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While books entertain us they can also be a source of inspiration. They may even shed a new light on our Unitarian Universalist principles. There are many books available on Unitarian Universalism, social justice and liberal spirituality, but this list will give you a sampling of the many revealing and entertaining selections available. When you click on any link and purchase the book from Amazon, they will pass on a small donation to Tapestry, so you can enjoy a good read and support our church at the same time!

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The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World
By: Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso & Archbishop Desmond Tutu

"The Book of Joy published in 2016, the authors discuss the challenges of living a joyful life. One commentator noted that both of the authors faced oppression and exile and yet have been able to maintain their compassion and forgiveness despite this. The commentator also noted the theme of the book is that fear, anger, and hatred exist internally as much as externally."

Read and recommended by Geoff Sanders.

  

Next
By: Michael Crichton

We live in a time of momentous scientific leaps; a time when it’s possible to sell our eggs and sperm online for thousands of dollars; test our spouses for genetic maladies and even frame someone for a genetic crime. We live in a time when one fifth of all our genes are owned by someone else, and an unsuspecting person and his family can be pursued cross-country because they happen to have certain valuable genes within their chromosomes... Devilishly clever, Next blends fact and fiction into a breathless tale of a new world where nothing is what it seems, and a set of new possibilities can open at every turn.

Read and recommended by Helen Sherwood.

  

How Does It Feel to Be Unwanted? Stories of Resistance and Resilience from Mexicans Living in the US
By: Eileen Truax

Dreamers and their allies, those who care about immigration justice, and anyone interested in the experience of Mexicans in the US will respond to these stories of Mexican immigrants (some documented, some not) illuminating their complex lives.

Read and recommended by Geoff Sanders.

  

Boundaries for Leaders
By: Henry Cloud

In Boundaries for Leaders, clinical psychologist and bestselling author Dr. Henry Cloud leverages his expertise of human behavior, neuroscience, and business leadership to explain how the best leaders set boundaries within their organizations--with their teams and with themselves--to improve performance and increase employee and customer satisfaction.

Read and recommended by Randy Partain.

  

Difficult Conversations: Taking Risks, Acting with Integrity
By: Katie Day

"We don?t talk about controversial issues here!" That seems to be the unspoken rule in most faith communities. The unfortunate results of such no-talk rules are that congregations are noticeably absent from the public forum and members of faith communities fail to develop "social capital." We do not form significant connections with one another. In this book, author Katie Day invites us to begin engaging in difficult conversations, a process she hopes will become habit-forming, a new way of being communities of faith.

Read and recommended by Randy Partain.

  

The Art of Systems Thinking: Essential Skills for Creativity and Problem Solving
By: Joseph O'Connor and Ian McDermott

NLP (Neuro-linguistic programming)trainers and authors O'Connor and McDermott unlock the mysteries of systems thinking and offer practical suggestions, exercises, and tips.

Read and recommended by Randy Partain.

  

Crucial Accountability: Tools for Resolving Violated Expectations, Broken Commitments, and Bad Behav
By: Kerry Patterson, et al.

Behind the problems that routinely plague our organizations and families, you'll find individuals who are either unwilling or unable to deal with broken promises. Colleagues break a rule, coworkers miss a deadline, friends fail to live up to commitments (or just plain behave badly), and nobody says a word. Nobody holds anyone accountable. With repeated infractions, individuals become increasingly upset until they finally do speak their minds, but they do so poorly--often creating whole new sets of problems.

Read and recommended by Randy Partain.

  

Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When the Stakes Are High
By: Kerry Patterson, et al.

The first edition of Crucial Conversations exploded onto the scene and revolutionized the way millions of people communicate when stakes are high. This new edition gives you the tools to: -- Prepare for high-stakes situations -- Transform anger and hurt feelings into powerful dialogue -- Make it safe to talk about almost anything -- Be persuasive, not abrasive

Read and recommended by Randy Partain.

