Mid-April 2018 Selection

Mid-April 2018 Selection

Here is your April 2018 mid-month selection.

The first 8 books are by Catholic writers or on topics of special interest to Catholic customers.

This selection also includes two new books on aging well, and 4 thoughtful children’s books.

We would love you to tell us what are we doing well, what we could do better and what other topics are you interested in? Or you might want to comment and start a discussion about one of these books.    See the Comments section at the bottom of this page


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[Prices, stock levels and estimated delivery time for titles on this page were last updated on 13 April 2018]

Richard Rohr:
Essential Teachings on Love.
Richard Rohr.
Pbk 288pp. ISBN 9781626982697.
Orbis (2018).
[Allow 4 weeks].

“Love is who you are. When you don’t operate according to love, you are outside of being. You’re not being real. When you love, you are acting according to your deepest being, your deepest truth.”— Richard Rohr

The teachings gathered here illuminate Richard’s lifelong journey of growing in love—a journey open to all who are willing: how we love God by loving others, how we learn to love ourselves, and how we ultimately seek and find love in everything.

Richard Rohr, OFM, is a Franciscan priest, the founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, NM, and one of the most popular spiritual teachers today. Drawn from his many talks, books, and online Daily Meditations, this collection introduces many of the teachings for which he has become known, all organized around the central theme of Love.

Interwoven with a probing personal interview, experiences from Rohr’s life, both joyful and sorrowful, illustrate how the path has unfolded for him and how we each might come to know love more intimately.

To the Margins:
Pope Francis and the Mission of the Church.
Andrea Riccardi.
Pbk 192pp. ISBN 9781626982772
Orbis (2018).
[Allow 4 weeks].

In his call for the church to go to the margins and the peripheries—both geographical and existential—Pope Francis has defined a new understanding of the mission of the church. But in doing so, he has reached back to the origins of the church and revived a long and complex theme in Christian history.

In To the Margins, the founder of the San’Egidio community in Rome offers a profound reflection on this theme, tracing the many ways Christians have opted for the marginalized and excluded, from the early ministry of the church, to the program of St. Francis, the Worker Priests in France, and the witness of modern figures like Bl. Charles de Foucauld, Mother Maria Skobtsova, and the work of San’Egidio itself.

By understanding the many forms of the “margins” and the “marginalized” in our time, we can understand and pursue the mission of the church today.


The Habit of a Grace-Filled Life.
Susan Muto.
Pbk 224pp. ISBN 9781594717857.
Ave Maria Press (2018).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

Muto, a renowned author, speaker, and teacher, approaches gratitude from a uniquely Catholic perspective. She explores how life-changing a spirit of gratefulness can be by using both personal and well-known examples of the struggles and rewards of grateful living. Muto and companions such as Julian of Norwich, St. Therese of Lisieux, Henri J. M. Nouwen, and Dorothy Day highlight the power of gratitude as a grace from God and walk with us as we learn to practice thankfulness.

We start the journey toward gratefulness by embracing gratitude in all circumstances and end it by thankfully accepting the missions God entrusts to each of us. Along the way, we begin to accept God’s grace by understanding:

  • the benefits of positivity and dangers of negativity,
  • the redemptive power of prayer, and
  • the lasting fruits of thankfulness.



Spiritual Direction:
A Beginner’s Guide.
Richard G Malloy SJ.
Pbk 240pp. ISBN 9781626982536.
Orbis (2017).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

In a lively and personal style, rich with stories and personal reflection, Fr. Richard Malloy introduces readers to the art and practice of Spiritual Direction in the Jesuit tradition. Responding to the tone and texture of millennials’ questions and concerns, he emphasises spiritual direction as a relationship with God that leads to both personal and social transformation.

Useful for courses on spirituality and pastoral theology, this book is enriching reading for those seeking spiritual growth, as well as those already engaged in spiritual direction.

Choosing Peace:
The Catholic Church Returns to Gospel Nonviolence.
Marie Dennis ed.
Pbk 192pp. ISBN 9781626982703.
Orbis (2018).
[Allow 4 weeks].

In recent years the Catholic Church’s approach to issues of war and peace has refocused on the tradition of nonviolence and peacebuilding in place of the traditional framework of Just War teaching. Among the milestones was an historic conference hosted at the Vatican in 2016, which gathered 80 peacemakers from around the world.

Drawn from the conference and presented here are contributions by many of the participants, including Lisa Sowle Cahill, Terrence J. Rynne, John Dear, Ken Butigan, Rose Marie Berger and Maria J. Stephan, among others.  Together they advance the conversation about the practice of nonviolence in a violent world, Jesus and nonviolence, traditional Catholic teaching on nonviolence, and reflections on the future of Catholic teaching.

