The Good Book

Writers Reflect on Favorite Bible Passages

Edited by Andrew Blauner

About The Book

Thirty-two prominent writers share the Bible passages most meaningful to them in this “Sunday School class you’ve been waiting for” (Garrison Keillor).

The Good Book, with an introduction by Adam Gopnik, is “a rich tapestry of reflections” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) by writers from many different faiths, including literary fiction writers (Colm Tóibín, Edwidge Danticat, Tobias Wolff, Rick Moody); bestselling nonfiction writers (A.J. Jacobs, Ian Frazier, Thomas Lynch); notable figures in the media (Charles McGrath, Cokie Roberts, Steven V. Roberts); and social activists (Al Sharpton, Kerry Kennedy). While these contributors are not primarily known as religious thinkers, they write intelligently and movingly about specific passages in the Bible that inform the way they live, think about past experiences, and see society today. Excerpted in The New Yorker and other prestigious publications, some pieces are close readings of specific passages, some are anecdotes from everyday life, and all will inspire, provoke, or illuminate.

Showcasing some of the best-known and best-loved characters and stories from Genesis to Revelation, The Good Book is “often inspiring and always interesting” (Booklist, starred review). This beautiful, enlightening gift “really does justice to the richness and complexity of the texts and how they resonate in our lives” (Krista Tippett, host of NPR’s On Being). “These writers raise questions that are age-old, yet utterly contemporary, pressing, thoughtful, eternal” (Edward Hirsch). “This collection has something for everyone who appreciates good writing” (Library Journal).

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (November 10, 2015)
  • Length: 320 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781476789989

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Raves and Reviews

"Lovely….It really does justice to the richness and complexity of the texts and how they resonate in lives.”

– Krista Tippett, host of NPR's On Being

"This is one of those marvelous collections you can dip into for a moment's sustenance, or linger for a long read....these pages will open layers of meaning and draw you deeper into contemplation of the essential questions and quandaries found in its chapters and verse."

– Chicago Tribune

"Substantive reading that casts the Good Book in a new light.”

– BookPage

"The Good Book records the efforts of diverse readers working to make sense of the Bible—a book at once too foreign and too familiar—and in the process, treating it as though it could still somehow speak."

– Commonweal

"As The Good Book's contributors demonstrate, whether it's viewed as a source of spiritual guidance, a work of literature or history or simply as an anchor for memory, in the hands of writers as talented as the group Andrew Blauner has gathered here, the Bible's riches are both inexhaustible and infinitely challenging.”

– Shelf Awareness

"A rich tapestry of reflections."

– Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Anthologist Blauner has done a particularly good job of choosing an eclectic group of commentators who offer mostly insightful and often very personal thoughts about their favorite Biblical passages....An often inspiring and always interesting collection."

– Booklist, starred review

"Reading these writings filled with humor, sadness, grief, anger, deep reflection, and fanciful wit, one is struck by the myriad ways of encountering the Bible, its place in our culture, or at least the culture it helped create.... This collection has something for everyone who appreciates good writing, regardless of what one may think of the Bible as scripture, or for that matter as literature."

– Library Journal

"It's the Sunday School class you've been waiting for, the one whose members have thought hard about the texts and are free to say what they think. The one you look forward to. God bless the Word.”




– Garrison Keillor

"What a marvelous book of encounters and revelations! These writers raise questions that are age-old, yet utterly contemporary, pressing, thoughtful, eternal."

– Edward Hirsch

"Each of these thoughtful and beautifully written pieces sheds new light on one of the world's oldest and most influential books. People of all faiths will find common ground within these pages."

– Reza Aslan, author of No god but God and Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth

"Stirring"

– Maria Popova, BrainPickings

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