Books we’re reading now

7/6/19 Faith Beyond Belief: Stories of Good People Who Left Their Church Behind Johnston MP Stories of an ex-Catholic, a former Mormon, and a clandestine Muslim apostate, for whom trust in human capacity for reason led them to make the necessary (and intermediate) step in faith development, giving up a literal religious interpretation; stories of people at the ‘mystic’ level: those who see paradox in truth.
8/17/19 Women Who Run With the Wolves Chapter 5 – Hunting: When the Heart is a Lonely Hunter (the Skeleton Woman story) Estes CP Skeleton Woman began as a living woman, who suffered brutally from the hands of former lovers/loved ones. Destroyed, she sinks to the bottom of a body of water and her flesh rots away. Later she is discovered by a fisherman, and it becomes a tale of healing and love.
10/19/19 Sapiens Harrari S The story of human history over the last 100,000 years, about how we evolved to be more cooperative, and about how we came to believe in gods, nations and human rights; to trust money, books and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables and consumerism.
12/21/19 Rough Stone Rolling Bushman R Richard Bushman, an esteemed cultural historian and a practicing Mormon, moves beyond the popular stereotype of Smith as a colorful fraud to explore his personality, his relationships with others, and how he received revelations.

Books we’ll get to eventually

King Leopold’s Ghost Hothschild A A true story of the man who enslaved a nation and of those who fought him: a brave handful of missionaries, travelers, and young idealists who went to Africa for work or adventure and unexpectedly found themselves witnesses to a holocaust.
The Varieties of Religious Experience James W William James’ classic text on religion, which he defines as “the feelings, acts, and experiences of individual men in their solitude, so far as they apprehend themselves to stand in relation to whatever they may consider the divine.”
From Housewife to Heretic: One Woman’s Spiritual Awakening and her Exommunication from the Mormon Church Johnson S Awakening feminism brought Johnson into conflict with church leaders, who excommunicated her for promoting false doctrine. Her husband wanted to divorcer her because he was “tired of working on our marriage.” An account of Johnson’s progression from self-denial to activism.
The Trivium: The Liberal Arts of Logic, Grammar, and Rhetoric Joseph M An American nun explains the rules, definitions, and guidelines of language and the pathway to becoming a liberal artist.
Man and His Symbols Jung CG The first and only work in which the world-famous Swiss psycholotist explains to the layperson his enormously influential theory of symbolism as revealed in dreams
French Lessons Kaplan A Three Americans set off to explore Paris with a French tutor. As they traverse Paris’ grand boulevards and intimate, winding streets, they uncover surprising secrets about one another and come to understand long-buried truths about themselves.
The Wise Heart: A Guide to the Universal Teachings of Buddhist Psychology Kornfield J An accessible, comprehensive, and illuminating guide to Buddhist psychology.
In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin Larson, E A mild-mannered professor from Chicago brings his family to Germany in 1933. At first they are enamored of the New Germany. But as evidence of Jewish persecution mounts, they become alarmed. The novel ends in a climax of violence and murder, revealing Hitler’s true character.
Why Won’t You Apologize?: Healing Big Betrayals and Everyday Hurts Lerner H Renowned psychologist sheds new light on the two most important words in the English language — I’m sorry — and offers a unique perspective on the challenge of healing broken connections and restoring trust.
The Great Divorce Lewis CS An allegorical bus ride through heaven and hell that producees insights about the nature of good and evil.
Her Body and Other Parties: Stories Machado CM The author blithely demolishes the arbitrary borders between psychological realism and science fiction, comedy and horror, fantasy and fabulism, giving literal shape to women’s memories, hunger, and desire.
Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny Manne K An exploration of misogyny in public life and poltics by a moral philosopher.
The Road McCarthy C A post apocalyptic novel about a father and son who walk alone through burned America observing the ravaged landscape and fighting to preserve the light they cherish.
Love Warrior: A Memoir Melton GD A memoir of betrayal and self-discovery that chronicals a beatufiul, brilliant journey to find deeper, truer relationships and a more abundant, authentic life
Sweet Lamb of Heaven Millet L A young mother escapes her cold and unfaithful husband, who chases her from Alaska to Maine as they go into hiding.
Sexual Politics Millett K An expository view of patriarchy as a socially conditioned belief system masquerading as nature.
The Sociological Imagination Mills CW Mills calls for a way of looking at the world that can see links between the apparently private problems of the individual and important social issues.
King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine Moore RL A book of four Jungian archetypes about manhood, masculine energies from myth and literature
To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism Morozov E This book urges us to abandom monolithic ideas of “the Internet” and to show how to design more humane and democratic technological solutions.
Leonard Arrington and the Writing of Mormon History Prince GA A biography of the first and only professional historian to lead the Mormon church in its history division.
