from Graham Garner
March seems to have been a slow month for new books, but that is an opportunity for some special titles to stand out.
My colleague Chel is especially excited about The Snake Fence, a young adult novel about a young Quaker living in rural Pennsylvania during the French and Indian Wars. This adventure story (published by our own QuakerBridge Media), depicts the dilemmas that Quakers struggled with during a time when their principles, the goals and needs of other settlers, and the needs and livelihood native people clashed, creating difficult dilemmas for characters such as Noble Butler, who is confronted with hard choices as well as opportunities to help. Author Janet Olshewsky did much historical research to produce this work, but it is a lively story nonetheless!
Also new is Daniel Hunter’s Strategy and Soul. The author is one of Philadlephia’s grass root activists working to stop the “casinoization” of the city. It is an unusually honest and self-reflective look back at a so-far successful campaign, in which the opposition is counting their potential profits in billions.
On the other end of the spectrum, our most popular Bible commentaries are the New Collegeville series, and now you can get all the New Testament commentaries collected in a single volume. Respected biblical scholars writing in accessible language offer readers an opportunity to engage more fully with the meanings and nuances of scripture. The New Collegeville Bible Commentary: New Testament is available for $29.95.
Our bestselling author for the last few years has been Rex Ambler, a British Friend well known for introducing the meditative practice “Experiment with Light.” He has just published a new book, The Quaker Way: A Rediscovery, which is an overview of why Quakers do what they do and the deeper meanings behind Quaker practices. The separate chapters of this book (on such subjects as decision making and living faithfully) are based on a series of talks for the general public, so each section is designed to stand alone and to explain Quakers to people who do not already know much about us.
We also have a few books that are not themselves new, but they are newly remaindered, so we can offer them at exciting new low prices.
The Beautiful Soul of John Woolman by Thomas Slaughter is a real Quaker classic on the life of a very influential and inspiring Friend—a compelling poetic biography. We have managed to buy a small run of unmarked publishers remainders to sell for $10 (was $22).
From the same source comes a book about Maria Mitchell, the famous Quaker astronomer of the mid-nineteenth century. Maria Mitchell and the Sexing of Science: An Astronomer among the American Romantics by Renee Bergland is just $10 (was $29.95).
Captain Paul Cuffe's Logs and Letters, 1808-1817: A Black Quaker's "Voice from within the Veil, edited by Rosalind Wiggins, is a treasure. Preserving Cuffe’s self-taught writing voice, together with detailed explanations of events, places, and people, Wiggins shows the remarkable but ultimately unsuccessful efforts of this early black Quaker and ship owner to undercut the slave trade and establish a trading cooperative in Sierra Leone. A good quality, unmarked hardcover book for $6.00 (was $35!).
Lastly, Revelations, a book by Elaine Pagels on that weird New Testament document, is now available in paperback. Fascinating reading!