Great Books of China

From Ancient Times
to the Present

Frances Wood

Great Books of China invites readers to discover — or rediscover — some of the major achievements of Chinese culture and civilization. It features outstanding works of various genres, from fiction, drama, and poetry to history, science, and travel; they were written by philosophers and artists, govern-
ment officials and scholars, by men and women across many centuries and from every part of China.

“...Frances Wood [is] a disting-
uished former curator at the British Library...Her enthusiasm for this selection of key catching...Some of her choices will feel familiar at least as ideas...There’s much else that’s charming, entertaining or simply quirky...the perfect vade mecum to Chinese writing...”
The Wall Street Journal

“An eminent sinologist synopsizes and comments upon several dozen of China’s most important literary works...a concise yet penetrating cultural history of the Middle Kingdom...her expertise in readers’ advisory is on full display.”
—Booklist (starred review)

272 pages
Hardcover $19.95

The Banker and the Blackfoot

An Untold Story of Friendship,
Trust, and Broken Promises
in the Old West

J. Edward Chamberlin

During the last decades of the nineteenth century in the Old West, cowboys and Indians, lawmen and outlaws, ranchers and farmers shared the border between Canada and the United States—and mostly ignored it. The Banker and the Blackfoot conjures up vividly the never-before-told story of Fort Macleod, the surrounding Blackfoot territory, and the foothills of the Rockies at that time. It was here that the self-made banker John Cowdry met Crop Eared Wolf, the legendary Blackfoot warrior and brilliant horseman, and their friendship is at the heart of this story.

“...Chamberlin...look[s] back at the roots of the modern relationship between the First Nations of the plains and the white settlers...The Banker and the Blackfoot serves as a capsule history, and a reminder of our common history. There is...power in such a story.”
—Vancouver Sun

“A well-told narrative with a cast of fascinating characters provides a true accounting of Western and frontier settlement and cultural change.”
—Library Journal

256 pages
Hardcover $24.95

The Gift of Years

Growing Older Gracefully

Joan Chittister

The Gift of Years reflects on many aspects of aging, the purposes and concerns, the struggles and surprises, the potential and joys. It invites us to embrace older age as a natural part of life that is both active and contemplative, productive and reflective, and deeply rewarding.

“Chittister beautifully downplays regrets and accents the rewards of a mature life. While she acknowledges the pain of old age, she focuses on the new beginnings that life can offer at this stage and discusses the need to stay involved, to put one’s affairs in order, and to be open to new relationships.”
—Library Journal

“This collection of inspirational reflections...abounds in gentle insights and arresting aphorisms... Old age is rich for those who choose to thrive, not wither.”
—Publishers Weekly

240 pages
Trade Paperback $14.95 9781933346335

Hardcover $19.95

How Should We Live?

Great Ideas from the Past for Everyday Life

Roman Krznaric

How Should We Live? explores twelve universal topics–including love, family, and empathy; work, time, and money–by illuminating the past and revealing the wisdom we have been missing. A wonderful work of “practical history,” How Should We Live? sheds light on the decisions we make every day and shows what history can teach us about the art of living.

“...[a] lively guide to navigating modern existence...[an] appealingly provocative book...Krznaric writes with passion and lucidity...”
—The Wall Street Journal

“Founded on thoughtful, accessible history, Krznaric’s message on approaches to a well-lived life is several notches above commonplace self-helpers.”
—Kirkus Reviews

352 pages
Trade Paperback $14.95

Hardcover $22.95

Two Dogs and a Parrot

What Our Animal Friends
Can Teach Us About Life

Joan Chittister

Two Dogs and a Parrot offers both heartwarming stories and thought-provoking reflections about sharing life with an animal companion. It illuminates the significance of the deep bond between humans and animals and invites us to embrace and celebrate our animal friends. A loving human-animal relationship is built on mutual care and concern, on mutual responsibility and respect. And we grow as human beings if we learn to listen to the animals.

“...Chittister has a wide complement of credentials...When she speaks, people tend to listen...This thoughtful title should find a wide and enthusiastic audience with general readers...highly recommended.”
—Library Journal

“...this fine and often touching volume...discusses the spiritual connection between humans and their animal companions and explores the lessons to be learned...”

192 pages
Trade Paperback $14.95

Hardcover $18.95

Herzl’s Vision

Theodor Herzl and the Foundation of the Jewish State

Shlomo Avineri

In 1896, Theodor Herzl published The Jewish State. The following year he convened a Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland. This concise, illuminating biography tells the story of how Herzl, combining a visionary idea with practical action, fashioned the policies and institutions that paved the way for the Jewish state.

