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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.

Find your new favorite book here. If you are a Member or Friend of Tapestry and are logged on, you will be able to make a suggestion for a favorite of yours that others may enjoy also.

Find a New Favorite

Before We Were Yours

By: Lisa Wingate

Gripping, well written tale about children stolen from their parents in the 1940s and the consequences to their lives and families; based on the Tennessee Children's Home Society's scandal which involved the kidnapping of children and their illegal adoptions.

Read and recommended by Geoff Sanders.

A Little History of the World

By: E. H. Gombrich

A good history and illustrations, especially for children.

Read and recommended by Geoff Sanders.

Braiding Sweetgrass

By: Robin Wall Kimmerer

This book shares the profound wisdom of our indigenous people. Themes include: nurturing a culture of gratitude and reciprocity; everything we do in life is sacred; the costs of unbridled greed and insatiable consumption; good communities don’t make themselves; and many others.

Read and recommended by Geoff Sanders.

Like Dating, Only Worse: Rethinking the Ministerial Search Process

By: Michael Durall

Recommended reading for all church leaders, and it should be required reading for members of ministerial search committees. Durall is a noted church consultant and author who has written specifically about Unitarian Universalism in his excellent books, "The Almost Church" and "The Almost Church Revitalized."

Read and recommended by Geoff Sanders.

The Peripheral

By: William Gibson

William Gibson returns with his first novel since 2010's New York Times best-selling Zero History. Where Flynne and her brother, Burton, live, jobs outside the drug business are rare. Fortunately, Burton has his veteran's benefits, for neural damage he suffered from implants during his time in the USMC's elite Haptic Recon force. Then one night Burton has to go out, but there's a job he's supposed to do - a job Flynne didn't know he had. Beta-testing part of a new game, he tells her. The job seems to be simple: work a perimeter around the image of a tower building. Little buglike things turn up. He's supposed to get in their way, edge them back. That's all there is to it. He's offering Flynne a good price to take over for him. What she sees, though, isn't what Burton told her to expect. It might be a game, but it might also be murder.

Read and recommended by the Tapestry Book Club.

The Atlas of Disappearing Places, Our Coasts and Oceans in the Climate Crisis

By: Christina Conklin and Marina Psaros

“A beautiful and engaging guide to global warming’s impacts around the world.

The direction in which our planet is headed isn't a good one, and most of us don’t know how to change it. The bad news is that we will experience great loss. The good news is that we already have what we need to build a better future.” —from the introduction

Read and recommended by Geoff Sanders.

The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois

By: Honorée Fanonne Jeffers

An in-depth examination of Georgia history and insight into the many conflicts experienced by all of us, but especially black Americans, because of the unresolved conflicts resulting from our history of slavery.

Read and recommended by Geoff Sanders.

Not "A Nation of Immigrants": Settler Colonialism, White Supremacy, and a History of Erasure and Exclusion

By: Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

A distressing, unvarnished examination of settler colonialism in the United States, the conquest and removal of indigenous people and appropriation of their lands, and the roles of white supremacy and racism from the country's founding to the present.

Read and recommended by Geoff Sanders.

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents

By: Isabel Wilkerson

An excellent description of the American racial caste system and it’s numerous similarities to the Hindu and nazi caste systems. Wilkerson explains how racism is an inevitable byproduct of maintaining a racial caste system.

Read and recommended by Geoff Sanders.

The Granddaughter Necklace

By: Sharon Dennis Wyeth

There are moments in each person's life that we take great care to remember: the pride of a young girl standing up for herself for the first time; the heartbreak of leaving one's country and family for a new beginning; the thrill of getting ready for the piano recital of a lifetime.In Sharon Dennis Wyeth's family these moments were marked with the passing on of the Granddaughter Necklace: not a fancy piece of jewelry, but a precious one, worn smooth by the touch of mothers and grandmothers, each with her own story to tell. With a historical sweep that reaches back to Ireland and to Africa, and an intimacy that resides in every family's treasured stories, Wyeth tells the tale of one family's journey from the old world to the new, from the past to the present, and from mother to daughter.Here's a book that we feel will be passed on from generation to generation too, read in laps and in groups, opening conversations about our own necklaces of memory.

Read and recommended by Jenn Boepple.

Julián Is a Mermaid

By: Jessica Love

In an exuberant picture book, a glimpse of costumed mermaids leaves one boy flooded with wonder and ready to dazzle the world.
While riding the subway home from the pool with his abuela one day, Julián notices three women spectacularly dressed up. Their hair billows in brilliant hues, their dresses end in fishtails, and their joy fills the train car. When Julián gets home, daydreaming of the magic he's seen, all he can think about is dressing up just like the ladies in his own fabulous mermaid costume: a butter-yellow curtain for his tail, the fronds of a potted fern for his headdress. But what will Abuela think about the mess he makes -- and even more importantly, what will she think about how Julián sees himself? Mesmerizing and full of heart, Jessica Love's author-illustrator debut is a jubilant picture of self-love and a radiant celebration of individuality.

Read and recommended by Jenn Boepple.

The Good Egg

By: Jory John

A #1 New York Times bestseller!

An Amazon Best Books of the Year 2019 selection!

From the bestselling creators of The Bad Seed, a timely story about not having to be Grade A perfect!

Meet the good egg. He's a verrrrrry good egg indeed.

But trying to be so good is hard when everyone else is plain ol' rotten.

As the other eggs in the dozen behave badly, the good egg starts to crack from all the pressure of feeling like he has to be perfect.

So, he decides enough is enough! It's time for him to make a change...

