SEVEN VERY IMPORTANT NEW BOOKS – by Charles Taylor, Brian McLaren, Wesley Vander Lugt, James Davison Hunter, and more. ALL 20% OFF.

Thanks to those who sent kind thoughts about our last BookNotes in which we talked a bit about (and shared some links about) the war in Gaza. We tried to offer a bit of balance, knowing that no side is innocent in that complicated part of the world. The state of Israel has neighbors who are out to destroy them. Yet, I said, I wished that the government and citizens of Israel might be shaped by the Scriptures of the Jews which, finally, has a trajectory towards a city of shalom. Jesus wept over Jerusalem’s lack of awareness of the “things that make for peace” and if that is what moved him in the first century, imagine his weeping today, as Israel — with billions of dollars worth of military aid from the US — is one of the most brutally militaristic powers on Earth. I listed some books that might help us understand various sides of the conflict and which might help us be more drawn to being peacemakers in God’s broken world. Anyway, I understand that not everyone liked it, so we were warmed by those who spoke graciously to us. Even more by those who bought books. Thanks, all.

In this BookNotes we will list seven brand new ones, each important, again books that ask big questions about important matters, hoping to provide some reading pleasure and helping us be more wise as we live in our culture. I’m leaving other new good releases out, I know, but these few new ones seem most worthy of comment. All are 20% off.

Scroll down to the very end to see the links to our secure order form page. Thanks.

Beauty Is Oxygen: Finding a Faith that Breathes Wesley Vander Lugt (Eerdmans) $24.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $19.99

This is one I’ve been waiting for as I am sure it will be a cut above the many pop ones on the topic that have come out lately; this brand new one is said to be exceptionally thoughtful and yet delightfully inspiring. I mean no criticism of the handful of volumes about creativity that have come out lately or the one’s with “beauty” in the title or subtitle; I’ve reviewed several here in the past year and we are truly thrilled for this emphasis among those writing books that might be best described as helping shape our daily Christian living. And we are glad for those more weighty theological tomes that explore beauty in more abstract terms. (Just think of the moving Beauty Chasers: Recapturing the Wonder of the Divine by the great Timothy Willard on one hand or the hefty but brilliant Abundantly More: The Theological Promise of the Arts in a Reductionist World by Jeremy Begbie on the other. Both are excellent in their own way.)

But this — wow! Natalie Carnes, a theology prof at Baylor University, says the writing offers “lucid, expansive prose worthy of his title.” Karen Swallow Prior says it is “breathtaking.”

The back cover tells us simply what is going on here: “Beauty is oxygen because it comes from the lungs of God.” This is an extraordinary claim, pushing us somehow beyond the mere “divine fingerprints” in creation we hear about often, to a more ambient, real “traces of divine glory.” The book itself seems to capture this, written as a meditation, with pull quotes and citations galore, quotes to sit with, to ponder alongside Bible reflections and theological jaunts. I’ve been waiting for this and can’t wait to spend considerable time with it. I’m going to show it off at a retreat I’m leading this week.

That Vander Lugt quotes one of my favorite writers, Calvin Seerveld, in the early pages (and one of Seerveld’s former students, James K.A. Smith) tickles me. That Annie Dillard comes up early is sweet. Later, flipping through, I see quotes from famous artists and painters and a surprising array of thinkers, from Cole Arthur Riley to Makoto Fujimura, from Dana Gioia to Father John Misty. One chapter reflects with Ippolit and Prince Myshkin by asking “What sort of beauty will save the world?” That’s a very good question.

And there are more questions, including some that are quite tender, personal, provocative, even. Beauty Is Oxygen is a book loaded with conversation starters and pointed questions to work through in meditative reflection or candid conversation with friends.

Sho Baraka wrote a great forward. Elissa Yukiko Weichbrodt, a new friend this year, has a great endorsement. Vander Lugt directs the Leighton Ford Center for Theology, the Arts, and Gospel Witness at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary and with this major, accessible work, he should catapult onto the list of go-to scholars and leaders speaking about aesthetics, creativity, and the arts. Oxygen gets our highest recommendation.

