Mid-February 2019 Selection

Mid-February 2019 Selection

Your mid-February selection includes a new Lent resource by Jane Williams, a collection of Easter Vigil homilies by Pope Francis, a book from Matthew Fox on the names we use for God, an award winning children’s picture book on grief and a thoughtful book about being the type of elder the world needs by Stephen Jenkinson (who is visiting NZ in April-May).

Please click this link for our 2019 Lent and Easter list

Wellington, Porirua and Hutt Valley customers – Come and sing with my choir Festival Singers in 2019. See the invitation to our open rehearsal on 18 Feb at the bottom of this page.


See the Ordering section below for information about ordering these titles, (including alternatives to using our PayPal shopping cart buttons). our postage charges and orders for overseas customers.

[Prices, stock levels and estimated delivery time for titles on this page were last updated on 13 February 2019]

The Merciful Humility of God:
The 2019 Lent Book.
Jane Williams.
Pbk 160pp. ISBN 9781472954817.
Bloomsbury Continuum (2019).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

St Augustine’s insight was that it is only the merciful humility of God that could penetrate our armoured pride. As we follow this book and the Biblical narrative through Lent, God’s merciful humility as the source of life begins to emerge.

The chapters include:

  • Humble Beginnings
  • How to win friends and influence nobody
  • Reigning from a tree, and
  • Risen and ascended into humility.

This reflective Lent book will be a trusted guide for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of God’s humility during this religious period. Each chapter is usefully followed by suggestions for personal or group response and for further reading.

Easter Vigil Homilies.
Pope Francis.
Pbk 80pp. ISBN 9780814664100.
Liturgical Press (2019).
[Publishing 21 Feb 2019,
then allow 2-3 weeks].

Here are the homilies Pope Francis has preached year-after-year, in Buenos Aires and more recently in Rome, on the most sacred night of the Christian calendar. While Francis’s words and convictions on many topics are now widely known, here we see how he understands the very heart of Christian faith and the ways he has helped those he has served – including the elderly, the poor, and those who struggle to make a living and raise children in a busy world – understand it and apply it to their own lives.

This book will be a welcome resource for those who want to understand better the faith that drives Pope Francis, for homilists seeking new inspiration for their preaching, for scholars and others interested in exploring the pre-papal preaching of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, for adult Christians as a resource for meditation and prayer, and for any of the ever-growing number of admirers and fans of this remarkable moral leader. 

Naming the Unnameable:
89 Wonderful and Useful Names for God …Including the Unnameable God.
Matthew Fox.
Pbk 246pp. ISBN 9781947003941.

Little Bound Books (2018).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

How many names for Divinity are there? Do the names for God change as we mature as individuals, evolve as a species, and face a critical “turning time” in human and planetary history?

Too often, notions of God have been used as a means to control and to promote a narrow worldview. Fox ignites our imaginations by offering a colourful range of Divine Names gathered from scientists and poets and mystics past and present, inviting us to always begin where true spirituality begins: from experience.

Ultimately, no name for God suffices. We are challenged to continue to probe the rich ecology of human spirituality to ask questions, embrace paradox, and listen silently to the deepest of life’s mysteries.

The Power of Their Voices:
Biblical Women Speak.
Patricia Ramsden.
Pbk 100pp. ISBN 9781949888270.
Parson’s Porch (2018).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

Many of the stories of women in the Bible have been sadly neglected. These imaginative interpretations of just a few of these remarkable characters give even familiar stories a fresh perspective and allow the listener to enter into their reality in a different way, bringing them to life once more. They allow us to capture the emotions of these very different women as we rediscover the eternal truths of faith and love, betrayal and grief, victories and defeats.

These narratives have been performed as one woman playlets complete with costuming to sermons delivered from the pulpit while wearing just a simple scarf as a headdress.

The sermons can also be used as the springboard for a group Bible study or a discussion on the roles of the characters in their own time as well as similarities and differences with our lives and times.

The Bible for Grown-Ups:
A New Look at the Good Book.
Simon Loveday.
Pbk 304pp. ISBN 9781785782633.
Icon Books (2018).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

Loveday neither requires, nor rejects, belief. He sets out to help intelligent adults make sense of the Bible – a book that is too large to swallow whole, yet too important in our history and culture to spit out.

