a book about rituals; it helps us navigate our ritualed world with a trustworthy guide. — Dru Johnson, author of Human Rites and Knowledge by Ritual

Receiving This Life: Practicing the Deepest Belonging Kara K. Root (Fortress Press) $25.00  OUR SALE PRICE = $20.00

I hope you recall that more than a year ago I reviewed Kara Root’s amazing, rich, heart-rending, moving story The Deepest Belonging: A Story about Discovering Where God Meets Us. She is a pastor of a small Presbyterian Church (and the wife of scholar Andrew Root, whose serious work on the church in the secular age we’ve touted here.) That book, the first of Kara Root’s, was on our “Best Books of 2022” list and, importantly, was honored by others. It told a few stories about church life and, somehow, drew us into care about God’s love shown in the reality of hospitality, a church of where people belong. Mark Yaconelli wrote, “This is simply the best book of Christian faith I’ve read in over a decade.”

Okay, so this brand new one, Receiving This Life, is a bit of a sequel, a follow-up, offering devotional reflections, prayers, practices, and liturgies that “invite attentive receptivity to ordinary moments.” She invites us to think about resting, noticing, surrendering and “empowers readers to embrace life as sacred, practice belonging to God and each other, and receive all of life as a gift.”

I loved this book! Being with Kara Root in these pages is a pure gift. Part spiritual director, part kitchen-table friend, Root gently unzipped every article of anxious faith I own and left my “worry time” self on the floor. Every chapter was a flood of relief. Don’t reach for this book. Receive it. — Kenda Creasy Dean, Professor of Youth, Church, and Culture, Princeton Theological Seminary, and author of Almost Christian: What the Faith of Our Teenagers Is Telling the American Church

Receiving This Life is a true gift of a book. Root is an inspired storyteller, and the wisdom and care shared in these pages will be life-giving and faith-shaping for pastors and lay readers alike. I will be quoting from this book and drawing from it as a resource for my own ministry for years and years to come. Again, what a gift. — Austin Carty, author of The Pastor’s Bookshelf: Why Reading Matters for Ministry

Dancing in My Dreams: A Spiritual Biography of Tina Turner Ralph H. Craig III (Eerdmans) $26.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $21.59

Eerdmans long-standing series of religious biographies is respected for their scholarly acumen and, usually, for their accessible writing style, bring pleasure to countless, curious, nonfiction readers. Some are about admirable religious leaders, others less so. All are fascinating, combining history, social context, surveying the religious landscape, and the foibles of the personal faith of the person under consideration. Some, like Dr. Allen Guelzo’s Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President, have been very widely recognized, others less so. In recent years they’ve done great ones on Sojourner Truth, Ruth Bell Graham, Jackie Robinson, Dwight Eisenhower, Winston Churchill, and more. I’m looking forward to the February release of A Prairie Faith: The Religious Life of Laura Ingalls Wilder.

I applaud their newest in this Library of Religious Biography, one of the few they’ve done on a pop star, and a pop star who is, in her own way, a Buddhist. Who knew?

Ralph Craig here explores Tina Turner’s spiritual journey from her Black Baptist upbringing to her “uniquely syncretic Buddhism.” As the back cover invites, you will discover “how the Queen of Rock n Roll found power and enlightenment against the dynamic backdrop of late twentieth-century America.”

Read these early reviews. Some folks are very, very excited about this, and not just as fans, but as those seriously pondering faith in the modern setting. Fascinating.

Ralph H. Craig III has gifted the field of religious studies and the world with this critical, ambitious, and beautifully written religious biography of Tina Turner, Black Buddhist woman and pop culture icon. . . . This indispensable volume blends together the myriad worlds and religious ways of knowing at the helm of Turner’s artistic and aesthetic productions, and it offers a daring challenge to earnestly sit with and learn from Tina. Dancing in My Dreams is, without question, a must-read. — Ahmad Greene-Hayes, Harvard Divinity School

