Books we’re reading now

December 2019 ‘Talking to strangers: What we should know about the people we don’t know’ by Gladwell: Through a series of puzzles, encounters and misunderstandings, from little-known stories to infamous legal cases, Gladwell takes us on a journey through the unexpected. You will read about the spy who spent years undetected at the highest levels of the Pentagon, the man who saw through the fraudster Bernie Madoff, the suicide of the poet Sylvia Plath and the false conviction of Amanda Knox. You will discover that strangers are never simple.
February 2020 ‘The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are’ by Brown is 138 pages long. An acclaimed professor of social work offers a powerful and inspiring book that explores how to cultivate courage, compassion, and connection by embracing your imperfections and recognizing that we are enough.
April 2020 ‘Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living’ by Chödrön is 176 pages long. We all want to be fearless, joyful, and fully alive, but we are bombarded every day with false promises about how to do that. A Buddhist nun shows us that, until we get to the heart of who we are and really make friends with ourselves, everything we do will be a superficial fix.
June 2020 ‘Ladder of Divine Ascent’ by Climacus is 129 pages long. In a spiritual classic, the 6th-centuray abbot of Sinaie compares the spiritual life to a ladder of thirty steps, explaining in detail the challenges presented by each.
August 2020 ‘The Gnostic Gospels’ by Pagels is 218 pages long. In 1945, an Egyptian peasant unearthed what proved to be the Gnostic Gospels, 13 payrus volumes that expounded a radically different view of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ than that of the New Testament. This landmark study of the long-buried roots of Christianity is widely-recognized as one of the most brilliant and accessible histories of early Christian spirituality ever published.
October 2020 ‘The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment’ by Tolle is 229 pages long. We’ve all heard that living in the now is the truest path to happiness and enlightenment. Tolle gives us an excellent manual of what that means.

Books we’ll get to eventually

Top picks under consideration:

Brief description


‘God: A Human History’ by Aslan is 321 pages long. A professor of religion, the author narrates the history of religion as an attempt to understand the divine by giving it human traits. Our innate desire to humanize God is hardwired into our brains, making it a central feature of nearly every religious tradition. Amazon GoodReads
‘Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth’ by Aslan is 296 pages long. A renowned author and professor of religion, Aslan gives a meticulously-researched biography that challenges long-held assumptions about the man we know as Jesus of Nazareth. Amazon GoodReads
‘Book of Mormon Girl: A Memoir of an American Faith’ by Brooks is 216 pages long. A Mormon feminist describes how Mormonism set her apart from others and the challenge of leaving childhood innocence behind and embracing adult faith. Amazon GoodReads
‘The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are’ by Brown is 138 pages long. An acclaimed professor of social work offers a powerful and inspiring book that explores how to cultivate courage, compassion, and connection by embracing your imperfections and recognizing that we are enough. Amazon GoodReads
‘The Rhetoric of Religion: Studies in Logology’ by Burke is 327 pages long. Burke demonstrates how language and religion affect eachother. Religious systems are systems of action based on communication in society. Amazon GoodReads
‘Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking’ by Cain is 333 pages long. The author argues that we dramatically undervalue introverts. She charts the rise of the extrovert ideal throughout the 20th century and explores how deeply it has come to permeate our culture. Amazon GoodReads
‘Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living’ by Chödrön is 176 pages long. We all want to be fearless, joyful, and fully alive, but we are bombarded every day with false promises about how to do that. A Buddhist nun shows us that, until we get to the heart of who we are and really make friends with ourselves, everything we do will be a superficial fix. Amazon GoodReads
‘Ladder of Divine Ascent’ by Climacus is 129 pages long. In a spiritual classic, the 6th-centuray abbot of Sinaie compares the spiritual life to a ladder of thirty steps, explaining in detail the challenges presented by each. Amazon GoodReads
‘Astrophysics for People in a Hurry’ by deGrasse Tyson is 224 pages long. An astrophysicist and best-selling author, attempts to answer some of the most challenging questions of our time: What is the nature of space and time? How do we fit within the universe? How does the universe fit within us? Amazon GoodReads
‘The Name of the Rose’ by Eco is 536 pages long. In 12th-Century Italy, a Franciscan monk investigates bizarre deaths using the logic of Aristotle, the theology of Aquinas, and the empirical insights of Roger Bacon. Amazon  GoodReads
