Lydia: A story by Paula Gooder (Hodder & Stoughton, £16.99 (Church Times SPECIAL OFFER PRICE £14.99); 978-1-444-79206-5).
“The New Testament tells us very little about Lydia, a seller of purple cloth who was living in Philippi when she met the apostle Paul on his second missionary journey. And yet she is considered the first recorded convert to Christianity in Europe. In her second work of fiction, Biblical scholar and popular author and speaker Paula Gooder tells Lydia’s story — who she was, the life she lived and her first-century faith — and in doing so opens up Paul’s letter to the Philippians, giving a sense of the cultural and historical pressures that shaped Paul’s thinking, and the faith of the early church. Written in the gripping style of Gerd Theissen’s The Shadow of the Galilean, and similarly rigorously researched, this is a book for everyone and anyone who wants to engage more deeply and imaginatively with Paul's theology — from one of the UK’s foremost New Testament scholars.”
A Century of Poetry: 100 Poems for searching the heart by Rowan Williams (SPCK, £19.99 (Church Times SPECIAL OFFER PRICE £15.99); 978-0-281-08552-1).
“In A Century of Poetry, Rowan Williams invites you to reflect with him on 100 poems from the past 100 years — poems with an originality and depth that can impel you to search your heart, and to explore your own experience and emotions at a deeper level. Featuring the work of both famous and lesser-known poets, from different faiths, languages and cultures, A Century of Poetry gives you a fresh perspective on works you may be familiar with, as well as introducing you to poems you’ll be pleased to discover for the first time — or perhaps discover again.”
Being Franciscan: Living the tradition by Nicholas Alan Worssam SSF (Canterbury Press, £14.99 (Church Times SPECIAL OFFER PRICE £11.99); 978-1-78622-430-9).
“Franciscan spirituality, with its characteristic simplicity, joy, openness and welcome to all, compassionate action and love for creation — all undergirded by prayer and study, offers as compelling a vision for today’s world as when Francis of Assisi first responded to God’s call over 800 years ago. For all seeking inspiration for living the Franciscan charism today, this lively and informed guide introduces its key figures and essential writings.”
Selected by Frank Nugent, of the Church House Bookshop, which operates the Church Times Bookshop.