We’re Sparking Creativity from Childhood through Old Age
Our peacemakers also guide us in coping with tragedy and loss
Whew! What a year!
Where’s the good news in a year with so many anxieties and conflicts?
Well, the team at our publishing house is celebrating that Americans now are reading more books than ever before! In fact, our collective reading time has been rising for more than a year—mainly because we have more time at home, these days, and people are searching for inspiration in books.
In its latest report on nationwide book-buying trends, Publishers Weekly reports:
Gains in all categories led to an 11.7% increase in unit sales of print books in the week ended Nov. 13, 2021, over the comparable week in 2020. It was the second consecutive week of double-digit sales increases.
These ongoing reports of an increasing interest in reading over the past year have astonished publishers. People actually are taking more time to read! Yes, on an occasional week during this long period the book-sales numbers have dipped, but overall the trend toward more reading keeps rising.
Then, here’s the question for all of us who care about both reading and peacemaking: How can we encourage people to read books that will help build healthier lives, healthier families and healthier communities?
That’s where you can play a powerful role!
You can encourage inspiring, creative, hopeful reading by buying these good books, reading them yourself and giving these books to your friends and loved ones, as well.
A Half Dozen Gems for Your Holiday Gift List
In her heart-felt memoir, Mindy Corporon invites readers to join her search for inspiration and hope after domestic terrorism took the lives of her father and son. Headlines about the attack circled the world. Now, Mindy takes readers inside her family’s struggle, the support of their faith community and her commitment to courageous kindness.
Of course, we all are sad to say: The kind of violence that shattered Mindy’s family remains an all-too-common occurrence. As 2021 draws to a close, again the nation is reeling from a mass-shooting in a high school. That’s why Mindy’s story—focused on those experiences that brought hope and healing to her family in the aftermath—is so valuable.
A popular speaker, teacher and writer, Mindy has dedicated her life to encouraging kindness, faith and healing in congregations, companies and communities. Among the programs she has co-founded with this vision are the Faith Always Wins Foundation and Workplace Healing, LLC.
The emphasis on healing, which is right there in the first word of the title, is the core of this book’s power to inspire readers and spark fresh engagement in our communities.
Mindy explains that she wrote this book “for those who are seeking inspiration; for those who are searching for a glimmer of hope and faith; and for those in need of necessary, supportive relationships, even in the hardest times”
She has traveled widely to lead workshops and speak at conferences—and also works with online events. Right now, please consider joining the thousands of men and women nationwide who have found hope and inspiration in Mindy’s podcasts that have featured conversations with a host of wonderful guests from across the country. You’ll likely find a few of those 45 podcasts that you’ll want to enjoy this week.
In his Foreword to Mindy’s book, best-selling author and pastor the Rev. Adam Hamilton writes, “Mindy Corporon’s story helps us understand how one survives tragedy, and says to the reader, ‘If Mindy can survive this, and can do what she has done, then surely I can survive the adversity I face and can bring something good from it.’ “
The book’s Preface is a heart-felt appeal to readers from another mother who suffered a tragic loss to domestic terrorism in recent years. Susan Bro is the mother of Heather Heyer, killed in Charlottesville, Virginia. In her Preface, Susan writes, “Mothers lose their children to violence every day, and yet many have no time to grieve and receive little to no public support or attention. We must hold space in our hearts and minds for them as we continue to overcome hate with love. People say, ‘Love always wins.’ I say that is true when we practice that love in meaningful ways that make a difference. I see Mindy Corporon as one of those mothers doing exactly that. We never want other mothers to experience the pain and loss of losing a loved one, especially a child, to hate. I am honored to call Mindy Corporon my friend. Her book offers hope in a time of pain, pointing the way forward with faith and love. Read it and be encouraged to find your own way forward through pain and loss.”
What Belongs to God: Reflections of a Conscientious Objector by David Edwards
In inviting readers to recommit themselves to peacemaking, Edwards draws on a lifetime of commitment to this calling. During the Vietnam War, he took that calling so seriously that he served as a conscientious objector (CO) performing alternative service in a children’s hospital. In this memoir, he invites us to share his spiritual journey and rediscover the hope of peace in our world. At its best, he writes, religion calls us to build peaceful communities with all who share our planet.