Life After Doom: Wisdom and Courage for a World Falling Apart Brian D. McLaren (St. Martin’s Essentials) $28.00  OUR SALE PRICE = $22.40

This book deserves a long review and, if he is even mostly right, it deserves to be urgently promoted, shared widely, discussed and prayed about and discerned with the utmost of intention. I’m with him: we are facing what some of the best scientists are calling civilizational collapse. It might be too late given the rates of the ocean temperatures changing, the ice caps melting, and so forth. Anyone who allows themselves to think about it — and Brian is very careful not to push us too hard and is gracious in his reporting of the dangers — knows that, at best, things are going to be painfully difficult for many North Americans in the coming generations. It is increasingly difficult for many throughout the globe as climate change has affected some of the most vulnerable. The beautiful and fascinating book I reviewed and named one of the Best Books of 2023 was Madeline Ostrander’s At Home on a Warming Planet comes to mind as it looks at those coping — with great heroism and resilience — with floods and fires, pollution and, amongst the Yupic Americans in Alaska, the tundra melting under their very homes. It’s a terrific read, if tragic in many ways.

Brian’s book, too, is a terrific read, if alarming. Yet, it is about so much more than the barreling force of climate change disrupting our economies, supply chains, information systems, food, schooling, jobs, and more. It is about the ups and downs of human wisdom, about God and the future, about hope and despair, about courage and goodness. He’s a kind teacher, honest, considerate, thoughtful, and mostly right, I am afraid.

Here are three things I’d say about Life After Doom, too quickly.

For those who have heard that Brian was a leader in the movement among those shifting away from conservative evangelicalism, you are right. We have followed his many books charting this move and we admire his courage and thoughtfulness. He is a long friend and I would read anything he writes, even if I may disagree a tad with this or that formulation. In this book he talks about the development of his own faith from fundamentalist youth to evangelical pastor, to post-denominational visionary (my words, not his) including some tender writing about a beloved fundamentalist grandfather and an earnest reflection on the worldviews of those who taught him a rapture-oriented theology in his youth. His love for the Scriptures remains clear and his early passion for nature writing, for science, and for literature (and music) is, as always, evident. In any case, he is not writing about doctrine as such and he clearly says he is hoping for a wide readership of this book so he isn’t pushy about faith.His faith shines through, though, as he invites people to deep consideration of their own deepest views and values, and while he says he’s not doing a theological or religious work, he can’t help himself.

Once an evangelist, always an evangelist, it seems, even though he is writing about current events and science; again, this is finally a book about true hope and, finally, about true love. As his friend (and a wonderful writer herself) Debra Rienstra puts it, Life After Doom is a book written with “patience and clarity” that helps us discover “the magnificent and beautiful task set before us.”

Secondly, this “magnificent and beautiful task set before us” is not merely a matter of better management of resources or of tightening our belts or shifting to renewable energy. It is not only a prudent matter of living ecologically in an era of climate disasters. Rather, this is a book that — urgent and gloomy as it may sound — is exciting in its analysis of a whole bunch of interlocking issues.

I think McLaren’s 2008 book Everything Must Change, which drew upon the work of the late, great Dutch economist and Biblical visionary Bob Goudzwaard, took the right approach: he exposed the idols and ideologies of what he called the “suicide machine” underneath the issues that most of our churches were ignoring or complicit in, or even blessing with civil religious gestures. McLaren showed how certain worldviews and ways of life were underneath the interlocking problems of world poverty, global ecological disruption, war and political authoritarianism.

Surely each of these concerns have only gotten worse and the ways in which some churches have underwritten these matters with false Biblical teaching is only more evident. Brian does not rant against the Christian nationalists or MAGA ideologues as much as you might expect because he realizes we are all in this together. There must be higher ground we can find and he suspects that most everyone (regardless of their partisan politics) has anxieties and fears about our futures. So, finally, this is a book about becoming communities of care that can offer alternative approaches to social arrangements (can anybody say the Year of Jubilee, just for instance?) and take up the spiritual work of becoming activists on a variety of fronts, in a variety of ways. It is about what one section calls “agile engagement” where things like beauty matters to us deeply. As another of his good books puts it, “we make the road by walking.” Let’s go!

Thirdly, besides the nice tone and the broad range of vision, there is this: it really is about life after becoming aware of our doomed situation. How shall we comport ourselves in these days, knowing what we know? It isn’t for mere crisis management but, as the subtitle puts it, about finding “wisdom and courage.” (Ahh, I think of the refrain of the hymn “God of Grace and God of Glory.”) How does that happen; how do you find such capacities, such lasting virtue?  Well, Brian has been studying this for years now, and it has led him to some interesting findings about neuroscience and how people (and societies) tend to respond to crisis.