“Avineri’s book is the biography of an idea as much as of the man who championed the idea on the world stage.”
—The Washington Post

“The great strength of Avineri’s immensely readable biography is to deliver Herzl in all his tortured complexity and...the philosophical clarity of his diagnosis...As one might expect from Avineri...this is the most chewily cogent account yet of Herzl the political thinker and doer.”
—Financial Times

304 pages
Trade Paperback $16.95

Hardcover $22.95


How Islands Transform the World


Drawing on history, literature, art, anthropology, biology, and earth science, Island illuminates the human settlement of islands — including the seafaring skills required to cross the seas — and describes in vivid detail the spectacular flora and fauna of islands as well as their earth-shattering geology. It shows that ever since humans have been traveling and telling tales, they have been fascinated by islands.

“...Chamberlin approaches his vast subject, the islands of the world, from every angle...[a] wealth of information for island enthusiasts.”
—Library Journal

“A delightful, enlightening book that employs islands as jumping-off points for essays on a wide range of topics from A(nthropology) to Z(oology).”
—Kirkus Reviews

256 pages
Trade Paperback $14.95

Hardcover $19.95

Embracing the Seasons

Memories of a Country Garden

Gunilla Norris

In this soulful journey through the seasons of a year in a country garden, Gunilla Norris shares her observations of this place and the surrounding land with its trees and shrubs, its flowers and vegetables, its various living beings, its brook and pond and stone walls. Embracing the Seasons opens our eyes to ordinary wonders and not-so-ordinary meanings in the small events and encounters of the everyday and invites us to remember, to care for, and to venerate the life around us.

144 pages
Trade Paperback $13.95

Hardcover $14.95

The Pilgrim Journey

A History of Pilgrimage
in the Western World

James Harpur

The Pilgrim Journey tells the fascinating story of sacred travel in the West over the course of two millennia: how pilgrimage was born and grew in antiquity, how it blossomed in the Middle Ages and faltered in subsequent centuries, only to reemerge stronger than before in modern times. It describes the pilgrim routes and sacred destinations past and present, the men and women making the journey, the many challenges of travel, and the spiritual motivations and rewards. And it explores the traditional stages of pilgrimage, from preparation, departure, and the time on the road, to the arrival at the shrine and the return home.

208 pages
Trade Paperback $14.95

208 pages
Hardcover $15.95

The Wisdom of the Beguines

The Forgotten Story of a Medieval Women’s Movement


The beguines began to form in various parts of Europe around the year 1200. Beguines were laywomen, not nuns, defined by their visionary spirituality, unusual business acumen, and strong commitment to the poor and marginalized. They often lived together in beguinages, ranging from a handful of women to several hundred–a village of women within a medieval town or city. The beguines invite us to seek out their wisdom and to discover them anew.

“Swan brings their lives and writings to the general reader with a clear, admiring narrative...her book is a sympathetic look at the Beguines that will intrigue anyone interested in women’s spirituality.”
—Publishers Weekly

208 pages
Trade Paperback $14.95

A Private History of Happiness

Ninety–Nine Moments of Joy from Around the World


From many written sources,
A Private History of Happiness presents a selection of ninety-nine happy moments, across many centuries and from around the world. Arranged by themes–Morning, Friendship, Garden, Family, Leisure, Nature, Food and Drink, Well-Being, Creativity, Love, and Evening–each moment of happiness is followed by a brief description and commentary that encourages further reflection and exploration.

“Because this is a private history of happiness, it is full of reflections...there is little here that is grandiose or overblown...It seems a pity that we should need reminding of these pleasures; this charming book does so admirably.”
—The Times Literary Supplement

256 pages
Trade Paperback $13.95

Hardcover $19.95

Queen Elizabeth
in the Garden

A Story of Love, Rivalry, and Spectacular Gardens

Trea Martyn

Queen Elizabeth I’s great love for gardens transformed her country and made gardeners of statesmen, courtiers, and soldiers. The two most powerful men in England during Elizabeth’s reign, Dudley and Cecil, led the way. Driven by their rivalry and devotion to their queen, they created ever more gorgeous gardens that amazed the world.

“...bewitching and original... Today...not a single authentic Elizabethan garden survives—all the more reason to welcome a book that uses a wealth of evocative detail to recreate this lost world of bright bowers and labyrinths... Martyn’s scrupulous research restores life to...a landscape so enchanting...[an] exquisite book...”
—The New York Times
Book Review

336 pages
Trade Paperback $14.95

Hardcover $22.95

The Monastery
of the Heart

An Invitation to a Meaningful Life

Joan Chittister

This guide builds on the ancient Rule of Benedict to show us a new way to live a spiritual life in the very center of the world today, without withdrawing from it. This new way is centered in the ancient Rule, rooted in its values, but attempts to redefine it for seekers today.

