October brings with it Thanksgiving, so our staff picks for October are books we are thankful for, or that remind us to be thankful.
To start with, we are all thankful that the fences are down, and the PanAm disruption to the business at the store is over. Then we are thankful for these books.
Cindy’s pick: 7 Women And the Secret of Their Greatness by Eric Metaxis
Cindy says: “I am thankful for the women who have come before me, those who stood firm in their Christian faith in the face of adversity, those who gave voice to the injustices they saw, those who taught the next generation to have faith in God, and those who cared for the bodies, minds, and souls of those that society would rather forget. The stories of these seven women will inspire and encourage both women and men.”
Carolyn’s Pick: Daily Prayer for All Seasons
Carolyn Says: “Prayer is hard for me. Written prayers can sometimes help with this. Occasionally I’ll grab the prayerbook sitting on my bedside table and make my way (usually skipping some parts, I’ll confess) through morning or evening prayer or compline. But to be honest, I’m just not disciplined enough to consistently pray through the services on my own (which is probably why they are designed for communal use).
However, I very recently discovered a prayer book put out by the US Episcopal church that seems ideally suited to my poor attention span. Daily Prayer for All Seasons takes the pray-er through the Hours (eight per day, if you wish to pray them all), with a unique set of prayers for each season of the church year. Each prayer service is thoughtful and beautifully written, yet blessedly short (1 or 2 pages). Additionally, the book itself is slim enough to make it easy to carry around throughout your day. If, like me, you have a faltering prayer life and could use some help in making your intercessions, thanksgivings, and confessions, and in receiving assurance of God’s love and grace throughout the day, I highly recommend this book!”
Dr. Heather’s Pick: Space for God: The Study and Practice of Spirituality and Prayer by Don Postema
Dr. Heather says: “This book was a text in an introductory course on Christian spirituality. While I knew about the ideas of giving thanks and gratitude before I took the course and read the book, Space for God helped me recognize the importance of gratitude as a daily practice. When I see the book it reminds me that thanksgiving is important all the time not just at some seasons of the year.”
Sheila’s Pick: A blank journal
Sheila says: “Earlier this month, I began a journal of thankfulness. My prayer partner and I were giving thanks for the many blessings which we have received and to which have have been witnesses over the past twenty years. We decided to keep a journal to record so that we may remember the many, many reasons God has given us to give thanks. So my pick for the month is a blank journal and a quotation from Father Alexander Schmemann: ‘All that exists is God’s gift to man, and it all exists to make God known to man, to make man’s life communion with God…God blesses everything He creates, and, in biblical language, this means that He makes all creation the sign and means of His presence and wisdom, love and revelation.’ (From For the Life of the World p. 14.)”
Connor’s Pick: Laudato Si’ by Pope Francis
Connor says: “I chose this as my pick for October, on the theme of things for which I am thankful, because I am taking a course on climate ethics, and Laudato Si breaks from the narrow, consequentialist bent of the readings for that course. Pope Francis articulates how our actions not only change the environment, but also our attitude toward others and towards other things around us. To be thankful for what we have and where we are requires us to think not only in terms of cause and effect.”
Andrew’s Pick: A Secular Age by Charles Taylor
Andrew says: “Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age is without a doubt one of the most profound books written by a Canadian ever. I am particularly thankful for A Secular Age because of the impact it had on my own life. What does it mean to live in a secular age? Has God in fact died? (hint: Taylor is a practicing Catholic). Open up this massive book and simply read a chapter that grabs your attention. You will not be disappointed!”