This is fascinating stuff, and he deploys his curiosity and faith to help him understand all kinds of insights about trauma and resilience and memory and ritual and song and science — it’s a fascinating read that I guarantee will teach you something new and valuable (even if you don’t happen to share his utter urgency about the vast repercussions of the climate changes we are facing.) Life After Doom really is a remarkable read.


It is not intentionally written about or even (only) to the Christian faith community (but still feels religious, even sacred) and it looks at a bunch of inter-related, deeper drivers of the many social dislocations and problems we are facing; it does so by exploring psychology and brain studies and anthropology and all sorts of interesting disciplines that can inform our resilience and courage, granting us a mystical hope. Not every chilling book cataloguing the crisis of our times is written with this kind of charm and grace.

Yet, Brian, pastor that he seems still to be, is gentle and wise and careful as he guides us through this hard stuff. He tells you to skip a chapter here or there as it might be triggering. He invites you to the practice of journaling at the end of each chapter and he is wise about the sorts of questions he asks and the reflections he invites. This deep processing of the information is really important to him, and he is right. He often warns that some of the pages are sad, a grace that I appreciated, even if I am not unaware of the data he was documenting. He wants us to take this at our own pace, but he does want us to take it seriously, or at least in ways that we are able.

Here’s the thing: many of us know much of this. Yet, we avoid reading about it, for any number of reasons, I suppose; we seem not to want to dive deep, to ponder it all too much. Brian speculates a bit about why we are reluctant to face honestly that which must be faced and again, he is kind and gracious.

I recall in the worst years of the dangers of the nuclear arms race the book by Jonathan Schell — famously called The Fate of the Earth — captured the nation and brought us face to face with what came to be called psychic numbing. Nearly a decade later, Bill McKibben passionately penned a similar warning in his powerful 1989 book The End of Nature. Through it all, I heard Brueggemann speaking and writing about the prophetic imagination and how our imaginations are often co-opted and captured by forces of the consumeristic empire, our modern day Babylon. Later, he wrote that we are usually either in denial or despair.

Brian cites Brueggemann and it is a key point in Life After Doom. He also draws on indigenous wisdom, dropping quotes from a forthcoming book by Randy and Edith Woodley Journey to Eloheh which is coming out later this year. And he draws on Steve Charleston, the Native American Episcopal Bishop who has written books like Ladder to the Light and We Survived the End of the World: Lessons from Native America on Apocalypse and Hope. Yep, McLaren reads widely, has friends all over, and is the perfect teacher to guide us towards nothing short of apocalypse and hope.

For what it is worth, besides the journaling prompts, there is a study guide, an appendix of questions, a proposed action guide, a piece about talking with children, and a guide to evaluating biases. And, of course, a fine, annotated resource list of print, media, and online resources. Life After Doom is very highly recommended.

Democracy and Solidarity: On the Cultural Roots of America’s Political Crisis James Davison Hunter (Yale University Press) $40.00  OUR SALE PRICE = $32.00

Hunter is certainly one of the major public intellectuals of our time, a deeply learned scholar and Christian intellectual. Rumor has it that he is the one who coined the phrase “culture wars” (in a book by that title published in the early 90s.) I’ve read his work for years and still recommend his Oxford University Press volume, To Change the World: The Irony, Tragedy, and Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World. Agree or not with its assessment and recommendations, it is a major work that anyone serious about cultural engagement and social change should ponder.

This brand new one is a heavy book (literally — Yale makes lovely, sturdy hardbacks and this is weighty in more than one way.) I have not started it and, frankly, don’t quite understand what it is about. I am sure it will be clear enough when the pages start turning but we wanted to announce it here for those who are aware of his significance.

This doesn’t clarify where Dr. Hunter is going with this, but if Jon Meacham recommends it, that’s vital. Meacham says:

With his characteristic wisdom and acuity, James Davison Hunter has written an important and illuminating work on the cultural roots of our current democratic discontents. For those seeking to understand how we got here–and what we can do now–this is a vital book. — Jon Meacham, author of The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels

I first heard of Jackson Lears from Ken Myers on his astute Mars Hill Audio services. Lears continues to be an astute cultural critic and it makes sense that he would know Hunter. Lears writes:

A fresh and challenging interpretation of America in crisis. Hunter has the insight to discern the nihilism pervading our politics, the courage to see its authoritarian consequences, and the wisdom to imagine humane alternatives. — Jackson Lears, author of Animal Spirits: The American Pursuit of Vitality from Camp Meeting to Wall Street

Kathleen Sands (of America’s Religious Wars: The Embattled Heart of Our Public Life) is a fan and suggests that Hunter’s cultural analysis of how we lost our way is a “powerful, clear, and original argument.”