  

The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters
By: Priya Parker

"Every day we find ourselves in gatherings, Priya Parker says in The Art of Gathering. If we can understand what makes these gatherings effective and memorable, then we can reframe and redirect them to benefit everyone, host and guest alike."

Read and recommended by Geoff Sanders.

  

There There
By: Tommy Orange

This is a selection for the UU Tapestry Mixed Bag book club. There There is the “brilliant, propulsive” (People Magazine) story of twelve unforgettable characters, Urban Indians living in Oakland, California, who converge and collide on this one fateful day at the Big Oakland Powwow. As we learn the reasons that each person is attending the powwow—some generous, some fearful, some joyful, some violent—momentum builds toward a shocking yet inevitable conclusion that changes everything. There will be glorious communion, and a spectacle of sacred tradition and pageantry. And there will be sacrifice, and heroism, and loss. There There is “masterful . . . white-hot . . . devastating” (The Washington Post) at the same time as it is fierce, funny, suspenseful, thoroughly modern, and impossible to put down.

Read and recommended by Debra Robison.

  

Becoming
By: Michelle Obama

A fascinating inside look at, and the inspiring story of, Michelle Obama's journey from the Southside of Chicago to the White House.

Read and recommended by Geoff Sanders.

  

The Unitarian Universalist Pocket Guide: 6th Edition
By: Susan Frederick-Gray

The most complete introduction to Unitarian Universalism available, covering ministry, worship, religious education, social justice, community, and history. Extensively revised, the sixth edition prepares readers with resources and information for this crucial moment in Unitarian Universalism. It also gives voice to many individual Unitarian Universalists—people of all ages, coming from many backgrounds, and holding many beliefs—as they share their personal and deeply heartfelt testimonies.

  

Daring Democracy: Igniting Power, Meaning, and Connection for the America We Want
By: Frances Moore Lappe and Adam Eichen

Americans are distraught as tightly held economic and political power drowns out their voices and values. Legendary Diet for a Small Planet author Frances Moore Lappé and organizer-scholar Adam Eichen offer a fresh, surprising response to this core crisis. This intergenerational duo opens with an essential truth: It’s not the magnitude of a challenge that crushes the human spirit. It’s feeling powerless—in this case, fearing that to stand up for democracy is futile. It’s not, Lappé and Eichen argue. With riveting stories and little-known evidence, they demystify how we got here, exposing the well-orchestrated effort that has robbed Americans of their rightful power. But at the heart of this unique book are solutions. Even in this divisive time, Americans are uniting across causes and ideologies to create a “canopy of hope” the authors call the Democracy Movement. In this invigorating “movement of movements,” millions of Americans are leaving despair behind as they push for and achieve

  

Weaving a Tapestry of Love and Hope: Building and Sustaining our Beloved Community
By: Nancy McDonald Ladd

Progressive faith is at a crossroads. Liberal pulpits ring with grand sermons about the arc that bends toward justice, and about progress "onward and upward forever." Meanwhile, the people in the pews struggle to attend to the suffering of their souls and the tragic aspects of life. In this engaging polemic, using stories and metaphor, Nancy McDonald Ladd issues a call for change. Speaking from a rising generation of clergy and lay leaders who formed their commitments to liberal religion at the end of the optimistic modernist age, she shows how the religious life is not characterized by endless human advancement, but by lurching movement, crisis-management, and pain.

  

Justice on Earth: People of Faith Working at the Intersections of Race, Class, and the Environment
By: Manish Mishra-Marzetti and Jennifer Nordstrom

This highly anticipated anthology presents a powerful and penetrating look at environmental justice from some of the key thinkers and activists in Unitarian Universalism today. Fourteen activist ministers and lay leaders apply a keen intersectional analysis to the environmental crisis, revealing ways that capitalism, white supremacy, patriarchy, and other systems of oppression intersect with and contribute to ecological devastation. They also explore how spiritual practices, congregational organizing, and progressive theology can inform faith-based justice work in the twenty-first century. These prophetic voices, from a wide range of perspectives, reveal new approaches and opportunities for more holistic, accountable, and connected justice efforts. Each essay is accompanied by suggested ways to take the next steps for further learning and action.

