Faith for the Heart

Renowned author and religious education expert Thomas Groome, a professor in BC’s School of Theology and Ministry, has written a new book “especially for the ‘nones,’ for the ‘spiritual but not religious,’ and for anyone challenged in their faith at this time.” Faith for the Heart: A “Catholic” Spirituality (Paulist Press, 2019) is a book about the rewards of a life lived with faith. Groome writes that in this post-modern, secular world we can turn to the truths, values, and spiritual wisdom of Christian faith to to help satisfy the deepest desires of the human heart: fullness, love, happiness and a reliable way to achieve it, freedom, and a wholesome holiness of life toward authenticity as human beings. While Groome relies on his own Catholic Christian faith as a resource, he notes that the Catholic in the subtitle is in quotes because “people in any faith community can benefit from its spiritual wisdom to enrich their own.” Groome also is the author of What Makes Us Catholic: Eight Gifts for Life and Will There Be Faith?: A New Vision for Educating and Growing Disciples, among many other titles.

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In Make Yourself Clear: How to Use a Teaching Mindset to Listen, Understand, Explain Everything, and Be Understood (Wiley, 2019) co-authors Reshan Richards and Stephen J. Valentine, a BC graduate, apply lessons learned from teaching to the business world. Through a mix of research, anecdotes, case studies, and theoretical speculation, Richards and Valentine offer companies, both large and small, concrete advice for leveraging the tools, methods, and mindsets used by successful teachers for their salespeople, leaders, service professionals, and trainers. Valentine is an educator and author of Everything but Teaching and co-author of Blending Leadership. Learn more in this interview with Valentine.

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Cultural impact of The Overworked American

A new paper published by the American Sociological Review looks at the top social science books of the last 30 years whose ideas broke through from academia into the public consciousness. The Overworked American: The Unexpected Decline of Leisure (Basic Books, 1992) by Professor of Sociology Juliet Schor was one of the seven books cited. The paper’s authors measured the transition from sociology to public social science in part by how much the idea was an object of interest for the news media and how much the idea was used to make sense of the news. The Overworked American was a national bestseller. Schor’s other books include True Wealth: How and Why Millions of Americans are Creating a Time-Rich, Ecologically Light, Small-Scale, High-Satisfaction Economy;  The Overspent American: Why We Want What We Don’t Need, and  Born to Buy: The Commercialized Child and the New Consumer Culture.

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Nabokov at 120

This year marks the 120th anniversary of the birth of Russian-American writer Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977). For the past six years BC Professor of Russian, English, and Jewish Studies Maxim D. Shrayer has been co-organizing the International Nabokov Readings in St. Petersburg and chairing its organizing committee. At this year’s conference, taking place July 3-5, Shrayer will present on the relationship between Nabokov and writer Ivan Bunin. Shrayer has a number of publications to his name, including Leaving Russia: A Jewish Story, Waiting for America: A Story of Emigration, and With or Without You: The Prospect for Jews in Today’s Russia, among other titles.

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Big Giant Floating Head

Big Giant Floating Head (Melville House, June, 2019) by BC Associate Professor of the Practice of English Christopher Boucher is described by the publisher as a “daring, dazzling account of a man’s struggle with love, loss and redemption.” After his wife announces on Twitter that she’s leaving him, Christopher’s life goes from one catastrophe to another in Boucher’s newest novel, which has been called “wildly inventive, heartbreaking, and hilarious.” Boucher’s previous books are How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive and Golden Delicious.

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Theologian M. Shawn Copeland, who retired from Boston College this month, was celebrated by colleagues and former students with a Festschrift in her honor. Enfleshing Theology: Embodiment, Discipleship, and Politics in the Work of M. Shawn Copeland (Lexington Books/Fortress Academic, 2019) was edited by Copeland’s former graduate students Robert J. Rivera and Michele Saracino, who write that Copeland “has, with creativity, critical acumen, a constructive vision, and a concrete commitment, shaped the field of Christian theological studies, influenced countless theologians, and demonstrated the public/political significance of theology.”  The volume begins with an interview with Copeland, followed by essays from more than a dozen scholars, including current and retired BC faculty members (Roberto S. Goizueta; Mary Ann Hinsdale, I.H.M., and Nancy Pineda-Madrid). Copeland also is a BC graduate; she earned a PhD in systematic theology in 1991.

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The latest novel by Boston College alumna Natália Gomes (also known as N.D. Gomes) tackles issues such as bullying and sexual violence and the importance of listening to and believing girls. We Are Not Okay (HarperCollins UK/HQ Young Adult, 2019), has been described as 13 Reasons Why meets John Green and Jennifer Niven. Through the powerful stories of four girls, readers learn what happens when girls are silenced. Gomes also is the author of Dear Charlie and Blackbird.

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