Why do the creation stories in Genesis contradict each other? Did the Exodus really happen? Was King David a historical figure? Why is Matthew’s account of the birth of Jesus so different from Luke’s? Why was St Paul so rude about St Peter? Every Biblical author wrote for their own time, and their own audience. In short, nothing in the Bible is quite what it seems.

Literary critic Loveday’s book – a labour of love that has taken over a decade to write – is a thrilling read, for Christians and anyone else, which will overturn everything you thought you knew about the Bible.

The Rough Patch.

Brian Lies.
Hbk 40pp. ISBN.9780062671271.
Green Willow Books (2018).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

A breathtakingly beautiful and luminescent book that is pitch-perfect for anyone of any age who has experienced any type of loss or disappointment.

New York Times-bestselling author-illustrator Brian Lies has created a beautiful, accessible, and deeply personal story about friendship, loss, and renewal. The Rough Patch was awarded a Caldecott Honor and features stunning paintings.

Evan and his dog do everything together, from eating ice cream to caring for their prize-winning garden, which grows big and beautiful. One day the unthinkable happens: Evan’s dog dies. Heartbroken, Evan destroys the garden and everything in it. The ground becomes overgrown with prickly weeds and thorns, and Evan embraces the chaos.

But beauty grows in the darkest of places, and when a twisting vine turns into an immense pumpkin, Evan is drawn out of his isolation and back to the county fair, where friendships – old and new – await.

Why Study the Past?:

The Quest for the Historical Church
Rowan Williams.
Pbk 144pp. ISBN 9780802876478.

Eerdmans (2005, republished 2018).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

The well-worn saying about being condemned to repeat the history we do not know applies to church history as much as to any other area of history. But how can we discern what lessons we need to learn from the many centuries of church history?

In this small but thoughtful volume, respected theologian and churchman Rowan Williams opens up a theological approach to history, an approach that is both nonpartisan and relevant to the church’s present needs.

As he reflects on how we consider the past in general, Williams suggests that church history remains important not so much for winning arguments as for clarifying who we are as time-bound human beings.

Also on this topic:

 A People’s History of Christianity:
The Other Side of the Story.
Diana Butler Bass.
Pbk 370pp. ISBN 9780061448713.
HarperOne (2010).
[Allow 2-3 weeks]

For too long, the history of Christianity has been told as the triumph of orthodox doctrine imposed through power. Historian Diana Butler Bass sheds new light on the surprising ways that many Christians have refused to conform to a rigid church hierarchy and sought to recapture the radical implications of Jesus’s life and message.

“…this book is so much more than a wonderful overview of Christian history. It is also a joyful apologetic for a ‘new kind of Christianity.’ I already gave away my copy, because I knew it would help salvage the faltering faith of a disillusioned friend.“ Brian McLaren

Come of Age:

The Case for Elderhood in a Time of Trouble.
Stephen Jenkinson.
Pbk 448pp. ISBN 9781623172091.
North Atlantic Books (2018).
[Allow 3-4 weeks]. 

Jenkinson makes the case that we must birth a new generation of elders, one poised and willing to be true stewards of the planet and its species.

Come of Age does not offer tips on how to be a better senior citizen or how to be kinder to our elders. Rather, with lyrical prose and incisive insight, Jenkinson explores the great paradox of elderhood in North America: how we are awash in the aged and yet somehow lacking in wisdom; how we relegate senior citizens to the corner of the house while simultaneously heralding them as sage elders simply by virtue of their age. Our own unreconciled relationship with what it means to be an elder has yielded a culture nearly bereft of them.

Come of Age is a love song inviting us – imploring us – to elderhood in this time of trouble. That time is now. We’re an hour before dawn, and first light will show the carnage, or the courage, we bequeath to the generations to come.

Click here to see a short video of Jenkinson talking about the book:

Jenkinson is visiting New Zealand in April / May 2019.

Click here to listen to Jessie Mulligan’s interview with the author on Radio NZ


On Being an Introvert
or Highly Sensitive Person:

A Guide to Boundaries, Joy, and Meaning.
Ilse Sand.
Pbk 144pp. ISBN 9781785924859.

Jessica Kingsley Publishers (2018).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

In a culture that ranks sociability and extroversion above the introverted traits of deep thinking and being alone, Ilse Sand shows how to find joy and meaning as an introvert or highly sensitive person.