In What Belongs To God, David explains the core values he believes can be found in Jewish and Christian scriptures and that should move us toward a nonviolent life—and a love that embraces the stranger, including one’s enemy. When we adopt this sacred vision, we realize that living peaceably is our nature as God’s children.
David shares his own story as a conscientious objector, how his decision developed, his experience of civilian alternative service in a hospital for children, and his life and work as a pastor and conscientious objector. He explores the core scriptural teachings that have formed his life, beliefs and actions as a conscientious objector. He also examines and explains several passages of the Christian New Testament that have been used through the centuries to argue that Jesus justified violence in some circumstances. His wise and thoughtful analysis makes this book a perfect choice for small groups in congregations when people want to talk about war and peace from a biblical perspective. With David as a guide, readers will find lots of questions to discuss with friends.
Want to talk about these important themes with friends? David’s memoir comes with a complete study guide in the book’s closing pages.
Traces of God Ministries is a nonprofit spiritual formation center Ken founded after his retirement from 40 years of service to American Baptist Churches (ABC/USA). You can explore the many Traces of God resources, columns and inspiring ideas at the group’s website.
In his book, the Big Question Ken asks is: How can people of faith foster love and resilience in our children while building sustainable, diverse communities? Through wisdom he has gleaned from scientists, scholars and lots of real families, Ken shows how God’s love is a hopeful compass in our lives. He encourages enjoying stories, songs and explorations of the natural world with children.
The moment you open this book—wherever you start reading—you will find dozens of ways to involve family and friends. Ken designed the book that way. He has years of experience working with multi-generational groups, so his ideas are time-tested in helping family and friends find fun and faithful ways to build hopeful communities. The cover of his book illustrates a central story he shares about the wonderment families discover when they look up into the starry night sky with their children.
“Ken Whitt offers care to weary souls in this book. It is not just his words but the spirit that manifests through the words. Ken says that love is at the heart of reality and love is what he gently breathes on us here,” Christian ethicist David Gushee, author of Changing Our Mind, writes in the book’s Foreword.
“As you read this wise and joyful book, I know you will feel both instructed and delighted, and you will agree that your life has been enriched by adopting Ken Whitt as a literary pastor, mentor and friend,” Brian McLaren, best-selling author of more than 20 books, writes in the Preface.
Now more than ever, readers tell us they want help in finding practical next steps. This book is so practical that it closes with “100 Things Families Can Do To Find Hope and Be Love.”
As our nation prepared this year to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, we published William Tammeus’ book, Love Loss and Endurance. In his memoir, Tammeus takes us from the dramatic story of that day into the ongoing legacy of that world-changing trauma.
On the day that al-Qaeda terrorists murdered almost 3,000 people in 2001, Bill Tammeus was an editorial page columnist for the Kansas City Star newspaper. He was finishing up an article about the bombings when he learned that his 31-year-old nephew Karleton was a passenger on the first plane that crashed into the World Trade Center.
Love, Loss and Endurance isn’t a history lesson. To put it simply: This is a gripping page turner written by one of America’s top journalists. It’s an invitation to join Bill and his family as they became part of the global community searching for constructive wisdom in the wake of 9/11. Tammeus explores the question of why some people get drawn into monochromatic thinking (religious and otherwise) that can lead to violence. And he suggests steps that each of us can take to counter such savage extremism.
In her Afterword to the book, Mindy Corporon writes: “This book raises many questions about how humans choose to live either in healthy, generative ways or, by contrast, to murder others while, at the same time, losing their own lives. Such profound questions form the landscape of this book and they touch each of us because they are questions we cannot ignore. Bill’s memoir teaches us that the depth of evil can and must be overshadowed with an even deeper love of one another and of life itself.”
This also is a very practical book, because it closes with Tammeus’s advice on steps each of us can take to help “unplug extremism.” Like all of these half-dozen books, this is a great choice for small-group discussions, which is why Tammeus often is invited to speak in congregations nationwide.
