What is happiness and how do we find it? Robert Ellsberg put this question to modern and historical saints, and - by combing through their writings - came up with The Saints Guide to Happiness: Everyday Wisdom from the Lives of the Saints. These souls lead us gently through many of lifes imponderables. North Point Press.
Breathing Space, by Heidi Neumark, defies genre, or at least mingles them. Part diary of a city priest, part Bible study, part theological reflection on years of urban ministry, part social analysis with patches of homily - yet always pure prayer and poetry. Beacon Press.
A Generous Orthodoxy, by Brian D. McLaren. In his intelligent, playful style, this pastor surveys the varieties of Christian faith and points us toward an orthodoxy of Jesus - and away from "whos in/whos out" thinking - that is generous, loving, and defined by missional intent. Zondervan.
A stubborn, brave doctor is the subject of Tracy Kidders inspiring Mountains Beyond Mountains. Dr. Paul Farmers calling is caring for the most impoverished, but also convincing others - including global health organizations - that its right to do so. Farmer wants to change the world; after reading Kidders book, youll want to join him. Random House.
William Sloane Coffin Jr.: A Holy Impatience, by Warren Goldstein. With his verbal eloquence and strong personality, Coffin was one of the pre-eminent activist religious leaders of his time - from his leadership in the anti-Vietnam War movement to the pulpit of New York Citys Riverside Church. Yale University Press.