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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

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.


A Promised Land
By: Barack Obama

“A riveting, deeply personal account of history in the making—from the president who inspired us to believe in the power of democracy.”

Read and recommended by Geoff Sanders.


An Elite Dragon Story
By: Aurora Ackley

An Elite Dragon Story is a beautiful science fiction/fantasy story about Destiny the hero of the story. We follow him from birth as he matures learning many lessons in his training to be a full fledged, fire breathing adult dragon. He faces attackers, betrayers, loss and love. Ms. Ackley draws you into his adventures and the characters he meets with her drawings. This is the first in a trilogy. From beginning (Hajimari) to end (Owari) this book is a delight. Choose Change Publishing, the publisher, will contribute their part of the profit to Tapestry.


Stillpoint: A Self-Care Playbook for Caregivers to Find Ease, and Time to Breathe, and Reclaim Joy
By: Sheila K. Collins & Christine Gautreaux

Being a caregiver is a hazardous occupation, whether it’s a chosen helping profession or a family responsibility that’s chosen you. 43.5 million American adults, (17% of the workforce) are caring for another ill or disabled adult and these caregivers are at risk for more serious health problems in comparison with people who don’t have such responsibilities. Research continues to document the frequency of “burnout” and “compassion fatigue” for persons in the helping professions while self-care continues to be all but neglected in the professional programs that train them.

Read and recommended by Ann-Marie Kennedy.


Little Blue Truck
By: Alice Schertle

"Neigh!" said a horse. "Quack!" said a duck. "Beep!" said the friendly Little Blue Truck. Little Blue Truck is a joyful cacophony of animal and truck sounds that will have youngsters beeping and quacking—and begging for one more go-round! Along the way, readers see that it pays to be kind to our animal friends . . . if we show a friendly respect to others, we’re more likely to get help when we’re, say, stuck in the muck in a truck. Jill McElmurry’s gouache illustrations of wild-eyed farm animals and country roads are warm and wonderful, suiting the cheerfully rhyming text to a T. Beep!

Read and recommended by Jenn Boepple.


Jabari Jumps
By: Gaia Cornwall

Working up the courage to take a big, important leap is hard, but Jabari is almost absolutely ready to make a giant splash. Jabari is definitely ready to jump off the diving board. He’s finished his swimming lessons and passed his swim test, and he’s a great jumper, so he’s not scared at all. “Looks easy,” says Jabari, watching the other kids take their turns. But when his dad squeezes his hand, Jabari squeezes back. He needs to figure out what kind of special jump to do anyway, and he should probably do some stretches before climbing up onto the diving board. In a sweetly appealing tale of overcoming your fears, newcomer Gaia Cornwall captures a moment between a patient and encouraging father and a determined little boy you can’t help but root for.

Read and recommended by Jenn Boepple.


Strictly No Elephants
By: Lisa Mantchev

In this bestselling and internationally beloved picture book, the local Pet Club won’t admit a boy’s tiny pet elephant, so he finds a solution—one that involves all kinds of unusual animals. Today is Pet Club day. There will be cats and dogs and fish, but strictly no elephants are allowed. The Pet Club doesn’t understand that pets come in all shapes and sizes, just like friends. Now it is time for a boy and his tiny pet elephant to show them what it means to be a true friend. Strictly No Elephants has been sold around the world and is heralded as a pitch-perfect book about inclusion. Imaginative and lyrical, this sweet story captures the magic of friendship and the joy of having a pet.

Read and recommended by Jenn Boepple.


It Feels Good to Be Yourself: A Book About Gender Identity
By: Theresa Thorn

A picture book that introduces the concept of gender identity to the youngest reader from writer Theresa Thorn and illustrator Noah Grigni. Some people are boys. Some people are girls. Some people are both, neither, or somewhere in between. This sweet, straightforward exploration of gender identity will give children a fuller understanding of themselves and others. With child-friendly language and vibrant art, It Feels Good to Be Yourself provides young readers and parents alike with the vocabulary to discuss this important topic with sensitivity.

Read and recommended by Jenn Boepple.


Deacon King Kong: A Novel
By: James McBride

Deacon King Kong tells the story of a cranky old church deacon in Brooklyn in the 1960s who kills a drug dealer and the people that witness it. The author does a superb job of describing many people in the Causeway Housing Project, their daily lives and interactions with one another. The author, McBride, won National Humanities Medal by President Obama for "humanizing the complexities of race in America" and is on Oprah Winfrey's Book Club list.

Read and recommended by Debra Robison.