The book concludes with Pope Francis’s historic Message for World Peace Day in 2017.



Just Whatever:
How to Help the Spiritually Indifferent Find Beliefs that Really Matter.
Matt Nelson.
Pbk 174pp. ISBN 9781683570776.
Catholic Answers Press (2018).
[Allow 4 weeks].

Nelson takes down the building blocks of religious indifference one by one. He looks at the three different kinds you tend to encounter in your friends and family members—and maybe in yourself!—to see where they come from and why they’re seductive.

In their place he offers a compelling vision of a world in which it matters what you believe, who you worship, and where authentic truth and authority reside. And he helps you present that vision to others with clarity and love.

By What Authority?:
Foundations for Understanding Authority in the Church
(Second Edition, Revised)
Richard R Gaillardetz.
Pbk 264pp. ISBN 9780814687888.
Liturgical Press (2018).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

Few topics are as important, or as controversial, as the proper role and exercise of authority in the Roman Catholic Church. Inspired by Pope Francis’ bold rereading and determined implementation of the teaching of Vatican II, Gaillardetz offers a helpful introduction to the nature and forms of church authority and their relationship to authentic Christian belief and discipleship.

He offers theologically clear and pastorally insightful considerations of:

  • the character of divine revelation, the authority of Scripture and tradition
  • the role of the pope and bishops in preserving the Christian faith
  • the levels of church teaching authority, the central faith witness of all the baptized
  • the possibility of disagreements with church teaching, and the proper relationship between theologians, the magisterium, and the whole people of God
  • the authority of the believing community and the controversial questions that arise when there are conflicting interpretations of church teaching.

Revolutionary Saint:
The Theological Legacy of Óscar Romero.
Michael E Lee.
Pbk 213pp. ISBN 9781626982260.
Orbis (2018).
[Allow 4 weeks].

Many years after his death in 1980, the world is still absorbing the witness of Óscar Romero, the archbishop of San Salvador, martyred for his commitment to the poor and social justice. In this work, Michael E. Lee offers a profound reflection on the theological implications of Romero’s life and ministry.

Drawing on Romero’s biography as well as his homilies and other writings, Lee considers specifically how Romero’s witness challenges Christians. to reimagine a robust Christian spirituality that is at once a mystical encounter with God and a prophetic engagement in the struggle for justice. In light of Romero’s beatification and pending canonisation, Lee reflects on the implications of the archbishop’s recognition as a martyr and on the model of holiness he offers for the wider church today.

How to Be a Church Minister.
Nigel G Wright.
Pbk 192pp. ISBN 9780857466891.
Bible Reading Fellowship (2018).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

This timely book sets out what is involved in being a Christian minister – its joys and challenges, its responsibilities and privileges. Wright discusses the call to and the work of ministry; the breadth and nature of the task. It will enable you to understand your calling more fully and inform your practice. It will stimulate careful and biblical reflection.

How to be a Church Minister is relevant across a wide spectrum of church traditions, both to those already in ministry and to those contemplating the vocation.


  • Introduction: viewing the territory
  • Be clear about God’s call
  • Lay firm theological foundations
  • Appreciate the need for recognition
  • Bear the word of God
  • Construct a supportive base for ministry
  • Build the congregation
  • Pastor the people
  • Conduct worship well
  • Have the courage to lead
  • Seek the lost, heal the sick, overcome evil
  • Value the occasional offices
  • Stay on the boil
  • Commit to lifelong development
  • Endure and prevail
  • Epilogue: ending well

Jerusalem Stands Alone.
Mahmoud Shukair.
Pbk 200pp. ISBN 9780815611035.
Syracuse University Press (2018).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

By turns bleak, nostalgic, and lighthearted, Jerusalem Stands Alone explores the interconnected lives of its mostly Palestinian cast.

This series of quick moving vignettes tells the story of occupied Jerusalem—tales of the daily tribulations and personal revelations of its narrators. The stories, entwined around themes of family and identity, diverge in viewpoint and chronology but ultimately unite to reveal the tapestry of Palestinian Jerusalem.

The settings evoke the past—churches, alleys, and people who are gone but whose spirits yearn to be remembered. The characters are sons and mothers, soldiers and wives, all of whom unveil themselves in sometimes poignant, sometimes bittersweet memories. As its history rises up through the present struggles and hopes of its people, the deepest, most personal layers of Jerusalem are revealed.

The Pentecost Paradigm:
Ten Strategies for Becoming a Multiracial Congregation.

Jacqueline J Lewis; John Janka.
Pbk 96pp. ISBN 9780664263386.

