Between now and the end of the year, a ton of excellent new books will be released, many of which were delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic! Here are 30 of our most anticipated books of Fall 2020 for Christian Readers…
These books wrestle with some of the deepest challenges of our day, and will guide us toward faithful living in the present and in years to come.
[ TOP 10 – Part 1 ] [ Top 10 – Part 2 ] [ Literature ] [ NonFiction ] [ Church ] [ Theology ] [ January 2021 ]
Page 2: TOP 10 – Part 2
(In Alphabetical Order by Author’s Last Name)
Just Us: An American Conversation
(Hardback: Graywolf Press, September)
As everyday white supremacy becomes increasingly vocalized with no clear answers at hand, how best might we approach one another? Claudia Rankine, without telling us what to do, urges us to begin the discussions that might open pathways through this divisive and stuck moment in American history.
Just Us is an invitation to discover what it takes to stay in the room together, even and especially in breaching the silence, guilt, and violence that follow direct addresses of whiteness. Rankine’s questions disrupt the false comfort of our culture’s liminal and private spaces―the airport, the theater, the dinner party, the voting booth―where neutrality and politeness live on the surface of differing commitments, beliefs, and prejudices as our public and private lives intersect.
This brilliant arrangement of essays, poems, and images includes the voices and rebuttals of others: white men in first class responding to, and with, their white male privilege; a friend’s explanation of her infuriating behavior at a play; and women confronting the political currency of dying their hair blond, all running alongside fact-checked notes and commentary that complements Rankine’s own text, complicating notions of authority and who gets the last word. Sometimes wry, often vulnerable, and always prescient, Just Us is Rankine’s most intimate work, less interested in being right than in being true, being together.
(Hardback: FSG Books, September)
Marilynne Robinson’s mythical world of Gilead, Iowa―the setting of her novels Gilead, Home, and Lila, and now Jack―and its beloved characters have illuminated and interrogated the complexities of American history, the power of our emotions, and the wonders of a sacred world. Jack is Robinson’s fourth novel in this now-classic series. In it, Robinson tells the story of John Ames Boughton, the prodigal son of Gilead’s Presbyterian minister, and his romance with Della Miles, a high school teacher who is also the child of a preacher. Their deeply felt, tormented, star-crossed interracial romance resonates with all the paradoxes of American life, then and now.
Robinson’s Gilead novels, which have won one Pulitzer Prize and two National Book Critics Circle Awards, are a vital contribution to contemporary American literature and a revelation of our national character and humanity.
(Hardback: Waterbrook, September)
During our chaotic times, discover five forgotten values that can spark internal growth and help us reconcile our Christian faith with the complexities of race, sexuality, and social justice.
Most believers live in the state of “being a Christian” without ever being deeply formed by Christ. Our pace is too frenetic to be in union with God, and we don’t know how to quiet our hearts and minds to be present. Our emotions are unhealthy and compartmentalized. We feel unable to love well or live differently from the rest of the world—to live as people of the good news.
New York pastor Rich Villodas says we must restore balance, focus, and meaning for our souls. The Deeply Formed Life lays out a fresh vision for spiritual breakthrough following five key values:
• Monastic Value: unplug from this noisy world to care for your soul
• Emotional Health Value: why deep love can’t come from shallow wells
• Healthy Sexuality Value: how our bodies connect with our spirituality
• Multiracial Value: a spiritual, internal approach to pursuing racial justice
• Missional Value: how to be the hands and feet of Jesus in a consumerist world
The Deeply Formed Life is a roadmap to live in the richly rooted place we all yearn for: a place of communion with God, a place where we find our purpose.
(Hardback: Random House, August)
In this brilliant book, Isabel Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched narrative and stories about real people, how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings.
Beyond race, class, or other factors, there is a powerful caste system that influences people’s lives and behavior and the nation’s fate. Linking the caste systems of America, India, and Nazi Germany, Wilkerson explores eight pillars that underlie caste systems across civilizations, including divine will, bloodlines, stigma, and more. Using riveting stories about people—including Martin Luther King, Jr., baseball’s Satchel Paige, a single father and his toddler son, Wilkerson herself, and many others—she shows the ways that the insidious undertow of caste is experienced every day. She documents how the Nazis studied the racial systems in America to plan their out-cast of the Jews; she discusses why the cruel logic of caste requires that there be a bottom rung for those in the middle to measure themselves against; she writes about the surprising health costs of caste, in depression and life expectancy, and the effects of this hierarchy on our culture and politics. Finally, she points forward to ways America can move beyond the artificial and destructive separations of human divisions, toward hope in our common humanity.
Beautifully written, original, and revealing, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents is an eye-opening story of people and history, and a reexamination of what lies under the surface of ordinary lives and of American life today.
(Hardback: Zondervan, August)
Collected Essays of N. T. Wright brings together N. T. Wright’s most important articles on Scripture and hermeneutics, Jesus and the Gospels, and Paul and his Letters over the last three decades.
Here is a rich feast for all serious students of the New Testament. Each essay in this three-volume collection will amply reward those looking for detailed, incisive, and exquisitely nuanced exegesis, resulting in a clearer, deeper and more informed appreciation of Scripture and its application to Christian life and thought today.