Becoming Human: A Servant of the Map Randall MM Essays about author’s journey to discover how to reshape his existence as a “servant of the map.”
At the Pulpit: 185 Years of Discourses by Latter-day Saint Women Reeder J and Holbrook K Hand-picked by Reeder and Holbrook, 54 speeches given by LDS women from 1831 to 2016.
Religion of a Different Color: Race and the Mormon Struggle for Whiteness Reeve WP The 19th century Protestants’ view that Mormonism represented a racial departure from the mainstream, and the 200-year church response to fight that view.
The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book) Ruiz DM Ruiz reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, the agreements are “Be impeccable with your word,” “don’t take anything personally,” “don’t make assumptions,” and “always do your best.”
Confessions Saint Augustine A 4th century philosopher explains his theological and philosophical questioning of God’s nature and what it is to be human.
Exploring the Connection Between Mormons and Masons Scharffs GW Why did Joseph Smith become a Freemason? Who introduced Freemasonry into Nauvoo, Illinois, in the early 1840’s? Do the Masons really descend from the stonemasons who built King Solomon’s temple? Is there a relationship between the Masonic lodge rites and Mormon temple ordinances?
A Course in Miracles Schucman H A complete course used by three million students worldwide teaches forgiveness as the road to inner peace and the remembrance of God.
Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error Schulz K The editor of Grist magazine explores what it means to be wrong and why humans tend to assume and insist that they are right about almost everything. This book covers the history and psychology of error, from Socrates to Alan Greenspan.
The Intellectual Life: Its Spirit, Conditions, Methods Sertillanges AG This classic by the 17th-18th century French Catholic philospher Sertillanges recommends habits of the mind for aspiring scholars.
The Mormon Mavericks: Essays on Dissenters Sillito J and Staker S Biographical essays from Mormon dissenters who were troubled by some aspects of church history, doctrine, policies, or politics. Some left and some stayed.
The Big Disconnect: The Story of Technology and Loneliness Slade G Using technology to replace face-to-face interactions is not a new phenomenon. The history of the phenomenon explains why we use technology to mediate our connections with other humans.
Mormon Midwife Smart D A 1997 Evans Handcart Prize-winner, the compliete diaries of Patty Sessions, details the early life of early Mormons from Illinois to Utah.
Why Religion Matters: The Fate of the Human Spirit in an Age of Disbelief Smith H The human spirit is being suffocated by the dominant materialistic worldview of our times.
Religion as Metaphor: Beyond Literal Belief Tacey D Despite what tradition tells us, if we “believe” religious language, we miss religion’s spiritual meaning. Religious language was not designed to be historical reporting, but rather to resonate in the soul and direct us toward transcendent realities.
The Darkening Spirit: Jung, Spirituality, Religion Tacey D Jung predicted the demise of secular humanism and claimed we would search for alternatives to science, atheism, and reason; he said we would experience a new and even unfashionable appetite for the sacred.
Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder Taleb NN One of the foremost philosophers of our time, Taleb’s book tells us about systems that benefit from disorder. A blueprint for how to behave — and thrive in — a world we don’t undersand and which is too uncertain for us to even try to understand.
Mistakes Were Made (but Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts Tavris C A revelatory study of how lovers, lawyers, doctors, politicians — and all of us — pull the wool over our own eyes.
A House Full of Females: Plural Marriage and Women’s Rights in Early Mormonism, 1835-1870 Ulrich LT The never-before-told story of the earliest days of the women of Mormon “plural marriage,” whose right to vote was given by a Mormon-dominated legislature as an outgrowth of polygamy.
Well-behaved Women Seldom Make History Ulrich LT A volume about women in history who achieved power and influence.
The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma Vanderkolk B A world expert on trauma uses scientific advances to show how trauma literally reshapes both body and brain.
Bonds that Make Us Free Warner CT Why do we get trapped in negative emotions when it’s clear that life is so much fuller and richer when we are free of them?
The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? Warren R A non-Mormon Christian view of life’s meaning.
Leaving the Fold: A Guide for Former Fundamentalists and Others Leaving Their Religion Winell M Psychologist Winell outlines what people can do to reclaim a healthy human spirit after beginning to question literal belief.
Leaving My Father’s House: A Journey to Conscious Femininity Woodman M A book about the process required to bring feminine wisdom to consciousness in a patriarchal culture, a struggle presented by the personal journeys of three wise women whose lives can serve as maps.
The Evolution of God Wright R A sweeping view of archaeology, theology, and evolutionary psychology that unveils an astonishing discovery: there is a hidden pattern that the great monotheistic faiths have followed as they have evolved. Spirituality has a role today, but science actually affirms the validity of the religious quest.