“Chittister’s new work reflects the creation of a new kind of quasi-monastic spirituality suited for the age of liberalization—and technology...”
—Library Journal

“Each thought is a precious nugget not quickly mined...this book is a present day wisdom psalm, crafted in praise and thanksgiving...”
—Benedictines Magazine

240 pages
Trade Paperback $13.95

Hardcover $19.95

The Door of No Return

The History of Cape Coast Castle and the Atlantic Slave Trade

William St Clair

This is the gripping history of Cape Coast Castle in Ghana, the African headquarters of the British slave trade for nearly one hundred and fifty years—until the legal trade was abolished in 1807.

“A readable and detailed account of Britain’s role in the slave trade between West Africa and the United States, Brazil and the Caribbean...Surprisingly, the records of Cape Coast Castle had scarcely been touched before St Clair began delving into them, sifting through records and ledgers, letters and notes.”
—The New York Times Book Review

“...St Clair shines a light at the heart of the shame.”
—The Economist

288 pages
Trade Paperback $15.95

One Hundred
Great Jewish Books

Three Millennia of Jewish Conversation

Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman

An introduction to one hundred great Jewish books, arranged as a concise and thought-provoking guide to the Jewish conversation across many centuries. Each of the entries features one work in its historical and cultural context, provides a summary of content and author, and reflects on its relevance for today’s readers.

“Rabbi Hoffman...has compiled a list of what he considers to be great Jewish books...Guaranteed to spark conversation and offer excellent selections for book clubs and adult education classes.”

368 pages
Paperback Original $16.95

Catherine of Siena

A Passionate Life

Don Brophy

This biography of the great mystic and saint Catherine of Siena presents a moving, lucid portrait of the strong-minded and fiery young woman who campaigned for peace and struggled to reform the church during the turbulent 14th century, and became one of our most beloved spiritual figures.

“Brophy manages to round out Catherine’s life in a way no other biography has, preserving her spiritual magnificence even while placing her within the contexts of her fully lived earthly existence.”
—Publishers Weekly

“...both gripping and enlightening. Carefully researched and passionately told...”
—Library Journal

304 pages
Trade Paperback $14.95

Winged Wonders

A Celebration of Birds
in Human History

Peter Watkins
& Jonathan Stockland

Winged Wonders celebrates the powerful presence of birds in art and language, in legends and myth, in the sacred books of the ancients and in spiritual symbolism, in proverbial sayings, in nursery rhymes and poetry, in visual imagery and heraldry, in music, dance, and folk customs around the world and throughout history.

“Leave it to the draw together, in one slim, delightful volume, nearly all that need be said about birds and humans and their long, complex relationship in history, folklore and literature.”
—The Wall Street Journal

224 pages
Trade Paperback $12.95

Revolutionary Spirits

The Enlightened Faith of
America’s Founding Fathers

Gary Kowalski

Revolutionary Spirits confronts many of the later myths about the religious views of America’s Founders, and brings to life their complex creeds and personalities. It offers clear and candid portraits of Franklin, Washington, Paine, Adams, Jefferson, and Madison as both religious reformers and political rebels, and reclaims their spiritual inheritance for today.

“...Kowalski seeks to shatter what he regards as a myth, commonly exhorted by politicians and religious groups. His spiritual portraits...argue that the founding fathers were neither devout Christians nor secularists.”
—USA Today

224 pages
Trade Paperback $13.95

Mr. Langshaw’s
Square Piano

The Story of the First Pianos and How They Caused a Cultural Revolution

Madeline Goold

Square pianos were the first popular pianos, and they revolutionized music and culture. After their first appearance in London in the 1760s, they quickly dominated the burgeoning piano market and were enjoyed by people of many different backgrounds, both in Europe and North America. Mr. Langshaw’s Square Piano tells the illuminating story of these early pianos that transformed the musical and cultural perceptions of the Western world.

“A wealth of fascinating stories and characters...One of the strengths of Ms. Goold’s fine book is showing us how the presence of pianos expanded and deepened the cultural life...Ms. Goold has herself produced an enchanting work.”
—The Wall Street Journal

“...a winning account of the world of which the square piano was the centre.”
—The Globe and Mail

288 pages
Trade Paperback $14.95

Hardcover $24.95

One Hundred
Great French Books

From the Middle Ages
to the Present

Lance Donaldson-Evans

Concise, provocative, and entertaining, One Hundred Great French Books features many of the famous classics of French literature across ten centuries, but also political and philosophical texts, detective novels and science fiction, and much more. Each entry provides a book’s historic and cultural context, and key information about the author, and a summary of its content.

