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American Qur'an

Sandow Birk (Norton/Liveright)

Illustrator and graphic artist Birk sets the Islamic sacred text in a graffiti-inspired handwritten font against scenes of contemporary American life. Accessible and enjoyable, it is a great introduction to the Qur'an for non-Muslim Americans, but even for others, it invites a reconsideration of sacred tenets in the context of ordinary American lives.

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Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving and Finding the Church

Rachel Held Evans (Thomas Nelson)

Christian columnist and blogger Evans considers her own experiences as an evangelical Christian to explore what is happening in church circles today and, more broadly, what it means to be part of a church community. Honest and moving, this memoir is both theologically astute and beautifully written.

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Why I Am a Salafi

Michael Muhammad Knight (Counterpoint/Soft Skull)

In 2013, PW called Knight "Islam's gonzo experimentalist." Here, in a more academic bent, he continues with the experimentation. Now Salafism is in his crosshairs in this controversial, ultra-readable, meticulously reasoned, and enlightening study.

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One Nation, Under Gods: A New American History

Peter Manseau (Little, Brown)

Journalist Manseau suggests that in the U.S., a "spectrum of beliefs has shaped our common history since well before the first president." Engagingly written, with a historian's eye for detail and a novelist's sense of character and timing, this history from a fresh perspective reexamines familiar tales and introduces fascinating counternarratives.

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Onward: Engaging the Culture Without Losing the Gospel

Russell Moore (B&H)

Evangelical theologian and preacher Moore delivers a well-argued manifesto for a new kind of Christian cultural activism that he calls "engaged alienation." This stance doesn't buy into secular culture and reimagines core values—human dignity, religious liberty, family stability—in light of recent struggles throughout American Christianity.

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