‘How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee’ by Ehrman is 416 pages long. The claim that Jesus is God is not what the original disciples believed or what Jesus claimed. Ehrman explains how this belief came to be. Amazon GoodReads
‘How Not to be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking’ by Ellenberg is 480 pages long. Math touches everything we do, allowing us to see the hidden structures underneath the messy and chaotic surface of our world. Math is a science of not being wrong, hammered out by centuries of hard work. Ellenberg pulls from history as well as the latest theoretical developments, to help us understand how math answers some of the (slightly less compelling) questions of our time: How early should you get to the airport? What does ‘public opinion’ really represent? Why do tall parents have shorter children? Who really won Florida in 2000? How likely are you, really, to develop cancer? Amazon GoodReads
‘Thinking, Fast and Slow’ by Kahneman is 499 pages long. This groundbreaking book takes us on a tour of the two systems that drive the way we think: System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional. System 2 is slower, more deliberate, and more logical. This book exposes the extraordinary capabilities and the faults/biases of fast thinking, and reveals the pervasive influence of intuitive impressions on our thoughts and behavior. Amazon GoodReads
‘The Gnostic Gospels’ by Pagels is 218 pages long. In 1945, an Egyptian peasant unearthed what proved to be the Gnostic Gospels, 13 payrus volumes that expounded a radically different view of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ than that of the New Testament. This landmark study of the long-buried roots of Christianity is widely-recognized as one of the most brilliant and accessible histories of early Christian spirituality ever published. Amazon GoodReads
‘The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature’ by Pinker is 528 pages long. The author explores the idea of human nature and its moral, emotional, and political colorings. He shows how many intellectuals have denied the existence of human nature by embracing three linked dogmas: The Blank Slate, which is the idea that the mind has no innate traints; the Noble Savage, which is the idea that people are born good and corrupted by society, and the Ghost in the Machine, which is the idea that each of us has a soul that makes choices free from biology. Each dogma carries a moral burden, so their defenders have engaged in desperate tactics to discredit the scientists who are now challenging them. Amazon GoodReads
‘Factfulness: Ten Reasons Why We are Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think’ by Rosling and Rosling is 342 pages long. The authors define “factfulness” as “the stress-reducing habit of only carrying opinions for which you have strong supporting facts. Our problem is thatwe don’t know what we don’t know, and even our guesses are informed by unconscious and predictable biases. When we worry about everything, instead of embracing a worldview based on facts, we can lose our ability to focus on the things that threaten us the most. Amazon GoodReads
‘The Essential Rumi’ by Rumi (author) and Barks (translator) is 416 pages long. Translated by a gifted artist, this book of Rumi’s poetry makes the ecstatic, spiritual poetry of the thirteenth-century Sufi mystic lyrical. Amazon GoodReads
‘The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark’ by Saga and Druyan is 459 pages long. How can we make intelligent decisions about our increasingly technology-driven lives if we don’t understand the difference between the myths of pseudoscience and the testable hypotheses of science? A Pulitzer Prize-winning astronomer argues that scientific thinking is critical, not only to the pursuit of truth, but to the very well-being of our democratic institutions. Amazon GoodReads
‘Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst’ by Sapolsky is 790 pages long. The author attempts to answer the question of why we do what we do by starting in the moment of action, and then moving back in time from there, in stages, ultimately ending up at the deep history of our species and its evolutionary legacy. Sapolsky explains the neurobiological and cultural forces at work in producing our behavior. Amazon GoodReads
‘A Course in Miracles’ by Schucman is 1312 pages long. A complete course used by three million students worldwide teaches forgiveness as the road to inner peace and the remembrance of God. Amazon GoodReads
‘The Knowledge Illusion’ by Slowman and Fernbach is 304 pages long. Humans have built hugely complex societies and technologies, but most of us understand very little. Two cognitive scientists argue that our survival, despite our mental shortcomings, comes because we are constantly drawing on information stored outside of our heads: in our bodies, our enviornments,  possessions, and others. We are error-prone, irrational, and ignorant. Nonetheless, our collaborative minds enable us to do amazing things. Our true genius lies in the ways we create intelligence using the world around us. Amazon GoodReads
