Phoebe: A story by Paula Gooder (Hodder & Stoughton, £14.99 (Church Times SPECIAL OFFER PRICE £12.99); 978-1-473-66972-7).
“Biblical scholar and popular author and speaker Paula Gooder tells Phoebe's story - who she was, the life she lived and her first-century faith - and in doing so opens up Paul's theology, giving a sense of the cultural and historical pressures that shaped Paul's thinking, and the faith of the early church.”
Christina Rossetti: Poetry, ecology, faith by Emma Mason (OUP, £30 (£27); 978-0-19-872369-1).
“Emma Mason offers a compelling study of Christina Rossetti, arguing that her poetry, diaries, letters, and devotional commentaries are engaged with both contemporary theological debate and an emergent ecological agenda.”
Nine Portraits of Jesus: Discovering Jesus through the Enneagram by Robert Nogosek (Paulist, £12.99 (£11.70); 978-0-8091-5355-8).
“In this book are intense and biblically-centred meditations on the personality of Jesus based on the enneagram system of personality types. The enneagram system demonstrates that there are nine ways of expressing what it is to be human.”
The Monk’s Record Player: Thomas Merton, Bob Dylan, and the perilous summer of 1966 by Robert Hudson (Eerdmans, £19.99 (£18); 978-0-8028-7520-4).
“The story of a monk, a minstrel, and the music that brought them together. In 1965 Thomas Merton fulfilled a twenty-four-year-old dream and went to live as a hermit beyond the walls of his Trappist monastery. Seven months later, after a secret romance with a woman half his age, he was in danger of losing it all. Yet on the very day that his abbot uncovered the affair, Merton found solace in an unlikely place-the songs of Bob Dylan, who, as fate would have it, was experiencing his own personal and creative crises during the summer of 1966.”
Free Seats for All: The boom in church building after Waterloo by Gill Hedley (Umbria Press, £20 (Church Times SPECIAL OFFER PRICE £15); 978-1-910074-17-6).
“An astonishing number of churches were built and hundreds of thousands of new spaces provided in parish churches in the years after Waterloo. Much of this work was carried out thanks to the work of the Incorporated Church Building Society (ICBS), our predecessor charity. The story of church building after Waterloo, written by Gill Hedley, is full of fascinating detail about the people who helped set up the ICBS and about the thousands of churches supported by its grants.”
Selected by Frank Nugent, of the Church House Bookshop, which operates the Church Times Bookshop.