A deep, exciting journey through Tina Turner’s Black Christian roots, adult explorations of American metaphysical religion, and embrace of Soka Gakkai International Nichiren Buddhism. This insightful biography casts new light on Turner’s ‘combinatory religious repertoire’ and artistic spirituality beyond lay status. For religious studies and Africana studies, Ralph Craig’s comprehensive scholarship introduces a fresh understanding of spiritual leadership with Tina — a Black woman, survivor, global music superstar, and Buddhist teacher. — Vaughn A. Booker, author of Lift Every Voice and Swing: Black Musicians and Religious Culture in the Jazz Century

The New Revised Standard SBL Study Bible Society for Biblical Literature (HarperOne) hardback; $50.00 / paperback; $39.99 OUR SALE PRICES = $40.00 (hardback) / $31.99

Someone more knowledgeable about Bible translations and such might have more insight but I can say four quick things about this long-awaiting, nearly magisterial, newly updated SBL study edition.

First, it is in the updated NRSV and while there have never been many options for good study Bibles in the NRSV, this is the only study edition we know of in the NRSVue (with ue, standing for “updated edition.”) It includes the Apocryphal / Deuterocanonical Books.

Secondly, it is prestigious in its own way — SBL is the professional gathering of the best ecumenical scholars working in the field of Biblical studies. There are some evangelicals involved (some of great standing who helped with this, such as Nijay Gupta and Ray Van Leeuwen.) There are towering figures in the field (Beverly Gaventa, John Goldingay, Leander Keck, Ralph Klein.) There are many contributors who seem to be from the global church, lots of women, lots whose names I do not recognize. Some are classic — Patrick Miller on the Psalms, Kathleen O’Connor on Lamentations, Richard Hays on Galatians. From Carol Bechtel on Esther to Richard Bauckham on 2 Peter and Mark Allen Powell on Matthew, it’s a grand and diverse set of experts helping illuminate the texts.

Thirdly, it is, for those who aren’t aware of this, very ecumenical, and, frankly, fairly guided by critical scholarship. (That is, I gather they just assume there are three Isaiahs, not one; that the Genesis narratives were shaped over time by various sources, and, happily, that the shape of the canon and canonical context matters.) It is very different than, say, the lovely spiritual guidance offered in the plainspoken and generally very helpful Life Application Study Bible and the dogmatically conservative and generally Reformed ESV Study Bible. All study BIbles have their biases, and while these may be what some call theologically liberal, they are nonetheless often helpful and generally honest about all of that. I’ve only skimmed it and it will take years before a consensus develops about how good it is. For now, it seems to be the best of its kind.

Fourth, it is handsomely done, with a fairly decent size print, lots of sidebars and such (no color pages or photos, though, like, say, in the NIV Study Bible.) However, all of the ones we got in (and we got a lot) have page bleed through. It may be a deal-breaker for some that the gray sidebars that look so handsome on one page bleeds through to the other side, making reading the backside less than pleasant. Same with bold type, lines, graphics. HarperOne really dropped the ball on this. I don’t know what to tell you but to be honest about this unfortunate feature.


The Language of the Soul: Meeting God in the Longings of Our Hearts Jeff Crosby (Broadleaf Books) $26.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $21.59

You will recall that I said much about this, how it is so nicely written, gracious, thoughtful, with lots of stories and allusions to music. One of of my favorite books of spiritual formation this year. I’m pretty sure this is going to be on a number of year’s end “best books” lists — it sure is on mine. Highly recommended.



N.T. Wright (Zondervan) $29.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $23.99

What can I say. Wright has developed some new thoughts on Romans, seen largely in this close reading of one of the most important chapters in the whole Bible. If you love God’s Word, I’d say you should read this book.

“Like a falcon in a dive, Tom Wright takes readers on a majestic and soaring flight through Romans 8, the heart of Paul’s letter to the Roman house churches. There’s so much to see on atonement, spirit versus flesh, adoption, love, and hope, and Tom does not disappoint with his amazing mix of explanatory insights and easy readability. For many readers, reading this book will be the first time Romans actually makes sense to them.” — Rev. Dr. Michael F. Bird, Ridley College, Melbourne, Australia, author, Seven Things I Wish Christians Knew About the Bible

What If Jesus Was Serious About Heaven? Sky Jethani (Brazos Press) $16.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $13.59

Do you know this little series of “What If Jesus Was Serious?” There is one about the Christian life, one about church life, one about prayer. This new one is about the Kingdom of God, the reign of Christ over all things. It is not far off to say this is a quick and playful intro to stuff like Surprised by Hope or How God Became King by Tom Wright. There are illustrations, full-color graphics. It is a hoot, and brilliant. Yay.