Read and recommended by Dana Ashrawi and Geoff Sanders.

  

Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America
By: Ibram X. Kendi

Some Americans insist that we're living in a post-racial society. But racist thought is not just alive and well in America--it is more sophisticated and more insidious than ever. And as award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi argues, racist ideas have a long and lingering history, one in which nearly every great American thinker is complicit.

Read and recommended by Dana Ashrawi.

  

Encounters: Poems about Race, Ethnicity and Identity
By: Paula Cole Jones

An eloquent chorus of voices from a variety of backgrounds. With unflinching honesty, well-known and emerging poets help us walk in their shoes as they struggle to claim authentic identity in today's culture.

Read and recommended by Dana Ashrawi.

  

How to Be Less Stupid About Race: On Racism, White Supremacy, and the Racial Divide
By: Crystal Marie Fleming

How to Be Less Stupid About Race is your essential guide to breaking through the half truths and ridiculous misconceptions that have thoroughly corrupted the way race is represented in the classroom, pop culture, media, and politics. Centuries after our nation was founded on genocide, settler colonialism, and slavery, many Americans are kinda-sorta-maybe waking up to the reality that our racial politics are (still) garbage. But in the midst of this reckoning, widespread denial and misunderstandings about race persist, even as white supremacy and racial injustice are more visible than ever before.

Read and recommended by Dana Ashrawi.

  

How to Be An Anti-Racist
By: Ibram X. Kendi

Ibram X. Kendi's concept of antiracism reenergizes and reshapes the conversation about racial justice in America--but even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. In How to be an Antiracist, Kendi asks us to think about what an antiracist society might look like, and how we can play an active role in building it.

Read and recommended by Dana Ashrawi.

  

White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism
By: Robin DiAngelo

In this “vital, necessary, and beautiful book” (Michael Eric Dyson), antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility and “allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to ‘bad people’ (Claudia Rankine). Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively.

Read and recommended by Dana Ashrawi.

  

Between the World and Me
By: Ta-Nehisi Coates

A letter to the author's teenaged son about the feelings, symbolism, and realities associated with being black in the United States. Coates recapitulates the American history of violence against black people and the incommensurate policing of black youth. A common theme is his fear of bodily harm.

Read and recommended by Geoff Sanders.

  

Broken Buddha
By: Meg Barnhouse

Takes one tiny snippet of an incident in her life, analyzes it, then offers up universal truths and insights....hilarious, heart-warming and plain fun.

Read and recommended by Geoff Sanders.

  

Just Mercy
By: Bryan Stevenson

A moving and disturbing examination of how our criminal justice system can trample the rights and destroy the lives of the powerless.

Read and recommended by Karin Gates and Geoff Sanders.

  

The Third Reconstruction: How a Moral Movement Is Overcoming the Politics of Division and Fear
By: Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II

At a time when divide-and-conquer politics are exacerbating racial strife and economic inequality, Rev. Barber offers an impassioned, historically grounded argument that Moral Mondays are hard evidence of an embryonic Third Reconstruction in America." Read and discussed by Tapestry (f/k/a First UU Church, Copperfield Campus) Adult Education Book Group.

Read and recommended by Geoff Sanders.

  

The Complete Guide to Small Group Ministry: Saving the World Ten at a Time
By: Robert C. Hill

An excellent guide to forming successful covenant groups written by former SW UUA District Director and Tapestry (f/k/a NWCUUC) Minister.

Read and recommended by Geoff Sanders.

