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Angry Conversations with God: A Snarky but Authentic Spiritual Memoir

Susan E. Isaacs (FaithWords)

Humor certainly makes religion bearable for even those averse to the divine. What you see in the title is what you get: a snarky, laugh-out-loud exploration of a funny person’s spiritual journey.

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The Case for God

Karen Armstrong (Knopf)

“Magisterial” is the adjective of choice to describe Armstrong’s work; her usual confident sweep across times and cultures rises above the “answer-the-atheists” tired angle to make a passionate footnoted argument for the human need for a God.

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The End of Suffering: Finding Purpose in Our Pain

Scott Cairns (Paraclete)

Ask a poet--please--why God permits suffering, and you get a meditative fresh breath of a response, the beauty of which, like the great biblical reflections, provides sympathy and a tiny bit of relief.

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Fingerprints of God: The Search for the Science of Spirituality

Barbara Bradley Hagerty (Riverhead)

Go after a question with head, heart and soul, as did journalist Hagerty, observing neuroscientists, mystics and those who have had near-death experiences. The result is a well-narrated book of authoritative voices and personal reflections, eminently readable, on a subject that attracts its share of woo-woo authors.

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The Future of Faith

Harvey Cox (HarperOne)

Almost 35 years after the influential and bestselling The Secular City, Cox continues to offer the big picture, a worldwide view of where religion is heading: an era of spirit, beyond faith and dogmatic belief.

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Have a Little Faith

Mitch Albom (Hyperion)

For someone who is not a professional religionist, Albom knows how to find the sacred in the everyday--again--in a finely observed story of two very different men of faith, an ex-junkie pastor who works with the homeless and a rabbi who wants Albom to deliver his eulogy.

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In Due Season: A Man’s Life

Paul Wilkes (Jossey-Bass)

Page after page of reflection, observation and unsparing honesty add up to an eloquent, well-seasoned life that is an ordinary and occasionally holy search for meaning.

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Judas: A Biography

Susan Gubar (Norton)

An English scholar who is not a theologian sifts through centuries of writings that imagine and reimagine one of history’s most reviled and compelling figures.

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Muslims in America: A Short History

Edward E. Curtis IV (Oxford Univ.)

This accessible history by a scholar who is not among the usual academic talking-head experts on Islam brings breadth and nuance to an important subject.

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Rashi

Elie Wiesel (Schocken/Nextbook)

An inspired pairing of writer and subject revivifies the life and times of the 11th-century Talmudic sage.

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