Westminster John Knox Press (2018).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

How do churches build immunity from racial and ethnic tensions that threaten to divide rather than unite congregations? Jacqui Lewis and John Janka believe that the answer lies in the development of multiracial, multicultural communities of faith.

Born of the authors’ work with The Middle Project, an institute that prepares ethical leaders for a more just society, this book is a collection of wisdom and best practices. Here you will find lessons, questions for conversation, and spaces for journaling. Use the workbook with your planning team, board members, lay leaders, and staff.

Ten essential strategies are presented to help build communities that celebrate racial/ethnic and cultural diversity:

– Embracing Call and Commitment– Casting the vision – Managing Change and Resistance – Creating Congregational Identity – Building Capacity – Cultivating Community – Celebrating in Worship – Understanding Congregational Conflict – Communicating and Organizing – Collaborating in the Public Square

In welcoming communities of faith where everyone is accepted just as they are, we can lead the way toward racial reconciliation and dismantle the prejudices that segregate our houses of worship.



Science Not Silence:
Voices from the March for Science Movement
Stephanie Fine Sasse, Lucky Tran eds.
Pbk 176pp. ISBN 9780262038102.
MIT Press (2018).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

Through signs, artwork, stories, and photographs, Science Not Silence shares some of the voices from the March for Science movement.

In January 2017, an idea on social media launched the global March for Science movement. In a few short months, more than 600 cities, 250 partners, and countless volunteers banded together to organize a historical event that drew people of all backgrounds, interests, and political leanings. On April 22, 2017, more than one million marchers worldwide took to the streets to stand up for the importance of science in society and their own lives – and each of them has a story to tell.

The march was just the beginning. Now the real work begins. Science Not Silence celebrates the success of the movement, amplifies the passion and creativity of its supporters, and reminds everyone how important it is to keep marching.

Utopia for Realists:
How We Can Build the Ideal World.
Rutger Bregman.
Pbk 336pp. ISBN 9780316471916.
Little Brown & Co (2018).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

Universal basic income. A 15-hour workweek. Open borders. Does it sound too good to be true? One of Europe’s leading young thinkers shows how we can build an ideal world today.

After working all day at jobs we often dislike, we buy things we don’t need. Rutger Bregman, a Dutch historian, reminds us it needn’t be this way-and in some places it isn’t.

Bregman’s TED Talk about universal basic income seemed impossibly radical when he delivered it in 2014. A quarter of a million views later, the subject of that video is being seriously considered by leading economists and government leaders the world over. It’s just one of the many utopian ideas that Bregman proves is possible today.

Utopia for Realists is one of those rare books that takes you by surprise and challenges what you think can happen.

Faith in the Making:
Praying it, talking it and living it.
Lyndall Bywater.
Pbk 144pp. ISBN 9780857465559.
Bible Reading Fellowship (2018).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

If ‘faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see’ what does that look like in practice today? In a world that is largely unsure and uncertain, how do we gain our confidence?

Faith in the Making recognises the problem and seeks the answer in the list of faithful heroes found in Hebrews 11. This accessible, devotional resource will inspire individuals and groups to live more confidently for God in today’s world. Heroic faith is far more attainable than we often think!

“This is a book that will inspire, deepen and challenge your understanding of Christian faith. Lyndall provides a roadmap which connects the story of faith heroes to our story through an excellent combination of theology, practice and application for our everyday lives. I would highly recommend this as a resource for a small group study or for any individual searching for ways to help them grow stronger in their faith.” Jani Rubery, Organisational psychologist and Spiritual Mentor

The Freedom of Years:
Ageing in perspective.
Harriet Mowat; Donald Mowat.
Pbk 192pp. ISBN 9780857465061.
Bible Reading Fellowship (2018).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

This positive, affirming book explores and reviews the meaning and purpose of our lives. As Christians, ageing gives us the opportunity to deepen and even transform our spiritual lives.

The Freedom of Years helps those who want to undertake the journey by examining the ageing task, the inevitable changes and the possibilities of joy along the way. Read this book, see the potential and seek to age in the light of your Christian faith.

The Old Man.
Sarah V.
Hbk 72pp. ISBN 9781776571918.

Gecko (2018).
[Allow 7-10 days].

Day breaks over the town. Get up, everybody! It’s time to go to school. For the old man too, it’s time to wake up. The night was icy and he’s hungry. His name? He doesn’t know …

This is the story of a person with no job, no family, no home – a nobody, who can’t even remember what he was once named. But his day changes when he is noticed by a child.

Drawn in soft, watercolor pencil, this is an important story for our times. This gentle, compelling book will appeal to a child’s sense of justice and to every reader’s compassion.