Creation Care Discipleship: Why Earthkeeping Is An Essential Christian Practice Steven Bouma-Prediger (Baker Academic) $25.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $20.79

I am not kidding to say this is one of the best books on discipleship that I’ve read all year. Give it to anyone who loves nature, and anyone concerned about the environment, anybody who understands ecology — or those who don’t. Fantastic!



How To Stay Married: The Most Insane Love Story Ever Told Harrison Scott Key (Avid Reader Press) $27.99   OUR SALE PRICE = $22.39

When a sophisticated humorist writes a book about his wife cheating on him and you realize it isn’t a joke, it becomes a page-turning train wreck that you want to look away from but can’t. And you shouldn’t because this book is tragic and funny, awful and hopeful, good and bad and better. It’s complicated and weird — the life of recovery from bad relationship habits and bad religion and newfound trust and hope makes this one of the best memoirs I’ve read all year. I couldn’t put it down. I’m not kidding, I laughed and I cried.

Now I Lay Me Down to Fight: A Poet Writes Her Way Through Cancer Katy Bowser Hutson (IVP) $16.00  OUR SALE PRICE = $12.80

This small book of poems and essays means the world to some of us who care about the author, but, more, to anyone who needs honest lament, and serious reflection on God’s grace and the gospel’s hope, even in darn hard things. She is amazing. Get a few to have on hand…



Walter Brueggemann’s Prophetic Imagination: A Theological Biography  Conrad L. Kanagy (Fortress Press) $24.95  OUR 20% OFF SALE PRICE = $19.96

I hope you recall my long review of this first and very good “theological biography” of one of the most important religious leaders of our time. Brueggemann’s recent friend, central Pennsylvania’s Conrad Kanagy really gets him, and the many interviews he did with Walt pulled out bunches of stories from Brueggemann’s storied past. This is a great read. At the very least, if yoiu are in a mainline denominational church, you could give this to your pastor and she will be very impressed.


The Evangelical Imagination: How Stories, Images, & Metaphors Created a Culture in Crisis Karen Swallow Prior (Brazos Press) $26.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $21.59

Karen has made a vital contribution to our understanding of the religious landscape, to our understanding of the vital history — the good and the bad — of revivalism and evangelicalism. She works on the metaphors that have shaped the imagination of many, and unpacks the weight of those stories and images as they have both motivated and damaged so very many. This is a must-read, and it is truly fascinating.


The Spacious Path: Practicing the Restful Ways of Jesus in a Fragmented World Tamara Hill Murphy (Herald Press) $18.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $15.19

I hope you recall my little review of this, a gentle and thoughtful guide to the spirituality of spaciousness, of rest, of the ways of following Jesus. She is a spiritual guide and invites us to live well in Christ’s grace. Lovely, insightful, helfpful.

“Many people feel overwhelmed by life these days, and for good reason. ‘Normal’ appears as a distant dot in the rearview mirror. But what if instead of normal, we sought a graced and spacious life? Tamara Hill Murphy invites us into such a life. In The Spacious Path, we are reminded that God has provided wide-open spaces for us, and that we can live a life ‘earthed in Christ.’ Tamara graciously invites us, and then walks with us, on the path toward engaging a rule of life–one that points to Jesus as our firm foundation.” —  Gem Fadling, cofounder of Unhurried Living, Inc., and author of Hold That Thought: Sorting Through the Voices in Our Heads

Holy Unhappiness: God’s Goodness, and the Myth of the Blessed Life Amanda Held Opelt (Worthy Publishing) $27.00  OUR SALE PRICE = $21.60

Oh my, this caught me by surprised and I loved it. Give it to anyone who is struggling and wants to be okay with not being okay. Just maybe it is “holy unhappiness” and a gift, actually. Being “blessed” as typically understood maybe isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Held Opelt showed in her great book about grief (A Hole in the World) that is she a good writer. Here she is a good thinker, too, fun and nearly brilliant. Exceptional.