What she says is appropriate for people who are temporarily, or for some other reason, in a sensitive situation – for example, because of stress, trauma or burn-out. It describes the introverted personality type and the highly sensitive trait, highlighting the strengths that come with it such as good listening skills and rich imagination, and suggests ways to overcome the negatives such as the need to avoid overstimulation and over-critical thinking.

Including advice from other introverts or highly sensitive people, and two self-tests for sensitive and introverted traits, this book provides a deeper understanding of introversion and high sensitivity and gives those with these personality types greater faith and courage in their own talents.

Escaping from Fundamentalism.
James Barr.
Pbk 206pp. ISBN 9781532663727.

Wipf & Stock Publishers (2018).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

This is a pastoral rather than a controversial book. Its main aim is not to show fundamentalists that they are wrong, but rather to help those who have grown up in the world of fundamentalism or have become committed to it but in the end have come to feel that it is a prison from which they must escape.

“…The book’s usefulness lies in what it offers to those who are candidates for that ‘scripturally-based’ certitude which holds an eerie attraction for so many men and women of faith today. It should be read not only by those who are candidates for fundamentalism, but also by all pastors and pastoral workers who must deal with the problem of fundamentalism in our midst. As a matter of fact, I think that it ought to be read by all who esteem the scriptures, properly understood, to be of singular importance for the church and its Christian faith.” Raymond F. Collins, Professor of New Testament in the Catholic University of Louvai.

Everything Ablaze:
Meditating on the Mystical Vision of Teilhard de Chardin.
David Richo.
Pbk 160pp. ISBN 9780809153367.

Paulist Press (2017).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

This prayerful and practical response to the work of Teilhard de Chardin begins with an introduction to his work. It then explores mystical themes in his perspectives on science and religion.

Each chapter combines relevant quotations from Teilhard and contemplations on them. The goal of mystical transformation is nothing less than a new life in Christ. Teilhard shows us the path to that possibility. His mysticism is earth-conscious. His words help open us to the mysterious forces in the universe that reveal God’s face.

The meditative responses to the quotations include practices that bring Teilhard’s ideas into daily life and will be welcomed by a general audience.

Bad Faith:
A Spiritual Humanist Alternative for Christianity and the West.
Tom Drake-Brockman.
Pbk 184pp. ISBN 9781532673498.
Resource Publications (2019).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

Jesus was murdered by the Jewish religious leaders whose power base was the temple of Jerusalem. Saul of Tarsus—later the Paul of Christianity—was one of these, and his brand of faith theology mirrored their theology of covenantal entitlement. Thus, Christianity’s basic theological principles derive from those who killed Jesus.

This is just one of many challenging propositions backed with strong evidence that appear in this book. Jesus, like most Jews, was attuned to faithfulness rather than pure faith, to ethical behaviour based on human empathy rather than metaphysical beliefs and rituals.

The central focus of Jesus was hesed, the heart of the Jewish covenant with God which linked God’s mercy to human compassion and forgiveness, making both mutually interactive. This hesed forgiveness was anathema to the temple’s faux forgiveness and threatened its very existence.

Therefore, Jesus came not to save us, but to show us how to save ourselves.

“Drake-Brockman’s radical, humanistic, Jewish Jesus is provocative. It will challenge as it will be challenged. But the debate is essential for the current Historical Jesus/Early Christianities scholarship, and the overhaul of ‘belief-based’ Christianity.” Rex A. E. Hunt

When Christians Were Jews:

The First Generation.
Paula Fredriksen.
Hbk 272pp. ISBN 9780300190519.

Yale University Press (2018).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

How did a group of charismatic, apocalyptic Jewish missionaries, working to prepare their world for the impending realisation of God’s promises to Israel, end up inaugurating a movement that would grow into the gentile church? Committed to Jesus’s prophecy – “The Kingdom of God is at hand!” – they were, in their own eyes, history’s last generation. But in history’s eyes, they became the first Christians.

In this electrifying social and intellectual history, Fredriksen reconstructs the life of the earliest Jerusalem community. As her account arcs from this group’s hopeful celebration of Passover with Jesus, through their bitter controversies that fragmented the movement’s mid-1st century missions, to the city’s fiery end in the Roman destruction of Jerusalem, she brings this vibrant apostolic community to life.

