I often get asked if I have read this or that new and wonderful book. I usually smile and say that I only read emails and that if someone would send me a book disguised as a series of 50 or 100 emails I would read it. Alas, that is too close to the truth to be funny: I don’t read as many books as I used to.
However, I just picked up a couple of recent books by our own UUA publishing houses: Beacon Press and Skinner House. I am only about a quarter of the way through Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice and the Promise of America, by Eboo Patel. Patel writes with power and clarity. More importantly, he has something important to say.
The second book is a small volume of meditations by Rev. Kathleen McTigue, Shine and Shadow. McTigue is the new director of the UU College of Social Justice. I have known her for years, but I somehow missed this book of meditations when it was published last year. I have only read the first few entries, but I have been deeply touched. One of them, “How to Give a Blessing,” recounts an encounter with a young man with Down syndrome the morning after after her father died.
One of the things that the UUA does is print books—wonderful, important, touching books. These are just two recent examples. Beacon Press is our “trade” press, publishing books aimed at a wide audience. Skinner House is more focused on books for Unitarian Universalists. Both do a wonderful job.