“Mr. Donaldson-Evans wisely presents his choices in chronological order, giving each book and author two pages of introduction and comment. By so doing he provides us with a lapidary history of France by way of the works that have helped to shape its enjoyably subjective trawl through different literary genres, from novels and poetry to plays and short stories—and a great deal more.”
—The Wall Street Journal

240 pages
Paperback Original $15.95

The Great
Medieval Heretics

Five Centuries of Religious Dissent

Michael Frassetto

Replete with terror, passion, and hope, this gripping narrative history explores the intricate mysteries of medieval Europe through the lives of the great heretics whose beliefs and practices challenged the teachings of an all-powerful church. Five centuries of social and spiritual turmoil are covered through a vivid and telling mix of events, personalities, and ideas.

“Frassetto admirably demonstrates that many who were declared heretics have much to teach us and some may not have been as far from orthodoxy as originally thought.”
—Library Journal

256 pages
Trade Paperback $15.95

Hardcover $24.95

The Last Divine Office

Henry VIII and the
Dissolution of the Monasteries

Geoffrey Moorhouse

The Last Divine Office explores the enormous upheaval caused by the English Reformation, drawing for its sources on material that has lain forgotten in one of the world’s great cathedrals. It recreates in vivid detail what life was like in a major monastery before the Dissolution began in 1536, and how that life was forever transformed on the orders of King Henry VIII.

“...[An] elegant narrative...”
—The Boston Globe

“Geoffrey Moorhouse has written an absorbing, detailed and scrupulously fair account of this English revolution.”
—The Daily Telegraph (U.K.)

304 pages
Trade Paperback $14.95

Hardcover $24.95

The Frozen Ship

The Histories and Tales
of Polar Exploration

Sarah Moss

The Frozen Ship examines the most influential, popular, and intriguing accounts of journeys into the eternal ice—from Viking settlers and Renaissance conquerors to Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton, and from the tales of Parry, Franklin, Nansen, and Byrd to the forgotten stories of women at the poles.

“This remarkable book offers the most vivid account yet of polar exploration.”

“Moss...writes well on the hold the frozen wastelands have always had on the imagination...”
—The New York Review of Books

256 pages
Trade Paperback $13.95

Hardcover $24.95

The Angelic Way

Angels through the Ages
and Their Meaning for Us

Rami Shapiro

The Angelic Way illuminates the spiritual, philosophical, and psychological implications of angels. It offers an accessible history of angels in our varied religious and cultural traditions, an exploration of angelology through the ages, and a means to make sense of angels and the divine in today’s world.

“Shapiro’s The Angelic Way delves into the many ways that angels have captivated human thought and helped us find ways to express our understanding of the divine...”
—Los Angeles Times

240 pages
Paperback Original $15.95

The Popes of Avignon

A Century in Exile

Edwin Mullins

This narrative history masterfully weaves together the sweeping events surrounding the so-called “Babylonian captivity” of the popes and the broader story of 14th-century Europe, a turbulent time of transition between Middle Ages and Renaissance when seven successive popes resided in Avignon in the south of France.

“Mullins...spans the intriguing 70 years of the Avignon papacy with this highly readable narrative...he draws readers into this fascinating period of the church’s ‘Babylonian captivity.’”
—Library Journal

256 pages
Trade Paperback $14.95


In Search of God’s Lost Empire

Edwin Mullins

A monastery like no other, this is Cluny’s story from humble beginnings in the early Middle Ages, through centuries of immense wealth and sacred glory, to its decline, destroyed by the French Revolution. Much of Cluny’s enduring legacy lies in great cultural innovations sponsored by the abbey.

“Mullins’s affection and admiration for Cluny provide a glimpse into a mostly forgotten medieval abbey.”
—Publishers Weekly

“Only ruins remain of Cluny’s once glorious past. This book seeks to recapture that past, its architecture, its sculpture, its idealism.”
—The Dallas Morning News

256 pages
Trade Paperback $14.95

Hardcover $24.95

The Search for Spirituality

Our Global Quest
for a Spiritual Life

Ursula King

The Search for Spirituality offers a comprehensive overview of the incredibly rich and diverse spiritual landscapes of our world, and explores the global search for a spiritual life at an individual and social level, inside and outside religious traditions, and in the secular world.