“Eloquent, informed, and provocative, this book offers a necessary corrective to a number of prevailing views of Jesus, Paul, and the Gospel writers. Paula Fredriksen advances the studies of both Judaism and Christianity.” Amy-Jill Levine

How to Be a Craftivist:
The Art of Gentle Protest.
Sarah Corbett.
Hbk 304pp. ISBN 9781783524075.

Random House UK (2018).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

Corbett shares her journey from burnt-out activist, tired of marching, confrontation and demonising opposition, towards a more respectful activism: using craft to contemplate global issues and start conversations rather than arguments; to engage, empower, and encourage people to become part of change in the face of injustice.

Interwoven with Sarah’s personal stories of causes fought are ideas and suggestions for every novice craftivist. From how to think about the medium itself to looking at colour, fonts, size, and message, here is inspiration for every detail of your creation.

This is a book to initiate debates rather than shouting matches, to enable collaboration in place of confrontation. If we want a world that is beautiful, kind, and fair, shouldn’t our activism be beautiful, kind, and fair?

Faith in Action:
A Guide for Activists, Advocates, and Allies.
The Faith in Action Writing Collective.
Pbk 161pp. ISBN 9781506432564.
Fortress Press (2017).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

You want to make the world better. This book can help.

Faith in Action offers quick dives into a range of topics, from racial justice to environmental concerns, from LGBTQIA equality to indigenous people’s rights, from women’s equality to disability rights, from mass incarceration to immigration. Each topic includes informative visuals and data, as well as practical suggestions for what you can do to make a difference in your community.

Created by contributors with varied experiences in activism, faith, policy, and social change, Faith in Action will deepen your perspectives on important issues. This book will give you the knowledge, tools, and confidence to make a real impact – to step out into the world and be an activist, advocate, and ally.

Facebook Marketing for Dummies
6th edition.
Stephanie Diamond; John Haydon.
Pbk 384pp. ISBN 9781119476214.
For Dummies (2018).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

Do you want a more effective Facebook presence for your church, organisation or business?

This book starts with the basics, such as the difference between a Facebook Page (for organisations) and a Facebook Profile which is your personal Facebook account.

This book then helps you create a Facebook marketing plan designed to attract your desired audience.

Inside, you’ll discover the psychology of the Facebook user, establish a social media presence, increase your brand awareness, integrate Facebook marketing with other marketing strategies, learn to target a specific audience, and much more.

Philip’s note:
I’ve started using Facebook advertising more to promote our books and our choir. This book has been a practical, valuable guide to both the details of setting up adverts and the economical opportunities Facebook offers to engage with customers.


But What If She’d Said ‘no’?
Catherine E Laufer.
Pbk 116pp. ISBN 9781532672231.
Wipf & Stock Publishers (2019).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

Here are 15 back-stories about events described in the Bible. They include creation, the plagues of Egypt, David and Goliath, Jonah, the Annunication, the feeding of the five thousand and the events of Holy Week and Easter.

Each story is told from the perspective of someone who was either present during the event or who has heard of it from those who were. For example, the plagues of Egypt are seen through the eyes of a small Hebrew boy; two Roman centurions discuss the Easter events. The one story without a biblical basis is a response to Richard Dawkins and the new atheists.

The book aims to communicate Christian faith in a medium that is attractive to those who do not read formal theology or are hesitant about reading the Bible, both Christians and non-Christians.


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Sing with Festival Singers in 2019
Visit our website for more details:

Our rehearsals are fun!


Other recent email newsletters

Click here for:
Lent and Easter 2019 resources 

Year C – 2019 Devotional, Worship and Preaching resources
Including Fresh From the Word 2019

And click here for links to our other recent selections.

Stock list on our website

There are now over 800 titles listed on our website.
Click here for a summary of all the books, CDs and DVDs

Specials on Trade Me

We have over 150 titles loaded on Trade Me, many of which are now reduced to $5.00 or less (but only while stock lasts). These are all in stock now. 50 are listed as auctions at any one time. They are all Buy Now only, so order straight away to secure your books. The listings last 5 days, so come back every few days to see a fresh list.
Click here for our current listings on TradeMe.

Are you looking for a specific book?

Please also ask us to find any other books you are interested in. We will give you a price and time to deliver. Emailing us at books@pgpl.co.nz works best.

Want to get published in 2019?

Check out the Publish your book with us page on our website, which explains how we can work with you to publish your book in print and as an eBook.