December 17, 2021, marks the 40th anniversary of the kidnapping of then Brigadier General James Lee Dozier in Verona, Italy by Red Brigade terrorists. Dozier was held captive for 42 days before being rescued by a special operations team—a news story that made front-page headlines around the world.
At the moment news of his rescue broke, everyone was asking: How did he manage to survive this?
The source of that resilience is the compelling story that unfolds in Finding My Pole Star, an inspiring message as timely today as it was four decades ago.
Major General James Lee Dozier retired from military service after serving 35 years with the U.S. Army and NATO in the United States, Europe and Asia. In his new memoir, Finding My Pole Star, this American hero recalls the traumatic kidnapping, his military leadership career, his civilian life as a successful business executive and his active community volunteerism. He inspires us with the timeless values that have guided his life of duty, honor, country and faith—values that can help each of us as we thrive while facing our own fears.
“This book is a must-read account of a highly accomplished and effective leader in both military and community pursuits,” Rear Admiral A. Scott Logan, U.S. Navy (retired) writes in endorsing the book. “It provides a road map for all individuals who desire to develop and pursue their own life-long Pole Star as their guiding light for an ethical, meaningful and successful life of service to God, community and all mankind.”
“Rock solid integrity and common-sense advice, sprinkled with a sense of humor, define this superb soldier,” writes Brigadier General John “Doc” Bahnsen, U.S. Army (retired).
Among the stories General Dozier tells in this book are his journey from a tiny high school and junior college eventually to the halls of West Point; his service in Vietnam with Col. George S. Patton III, the son of the famous World War II general; his appearance on the front cover of the inspirational magazine Guideposts; and his later-in-life career in agriculture as a citrus grower in Florida.
Through it all, General Dozier tells us, he was guided by his “pole star,” a reference to the ability of mariners since ancient times to navigate using the stars in the heavens to guide them. “As it gave comfort to the mariner, it is also a directional pointer to one’s life and … represents ethics, morality, and religious values and beliefs,” Dozier’s friend and editor Commander Douglas B. Quelch, U.S. Navy (retired) writes in the book’s opening pages.
In his endorsement of Finding My Pole Star, Admiral Logan concludes simply “This is a book for these times!”
Now What?A Guide to the Gifts and Challenges of Aging by a dozen contributing authors
We need fast answers.
In this new book, experts provide practical advice, including how to form a caregiving team, ensure home and online safety, maintain mobility and support independence. The writers also emphasize the gifts of aging, including deepened relationships and new opportunities to give back to our communities. The book is written so that aging individuals, their families and caregivers can read it and find solutions together. The subjects are organized so that readers can open the book anywhere they spot a relevant topic.
“An amazing feature of this volume is its ability to address both caregivers and those in need of support, fellowship and aid to improve quality of life,” writes Robert J. Wicks, the author of many books about resilience. “You will be so much better prepared to live a full life more sagely and enjoyably with less unnecessary worry, and guide others in the process as well.”
Lian Dolan, author, host and Satellite Sister podcaster writes, “What a gift this book is! Now What? is a thorough and thoughtful guide to aging that is a must-read for those who are 65 and beyond or those who are dealing with aging parents or relatives. I wish I’d had Now What? when I was caregiving for my parents. I had so many questions and this book provides so many answers! The information is accessible, well-organized and practical, but also warm and encouraging. A very handy, helpful resource filled with heart.
Care to Order in Quantity?
Are you interested in placing a group order for any of these books? Email us at [email protected]. You could have books for your group discussion within a week or so.
Interested in Talking to Our Authors?
Most of our authors are well known as talented speakers and teachers. They also regularly appear in news media and are guests on podcasts. Are you interested in talking to one of our authors, perhaps to inquire about a personal appearance with your group, community or conference? Contact us.
Looking for a Publisher?
Perhaps this preview of new books inspires you to consider Front Edge Publishing, if you are an author finishing a timely book. Email us at [email protected]