  

A Chosen Faith: An Introduction to Unitarian Universalism
By: John Buehrens

For those contemplating religious choices, Unitarian Universalism offers an appealing alternative to religious denominations that stress theological creeds over individual conviction and belief. In this new edition of the classic introductory text on Unitarian Universalism, which includes a revealing, entertaining foreword by best-selling author Robert Fulghum (All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, It Was on Fire When I Lay Down on It), a new preface by UU moderator Denise Davidoff, and two new chapters by the authors, John Buehrens and Forrest Church explore the many sources of the living tradition of their chosen faith.

  

The Unitarian Universalist Pocket Guide
By: Rev. Peter Morales

The Unitarian Universalist Pocket Guide is one of the most complete introductions to Unitarian Universalism available, covering ministry, worship, religious education, social justice, and history. The 2012 edition is the most complete revision in over a decade.

  

Day of Promise: Selections from Unitarian Universalist Meditation Manuals
By: Kathleen Montgomery

Gathered from the more than 1,700 meditations published since the consolidation of the Unitarians and Universalists in 1961, this collection was created with a specific audience in mind: a reader looking for comfort and challenge, perhaps not a Unitarian Universalist but someone open to our values and our theology. For that reason the selections are not about Unitarian Universalism but of it. Each is by a Unitarian Universalist; each, I think, captures something important embedded in our tradition.

  

An Introduction to The Unitarian and Universalist Traditions
By: Andrea Greenwood

How is a free faith expressed, organised and governed? How are diverse spiritualities and theologies made compatible? What might a religion based in reason and democracy offer today's world? This book will help the reader to understand the contemporary liberal religion of Unitarian Universalism in a historical and global context. Andrea Greenwood and Mark W. Harris challenge the view that the Unitarianism of New England is indigenous and the point from which the religion spread. Relationships between Polish radicals and the English Dissenters existed, and the English radicals profoundly influenced the Unitarianism of the nascent United States. Greenwood and Harris also explore the US identity as Unitarian Universalist since a 1961 merger, and its current relationship to international congregations, particularly in the context of twentieth century expansion into Asia.

  

The Seven Principles in Word and Worship
By: Ellen Brandenburg

The Seven Principles of Unitarian Universalism continue to be plumbed for meaning, depth and inspiration. This elegant volume presents fresh perspectives from seven ministers who joined the ministry after the Principles took their current form. Here are essays, prayers, chalice lightings, litanies, meditations and worship readings on each Principle-helping us reflect on their significance and the ways they call us to ethical action and deeper spirituality.

  

Everyday Spiritual Practice: Simple Pathways for Enriching Your Life
By: Scott W Alexander

Have you wondered, "How do I integrate my heartfelt beliefs into my daily life?" Nearly 40 contributors address this creative dilemma and share their discoveries. Creating a home altar, practicing martial arts, fasting, quilting -- these are just some of the ways they've found to make every day more meaningful and satisfying.

  

Pagan and Earth-Centered Voices in Unitarian Universalism
By: Jerrie Kishpaugh Hildebrand

These 23 essays by some of the most prominent leaders in Unitarian Universalist Paganism bring Pagan and Earth-centered theo/alogy to life for a new generation. Featuring the writings of both clergy and laypeople, this vibrant collection demonstrates the many expressions of nature-based spirituality and the ways they feed the souls of so many. The essayists describe a broad array of practices, including Wiccan traditions, Neo-Pagan rituals and celebrations, worship of the divine feminine, and nature-based beliefs and practices that bring us into harmony and balance with our natural environment. Contributors also describe the development of nature-based theo/alogy within Unitarian Universalism—including the organization of the Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans, the addition of the sixth Source to the UUA bylaws recognizing Earth-centered spirituality, and the integration of Pagan practices into congregational life.

  

Circling Home: Spirituality through a Unitarian Universalist Lens
By: Doug Kraft

Buddhism and Unitarian Universalism are not rocks we can cleave to. They are ways of swimming that help us feel more at home in the river. Home is a place where we are welcomed, nurtured, and enlivened. There are physical homes, community homes, and inner, spiritual homes. None are perfect. Nevertheless, there is in all of us a quiet or urgent urge to find such a space.