‘The Darkening Spirit: Jung, Spirituality, Religion’ by Tacey is 182 pages long. 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. Amazon GoodReads
‘Mistakes Were Made (but Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts’ by Tavris and Aaronson is 304 pages long. A revelatory study of how lovers, lawyers, doctors, politicians — and all of us — pull the wool over our own eyes. Amazon GoodReads
‘The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment’ by Tolle is 229 pages long. We’ve all heard that living in the now is the truest path to happiness and enlightenment. Tolle gives us an excellent manual of what that means. Amazon GoodReads
‘A House Full of Females: Plural Marriage and Women’s Rights in Early Mormonism, 1835-1870’ by Ulrich is 512 pages long. 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. Amazon  GoodReads
‘The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma’ by van der Kolk is 443 pages long. A world expert on trauma uses scientific advances to show how trauma literally reshapes both body and brain. Amazon GoodReads
‘American Nations: A History fo the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America’ by Woodard is 371 pages long. This illuminating history of North American’s eleven rival cultural regions explodes the red-stage/blue-state myth. North America was settled by people with distinct religious, political, and ethnographic characteristics, creating regional cultures that have been at odds with each other ever since. Subsequent immigrants didn’t assimilate into a single “American” or “Canadian” culture, but into one of the eleven distinct regional ones that spread over the continent, each staking ut mutually exclusive territory. Amazon GoodReads
‘Leaving My Father’s House: A Journey to Conscious Femininity’ by Woodman is 375 pages long. 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. Amazon GoodReads
‘The Evolution of God’ by Wright is 567 pages long. 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. Amazon GoodReads

Other selections:

‘The Divine Comedy’ by Alighieri is 798 pages long. Dante’s classic recreation of the depths and heights of human experience, beginning in the first year of the 12th century. Amazon GoodReads
‘The Story of Latter-Day Saints’ by Allen and Leonard is 722 pages long. A candid and historically accurate history of the LDS faith through 1975 Amazon GoodReads
‘Confessions’ by Augustine is 341 pages long. A 4th century philosopher explains his theological and philosophical questioning of God’s nature and what it is to be human. Amazon  GoodReads
‘Meditations’ by Aurelius is 304 pages long. The philosopher and Roman emperor describes his insights as he struggled to understand himself and to make sense of the universe. Amazon GoodReads
‘Religion in an Age of Science’ by Barbour is 297 pages long. A comprehensive examination of the major conflicts between science and religion in today’s world. Amazon GoodReads
‘Christmas: The Original Story’ by Barker is ### pages long. A Bible scholar explores the nature of the Christmas stories and the use of Old Testament prophecy. Amazon
‘Creation: A Biblican Vision for the Environment’ by Barker is ### pages long. The author contributes a characteristically Christian voice to the contemporary theological debates on the environment. Amazon
‘King of the Jews: Temple Theology in John’s Gospel’ by Barker is ### pages long. Only John’s Gospel says that Jesus was cricified as the King of the Jews. Jesus was the keeper for the ways of the first temple. Amazon
‘The Gate of Heaven: The History and Symbolism of the Temple in Jerusalem’ by Barker is ### pages long. A British biblical scholar explores the origins and afterlife of traditions about the Temple in Judaism. Amazon
‘The Great Angel: A Study of Israel’s Second God’ by Barker is ### pages long. What did “Son of God,” “Messiang,” and “Lord” mean to the first Christians when they used these words to describe their beliefs about Jesus? Amazon
‘The Great High Priest: The Temple Roots of Christian Liturgy’ by Barker is ### pages long. Whereas most scholarship has concentrated on the synagogue, Margaret Barker’s work on the Jerusalem temple contributes significantly to our understanding of the meaning and importance of many elements of Christian litergy. Amazon
‘The Mother of the Lord: Volume 1: The Lady in the Temple’ by Barker is ### pages long. Old Testament roots of the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary Amazon
‘Servants of the Map’ by Barrett is 320 pages long. A collection of short stories ranging across 2 centuries from western Himalaya to an Adirondack village. Amazon  GoodReads
‘Ship Fever: Stories’ by Barrett is 256 pages long. A 1996 National Book Award-winning collection of short stories about the love of science and the science of love in the 19th century. Amazon  GoodReads
‘Confessions of a Mormon Historian: The Diaries of Leonard Arrington, 1971-1999’ by Bergera is ### pages long. An account of the first LDS Church Historian’s ten-year stormy tenure, full of controversy.