The Old Man is a book that matters. Behind its dark topic, it’s a bright book—about children’s non prejudices, generosity, honesty and about hopefulness—that children and adults will love.

Jerome by Heart.
Olivier Tallec; Thomas Scotto.
Hbk  32pp. ISBN 9781592702503.

Enchanted Lion Books (2018).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

Two little boys share an intense friendship. Raphael “loves Jerome”– saying it is “easy.” Raphael doesn’t understand why his mother dismisses Jerome as “charming” or why his father says, “it’s ‘a pity’ that Jerome doesn’t play soccer.” Jerome “always sees” Raphael, shares snacks, defends Raphael against bullies, and tells great stories.

Tallec’s loose line-and-watercolour paintings use gentle humour to introduce them, placing the two boys on bikes, side by side and hand in hand, in front of a line of clearly slowly moving cars: So happy are they that they do not notice.

The text is open enough that readers will take what they need from the story. Some children will see simply two very good friends, while others will see validation of feelings they may not know how to express, particularly if their parents are as hostile as Raphael’s.

Rescue and Jessica:
A Life-Changing Friendship.
Jessica Kensky; Patrick Downes.
Hbk 32pp. ISBN 9780763696047.
Candlewick Press (2018).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

Based on a real-life partnership, the heartening story of the love and teamwork between a girl and her service dog will illuminate and inspire.

Rescue thought he’d grow up to be a Seeing Eye dog – it’s the family business, after all. When he gets the news that he’s better suited to being a service dog, he’s worried that he’s not up to the task.

Then he meets Jessica, a girl whose life is turning out differently than the way she’d imagined it, too. Now Jessica needs Rescue by her side to help her accomplish everyday tasks. And it turns out that Rescue can help Jessica see after all: a way forward, together, one step at a time.

An endnote from the authors tells more about the training and extraordinary abilities of service dogs, particularly their real-life best friend and black lab, Rescue.


The Little Red Fort.
Brenda Maier; Sonia Sanchez.
Hbk 40pp. ISBN 9780545859196.
Scholastic Press (2018).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

Ruby’s mind is always full of ideas. One day, she finds some old boards and decides to build something. She invites her brothers to help, but they just laugh and tell her she doesn’t know how to build.

“Then I’ll learn,” she says. And she does!

When she creates a dazzling fort that they all want to play in, it is Ruby who has the last laugh.  In this adaptation of the Little Red Hen fable, Ruby wants to build a fort, but her three brothers refuse to help, so when the fort is finished Ruby will not let them join her – until the boys come up with a few embellishments for the fort, like a mailbox, a garden, and a fresh coat of paint.


Other recent email newsletters

Check out our February 2018 general selection , February 2018 Mid-month selection , March 2018 selection , Mid-March 2018 selection , April 2018 selection and Rural Ministry & Small Church Resources.

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4 thoughts on “Mid-April 2018 Selection

  1. Dad

    Philip, At the Uniting church where our choir rehearses, they have recently set up a Spirituality Centre, one aspect of which is a lending library. I will be going through my book shelves and filling a box with suitable titles. I noticed when I looked at their present titles (several hundred) during the rehearsal break Monday night, there were a lot of Thomas Merton’s books from the 1960’s. That got me thinking that there are now what you might call “Classic” spiritual titles from, say post war (1950’s) writers onwards that have laid a foundation for progressive writers of today. Like “Honest to God”, John Robertson: “On Becoming a Whole Person”, Carl Rodgers: and “The Tao of Physics”, Fritjof Capra. A list of such titles could be useful source material for people studying and or writing thesis’s

    1. Philip Garside Post author

      Hi Dad. Thanks. Yes, this is worth looking into. Many of these books are still in print. Will check it out. Philip

  2. Philip Garside Post author

    (Re-Posting for a customer who asked to use a pseudonym)

    Hi Philip


    Thank you so much for having this avenue through which radical-minded people like me are able to voice our opinion. I have always got something to say.

    Your monthly and mid-monthly selection emails are so refreshing, especially when one is bogged down with work in the middle of the day/week.

    I am particularly interested in pastoral/community care and anything on retirement and you have supplied that. I thank you for that.

    Hopefully, I will be able to send you a book review on one of the books I had bought from you soon. Thanks Philip.


  3. Philip Garside Post author

    Hi folks

    We would love you to tell us what are we doing well, what we could do better and what other topics are you interested in?

    Or you might want to comment and start a discussion about one of the above books.

    Please enter your name and email address and click the Post Comment button when you are ready. (Your email address will not be published/made public.)

    The first time you post a comment on our site I will need to approve your post. From then on posts using your email address will be shown on the page straight away.



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