Energizing Books for Spiritual Growth

Jun 26, 2024 2:38:00 PM / by Broadleaf Books


In good times and in bad, our spiritual life can be a huge source of comfort and encouragement. Even more, our faith can help us build deep connections with those around us and guide us to build a world that is inclusive and welcoming of all. These books are overflowing with wisdom and guidance for your journey, offering spiritual enrichment regardless of where you are or may be going. 


Christian Spiritual Encouragement


The Shape of Joy

Richard Beck

Publication date: October 15, 2024

Our joy has a geometry, a shape. We must learn to look outside ourselves to find it. Drawing from positive psychology, Richard Beck explores concepts like gratitude, mindfulness, ego volume, and the small self to provide readers with a road map toward a healthier, happier, and more fulfilling life. 

Also available from Richard Beck is Hunting Magic Eels: Recovering an Enchanted Faith in a Skeptical Age.

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Becoming Spiritually Intelligent

Paul M. Burns

Publication date: August 13, 2024

What is spiritual intelligence? How do you gain it? And what if it looks a lot like love? In Becoming Spiritually Intelligent, Paul M. Burns helps us cultivate spiritual intelligence—the capacity to love God, ourselves, and others—by way of nine paths rooted in attachment theory, Christian formation, and the science of spirituality. Each chapter offers a practice, reflection questions, and a prayer.

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Everything Good about God Is True

Bruce Reyes-Chow

Publication date: March 5, 2024

You know what you don't believe: about the Bible, the church, and God. But what if someone asked: "What do you believe?" In Everything Good about God Is True, Bruce Reyes-Chow helps us consider what it means to choose faith and how to create one's own "faith montage." What if we could articulate the gospel of love, humility, and justice? What if everything good about God is true?

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A Faith of Many Rooms

Debie Thomas

Publication date: March 19. 2024

Disillusioned by narrow theology and constricted dogma, people are leaving Christianity in droves. But Jesus describes the reign of God as a house with many rooms. What if there are nooks and crannies of faith we have yet to explore? In A Faith of Many Rooms, Debie Thomas claims that the space where God dwells is expansive and full of belonging. 

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Thriving on a Riff

William G. Carter

Publication date: April 23, 2024

What does jazz have to do with spirituality? In Thriving on a Riff, Presbyterian minister and jazz pianist Bill Carter traces the meaning and spirituality of jazz, weaving together stories from the history of American music with his own experiences and those of generations of jazz musicians. As we encounter the transcendence of jazz, we meet a God who not only embraces syncopation but blesses the swing.

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Surviving God

Grace Ji-Sun Kim and Susan M. Shaw

Publication date: March 26, 2024

Who is God when we see God through the eyes of survivors? Many books have dealt with sexual abuse scandals in the church and the role of pastoral care for survivors. Others have provided liberatory readings of biblical texts to support survivors of sexual violence. Surviving God takes a new approach, centering the voices of sexual abuse survivors while rethinking key Christian beliefs, to lead us to deep healing and a transformed church.

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Holy Runaways

Matthias Roberts

Publication date: October 3, 2023

In the past decade, church attendance among US adults has decreased by more than 25 percent. Americans report leaving religious communities because of the institutions' hypocrisy and resistance to change or because of trauma they have experienced in those spaces. In Holy Runaways, Matthias Roberts reaches out to those who, like him, want to understand the religion they've run from and erect a new faith on firmer foundations. He suggests ways we can all contribute to a new system built on love—and a new home we can inhabit together.

Read an excerpt here.

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BL in my grandmothers house

In My Grandmother's House

Yolanda Pierce

Publication date: February 7, 2023

A grandmother's theology carries wisdom strong enough for future generations. In the pages of In My Grandmother's House, now in paperback, public theologian Yolanda Pierce builds an everyday womanist theology rooted in liberating scriptures, stories from the Black church, and truths from Black women's lives. The Divine has been showing up at the kitchen tables of Black women for a long time. It's time to get to know that God.

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Inspiration and Prayer


Everything Could Be a Prayer

Kreg Yingst

Publication date: October 15, 2024

Pray and meditate along with saints through this luminous collection of one hundred block prints by artist Kreg Yingst, curator of the Instagram account @psalmprayers. Mystics like Teresa of Avila, Howard Thurman, Black Elk, and Fannie Lou Hamer come alive. Everything Could Be a Prayer is a rich resource for private prayer and communal reflection.

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Cat Psalms and Dog Psalms

Herbert Brokering

Publication date: April 2, 2024

Our cats and dogs have a lot to teach us about spirituality if we pay attention. These two illustrated collections, Cat Psalms and Dog Psalms, are gentle and earnest tributes to the hidden spiritual wisdom of our feline and canine companions. 

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Spirit Wheel

Steven Charleston

Publication date: July 11, 2023

When the Spirit speaks to him in his daily prayers, Choctaw elder and spiritual explorer Steven Charleston takes a pen and writes down the messages. This stunning collection of more than two hundred meditations introduces us to the Spirit Wheel and the four directions that ground Native spirituality: tradition, kinship, vision, and balance. We are all searching for belonging and a vision of the world that makes sense. Together we can turn toward the wisdom of our ancestors, kinship with all of Mother Earth's creatures, the vision of the Spirit, and mindful balance of life.

Also available from Steven Charleston is Ladder to the Light: An Indigenous Elder's Meditations on Hope and Courage.