Dynamic duo Jory John and Pete Oswald hatch a funny and charming story that reminds us of the importance of balance, self-care, and accepting those we love (even if they are sometimes a bit rotten).

Perfect for reading aloud and shared story time!

Read and recommended by Jenn Boepple.

After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again)

By: Dan Santat

From the New York Times-bestselling creator of The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend comes the inspiring epilogue to the beloved classic nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty.

Everyone knows that when Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. But what happened after?
Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat's poignant tale follows Humpty Dumpty, an avid bird watcher whose favorite place to be is high up on the city wall--that is, until after his famous fall. Now terrified of heights, Humpty can longer do many of the things he loves most.
Will he summon the courage to face his fear?
After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again) is a masterful picture book that will remind readers of all ages that Life begins when you get back up.

Read and recommended by Jenn Boepple.

I Am Jazz

By: Jazz Jennings & Jessica Herthel

The story of a transgender child based on the real-life experience of Jazz Jennings, who has become a spokesperson for transkids everywhere
This is an essential tool for parents and teachers to share with children whether those kids identify as trans or not. I wish I had had a book like this when I was a kid struggling with gender identity questions. I found it deeply moving in its simplicity and honesty.--Laverne Cox (who plays Sophia in "Orange Is the New Black")
From the time she was two years old, Jazz knew that she had a girl's brain in a boy's body. She loved pink and dressing up as a mermaid and didn't feel like herself in boys' clothing. This confused her family, until they took her to a doctor who said that Jazz was transgender and that she was born that way. Jazz's story is based on her real-life experience and she tells it in a simple, clear way that will be appreciated by picture book readers, their parents, and teachers.

Read and recommended by Jenn Boepple.

Sewing the Rainbow: A Story about Gilbert Baker

By: Gayle E. Pitman

Gilbert Baker always knew he wanted a life full of color and sparkle. In his small, gray, flat Kansas hometown, he helped his grandma sew and created his own art whenever he could. It wasn't easy; life tried over and over again to make Gilbert conform. But his sparkle always shone through. He dreamed of someday going somewhere as vibrant and colorful as he was.
Set against the backdrop of San Francisco during the gay rights movement of the 1970s, Gilbert's story unfolds just like the flag he created: in a riot of color, joy, and pride. Today the flag is everywhere, even in the small town where Gilbert grew up!
Includes a Reader Note that provides more in-depth discussion of the beginnings of the gay rights movement and a more detailed look into Gilbert Baker's place in our shared history.

Read and recommended by Jenn Boepple.

The Colors of Us

By: Karen Katz

A positive and affirming look at skin color, from an artist's perspective.

Seven-year-old Lena is going to paint a picture of herself. She wants to use brown paint for her skin. But when she and her mother take a walk through the neighborhood, Lena learns that brown comes in many different shades.
Through the eyes of a little girl who begins to see her familiar world in a new way, this book celebrates the differences and similarities that connect all people.
Karen Katz created The Colors of Us for her daughter, Lena, whom she and her husband adopted from Guatemala six years ago.

Read and recommended by Jenn Boepple.

Thank You, Omu!

By: Oge Mora

In this remarkable author-illustrator debut that's perfect for fans of Last Stop on Market Street and Extra Yarn, a generous woman is rewarded by her community.
Everyone in the neighborhood dreams of a taste of Omu's delicious stew One by one, they follow their noses toward the scrumptious scent. And one by one, Omu offers a portion of her meal. Soon the pot is empty. Has she been so generous that she has nothing left for herself?
Debut author-illustrator Oge Mora brings to life a heartwarming story of sharing and community in colorful cut-paper designs as luscious as Omu's stew, with an extra serving of love. An author's note explains that Omu (pronounced AH-moo) means queen in the Igbo language of her parents, but growing up, she used it to mean Grandma. This book was inspired by the strong female role models in Oge Mora's life.

Read and recommended by Jenn Boepple.

What Happened to You?

By: James Catchpole

Imagine you were asked the same question again and again throughout your life…Imagine if it was a question that didn't bring about the happiest of memories…This is the experience of one-legged Joe, a child who just wants to have fun in the playground...Constantly seen first for his disability, Joe is fed up of only ever being asked about his leg. All he wants to do is play Pirates. But as usual, one after the other, all the children ask him the same question they always ask, "What happened to you?" Understandably Joe gets increasingly angry! Until finally the penny drops and the children realize that it's a question Joe just doesn't want to answer…and that Joe is playing a rather good game…one that they can join in with if they can stop fixating on his missing leg…Because children are children, after all.
Based on experiences the disabled author had as a young child, WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU? genuinely reflects a disabled child's perspective for both disabled & able-bodied readers.

Read and recommended by Jenn Boepple.

The Bare Naked Book

By: Kathy Stinson

Bodies, bodies! Big and small, short and tall, young and old--Every BODY is different!

The Bare Naked Book has been a beloved fixture in libraries, classrooms, and at-home story times since its original publication in 1986. Now, this revised edition is ready to meet a new generation of readers.

The text has been updated to reflect current understandings of gender and inclusion, which are also
showcased in the brand-new, vibrant illustrations by Melissa Cho.

Featuring a note from the author explaining the history of the book and the importance of this updated edition, readers will delight in this celebration of all kinds of bodies.

This book is incredibly body and gender inclusive!

Read and recommended by Jenn Boepple.

Seeds of A Spirited Life

By: Meg Barnhouse

Interesting autobiography by humorous, thoughtful and engaging minister, songwriter, performer and author.

Read and recommended by Geoff Sanders.

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