How Far to the Promised Land: One Black Family’s Story of Hope and Survival in the American South Esau McCaulley (Convergent) $27.00  OUR SALE PRICE = $21.60

If you follow Hearts & Minds and this BookNotes newsletter you know of McCaulley. His name comes up in recent months since he curated and edited that series called “The Fullness of Time” about the church calendar and the liturgical seasons. Previously he wrote the excellent collection of New Testament studies Reading While Black. He has a kids book, too. Here he tells his life story, from growing up poor in the Pentecostal south to his journey towards Anglicanism. It is a glowing memoir, fascinating, well-written, and surprisingly entertaining. It includes some hard stuff and is important for all of us. What a gift of vulnerable storytelling. Get it. Give it.

Where the Waves Turn Back: A Forty Day Pilgrimage Along the California Coast Tyson Motsenbocker (Worthy Publishing) $27.00  OUR SALE PRICE = $21.60

Back in the summer I did a long review article of maybe ten different memoirs that we were big on, and this was one. Tyson is a singer-songwriter, an indie folk guy who has released albums and done very artful work. In this meandering memoir he tells of his life, his faith, his doubt… it is grounded in a forty day hike in California as he carried his mother’s ashes, waiting for the moment to spread them in an appropriate place. This is a fabulous memoir, a great story, and his journey on the road is illuminating and quite the adventure. Cool stuff. Give it to any young adult who wants to be “on the road” or is trying to work out grief and confusion. He’s a good guy and this is a very fine book.




It is helpful if you tell us how you want us to ship your orders.And if you are doing a pre-order, tell us if you want us to hold other books until the pre-order comes, or send some now, and others later… we’re eager to serve you in a way that you prefer. Let us know your hopes.

The weight and destination of your package varies but you can use this as a quick, general guide:

There are generally two kinds of US Mail options and, of course, UPS.  If necessary, we can do overnight and other expedited methods, too. Just ask.

  • United States Postal Service has the option called “Media Mail” which is cheapest but can be a little slower. For one typical book, usually, it’s $4.12; 2 lbs would be $4.87. This is the cheapest method available and seems not to be too delayed.
  • United States Postal Service has another, quicker option called “Priority Mail” which is $8.50, if it fits in a flat-rate envelope. Many children’s books and some Bibles are oversized so that might take the next size up which is $9.20. “Priority Mail” gets much more attention than does “Media Mail” and is often just a few days to anywhere in the US.
  • UPS Ground is reliable but varies by weight and distance and may take longer than USPS. Sometimes they are cheaper than Priority. We’re happy to figure out your options for you once we know what you want.

If you just want to say “cheapest” that is fine. If you are eager and don’t want the slowest method, do say so. It really helps us serve you well so let us know. Keep in mind the possibility of holiday supply chain issues and slower delivery… still, we’re excited to serve you. Blessed Advent.


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Hearts & Minds 234 East Main Street  Dallastown  PA  17313

Sadly, as of December 2023 we are still closed for in-store browsing. COVID is not fully over and is on the rise. Since few are reporting their illnesses anymore, it is tricky to know the reality but the best measurement is to check the waste water tables to see the amount of virus in the eco-system. It is bad and now getting worse. It’s important to be aware of how risks we take might effect the public good — those at risk, while not dying from the virus, are experiencing long-term health consequences. (Just check the latest reports of the rise of heart attacks and diabetes among younger adults, caused by Covid.) It is complicated, but we are still closed for in-store browsing due to our commitment to public health (and the safety of our family who live here, our staff, and customers.) Our store is a bit cramped without top-notch ventilation, so we are trying to be wise. Thanks for understanding.

We will keep you posted about our future plans… we are eager to reopen. Pray for us.

We are doing our curb-side and back yard customer service and can show any number of items to you if you call us from our back parking lot. It’s sort of fun, actually. We are eager to serve and grateful for your patience as we all work to mitigate the pandemic. We are very happy to help, so if you are in the area, do stop by. We love to see friends and customers.

We are happy to ship books anywhere. 

We are here 10:00 – 6:00 EST /  Monday – Saturday. Closed on Sunday.