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By Sue Monk Kidd
In her mesmerizing fourth work of fiction, Sue Monk Kidd takes an audacious approach to history and brings her acclaimed narrative gifts to imagine the story of a young woman named Ana. Raised in a wealthy family with ties to the ruler of Galilee, she is rebellious and ambitious, with a brilliant mind and a daring spirit. She engages in furtive scholarly pursuits and writes narratives about neglected and silenced women. Ana is expected to marry an older widower, a prospect that horrifies her. An encounter with eighteen-year-old Jesus changes everything. Their marriage evolves with love and conflict, humor and pathos in Nazareth, where Ana makes a home with Jesus, his brothers, and their mother, Mary. Ana’s pent-up longings intensify amid the turbulent resistance to Rome’s occupation of Israel, partially led by her brother, Judas. She is sustained by her fearless aunt Yaltha, who harbors a compelling secret. When Ana commits a brazen act that puts her in peril, she flees to Alexandria, where startling revelations and greater dangers unfold, and she finds refuge in unexpected surroundings. Ana determines her fate during a stunning convergence of events considered among the most impactful in human history. Grounded in meticulous research and written with a reverential approach to Jesus’s life that focuses on his humanity, The Book of Longings is an inspiring, unforgettable account of one woman’s bold struggle to realize the passion and potential inside her, while living in a time, place and culture devised to silence her. It is a triumph of storytelling both timely and timeless, from a masterful writer at the height of her powers.
By Lee Wolfe Blum
In a culture that bombards women with “thinspiration” messages and pressure to “do it all” while wearing the mask of perfection, women are left feeling alone and overwhelmed. How can they stop comparing themselves to others? How can they live out who they really are?Lee Wolfe Blum offers stories from everyday women who have answered these questions with their lives–and found true beauty in the process. In Brave Is the New Beautiful, Blum weaves reflections from her own journey with inspirational stories from everyday women who chose to take off their masks and live authentically. Through call-to-action questions and ideas, she encourages readers to be brave enough to be who they really are and the beloved that God knows they are.
By Jonathan Fader
Why do sports captivate people? They allow us to watch human beings achieve peak performance, but, beyond physical strength and skill, what’s really impressive is an athlete’s mental prowess–their will to succeed, engagement with their environment, and self-confidence. In Life as Sport, sport psychologist Dr. Jonathan Fader shares the skills that he teaches professional athletes–to enhance motivation, set productive goals, sharpen routines, manage stress, and clarify thought processes–and applies them to real-world situations. Dr. Fader’s book is the product of thousands of hours of conversations with athletes from various teams and sports: power forwards, tennis phenoms, power-hitting outfielders, and battle-scarred linebackers, as well as hedge-fund managers, entrepreneurs, A-list actors, and dozens of other elite achievers in sports, business, and performing arts. It offers a compendium of stories, theories, and techniques that have been helpful to players, coaches, and executives in professional sports. What emerges is more than just a set of techniques, but a life philosophy that anyone can live by: an internal code to help translate our talent and drive toward the highest plateaus of performance. Dr. Fader designs his strategies to be studied, learned, practiced, and improved. He offers his readers the same exercises that he uses in every session with a professional athlete. These exercises help you to get truly engaged, whether you are designing a new business plan, working to inspire a team or individual, or even falling in love. This is what it means to truly live life as sport–to approach it with the same immediacy, wonder, and engagement that athletes feel at their peak during a game. Life as Sport helps you to pursue your own goals with an enriched intensity–not only because it creates new potential, but also because it helps you unlock what was always there to begin with.