Soul Searching

Susan Isaacs
Isaacs reached bottom at age 40: no job, no boyfriend, no home. Of course, she blamed God. So off they went to counseling with the ever-patient therapist Rudy. (from Publishers Weekly)
Jeff Sharlet and Peter Manseau
Collects ambivalent confessions, skeptical testimonies, and accounts of faith lost and found and lost again from Americans who have floundered in their search for an authentic spiritual life. (summary)
Anne Rice
An intimate memoir of (her)Catholic girlhood, her unmaking as a devout believer, and her return to the Church...and about how, after 38 years as an atheist, she once again came to believe in Christ. (from summary)
Mary Beth Chapman
From the beginning, Mary Beth Chapman's life was not how she planned. All she wanted was a calm, peaceful life of stability and control. Instead, God gave her an award-winning singer/songwriter husband, crazy schedules, and a houseful of creatively rambunctious children. (from summary)
Dani Shapiro
Set adrift by loss...(Shaprio) had become edgy and uncertain. At the heart of this anxiety, she realized, was a challenge: What did she believe? Spurred on by the big questions...(she) embarked upon a surprisingly joyful quest to find meaning in a constantly changing world. (from summary)
John Kaisch
Where do you go when the water rises? For more than twenty years, John Kasich has sought the answer to this question and many of life’s most fundamental challenges in an unlikely place: his twice-a-month lunches with an irreverent, thoughtful, and spirited circle of guys who are members of a Bible study group.
Sharon Salzberg
Like the great teachers of Buddhism, Salzberg relies on her stories to make the teachings relevant...Through her insights, we come to understand faith as a verb. Faith means never giving up on the possibilities of each moment, always seeing "our own potential for happiness, for vibrant wisdom and sustained compassion--a potential that all beings share." (from
Anne Lamott
With gentle wisdom refining her signature humor, Lamott explores helpfulness, decency, love and especially forgiveness. (from Publishers Weekly)
Kimberly Snow
Kimberley Snow offers an outrageously funny and honest account of her adventures as head cook at a Tibetan Buddhist retreat center...We come away from our visit to this exotic realm having found it both extraordinary and surprisingly familiar. The neuroses, obsessions, and petty concerns exposed by Snow...prove to be grist for the mill for discovering the grace inherent in life just as it is. (book description)
William Lobdell
(His) journey of faith – and doubt – is a book about life's deepest questions that speaks to everyone...the longings and satisfactions of the faithful, as well as the unrelenting power of doubt. How he faced that power, and wrestled with it, is must reading for people of faith and nonbelievers alike. (from summary)
Julian Barnes
a memoir on mortality that touches on faith and science and family as well as a rich array of exemplary figures who over the centuries have confronted the same questions he now poses about the most basic fact of life: its inevitable extinction. (from summary)
Jane Goodall
As a young woman, Jane Goodall was best known for her groundbreaking fieldwork with the chimpanzees of Gombe, Africa. ...(S)he continues to break the mold of scientist by revealing how her research and worldwide conservation institutes spring from her childhood callings and adult spiritual convictions. (from
Jessica Maxwell
Filled with far-flung settings, polished prose, and...often humorous experiences, (this book)will resonate with seekers and cynics, nature lovers and travel enthusiasts, and readers from all walks of life. (from summary)
Jon Katz

Jon Katz couldn't afford a country house...his career looked like it was going off track; and his daughter was about to leave home for college...So, against all rational impulses, he bought (a) cabin and used it as a summer retreat. He read Thomas Merton...whose central concerns Katz summarizes as well as anyone has: Merton was obsessed with a central issue for our time -- figuring out how to live, trying to forge a life of balance, purpose and meaning. (from

Nevada Barr
"I went to the priest and asked him if it would be okay [to be confirmed in the church] considering I didn't accept Jesus Christ as my personal savior, didn't believe the Bible was divinely inspired and wasn't entirely sure about the whole God thing. Fortunately Father Andrew had been tending his flock long enough to recognize a lost lamb when one came bleating into his office and put no obstacles in my way." (author quote)
Mary Pipher
The woman with only two speeds – on and off – had never learned to pace herself, and instead excoriated herself for failings real and imagined. Only after her inability to disappoint others became a disaster, and she felt both totally naked and utterly hidden, could she take a first step toward self-reclamation: simplify. (from BookList)
Karen Armstrong
Only a remarkable life course could transform a devout nun into a sophisticated iconoclast. Armstrong...recounts precisely such a journey with an unflinching honesty that exposes unanticipated ironies in her personal metamorphosis. (from Booklist)