Tinged with Sadness and Hope
A Feature Review of 

The Caregiver:
A Novel
Samuel Park

Hardback: Simon & Schuster, 2018.
Buy Now:
Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]  [ Audible ]

Reviewed by Brent Bill

Samuel Park, of Korean descent, was born in Brazil and raised in southern California. His protagonist in The Caregiver is Mara Alencar, born in Brazil and living as an adult in southern California. There is one other intersection, as well. More on that later.

The novel opens in Bel Air, California in the early 1990s when Mara is a twenty-six year old caregiver to Kathryn Weatherly, a forty-four year old divorced woman with no children who’s fighting stomach cancer. Mara lives with fellow Brazilian ex-pats Renata and Bruno in the “not-so-nice part of Hollywood, close to the 101 freeway.” Renata has her Green Card. Mara and Bruno do not.

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Here are 5 essential ebooks on sale now that are worth checking out:
( David Dark, Mandy Smith, Michael Pollan, Len Sweet,  MORE )

Each week, we carefully curate a handful of books for church leaders that orient us toward the health and the flourishing of our congregations.


Ebook / Audiobook Deals

from Amazon’s monthly sale!!! 
(October 2018)



Life’s Too Short to Pretend You’re Not Religious 

David Dark

*** $4.99 ***

A poignant mediation on what it means to be religious
(or non-religious)

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Audiobooks are a great way to enjoy books while you are on the go!

While these audiobooks are available through Audible.com, we encourage you to check for them at your local library, where you may be able to listen to them for FREE!

If you find yourself regularly purchasing audiobooks from Audible, you might want to sign up for a subscription,
$14.95/month, plus two FREE audiobooks for signing up!



Here are the best audiobooks that will be released this month…
(Some of these are new books, others are older books just released as audiobooks)

<<<<< Best New Audiobooks
– Sept. 2018



Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.

Brené Brown

Read by: The Author
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With the disappearance and apparent death of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi leading the news this week, Saudi Arabia has been in the hot seat.
Here are five recent books that are essential for understanding the Saudis, one of the wealthiest and most mysterious nations on the globe:

(Where possible, we have also tried to include an interview or shorter piece by the author that introduces the book’s central ideas…)


On Saudi Arabia: Its People, Past, Religion, Fault Lines–and Future

Karen Elliott House

*** WATCH a brief interview with the author

With over thirty years of experience writing about Saudi Arabia, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and former publisher of The Wall Street Journal Karen Elliott House has an unprecedented knowledge of life inside this shrouded kingdom. Through anecdotes, observation, analysis, and extensive interviews, she navigates the maze in which Saudi citizens find themselves trapped and reveals the sometimes contradictory nature of the nation that is simultaneously a final bulwark against revolution in the Middle East and a wellspring of Islamic terrorists.

Saudi Arabia finds itself threatened by fissures and forces on all sides, and On Saudi Arabia explores in depth what this portends for the country’s future—and our own.  


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Get these excellent print books for under $5 each!!!

CBD does not offer free shipping, but their standard shipping is only $3.99 for orders under $20, so you could get a bunch of sale books for that one S/H fee.
See All Shipping Rates ]

As always, prices and availability are subject to change without notice…

Looking for more books to round out your order?
Browse Theology Bargains Under $5!


018121: Through a Screen Darkly: 
Looking Closer at Beauty, Truth, and Evil in the MoviesThrough a Screen Darkly:
Looking Closer at Beauty, Truth, and Evil in the Movies

By Jeffrey Overstreet
*** 49c ***


Embark on a journey of contemporary film and discover reflections of God where you least expect them! From a desert in Mongolia to a galaxy far, far away, Christian media critic Overstreet explores more than 200 movies to reveal how different characters, worldviews, and experiences offer glimpses of a larger truth. 351 pages, softcover from Regal.


039096: Personal Jesus: How Popular Music Shapes Our Souls Personal Jesus:
How Popular Music Shapes Our Souls

By Clive Marsh & Vaughan S. Roberts
*** 49c ***


Pop music is now an ever-present force shaping citizens in the West. Even at funerals, it is often requested over hymns. But how does popular music work? And what roles does it play for listeners who engage it? Personal Jesus: How Popular Music Shapes our Souls, part of thecritically acclaimed Engaging Culture series explores the theological significance of the ways pop music is listened to and used today.

Clive Marsh and Vaughan Roberts show that popular music is used by religious and nonreligious people alike to make meaning, enabling listeners to explore human concerns about embodiment, creating communities, and tapping into transcendence. They assess what is happening to Christian faith and theology as a result. Personal Jesus incorporates case studies featuring noted music artists of our day–including David Bowie, Michael Jackson, Sigur Ros, Pete Seeger, Bruce Springsteen, and Lady Gaga–and includes practical implications for the church, the academy, and daily musical listening. It will be of interest to professors and students of theology and culture, religious studies, and popular culture.