‘Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible’s View of Women’ by Bessey is 256 pages long. Through a thoughtful review of biblical teachings and church practices, one woman shares how following Jesus made a feminist out of her. Amazon GoodReads
‘The Maiden King: The Reunion of Masculine and Feminine’ by Bly is 264 pages long. A Jungian interpretation of a primordial folktale about the reunion of masculine and feminine. The Maiden King is a tale of an absent father, a possessive stepmother, a false tutor, and a young man overwhelmed by a beautiful maiden. Amazon GoodReads
‘Authoring the Old Testament: Genesis-Deuteronomy’ by Bokovoy is ### pages long. A Mormon and Bible scholar dives into the Pentateuch, showing how and why textual criticism has led biblical scholars to understand the first five books of the Bible as an amalgamtion of multiple texts into a single, complicated narrative Amazon
‘Mormon Women Speak: Collection of Essays’ by Bradford is 237 pages long. A collection of essays by Mormon women, in the style of the essay “Lusterware” by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich. Amazon GoodReads
‘No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith’ by Brodie is 576 pages long. A classic biography of Joseph Smith, written by David O. McKay’s niece, who was later excommunicated. The book eventually became a source for the church-sanctioned biography of Joseph Smith, Rough Stone Rolling by Bushman. Amazon GoodReads
‘A Short History of Nearly Everything’ by Bryson is 544 pages long. The author seeks to understand how we got from nothing to us. To that end, he has attached himself to the world’s most advanced (and obsessed) archaelologists, anthropologists, and mathematicians, traveling to their offices, laboratories, and field camps. This book is a profound, funny, and entertaining adventure into the realm of human knowledge. Amazon GoodReads
‘Dead White Guys: A Father, His Daughter and the Great Books of the Western World’ by Burriesci  is 266 pages long. A father’s and daughter’s experience with reading 26 great books, from Plato to Karl Marx. Amazon GoodReads
‘The Hero’s Journey: Joseph Campbell on His Life and Work’ by Campbell is 288 pages long. Campbell describes his monomyth, or “the one great story of mankind,” which he posits is the backbone of every story. Amazon  GoodReads
‘The Power of Myth’ by Campbell is 320 pages long. Campbell describes the mythology of heroes and applies it to recent history, such as the murder and funeral of John F Kennedy. Amazon  GoodReads
‘The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains’ by Carr is 280 pages long. A compelling exploration of the Internet’s intellectual and cultural consequences. Inferences from what’s known about how human thought has been shaped through the centuries and recent discoveries in neuroscience, Carr explains how the internet is remaking us in its own image. Amazon GoodReads
‘The Awakening’ by Chopin is 195 pages long. One of the first feminist novels ever written, in 1899, The Awakening shocked readers with its honest treatment of female marital infidelity. Amazon GoodReads
‘In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith’ by Compton is ### pages long. A historical volume about the lives of 33 of Joseph Smith’s wives. Amazon
‘Vivian Apple at the End of the World’ by Coyle is ### pages long. A seventeen-year-old girl returns home after the Rapture to find all that’s left of her parents are two holes in the roof. Amazon
‘Why I am Not a Feminist: A Feminist Manifesto’ by Crispin is 151 pages long. A critique of modern feminism. Amazon  GoodReads
‘The Origin of Species’ by Darwin is 703 pages long. The classic volume in which Darwin explains his theory of natural selection and challenges orthodox thought and belief about creationism. Amazon  GoodReads
‘The Second Sex’ by de Beauvoir is 746 pages long. This classic volume is de Beauvoir’s groundbreaking observationsa about the inequality and otherness of women. Amazon  GoodReads
‘The Red Tent’ by Diamant is 336 pages long. A novel about the biblical figure Dinah. Told in Dinah’s voice, this novel reveals the traditions and turmoils of ancient womanhood. Amazon  GoodReads
‘All the Light We Cannot See’ by Doerr is 531 pages long. A blind French girl and a German boy struggle to survive the devastation of the war in occupied France. Amazon  GoodReads
‘Notes From the Underground’ by Dostoyevsky is 136 pages long. (To be added) Amazon GoodReads
‘The Story of Philosophy’ by Durant is 704 pages long. An account of the lives and ideas of the great philosophers, from Plato to Dewey. Amazon GoodReads