  

Unitarian Universalism Is a Really Long Name
By: Jennifer Dant

This one-of-a-kind picture book is a colorful introduction to Unitarian Universalism for children ages five to nine. Simple language and appealing illustrations offer children accessible answers to commonly asked questions such as: Who are we? What do we believe? How do we worship? Who leads us? Do we read the Bible? What is our religious symbol? Do we pray? What is Sunday school? How do we celebrate.

  

Called to Community: New Directions in Unitarian Universalist Ministry
By: Dorothy May Emerson and Anita Farber-Robertson

This book offers thought-provoking perspectives on putting liberal religious values into action to address real problems in local communities and in the world. The story of these innovative ministries is intended to inspire change in thinking and practice. This collection of essays invites readers to consider how liberal religion can address social issues through innovative community ministries beyond the walls of congregations. It provides historical and theological perspectives on community ministry and offers engaging real-life stories of community ministries in action. The authors have a long history of working in community ministry and they bring their experience, their inspiration, and their concerns, shared by them and their ministerial colleagues in the field to their accounts of this important story. There is no other book that tells the story of the challenges and potential of Unitarian Universalist Community Ministry for today and the future.

  

Our Unitarian Gospel
By: Minot Savage

This collection of Reconstruction era sermons beautifully presents a liberal Christian faith that still speaks to us in modern times but often gets drowned out by the shouts of fanatics. This Unitarian gospel truly is good news, that one can still have faith in a higher power and a higher purpose without being required to believe the unbelievable, turn a blind eye to science, or condemn countless billions to torment.

  

See all 3 images Growing Up Absorbed: Religious Education among the Unitarian Universalists
By: Richard S. Gilbert

How long does it take to grow a soul, to love and to be loved, and to help repair the world? One lifetime, so it is best to be totally engaged in the process. Growing Up Absorbed follows the journey from cradle to grave through an education focus. There are no shortcuts in this spiritual pilgrimage. It can be hard, but we are companioned along the way. What happens is what Gilbert calls "spiritual osmosis" absorbing what the world has to teach us and passing on what we have learned: an absorbing business. Within these covers lies a history of religious education in the Unitarian Universalist tradition, with reflections on faith development in the 21st century. Beginning with Walt Whitman's poem "A Child Went Forth" as a metaphor, the author concludes with life questions that "empty the room" He finds the journey has its valleys, plateaus and mountain peaks, and is no casual matter. Gilbert shares his excitement on making the journey.

  

Christ for Unitarian Universalists: A New Dialogue with Traditional Christianity
By: Scotty McLennan

Christ for Unitarian Universalists is an engaging and thoughtful inquiry into Christianity for Unitarian Universalists and other spiritual seekers?including skeptics, non-religious people, liberal Christians, and those who consider themselves “spiritual but not religious.” The book has several purposes. The first is to present Christ in an understandable and compelling way to the increasing number of people who do not consider themselves Christian. The second is to present liberal and progressive Christians with the non-dogmatic way that Unitarian Universalists have viewed Christ through the Bible and personal experience. And the third is to promote active dialogue between non-Christians and the nearly 80% of Americans who identify themselves as Christian.

  

A Documentary History of Unitarian Universalism
By: Dan McKanan

A panel of top scholars presents the first comprehensive collection of primary sources from Unitarian Universalist history. This, the first of the two-volume set, covers the early histories of Unitarianism and Universalism, from the third century up to 1899. From Arius and Origen to Theodore Parker and Olympia Brown, this rich anthology features leaders, thinkers, and ordinary participants in the ever-changing tradition of liberal religion. This volume contains more than a hundred distinct documents, with scholarly introductions by leading experts in Unitarian Universalist history. The selections include sermons, theologies, denominational statements, hymns, autobiographies, and manifestos, with special attention to class, cultural, gender, and sexual diversity. Primary sources are the building blocks of history, and A Documentary History of Unitarian Universalism presents the sources we need for understanding this denomination's past and for shaping its future.