Books we’ve read

The Power Alderman N When teenage girls suddenly have the power to cause agonizing pain and even death, not only do we see how the world would change if power was in the hands of women, but we also find an exposition of our contemporary world.
Mormon Feminism: Essential Writings Brooks J, Steenblik RH, and Wheelwright H (eds) A collection of works by Mormon feminists
Daring Greatly Brown B Researcher Brené Brown offers a powerful new vision that encourages us to dare greatly: to embrace vulnerability and imperfection, to live wholeheartedly, and to courageously engage in our lives.
Goddesses: Mysteries of the Feminine Divine Campbell J A collection of Campbell’s lectures on the figures, functions, symbols, and themes of the feminine divine across cultures and epochs.
Myths to Live by Campbell J Joseph Campbell explores the enduring power of the universal myths that influence our lives daily and examines the myth-making process from the primitive past to the immediate present
Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype Estés CP A collection of Jungian archetypal stories about injury, healing, love, forgiveness, and self-discovery.
Stages of Faith: The Psychology of Human Development and the Quest for Meaning Fowler JW Building on the contributions of developmental psychologists, Fowler draws on a wide range of scholarship, literature, and firsthand research to present expertly and engagingly the six stages that emerge in working out the meaning of our lives.
The Feminine Mystique Friedan B The classic feminist manifesto by Friedan in which she describes “the problem that has no name,” the insidious beliefs that undermines women’s confidence in their intellectual capabilities.
The Crucible of Doubt Givens and Givens A careful, intelligent look at Mormon doubt and some of its common sources, the challenges it presents, and the opportunities it may open up in a person’s quest for faith.
The God Who Weeps: How Mormonism Makes Sense of Life Givens T, Givens F The Givenses draw on the works of philosophers and poets to explain Mormon theology.
David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants Gladwell M A look at the complex and surprising ways the weak can defeat the strong, the small can match up against the giant, and how our goals can make a huge difference in our ultimate sense of success.
Siddhartha Hesse H The classic tale of a young man discovering enlightenment.
Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging Junger S A critical look at post-traumatic stress disorder and the reasons that many of today’s returning veterans suffer.
In Quiet Desperation: Understanding the Challenge of Same-gender Attraction Matis F and Matis M A Mormon couple describe their path to reconciling their the chasm between their faith and the love and understanding the feel toward their gay son.
Navigating Mormon Faith Crisis: A Simple Developmental Map McConkie W Theories of adult development applied to faith, with a particular focus on the Mormon religious culture.
The Ghost of Eternal Polygamy: Haunting the Hearts and Heaven of Mormon Women and Men Pearson CL Pearson shows that the ghost of polygamy remains in  Mormon doctrine, haunting the living, assuring women of their diminished value relative to men, and leading many to lose faith in the church and in God.
Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business Postman N A book about the ways in which the media shape our lives: television has conditioned us to tolerate visually entertaining material measured out in spoonfuls of time, to the detriment of rational public discourse and reasoned public affairs.
When God Was a Woman Stone M The story of the archeologically-documented religion of the Goddess, under which women’s roles were richer than in patriarchal Judeo-Christian cultures.
Native Son Wright R A novel that illustrates the impact of poverty and racism in the lives of inner-city black Americans.