‘Forged: Writing in the Name of God — Why the Bible’s Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are’ by Ehrman is ### pages long. A controversial work of historical reporting that explains why the Bible was not written by Jesus’ disciples. Amazon
‘Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible and Why We Don’t Know About Them’ by Ehrman is 304 pages long. A compelling account of the central challenges faced when attempting to reconstruct Jesus’ life and message This book addresses the larger issue of what the New Testament actually teaches, and it’s not what you think. Amazon GoodReads
‘Identity and the Life Cycle’ by Erikson is 192 pages long. Erikson’s insights into the relationship of life history and history, beginning with observations on a central stage of life: identity development in adolescence. Amazon GoodReads
‘The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook’ by Ferguson is 592 pages long. A brilliant recasting of the turning points in world history, including the one we’re living through, as a collision between old power hierarchies and new social networks. Amazon GoodReads
‘Bread Not Stone: The Challenge of Feminist Biblical Interpretation’ by Fiorenza is 256 pages long. This book explores the ways in which women can read the Christian Bible with full understanding of both its oppressive and its liberating functions. Amazon GoodReads
‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ by Frankl is 184 pages long. Frankl’s memoir of his experience in Nazi death camps and lessons for spiritual survival, such as that we cannot avoid suffering, but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. Amazon GoodReads
‘Grendel’ by Gardner is 174 pages long. Beowulf’s most terrifying monster tells his side of the story. Amazon GoodReads
‘The Literary Message of Isaiah’ by Gileadi is 624 pages long. Gileadi suggests that the ancient writings of Isaiah bridge the gap between the Old and New Testaments. Amazon GoodReads
‘The Language of the Goddess’ by Gimbutas is 388 pages long. The goddess is the most potent and persistent feature in the archaeological records of the ancient world. In this volume the author resurrects the world of goddess-worshipping, earth-centered cultures, bringing ancient matriarchal society to life. Amazon GoodReads
‘Wrestling the Angel: The Foundations of Mormon Thought: Cosmos, God, Humanity’ by Givens is 424 pages long. An account of the Mormon fath’s foundations in 19th-century restorationist thought and the subsequent influence of that foundation on the modern church. Amazon  GoodReads
‘Outliers: The Story of Success’ by Gladwell is 309 pages long. What makes high-achievers different? Gladwell says we can’t know by paying attention to what successful people are like; we have to pay attention to where they are from: Their cultures, families, generation, and idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringings. Amazon GoodReads
‘The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference’ by Gladwell is 301 pages long. The tipping point is the magic moment when an idea, trend, or social bheavior crosses a threshold and spreads like wildfire. Amazon GoodReads
‘The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom’ by Haidt is 297 pages long. An award-winning psychologist examines the world’s philosophical wisdom through the lens of psychological science, showing how a deeper understanding of enduring maxims (such as the golden rule) can enrich and transform our lives. Amazon GoodReads
‘Confessions of a Latter-Day Virgin’ by Hardy is 304 pages long. In her memoir, Hardy describes the crossroads she encountered when she aged out of LDS YSA wards and came face-to-face with the discordance between the life she’d envisioned and the one she was living. GoodReads
‘The Mormon Church & Blacks: A Documentary History’ by Harris and Bringhurst is 232 pages long. Thirty official or authoritative Church statements on the status of African Americans in the Mormon Church and an analysis of how they reflect uniquely on Mormon characteristics in the context of history, race, and religion. Amazon GoodReads
‘One Hundred Birds Taught Me to Fly: The Art of Seeking God’ by Hoiland is 212 pages long. An exploration of the complexities of faith in everyday life, with a particular focus on the Mormon faith. Amazon  GoodReads
‘The Middle Passage: From Misery to Meaning in Midlife’ by Hollis is 127 pages long. A book that uses Jungian analysis to show us how we may travel the Middle Passage consciously, thereby rendering our lives more meaningful and the second half of life immeasurably richer. Amazon GoodReads
‘King Leopold’s Ghost’ by Hothschild is 402 pages long. 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. Amazon GoodReads