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Becoming Rooted

Randy Woodley

Publication date: January 4, 2022

What does it mean to become rooted in the land? How can we become better relatives to our greatest teacher, the Earth? Becoming Rooted invites us to live out a deeply spiritual relationship with the whole community of creation and with Creator. Through meditations and ideas for reflection and action, Randy Woodley, an activist, author, scholar, and Cherokee descendant, recognized by the Keetoowah Band, guides us on a one hundred day journey to reconnect with the Earth. In walking toward the harmony way, we honor balance, wholeness, and connection.

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ordinary blessings

Ordinary Blessings

Meta Herrick Carlson

Publication date: February 11, 2020

The ordinary moments of life can be sacred, if we simply take a moment to notice. From gifted poet and empathetic pastor Meta Herrick Carlson, Ordinary Blessings collects blessings for loving yourself, enduring hard things, authenticity, living with others, and the rhythms of each day. Pause, take a deep breath, and open these pages to find that you've been standing on holy ground all along.

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Sit in the Sun

Jon M. Sweeney

Publication date: April 11, 2023

As a spiritual pilgrim for more than half a century, Jon Sweeney has practiced with teachers of many religious traditions. But recently he's found himself learning closer to home—from the teacher-cats he lives with. Sit in the Sun is a beautifully illustrated, playful, gentle, informed meditation on the many spiritual truths and practices our feline companions provide if we but pause and pay attention.

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Mind, Body, and Spirit Books


Budding Lotus in the West

Nhi Yến Đỗ Trần

Publication date: May 21, 2024

Born into a family legacy of Buddhist spirituality in Việt Nam, Nhi Yến Đỗ Trần immigrated to the US at age ten. Budding Lotus in the West follows her journey and unveils the complexities of how Buddhist teachings are used in America. With her unique Vietnamese American feminist perspective, debut author Trần critically addresses gender equality, ethical dilemmas, and modern interpretations of Buddhist teachings. 

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Queering Contemplation

Cassidy Hall

Publication date: May 21, 2024

The world of contemplative Christianity has yielded to the same voices for too long, most from centuries before our time with lives unlike ours and experiences disconnected from marginalization and oppression. In Queering Contemplation, Cassidy Hall flings the doors wide open for all seeking an inclusive, authentic, and definitely more queer contemplative experience.

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BL Church of the Wild with Endorsement

Church of the Wild

Victoria Loorz

Publication date: October 5, 2021

Many of us long for a deeper spirtuality. With an ecospiritual lens on biblical narratives and a fresh look at a community larger than our own species, Church of the Wild uncovers the wild roots of faith and helps us deepen our commitment to a suffering earth by falling in love with it—and calling it church. Through mystical encounters with wild deer, whispers from a scrubby oak tree, wordless conversation with a cougar, and more, Victoria Loorz helps us connect to a love that literally holds the world together—a love that calls us into communion with all creatures.

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The Book of Nature

Barbara Mahany

Publication date: March 21, 2023

Throughout millennia and across the monotheistic religions, the natural was often revered as a sacred text. As we grapple to make sense of today's tumultuous world, one where nature is at once a damaged and damaging source of disaster, as well as a place of refuge and retreat, we are called again to examine how generously it awaits our attention and devotion, standing ready to be read by all. Weaving together the astonishments of science; the profound wisdom and literary gems of thinkers, poets, and observers who have come before us; and her own spiritual practice and gentle observation, Barbara Mahany reintroduces us to The Book of Nature. We needn't look farther for the divine.

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The New Big Book of Christian Mysticism

Carl McColman

Publication date: August 29, 2023

What exactly is Christian mysticism? Is it necessary for the survival of Christianity? How can it be relevant in our crisis-ridden world? Questions like these inspire The New Big Book of Christian Mysticism, a newly updated edition from beloved spiritual teacher and bestselling author Carl McColman. As a practice-oriented book, it is an invitation to embrace the mystical element within Christianity—a practice that can equip faithful persons with a joyful sense of divine intimacy, not just for personal benefit but as a foundation to a life of service and activism in the interest of justice.

Dive deeper with the free The New Big Book of Christian Mysticism study guide—perfect for church groups, book clubs, or individual reflection.

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The Spirituality of Dreaming

Kelly Bulkeley

Publication date: December 5, 2023

We're asleep almost a third of our lives. What if those sleeping hours hold wisdom, creativity, and even connection with the divine? In The Spirituality of Dreaming, leading dream scholar and expert Dr. Kelly Bulkeley brings us a set of time-honored methods to stimulate innate dreaming capacities and amplify their impact in our waking lives. By drawing on classic and contemporary works of theology, anthropology, and psychology, along with the latest dream research, Bulkeley maps the spiritual power of dreaming and argues that our dreams matter in ways we do not yet fully realize, both individually and collectively. 

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In the Shelter

Pádraig Ó Tuama

Publication date: March 23, 2021

From master storyteller and host of On Being's Poetry Unbound, Pádraig Ó Tuama, comes an unforgettable memoir of peace and reconciliation, Celtic spirituality, belonging, and sexual identity. "It is in the shelter of each other that the people live." Drawing on this Irish saying, Ó Tuama relates ideas of shelter and welcome to our journeys of life, using poetry, story, biblical reflection, and prose to open up gentle ways of living well in a troubled world. From the heart of a poet comes a profound look at the landscapes we all try to inhabit even as we always search for shelter, a place we can call home. 

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