“King has written a remarkably wide-ranging book that touches briefly on many aspects of the spiritual life across the world—both our need for spirituality and how we have sought to address that need through nature, science, and the arts.”
—Library Journal

256 pages
Trade Paperback $13.95

Hardcover $24.95

A Mystic Garden

Working with Soil,
Attending to Soul

Gunilla Norris

A Mystic Garden affirms the garden as a place in which we may experience a real sense of our connection to the earth, to our inner freedom, and to the holy in the everyday. In the garden, we can work or sit still, be fully engaged or learn to let go, practice patience and humility, and embrace nature and its cycles of renewal.

“...Norris cycles through the four seasons of a gardener’s heart [She] writes lyrically about dormancy and transformation, soil and nourishment, roots and blossoms.”
—Publishers Weekly

“...a worthy addition to [Norris’s] writing and a pleasure for those of her readers whose need for an everyday spirituality?extends to the garden.”
—Library Journal

112 pages
Trade Paperback $12.95

Simple Ways

Towards the Sacred

Gunilla Norris

Simple Ways is a lucid, poetic, and practical primer for prayer, meditation, and mindful living that offers a wide range of accessible ways towards the Sacred in our daily lives. No matter what our spiritual background, these ways are completely available to any of us.

“Norris points out that when we are alive to the wonder of the ordinary, we begin to see that everything around us is a gift, and even the simplest things can break us open to love, joy, and gratitude...This book is one to hold close to your heart. Its gift to us lies in its uncanny ability to help us see and appreciate the simple yet profound blessings on even the most ‘ordinary’ path.”
—Spirituality & Health

160 pages
Trade Paperback $12.95


How the Horse
Has Shaped Civilizations

J. Edward Chamberlin

Drawing on archaeology, biology, art, literature, and ethnography, Horse illuminates the relationship between humans and horses throughout history. It shares stories of horses at work, at war, and at play, in paintings, books, and movies, and ponders the intelligence of horses, their skill and strength as well as their grace and beauty.

“...a truly grand subject...a philosophical history and a lyrical essay.”
—The Washington Post

“Both as a genuine labor of love and awe and as a treasure trove of equinalia, Horse is bound to find many delighted fans.”
—Los Angeles Times

288 pages
Trade Paperback $14.95

Enough Room for Joy

The Early Days of
Jean Vanier’s L’Arche

Bill Clarke
Foreword by Jean Vanier

This firsthand account details the life of Jean Vanier and his L’Arche movement—a revolutionary experience of living in community that started in 1964. It came to be known as a diverse place of refuge that gave its inhabitants hope. Today, L’Arche is a worldwide movement with over 130 communities in 30 countries.

“L’Arche became for me the place where I really came home. There is nothing in me that desires to go anywhere else.”
—Henri Nouwen

144 pages
Paperback Original $14.95

One Hundred
Great Catholic Books

From the Early Centuries
to the Present

Don Brophy

One Hundred Great Catholic Books offers succinct, thoughtful, and entertaining introductions to one hundred literary classics past and present, ranging from biography, spirituality, and poetry to history, mystical writings, and fiction. Written for seekers of any faith or none, One Hundred Great Catholic Books offers an illuminating gateway to some of the great achievements of the human heart and mind.

“ eminently qualified for the job and carries it out’s a judicious collection. Some choices will be familiar to readers while others will be unexpected...”
—Publishers Weekly

240 pages
Paperback Original $16.00

Wise Choices

A Spiritual Guide to Making
Life’s Decisions

Margaret Silf

Wise Choices takes the guesswork out of the decision-making process and offers a systematic and concise approach to making the right choices. Written in gentle, poetic prose full of compassion and insight, it encourages us to trust the processes of our own heart and mind as we make life’s many decisions.

“...peppered with practical advice...[Silf’s] commitment to decision making that is careful, forward looking and informed by a sense of responsibility to oneself and to the world.”
—Publishers Weekly

128 pages
Paperback Original $14.00


The Friendship of Women
The Hidden Tradition of the Bible
Joan Chittister

The Book of Contemplation
77 Words for Thought and
H. Wyatt Rollins

The C. S. Lewis Chronicles
The Indispensable Biography of the Creator of Narnia...
Colin Duriez

Dipa Ma
The Life and Legacy of a Buddhist Master
Amy Schmidt

The Wisdom of the
Benedictine Elders

Thirty of America’s Oldest Monks and Nuns Share Their Lives’ Greatest Lessons
Mark W. McGinnis

The Gift of Prayer
Embracing the Sacred in the Everyday
Margaret Silf

Inviting Silence
Universal Principles of Meditation
Gunilla Norris

Teresa of Avila
An Extraordinary Life
Shirley du Boulay

In the Heart of the Temple
My Spiritual Vision for Today’s World
Joan Chittister

Web site produced by
Tzyh Ng