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Author Interviews

Every month or so our bookstore co-manager Lucy Duncan sends out a chatty email highlighting interesting books and providing a limited-time-only discount. Links to interviews with authors and book guides are also featured in these emails.

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Books from the Latest Interview

by Joe Paluck brent bill

We received J. Brent Bill’s newest publication, Awaken Your Senses, at QuakerBooks a few months ago and were impressed by the engaging yet simple sensory-oriented exercises within. As the book goes into a second printing to meet continuing reader demand, we jumped at the chance to interview Brent about the process behind creating this spiritual guide with co-author Beth Booram and about his own personal methods for keeping in touch with the Divine.

Brent, a recorded minister in the Religious Society of Friends, lives in Mooresville, Indiana, where he is the executive vice president of the Indianapolis Center for Congregations in Indiana. He has been a local church pastor in Indiana and Ohio, as well as an adjunct professor at Earlham School of Religion in Indiana. He has written numerous books, short stories, and magazine articles. You can check out some of our other favorite publications by J. Brent Bill here: Sacred Compass, A Modest Proposal, and Holy Silence.

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Posted by QuakerBooks on May 8, 2012

By David Kosbob



Angelina ContiI first heard of Quakers United in Publication’s Quaker Youth Book Project back in the spring of 2008 via Facebook. I wasn’t sure exactly what it was, but there was a call for submissions of writing and art by young Quakers from across the theological spectrum. As a young(ish) Friend who’s dabbled in art here and there, it caught my eye. I looked into it a little further and found that a few friends of mine were involved in putting the project together. It seemed they were knee-deep in assembling an anthology attempting to collect young Quaker voices far and wide, from every corner of the Society. It sounded ambitious. I never did end up submitting anything, but I kept the book project on my radar. I thought something interesting might come of it.



Flash-forward two years to the summer of 2010. I’ve just begun interning at FGC QuakerBooks and Spirit Rising: Young Quaker Voices is everywhere. The Book Project’s ambition produced a mammoth volume of art and writing that spoke to a lot of people. I read a little bit and what I took away from it was a sense of the richness and vast depths saturating these young Quaker writers and artists. There was a real expanse to this volume; nothing was left out. It made me reflect on all the different ways people can be Quaker. It also made me think about generations in our faith. Looking back, it was fitting that I first heard about the project through Facebook, such a generational curio. Read more

Posted by QuakerBooks on July 29, 2010

Let Your Life Speak: Listening For The Voice Of Vocation The Courage To Teach - 10th Anniversary Edition: Exploring The Inner Landscape Of A Teacher's Life The Promise Of Paradox: A Celebration Of Contradictions In The Christian Life Meeting For Learning: Education In A Quaker Context

By Chel (Michel) Avery:I reached Parker Palmer by phone at his Wisconsin home after several false starts trying to schedule an interview. He travels much of the time. And I had been inconsistent about my readiness for our conversation. When Angelina at Quakerbooks first asked me to interview Parker Palmer, I was delighted. I had first encountered his voice in the 1980's, when a colleague recommended To Know As We Are Known (Harper), one of his early books that spoke to my interest in how to create meaningful learning environments for adults. Later, when I worked at Pendle Hill and when I became involved with Quaker schools, I found that his pamphlet Meeting for Learning (Friends Council on Education) was a classic, frequently-quoted guide among those involved in Friends education. I am always interested in accounts of how people's lives and vocations unfold, and I was quick to read and profit from his own personal story when Let Your Life Speak (Jossey-Bass) was published. So it was with high expectations that I purchased The Courage to Teach (Jossey-Bass) when it came out just over a decade ago. The book was stimulating much discussion among Quaker educators and I looked forward to reading it. Read more

Posted by QuakerBooks on April 12, 2008 | Comments (0)

Margaret Hope BaconBy Angelina Conti: Margaret Hope Bacon is perhaps one of the most prominent living Quaker historians. Her books The Quiet Rebels: The Story of Quakers in America, Mothers of Feminism: Quaker Women in America, and numerous biographies of historic and 20th century Friends like Lucretia Mott, Robert Purvis and Henry Cadbury continue, in some cases even decades after first being published, to be definitive resources for Quakers and non-Quakers alike. Drawing upon a lifetime of activism, much of her work as an historian, journalist and fiction writer explores the historic and contemporary role of Quakers in movements for women’s rights and racial justice, including the dialogue and common causes between those movements. Some of her most recent books include But One Race: The Life of Robert Purvis, about the African American abolitionist and orator, and Sarah Mapps Douglass, Faithful Attender of Quaker Meeting, a biography of the first known African American Friend to leave behind a journal and correspondence. Read more

Posted by QuakerBooks on January 11, 2008

By Angelina Conti: When I interviewed Cathy Whitmire from her home in the Puget Sound, the offices of Friends General Conference in Philadelphia were well into the throes of a major renovation. The sounds of band saws and drills, and the coming and going of workmen and equipment, swirled around me while I strained to hear her clear, calm voice through the phone. While our conversation about faithfulness and leadings unfolded, it struck me that speaking with her was much like reading her books: finding nourishment and calm amidst chaos, and a way to hear the clear voice of Friends amid the din of a less than ideal (albeit potentially transformative) situation. Like many Quaker authors, Cathy Whitmire articulates her inspiration to produce books as a leading and as written ministry. While her first book, Plain Living, gathered writing from Friends on simplicity in many aspects of life, the newly released Practicing Peace focuses on Friends’ peace testimony, nonviolence and peace making. Both books are intended firstly for non-Quakers, though they offer a lot to Friends as well. What is most amazing about Cathy Whitmire’s work, especially considering not only the beauty and power of her books but also their success, is that she doesn’t like to write and does not identify as a writer. Identifying instead as an author, “someone who knows they have something to say,” her work is an example of the transformation that can occur when we follow leadings to do things we find difficult or think of as being outside our abilities. Read more

Posted by QuakerBooks on April 9, 2007 | Comments (1)

By Angelina Conti: I confess to struggling with several of the classic texts that offer an introduction to Quakerism. Sometimes it is length but more often it is the sheer volume of information surrounding Friends, who are a writerly and relatively well documented people. As a convinced Friend I do not have a grounding in First Day school lessons (a phenomenon not necessarily unique to convinced Friends), and it is sometimes difficult to find my bearings in the intricacies of history and faith. I was drawn to Michael Birkel’s Silence and Witness (Orbis) largely because of its intended audience. Published by a Maryknoll press and written for Christian and non-Christian readers (including Episcopalian mother-in-laws, as I advised one co-worker), Birkel encapsulates those aspects of faith that make Friends unique, and offers an introduction to Quakerism as it lives today. It is not a definitive text, but it is not supposed to be. In a style that he repeats throughout his books, and which is the mark of a gifted educator, Michael Birkel throws open the doors of knowledge for the reader in a way that encourages further inquiry and exploration. Read more

Posted by QuakerBooks on September 25, 2006 | Comments (0)

New Books

1-907123-68-7

Open For Transformation
Ben Pink Dandelion

Blessing Love, A Widows Story
Judy Brutz

Soldiers Girls
Helen Thorpe

A Sustainable Life
Douglas Gwyn

Blessed
Ellen Michaud