‘The Varieties of Religious Experience’ by James is ### pages long. 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.” Amazon GoodReads
‘From Housewife to Heretic: One Woman’s Spiritual Awakening and her Exommunication from the Mormon Church’ by Johnson is ### pages long. 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’ by Joseph is 292 pages long. An American nun explains the rules, definitions, and guidelines of language and the pathway to becoming a liberal artist. Amazon GoodReads
‘Man and His Symbols’ by Jung is 432 pages long. 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 Amazon GoodReads
‘French Lessons’ by Kaplan is 256 pages long. 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. Amazon GoodReads
‘The Wise Heart: A Guide to the Universal Teachings of Buddhist Psychology’ by Kornfield is ### pages long. An accessible, comprehensive, and illuminating guide to Buddhist psychology. Amazon
‘In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin’ by Larson is 448 pages long. 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. Amazon  GoodReads
‘Why Won’t You Apologize?: Healing Big Betrayals and Everyday Hurts’ by Lerner is ### pages long. 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. Amazon
‘The Great Divorce’ by Lewis is 146 pages long. An allegorical bus ride through heaven and hell that producees insights about the nature of good and evil. Amazon  GoodReads
‘Her Body and Other Parties: Stories’ by Machado is ### pages long. 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. Amazon
‘Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny’ by Manne is 368 pages long. An exploration of misogyny in public life and poltics by a moral philosopher. Amazon GoodReads
‘The Road’ by McCarthy is 241 pages long. 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. Amazon GoodReads
‘Love Warrior: A Memoir’ by Melton is ### pages long. A memoir of betrayal and self-discovery that chronicals a beatufiul, brilliant journey to find deeper, truer relationships and a more abundant, authentic life Amazon
‘Sweet Lamb of Heaven’ by Millet is ### pages long. A young mother escapes her cold and unfaithful husband, who chases her from Alaska to Maine as they go into hiding. Amazon
‘Sexual Politics’ by Millett is 424 pages long. An expository view of patriarchy as a socially conditioned belief system masquerading as nature. Amazon GoodReads
‘The Sociological Imagination’ by Mills is 256 pages long. 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. Amazon GoodReads
‘King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine’ by Moore is 192 pages long. A book of four Jungian archetypes about manhood, masculine energies from myth and literature Amazon GoodReads
‘To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism’ by Morozov is 415 pages long. This book urges us to abandom monolithic ideas of “the Internet” and to show how to design more humane and democratic technological solutions. Amazon GoodReads
‘Leonard Arrington and the Writing of Mormon History’ by Prince is 432 pages long. A biography of the first and only professional historian to lead the Mormon church in its history division. Amazon  GoodReads
‘Becoming Human: A Servant of the Map’ by Randall is 256 pages long. Essays about author’s journey to discover how to reshape his existence as a “servant of the map.” Amazon  GoodReads
‘At the Pulpit: 185 Years of Discourses by Latter-day Saint Women’ by Reeder and Holbrook is 452 pages long. Hand-picked by Reeder and Holbrook, 54 speeches given by LDS women from 1831 to 2016. Amazon  GoodReads
‘Religion of a Different Color: Race and the Mormon Struggle for Whiteness’ by Reeve is 352 pages long. The 19th century Protestants’ view that Mormonism represented a racial departure from the mainstream, and the 200-year church response to fight that view. Amazon GoodReads
‘The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book)’ by Ruiz is 168 pages long. 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.” Amazon GoodReads
‘Exploring the Connection Between Mormons and Masons’ by Scharffs is 211 pages long. 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? Amazon GoodReads
‘Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error’ by Schulz is 405 pages long. 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. GoodReads
‘The Intellectual Life: Its Spirit, Conditions, Methods’ by Sertillanges is 266 pages long. This classic by the 17th-18th century French Catholic philospher Sertillanges recommends habits of the mind for aspiring scholars. Amazon GoodReads