The book opens with three epigrams, one from Reinhold Niebuhr, one from Abraham Lincoln, and one from Frederick Douglas.  With notes and index it’s 483 pages.

Cosmic Connections: Poetry in the Age of Disenchantment Charles Taylor (Belknap Press / Harvard University Press) $37.95  OUR SALE PRICE = $30.36

Speaking of scholarly books that are big and fat (how’s that for some down home parlance, not quite suitable for such sophisticated scholars from elite schools?) Taylor has done some heady ones, eh? If you attempted to work through his often-cited and exceptionally important A Secular Age you are a better man or woman than I am. Still, we’ve raved about James K.A. Smith’s complex but very helpful intro to Taylor, How (Not) To Be Secular. (And the late Tim Keller’s one chapter on insight from Taylor on preaching to our culture in his little Preaching offers a very succinct overview of Taylor’s magnum opus.) Besides Smith’s beautiful popularization of it, Rowan Williams had an important review in the Times Literary Supplement. Even David Brooks took a shot at reviewing it (and he did a fabulous job) in the New York Times.

After that amazing big volume which was a blast into the intellectual conversations about “our secular age” and the implications, Taylor did another important work that didn’t get nearly enough popular acclaim. (I get it, too; it was dense and philosophical, which is to be expected since Taylor is, actually, a philosopher.) It was called The Language Animal and it was about linguistics. Here’s a good take-away quote about its importance. Here Akeel Bilgrami (of Columbia University):

There is no other book that has presented a critique of conventional philosophy of language in these terms and constructed an alternative to it in anything like this way.

Enter this brand new Cosmic Connections. It is, they tell us, a sequel or follow up to his explosive theories in The Language Animal. One need not read that (I gather) and it is going to be much discussed in the world I am sure.

Here is what it is about:

Charles Taylor delves into the poetry of the Romantics and their heirs, a foundation of his distinctive philosophy of language. Taylor holds that Romantic poetry responded to disenchantment: with old cosmic orders depleted, artists groped to articulate new meanings by bringing connections to life rather than merely reasoning abstractly about life.

This big book will appeal, I suspect, to those who are fans and readers of his work, naturally. Further, those interested in the general flow of culture — the “ping pong over the abyss” from the disenchantment brought on by the materialistic reductionism  of the Enlightenment ideologies to the rise of the a more humane counter-culture; from Rationalism to Romanticism — and also for those who care about the cultural context of the Romantic poets.

That is, this is for those who read bona fide philosophy (especially linguistics and, I would guess, those who follow the phenomenology of the likes of Maurice Merleau-Ponty) and cultural studies aficionados, and those who study poetry, might find this meaty volume helpful.

As the cover says:

Reacting to the fall of cosmic orders that were at once metaphysical and moral, the Romantics used the symbols and music of poetry to recover contact with reality beyond fragmented existence. They sought to overcome disenchantment and groped toward a new meaning of life.

Professor Taylor studies in Cosmic Connections, among others, Keats, and Shelley, Hopkins, Rilke, Baudelaire, Mallard, and on to T.S. Eliot and Czeslaw Milosz.

Strange Religion: How the First Christian Were Weird, Dangerous, and Compelling Nijay K. Gupta (Brazos Press) $18.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $15.19

I have written about this before but I have not spent a bit more time with it and felt like I should give it another lively shout-out, noting how very good it is. This is not overly academic, neither gloomy nor preachy. It isn’t mocking our too-often common place “ease at Zion” as the prophet Amos might put it, nor a screed against our cultural accommodation. Yet, there is, underneath it all, a reminder that at our best, the church simply has to be something other than what the world already has on offer. We must be some kind of third way beyond the polarization of our time. It is a more scholarly (but quite readable) study of what missional activist Michael Frost explored in his little pocket sized gem, Keep Christianity Weird: Embracing the Discipline of Being Different.

According to professor Gupta, a fresh New Testament scholar and expert of all sorts of first century curiosities, this is exactly what propelled the early church to make a lasting difference in its time. Yep, like Frost playing with the branding slogan of Austin, they “kept Christianity weird” and “embraced the discipline of being different.”