292463: The Dude Abides The Dude Abides
By Cathleen Falsani
*** 49c ***


Whether you’ve seen all 14 of their movies or only a few, you know that Joel and Ethan Cohen are some of the best filmmakers in the industry. Cathleen Falsani explores the deeper truths in each of the Coen brothers’ films in The Dude Abides, and shows that there is truly no facet of human behavior the Coen brothers are afraid to tackle. Ranging from iconoclastic comedies such as Raising Arizona and The Big Lebowski to the unblinking treatise on the nature of evil in No Country for Old Men, the Coen brothers have created moral universes in which some of life’s most essential questions are asked-if not always answered. Ultimately, Falsani brings the reader into a new admiration for these bizarre, always clever, and unmistakably though-provoking filmmakers and the social commentary the bring to big screen.


864611: Rowan&amp;quot;s Rule: 
The Biography of the Archbishop of CanterburyRowan’s Rule:
The Biography of the Archbishop of Canterbury

By Rupert Shortt
*** 59c ***


One of the most controversial religious figures in centuries, Rowan Williams is also an admired figure who often “towers intellectually” over almost all his peers. As the Archbishop of Canterbury spearheaded the movement to liberalize the Anglican Church, and his remarks became so controversial he resigned in 2008. The personal portrait, by reporter Rupert Shortt, tells the life story of this complex, and at times, misunderstood man. Timely, and insightful, this book will shed light on the struggles surrounding Anglicanism, and one of its most controversial figures.

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My Soul Grows Straight
A Review of 

The Hymnal:
A Reading History
Christopher N. Phillips

Hardback: Johns Hopkins UP, 2018.
Buy Now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle
Reviewed by Grant Currier
Christopher N. Phillips concludes his The Hymnal: A Reading History in a most unexpected study of Emily Dickinson. The cursory glance will undoubtedly produce a moment or two of bafflement, perhaps curiosity as to her occupying an entire chapter in a book about hymnals, but Phillips writes that “Dickinson understood the hymn as a form of hopeful communication” in which the act of receiving, not giving, constitutes the poem as a hymn.

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One of the most important books released this month is:

Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts
Brené Brown

Hardback: Random House, 2018.
Buy Now:
Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]  [ Audible ]


*** Our Intro Guide to
Brené Brown’s Work


In this interview with CBS This Morning,
Brown offers a fine, concise intro to this new book:

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This Saturday (Oct 20) is the birthday of philosopher and educator, John Dewey.

In honor of the occasion, we offer this excerpt from his helpful book:

How We Think
John Dewey

D.C. Heath, 1910.
*** FREE Ebook:
Kindle ] [ Various Formats – Project Gutenberg ]



§ 1. Varied Senses of the Term

Four senses of thought, from the wider to the limited

No words are oftener on our lips than thinking and thought. So profuse and varied, indeed, is our use of these words that it is not easy to define just what we mean by them. The aim of this chapter is to find a single consistent meaning. Assistance may be had by considering some typical ways in which the terms are employed. In the first place thought is used broadly, not to say loosely. Everything that comes to mind, that “goes through our heads,” is called a thought. To think of a thing is just to be conscious of it in any way whatsoever. Second, the term is restricted by excluding whatever is directly presented; we think (or think of) only such things as we do not directly see, hear, smell, or taste. Then, third, the meaning is further limited to beliefs that rest upon some kind of evidence or testimony. Of this third type, two kinds—or, rather, two degrees—must be discriminated. In some cases, a belief is accepted with slight or almost no attempt to state the grounds that support it. In other cases, the ground or basis for a belief is deliberately sought and its adequacy to support the belief examined. This process is called reflective thought; it alone is truly educative in value, and it forms, accordingly, the principal subject of this volume. We shall now briefly describe each of the four senses.
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The Gifts and Limits of Self-Care
A Review of 

Four Gifts:
Seeking Self-Care for Heart, Soul, Mind, and Strength
April Yamasaki

Paperback: Herald Press, 2018
Buy Now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
Review by Danielle Davey Stulac


It was the second year of graduate school, and I was four months into a grueling regimen of eight-hour per day reading sessions—a grueling regimen for which I sacrificed meals, fresh air, exercise, sleep, and friendships. I had grown accustomed to ignoring my body and its basic needs in order to stuff my mind with as much knowledge as possible. But that day, as I finished a lunch break and mounted the stairs of the library for the second half of my daily reading session, I sensed a nudge from God: “go get a massage.” Though my back ached and exhaustion had already set in, I resisted. Surely, I didn’t have time or money for something as frivolous as a massage. After a short wrestle with these thoughts, I decided to do it (having learned from experience the folly of ignoring such nudges). To my surprise, as the masseuse pressed her hands against my tense shoulders, I began to cry—long, heaving sobs. That such a small moment of care elicited tears that woke me up to the self-destructive nature of my attempt to be a disembodied mind for the duration of my exam year. I realized that I could not ignore my body, let alone soul. For my mind to function, I needed my whole self to be well. I needed to live wholeheartedly.

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Here are a few new book releases from this week that are worth checking out:

(Where possible, we have also tried to include a review/interview related to the book…)


Unsheltered: A Novel 

Barbara Kingsolver

*** READ a review of this novel from USA TODAY


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