‘The Mormon Mavericks: Essays on Dissenters’ by Sillito and Staker is 388 pages long. Biographical essays from Mormon dissenters who were troubled by some aspects of church history, doctrine, policies, or politics. Some left and some stayed. GoodReads
‘The Big Disconnect: The Story of Technology and Loneliness’ by Slade is 306 pages long. 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. Amazon GoodReads
‘Mormon Midwife’ by Smart is 480 pages long. A 1997 Evans Handcart Prize-winner, the compliete diaries of Patty Sessions, details the early life of early Mormons from Illinois to Utah. Amazon GoodReads
‘Why Religion Matters: The Fate of the Human Spirit in an Age of Disbelief’ by Smith is 304 pages long. The human spirit is being suffocated by the dominant materialistic worldview of our times. Amazon GoodReads
‘Religion as Metaphor: Beyond Literal Belief’ by Tacey is 286 pages long. 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. Amazon GoodReads
‘Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder’ by Taleb is 521 pages long. 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. Amazon GoodReads
‘Well-behaved Women Seldom Make History’ by Ulrich is 320 pages long. A volume about women in history who achieved power and influence. Amazon GoodReads
‘Bonds that Make Us Free’ by Warner is 368 pages long. 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?’ by Warren is 336 pages long. A non-Mormon Christian view of life’s meaning. Amazon GoodReads
‘Leaving the Fold: A Guide for Former Fundamentalists and Others Leaving Their Religion’ by Winell is 462 pages long. Psychologist Winell outlines what people can do to reclaim a healthy human spirit after beginning to question literal belief.

Books we’ve read

(Alphabetically by author)

‘The Power’ by Alderman: 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.
‘Daring Greatly’ by Brown: A professor of socil work offers a powerful new vision that encourages us to dare greatly. Daring greatly means to embrace vulnerability and imperfection, to live wholeheartedly, and to courageously engage in our lives.
‘Goddesses: Mysteries of the Feminine Divine’ by Campbell: 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’ by Campbell: This book 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’ by Estés: 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’ by Fowler: 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’ by Friedan: 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’ by 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’ by Givens and Givens: 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’ by Gladwell: 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.
‘The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion’ by Haidt: As America descends deeper into polarization and paralysis, a social psychologist has done what seems impossible: challenged conventional thinking about morality, politics, and religion in a way that speaks to everyone on the political spectrum.
‘Sapiens’ by Harrari: This insightful and sweeping history of human culture since the cognitive revoluation is about how our capacity to believe in complete fictions helped us evolve to be more cooperative, including our capacity to believe in gods, nations and human rights; to trust money, books and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables and consumerism.
‘Siddhartha’ by Hesse: This book is a classic tale of a young man discovering enlightenment, and becoming the Buddha, a figure revered thoughout much of the world.
‘Faith Beyond Belief: Stories of Good People Who Left Their Church Behind’ by Johnston: 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.
‘Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging’ by Junger: 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’ by Matis and Matis: 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’ by McConkie: 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’ by Pearson: 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’ by Postman: This is was book about the ways in which the media shape our lives. In short, thanks to the visual and auditory dimesions that television has added to the media through which we consume information, our capacity for reason has diminished, along with the quality of public discorse.
‘When God Was a Woman’ by Stone: 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’ by Wright: This novel that illustrates the impact of poverty and racism in the lives of inner-city Black Americans, and shows how we are all connected in producing the social ills of our time.
‘Mormon Feminism: Essential Writings by Brooks, Steenblik, and Wheelwright (editors): A collection of works by Mormon feminists written over 40 years