How so? Well, you’ll have to read Strange Religion for the juicy details (and, as Preston Sprinkle raves, it is “an absolutely joy to read!”) But here is the fabulous table of contents:

Part 1: Becoming Christian

  •  1.  Roman Religion and the Pax Deorum Keeping Peace with the Gods
  •  2. “Believers”: The First Christians and the Transformation of Religion
  •  3.  A Dangerous and Strange Religion: Christianity as a Superstition

Part 2: What the First Christians Believed

  • 4.  Believing the Unbelievabld
  • 5.  Cult without Smoke and Blood: Strange Worship
  • 6.  Possessed by the Spirit of God
  • 7.  Beginning at the End of All Things: A Strange Reckoning of Time

Part 3: How the First Christians Worshiped

  • 8. A Household of Faith: The Family Practices of the Early Christians
  • 9. A Priest-God and a Priestly People: Church as a Liturgical Community

Part 4: How the First Christians Lived

  • 10. Dangerous Contact: Becoming Godlike
  • 11. To Treat All as Equal
  • 12. The Christians Were Not Perfect

There is a fine concluding section entitled “Strange Religion: Putting It All Together” in which Dr. Gupta circles back and “pulls together the different threads of his book to see what themes and ideas emerge.” He offers a synthesis, admitted to painting with a broad brush, and brings it all home. He writes with a light touch and it delightfully invites us to be willing to resist the tendency to uphold the state quo. Hooray.

Untangling Critical Race Theory: What Christians Need to Know and Why It Matters Ed Uszynski (IVP) $22.00  OUR SALE PRICE = $22.00

I am very, very glad for this brand new book and I’m eager to highlight it, even though I’ve only skimmed it. (It arrived just yesterday!) I almost hate to have to describe this book as the accusations against CRT seem often like a mean-spirited ruse from the far right these days, criticizing those who are “woke” as if that’s a bad thing. Those who follow BookNotes know that we have carried books about racial justice since the day we opened four decades ago and have no qualms about insisting that racial reconciliation is key to the gospel itself. Every church should be an anti-racist church and every believer should be wide awake to the pain and hurt of injustice in our world which the Bible says is sometimes embedded in social structures and cultural patterns. We honor that older phrase of being “woke” from black culture and try to be as faithfully woke as we can be.

When Fox News and other disreputable sources started a cynical campaign to use “CRT” as a nasty shibboleth, a litmus test to critique those who were not adequately conservative enough, I realized we needed a good book to discuss what is right (and what is wrong) with CRT, honest but open, written from a truly reliable Biblical worldview. That first evangelically-wise and thoughtful book came out a year ago and was called Christianity and Critical Race Theory: A Faithful and Constructive Conversation by Robert Chao Romero and Jeff Liou (Baker Academic; $23.95 – OUR SALE PRICE = $19.16.) It was rigorous, thoughtful, mostly favorable of CRT with some uniquely Christian insights about how to interact faithfully with this diverse (and sometimes Marxist) scholarly movement. I told a lot of pastors that they needed it since I’m sure every church in America who has spoken about race has had somebody bring this up. I know our church has.

(And, for the record, some who complain about it are stupid and ill-informed. It’s just a fact; they heard from Fox News or the 700 Club that CRT or DTT or RTC or whatever they heard was bad and they are out to condemn without concern about the facts or who they slander. And on the other hand, there are those that have studied the topic a bit and know there are legitimate concerns to be discussed with faithful, spiritual discernment and mostly likely offer their critique with humility. Understood.) That is a very good book.

This brand new book, Untangling Critical Race Theory by Ed Uszynski, is perhaps an even better choice than our previous fav for those who are not terribly familiar with the philosophical assumptions underneath CRT but want a sensible, layperson’s overview, translating what started in the postmodern academic world to the general public. Untangling is serious but conversational — the first chapter is about how a blue-collar white guy (the author) got involved in the conversation about race. He grew up in an ethnically-diverse high school and came to evangelical faith in his college years among several good black friends. It’s a good story.

Ed Uszynski has a PhD in American cultural studies (from the prominent program at Bowling Green) so knows critical theory and neo-Marxist philosophers and the sorts of influences that have shaped (for better or for worse) those scholars influenced by CRT. He has fairly conservative instincts and yet seriously asks, even as he unpacks this bloated baggage, what Christians can learn from it all.

The back jacket promises that Dr. Uszynski goes below the surface and provides a “reliable path of just discernment and cultural engagement.” I gather he is a practical man as well. For what it is worth, he has been a specialist for the evangelical campus ministry group called Cru and Athletes in Action for decades. He has written for “Desiring God” and Mockingbird and The Washington Times. That might earn him some street cred for those who don’t approve of the other Times.

