Stations of the Heart: Parting with a Son, by Richard Lischer. Lischer, a theologian at Duke Divinity School, acknowledges that “a father has no business writing a book about his son’s death.” But as the review in the Century noted, this honest but disciplined narrative “looks beyond one man’s death to the death we all will face” and manages to be “personal without self-absorption, profoundly emotional without sentimentality.” It is a moving testimony to a father’s love and to Adam Lischer’s life, and especially to Adam’s way of meeting death at the age of 33, supported by the prayers and rituals of the church—which is a memorable witness for every reader.

Unapologetic: Why, Despite Everything, Christianity Can Still Make Surprising Emotional Sense, by Francis Spufford. Though Spufford argues a bit with New Atheist writers like Richard Dawkins, his main interest is description, not argument. He shows (1) that Christian faith is vastly more complex and lively than patronizing atheist philosophers assume, and (2) how Christian faith makes “emotional sense” of the daily human round of dreaming, failing and grieving. Spufford, who wrote a brilliant book on childhood (The Child That Books Built), is witty and perceptive about the movements of faith and about the oddity of being a Christian in England, where the faith is widely regarded as mildewed and lacking any “gap-year spiritual zing.”

Psalms for All Seasons: A Complete Psalter for Worship, edited by Martin Tell and John D. Witvliet. Created for public worship, this Psalter is also a great resource for personal use. All 150 psalms are included, some in multiple forms. Accompanying each psalm is a selection of related songs in a variety of styles and other materials, including settings for chanting and for morning and evening prayer. A CD is also available that introduces listeners to a portion of the songs.