From Elaine Pasquali
Title: The Last Pope
Author: David Osborn
With the passing of a caring and loving pope, cardinals gather to elect a new pope. The two leading contenders are Cardinal Heriot and Cardinal Mancini. Each represents diametrically opposing visions for the Church: Heriot, an American reformist; Mancini, an Italian traditionalist. Heriot is tormented by guilt-ridden nightmares. Mancini is vindictive and unforgiving. Thrown into this mix is charismatic Father John Zacharias who wants the Church to return to a church of Christ-like love and mercy. This is compelling, don’t-miss read that can be appreciated by Catholics and non Catholics alike.
From Margaret Mezzacapo
Title: Under the Banner of Heaven
Author: Jon Krakauer
Another well-written, highly researched book from the author of “Into Thin Air”. It’s the true story of the murders of a young woman and her baby daughter in Utah. The book traces the origin and development of the Mormon faith, and shows the roots of the culture in which the murders occured. Interesting, thought-provoking, and recommended.
From adele gresser
Title: WRITING OUR WAY HOME
Author: TED SELOTAROSS
THIS BOOK IS A COMPILATION OF SHORT STORIES WRITTEN BY WELL KNOWN AUTHORS OF THE JEWISH FAITH AND SOME UNKNOWN TO ME AUTHORS. SOME OF THE STORIES ARE ON ASSIMILATION,EMERGING FEMINISM, RELIGIOUS IDEALS AND SECULAR AND TRADITIONAL THOUGHTS. MANY OF THESE STORIES WERE BEYOND MY UNDERSTANDING. I DID, HOWEVER, ENJOY SAUL BELLOW, E. L. DOCTOROW, BERNARD BELLOW PHILLIP ROTH, I. B.SINGER WHO WERE FEATURED IN THIS BOOK I READ AS A READING CLUB MEMBER.
From Gina Scaglione
Title: Something More: Nurturing Your Child’s Spiritual Growth
Author: Jean Grasso Fitzpatrick
This book is meant to be a guide to raising your children with spirituality, not necessarily religion of any one kind. I thought that it would be the perfect book for our family. However, I found that it was definitely written with a Judeo-Christian twist which was very disappointing to me. I do not recommend this book for people not practicing either the Jewish or Christian faiths.
From Ellen Druda
Author: Christopher Hitchens
God is not great : how religion poisons everything
The late Christopher Hitchens ended his writing career as one of the world’s best known atheists. If you want to understand his reasons, this is the book to read. Filled with essays that take on the popular organized religious tenants, he takes them apart brilliantly at every turn with a rigorous intellectualism. Hitchens writes like he lived his life: with courage, humor, and a clarity of thought that cuts through dogma like a saber.
From Caryn Eve Murray
author: Ilibagiza, Immaculee
“Left to Tell”
This is a book about the unthinkable, a Rwandan massacre that destroyed one woman’s country, along with her home and family but not her faith or hope for the future. Immaculee Illibagiza’s words are not easy to absorb, nor are the photos of her loving family easy to gaze upon after the details of their brutal killings at the hands of Hutu death squads are revealed in these pages. There is much to contemplate – about faith, about human nature and even inhuman nature – in this memoir. That she and a handful of other Tutsis survived after being hidden in the home of a Hutu pastor is remarkable and yet gut-wrenching. This is a book worth reading slowly. It is worth reading carefully. It is worth, well worth, reading.
From Gina Scaglione
author: Strobel, Lee
The Case for Easter: A Journalist Investigates the Evidence for the Resurrection
The weekend before Easter, I took my daughter to an event at a local Christian church. We do not attend the church, but they had sent an invitation home in the kindergartener’s folders at school. When I arrived they handed out the book “The Case for Easter”. Not being a Christian, I tossed the book aside when I got home. However, although I am not a Christian, I am a theist and absolutely love reading books on all different religions. Well, when I was looking for something to read I grabbed this book. I’m glad that I did! Although I do not believe everything in it, the book did reopen my eyes to the way spiritual people can be treated. If you simply need a reminder about how thankful we all should be, read this book.
From Caryn Eve Murray
author: Kingsolver, Barbara
The Poisonwood Bible
This tragic epic of a minister’s family, following the family patriarch somewhat reluctantly as he does God’s work in the Congo, is a gripping study of faith and folly. Perhaps the greatest strength of this book, beyond its rich, dramatic narrative, is the strength of its female characters: the minister’s wife, and each of his four daughters, all give voice to the pages, speaking in turn, telling their stories as the chapters (and concomitant tragedies) unfold. Set against the backdrop of real history unfolding in that part of the world (Congo’s independence and political strife), this book is as much a history lesson for the uninitiated as it is a study in personal strength, traditions and superstition and perhaps best of all, both the pitfalls and payoffs of sticking to one’s convictions against all odds.
From Rebecca Segers
author: Winner, Lauren F.
Girl Meets God
“Girl Meets God” is the memoir of a young woman who is the product of a Jewish/Christian marriage, but raised a Reformed Jew. As she grows into her teens, she is drawn ever more deeply into her faith and as a college student at Columbia, she converts to Orthodox Judaism (this is necessary as her Judaism has been passed down patrilineally and is thus not accepted according to Orthodox Jewish standards). Notwithstanding her deep commitment to the faith of her father(s), she finds herself drawn even more fully to Jesus and ultimately commits to Christianity, converting yet again while studying at Oxford University in England. An incredibly bright and articulate woman, Lauren is still sorting out her connections to her past and her deepening Christian identity. At times witty, clever, midrashic and thoughtful or all at once, this moving memoir is sure to make the reader ponder his or her own faith journey and perhaps strengthen it as well.
From Michele Webb
author: Halter, Marek
Mary of Nazareth
This is an imaginitive rendering of Mary’s (mother of Jesus)early life. It is a piece of historical fiction, making real the time and place of Mary childhood.