A memoir exploring the intersections of culture, language, class, sexuality, and religion. Hernandez grew up in New Jersey with immigrant parents--her mother from Columbia, her father from Cuba. She learned both Spanish and English and helped her parents navigate the world, including filling out...
Book Genre: Religion
The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book) by Don Miguel Ruiz is a novel I read every couple of years to remind myself of these life-changing agreements. The Four Agreements are very simple, but very insightful. To embrace and live each of the Four...
Reminiscent of "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time", "The Good Luck of Right Now" follows the story of Bartholomew Neil after the death of his mother, who he has relied on his entire life. Now that Bartholomew has to find his own way, he comes to realize at age 38 just...
Nadia Bolz-Weber looks more like a tall, tough biker than most people's views of a pastor, and hearing much of her life story wouldn't change that guess. She's a sober alcoholic, a former stand-up comic, covered with tattoos, and of course a woman to boot. But in her new book, she takes us...
Before Hild was born her mother, Breguswith, had a dream that the child she carried would be "the light of the world". Breguswith ensures it, training Hild from a young age to become the official seer of her uncle, King Edwin. Yet it is not through magic Hild sees the future. "Quiet mouth,...
15 year old Jess is on the road trip to end all road trips with her family. They are driving to California to experience the end of the world in rapture with the Reverend Marshall. They don’t have to worry, they’ve been saved. Her evangelical dad is the big believer. Jess, her secretly pregnant...
At times brilliant and devastating, and at other times languid to the point of 'where is this going?!', The True Tale of the Monster Billy Dean is a dark, messy book about violence, miracles, love, and death.
Almond is great at creating setting; here the locale is Blinkbonny, the ruins of...
An intriguing TED talk by the author, Lesley Hazleton, led me to The First Muslim. Hazleton talked about how strange people found it that she, an agnostic Jew, was writing a biography of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad. Her doubt about the existence of G-d, however, helped her identify with Muhammad’s...
I enjoyed this book because the author asks so many questions that we often times ask our God. But as she goes through her trials and tribulations, so understand why she's questioning the actions of God and the universe. I easily put myself in her shoes.
I love the humor that is put in...
Written by an ex-member of the fundamentalist church of latter day saints (FLDS), Rebecca Musser was at one point the nineteenth wife of the group's then-prophet (he went on to have over forty wives). She describes physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, especially of young girls, some of...
Rebecca Musser shares her experiences with the FLDS, the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints, an extreme polygamist sect of the Mormon faith. She became the 19th wife of 85 year old, Prophet Rulon Jeffs. After years of abuse, she escapes from the culture she truly believed in...
Nicole loves her church. She has been faithful to its tenets. She goes to great lengths to reconcile who she is with the church she grew up in. This autobiography provides a realistic picture of a woman's wrestling with how to live a real life.
Solomon Schechter is working away at Oxford when a couple of wealthy, widowed sisters share a snippet of a manuscript picked up on their latest journey to Egypt. Schechter, a Jewish scholar, immediately recognizes the importance of the manuscript and embarks on sifting through 900 years of...
Gittel is excellent at keeping secrets. She has hidden the fact that she is friends with a gentile (forbidden in her Orthodox Jewish community). She keeps silent when she eats non-kosher candy and when her skirt is an inch too short. She has perfected the art of Chassidim...keeping silent. But...
In Orthodox Jewish life, much is forbidden. Especially any activities that bring you into contact with outsiders and allow you to step outside your box of restriction. 12-year old Ditty has never questioned the path that was chosen for her. Knowing her life was a series of duties to be...
Winner of the 2012 Eisner Award for Best Writer/Artist
This incredibly beautiful graphic novel from writer/artist Craig Thompson demonstrates how powerful the graphic format can be for storytelling. The novel takes place in a...
Separately, the I Ching and DNA are fascinating. A book talking about the similarities, however, is fascinating x 100! The author makes a compelling argument whether you believe in an ordered universe or not.
Pure is the story of a group of friends who all have promise rings pledging their commitment to saving sex for marriage. The girls are from different backgrounds, but the promise has brought them together as friends. When one of the girls breaks her vow, it throws the group into upheaval....
Honey and Agnes are both 14 and live at Mount Blessing - a religious compound. That's where the similarities end. Agnes wants to live up to the examples of the saints and the perfection that Emmanuel, the group's leader, expects of them. Honey sneaks TV, swears, and thinks that even Emmanuel...
Mena Reece does NOT want to start the new school year. She's been kicked out of church, lost all of her friends, and her parents aren't speaking to her, either. She THOUGHT that being a good Christian meant telling the truth and treating people well, but when she did the right thing, all she got...
Anahita and her tribe are a nomadic people of northern Iran. Anahita enjoys their traditional way of life; however, Anahita chafes at the restrictions her culture places on women. Most of all, Anahita does not want an arranged marriage to the local khan, a powerful but frightening man. Anahita...
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