Living Beautifully
By: Pema Chodron

We live in difficult times. Life sometimes seems like a roiling and turbulent river threatening to drown us and destroy the world. Why, then, shouldn’t we cling to the certainty of the shore—to our familiar patterns and habits? Because, Pema Chodron teaches, that kind of fear-based clinging keeps us from the infinitely more satisfying experience of being fully alive. The teachings she presents here—known as the “Three Commitments”—provide a wealth of wisdom for learning to step right into the river: to be completely, fearlessly present even in the hardest times, the most difficult situations. When we learn to let go of our protective patterns and do that, we begin to see not only how much better it feels to live that way, but, as a wonderful side effect, we find that we begin to naturally and effectively reach out to others in care and support.

Read and recommended by Jenn Boepple.


The Hundred Years' War on Palestine: A History of Settler Colonialism and Resistance, 1917–2017
By: Rashid Khalid

A landmark history of one hundred years of war waged against the Palestinians from the foremost US historian of the Middle East, told through pivotal events and family history.

Read and recommended by Geoff Sanders.


How the South Won the Civil War: Oligarchy, Democracy, and the Continuing Fight for the Soul of Amer
By: Heather Cox Richardson

“A thought-provoking study of the centuries-spanning battle between oligarchy and equality in America,” and “A powerful case for viewing the unfinished Civil War as a Confederate victory after all.” - KirkusReviews.com

Read and recommended by Geoff Sanders.


Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone
By: Brené Brown

"True belonging requires us to believe in and belong to ourselves so fully that we can find sacredness in both being a part of something, and standing alone when necessary. But in a culture that’s rife with perfectionism and pleasing, and with the erosion of civility, it’s easy to stay quiet, hide in our ideological bunkers, or fit in rather than show up as our true selves and brave the wilderness of uncertainty and criticism."

Read and recommended by Karin Gates and Geoff Sanders.


The Selfish Ape: Human Nature and Our Path to Extinction
By: Nicholas P. Money

"Weaving together stories of science and sociology, The Selfish Ape offers a refreshing response to common fantasies about the ascent of humanity. Rather than imagining modern humans as a species with godlike powers, or Homo deus, Nicholas P. Money recasts us as Homo narcissus—paragons of self-absorption."

Read and recommended by Geoff Sanders.


Stoking the Fire of Democracy: Our Generation's Introduction to Grassroots Organizing
By: Stephen N. Smith

"Although it is written by a young adult and for the young adult population, it is a how-to book for any "could-be radical" who is new to community organizing." - Helen Sherwood

Read and recommended by Geoff Sanders.


The Water Dancer
By: Ta-Nehisi Coates

"#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB PICK • From the National Book Award–winning author of Between the World and Me, a boldly conjured debut novel about a magical gift, a devastating loss, and an underground war for freedom."

Read and recommended by Geoff Sanders.


Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, & the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth
By: Rachel Maddow

"Blowout is a call to contain the lion: to stop subsidizing the wealthiest businesses on earth, to fight for transparency, and to check the influence of the world’s most destructive industry and its enablers. The stakes have never been higher. As Maddow writes, “Democracy either wins this one or disappears.”

Read and recommended by Geoff Sanders.


The Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience
By: Hillary and Chelsea Clinton

Hillary Rodham Clinton and her daughter, Chelsea, share the stories of the gutsy women who have inspired them—women with the courage to stand up to the status quo, ask hard questions, and get the job done.


On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal
By: Naomi Klein

'A Goddamn Terrifying Time to Be Alive': Naomi Klein Explains Why a Global Green New Deal Comes First and Being Hopeful Comes After. "What is terrifying is the intersection of these two different kinds of fires," said Klein. "That the literal fires of the climate crisis and the political fires of this barbaric worldview that is not so gradually preparing people for a world in which millions are left to die." "For me, the climate crisis has never just been about things getting hotter and wetter. It's about the intersection of that extreme weather with the barbarism of white supremacy and supremacist ideologies of all kinds, including Hindu supremacy in India, and what it looks like when those forces intersect."

Read and recommended by Geoff Sanders.


An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States
By: Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

"The first history of the United States told from the perspective of indigenous peoples."

Read and recommended by Geoff Sanders.


We Were the Lucky Ones
By: Georgia Hunter

Inspired by the incredible true story of one Jewish family separated at the start of World War II, determined to survive—and to reunite—We Were the Lucky Ones is a tribute to the triumph of hope and love against all odds. This book is available for loan by emailing librarian@uutapestry.org.

Read and recommended by Rita Cusack.


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.


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, Geoff Sanders and Jenn Boepple.


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 and Geoff Sanders.


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 and Geoff Sanders.


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.

Read and recommended by Jenn Boepple.


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.