Listen to what Tim Muehlhoff (a professor of communications at Biola and author of several good books on fair and honest communication) has to say about this author and his new book:

As co-director of the Winsome Conviction Project, I can assure you there is nothing winsome about our current discussions of race. As soon as Critical Race Theory, white privilege, or systemic racism is uttered, walls go up and voices rise. While many books have been written on race and CRT, Dr. Uszynski is my most trusted source on how to have productive and honest conversations on difficult issues, especially race. Whether you agree or disagree with Dr. Uszynski, his insights will provoke, inspire, and help us communicate and not separate. — Tim Muehlhoff, professor of communication at Biola University and author of Winsome Conviction: Disagreeing Without Dividing the Church

I’m a big fan of Chris Broussard, a well-known sports broadcaster and producer of the excellent “Share the Dream” DVD curriculum on learning from MLK that we highlighted a while back. Here is what Brousaard says; wow – note this:

What a refreshing, absolutely necessary read Ed Uszynski has given us in Untangling Critical Race Theory. As I lament the state of our country and its growing antagonism toward biblical Christianity, I can’t help but blame the American church at large. If we were united as we should be around the undeniable social ramifications of the gospel, society would see biblical Christianity as the answer, not the problem, to our stubborn racial divide. If we as American Christians have one last gasp at true unity across racial lines, salvaging our public perception, and perhaps sparking revival, reading Untangling Critical Race Theory is a critical first step. — Chris Broussard, sports broadcaster and founder of the K.I.N.G. Movement

Order one or two today, please. You’re going to need it.

Chasing Hope: A Reporter’s Life Nicholas D. Kristof (Knopf) $32.00  OUR SALE PRICE = $25.60

I hope you know the world-wide reporting of the great Nicholas Kristof, one of the great (and somewhat unpredictable) journalists of our age. Kristof has been a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize (and co-wrote, among other great reads, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide.) He is a generous humanist, one who cares about the poor and oppressed, and reports on what works to solve vast global problems. He is a hero.

For what it’s worth, he is a hero, too, because he has been a good voice — rare, for a while, in the mainstream secular press — to document the horrors of sexual trafficking and modern-day slavery. He heard the cries and valued the work of groups like The International Justice Mission and realized that some Christian mission groups were not mere neo-colonialists or trying to be white saviors but were genuine and capable and experienced. He followed his nose, followed the money, followed the pain, followed the solutions. I can’t wait to read this big book, which tells his whole, big, exciting story. Who knows, it may show that he even followed the Spirit.

Listen to these great blues by important, knowledgeable folks:

A gripping memoir by a world-class reporter. Nick Kristof takes us behind the scenes as he risks his life to shine a light on the world’s most pressing problems and blaze a trail to a better future. In a time when trust in journalism is in jeopardy, his honesty, humility, and humanity are rays of hope. — Adam Grant, author of Hidden Potential

In these dark, swirly times, Nick’s reporting and this page-turner offer us a sharp light of a hope that will not be shuttered. Doors are not exactly kicked open, but bullets are dodged, bad luck too. It’s a thriller, a chronicle and a set of keys to our most undervalued resource – hope. Nick’s not just chasing hope, he is it… a most reasoned, polite, persistent, insistent finger in the eye of injustice. — Bono, author of Surrender

Nick Kristof is a journalistic exemplar, practicing the art of storytelling in its purest form. He has a penchant for covering the stories too many shy away from — rolling up his sleeves and getting his hands dirty with the hope that it will motivate us to act. His North Star has never wavered. This book should be required reading for anyone interested in journalism, or for those who need to be reminded that, in the right hands, it can be a truly noble profession. — Katie Couric, author of Going There

It’s fun to see a number of really good writers raving about this. From Bonnie Garmus (Lessons in Chemistry) to Lee Child (of the Jack Reacher series) to the great Kristin Hannah, this brand new volume seems to be an illuminating and inspiring book. As Hannah puts it, Kristof believes that truth matters. And that “is a lesson that is sorely in need of reposting in our modern, chaotic, divided world.” Chasing Hope is going to be a great read, I’m sure.




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  • 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 $4.33; 2 lbs would be $5.07. This is the cheapest method available and seems not to be too delayed.
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Sadly, as of May 2024 we are still closed for in-store browsing. COVID is not fully over. 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 isn’t good. It is 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 long Covid.) It is complicated, but we are still closed for in-store browsing. Our store is a bit cramped without top-notch ventilation, so we are trying to be wise. Thanks very much for understanding.

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