The best books on calvinism

2 authors have picked their favorite books about calvinism and why they recommend each book.

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Book cover of The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson

The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson is one of literature’s most intimate records of the struggle to know God. Emily Dickinson spent most of her life in Amherst, Massachusetts, in the Calvinist home where she grew up. But while she eventually drifted away from organized faith, she found God in other ways: “Some keep the Sabbath going to Church/ I keep it, staying at Home.” Like so many spiritual seekers, Dickinson experienced doubt: “Of Course—I prayed—/ And did God care?”  Yet her faith persisted: “I know that He exists/ Somewhere—in silence—”. The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson reveals the seeker’s need to move beyond forms. And it shows how God, in the end, permeates everything.

The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson

By Emily Dickinson,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Though generally overlooked during her lifetime, Emily Dickinson's poetry has achieved acclaim due to her experiments in prosody, her tragic vision and the range of her emotional and intellectual explorations.


Who am I?

It took me awhile to understand that I was on a spiritual path. I started out as an actor, and working in the theater brought me joy. But as time passed, and I turned to writing novels, the same questions kept emerging: “Who am I?” “Why am I here?” I began to see that I was on a spiritual journey. With A Poet of the Invisible World, I finally felt ready to write about that journey. Nouri’s adventures chart the twists and turns—as well as the deep rewards—of the spiritual path. It’s a book that’s very close to my heart.


I wrote...

A Poet of the Invisible World

By Michael Golding,

Book cover of A Poet of the Invisible World

What is my book about?

A Poet of the Invisible World is the story of Nouri, a boy born in thirteenth century Persia with four ears instead of two.  Orphaned as an infant, he’s taken into a Sufi order, where he meets an assortment of dervishes and embarks on a path towards spiritual awakening. As he journeys to the lavish court of a Spanish sultan, the barren farm of a mountain shepherd, a bustling city on the north coast of Africa, and an ascetic monastery high in the mountains, he faces a series of trials that shatter his inner obstacles—and leads him on toward transcendence.

Patriotic Treason

By Evan Carton,

Book cover of Patriotic Treason: John Brown and the Soul of America

Engagingly written, this book humanizes John Brown by portraying him as a man “of deep, varied, and sometime conflicting capacities.” Carton describes Brown’s family, business failures, friendships, and deep Calvinistic faith. By fledging out the human picture, Carton challenges simple categorizations of Brown as bipolar, obsessive-compulsive, or criminally insane. Carton places Brown against the background of debates over politics, slavery, and racial issues.

Patriotic Treason

By Evan Carton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Patriotic Treason as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With a combination of scrupulous original research, new perspective, and a sensitive historical imagination, Patriotic Treason vividly recreates the world in which John Brown and his compatriots lived as well as the biography of John Brown and the history of the events leading up to the Civil War. Evan Carton narrates the dramatic life of the first U.S. citizen committed to absolute racial equality. In defiance of the culture around him, Brown lived, worked, ate, and fought alongside African Americans. Inspired by the Declaration of Independence and the Golden Rule, he collaborated with black leaders such as Frederick Douglass, Martin…


Who am I?

David S. Reynolds is a Distinguished Professor at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He is the author or editor of 16 books, on subjects that include John Brown, Abraham Lincoln, Walt Whitman Andrew Jackson, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and the literary and popular culture of the American Renaissance. He is the winner of the Bancroft Prize, the Lincoln Prize, the Abraham Lincoln Book Prize, the Ambassador Book Award, the Christian Gauss Award, and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.


I wrote...

John Brown, Abolitionist: The Man Who Killed Slavery, Sparked the Civil War, and Seeded Civil Rights

By David S. Reynolds,

Book cover of John Brown, Abolitionist: The Man Who Killed Slavery, Sparked the Civil War, and Seeded Civil Rights

What is my book about?

A cultural biography of John Brown, the controversial abolitionist who used violent tactics against slavery before the Civil War and single-handedly changed the course of American history. Brown’s most violent acts—including his killing of proslavery settlers in Kansas and his historic raid on Harpers Ferry, Virginia--were inspired by the slave revolts, guerilla warfare, and revolutionary Christianity of the day. Viewed by Southerners as a satanic abolitionist and by many Northerners as a Christlike martyr who gave his life for Black people, Brown polarized the nation and ratcheted up the tensions between the sections. He permeated American culture during the Civil War and beyond, and he planted the seeds of the civil rights movement by making a pioneering demand for complete social and political equality for America’s ethnic minorities.

Book cover of The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner

This was the first book I read when I started my English degree at Aberdeen University and I remember reading it on the train home one weekend and being completely gripped by it. The novel is about two brothers, George and Robert, one of whom is murdered. The structure of the novel is interesting in that, although it is a work of fiction, it presents itself as a found and true document, with the first part being narrated by the ‘editor’ and the second part told from the point of view of Robert. Robert is the quintessential unreliable narrator and his fate can be interpreted in a number of different ways from demonic possession to schizophrenia. It’s a dark and gothic novel that leaves you feeling unsettled long after you have finished it and unsure about what is real and what isn’t.

The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner

By James Hogg,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Written in 1824, James Hogg's masterpiece is a brilliant portrayal of the power of evil. Set in early eighteenth-century Scotland, the novel recounts the corruption of a boy of strict Calvinist upbringing by a mysterious stranger under whose influence he commits a series of murders. The reader, while recognising the stranger as the Devil, is prevented by the subtlety of the novel's structure from finally deciding whether, for all his vividness and wit, he is more than a figment of the imagination. This is the only complete edition of Hogg's Confessions, since it was first published. All subsequent editions, until…


Who am I?

I’m a Scottish writer who has lived in Edinburgh for over twenty years and feel a deep affinity for the city. Edinburgh is known for its festival and its castle, which are the parts of the city that the tourists flock to, but there is so much more to it than that. I like books that show the city in a different light: the ones in which Edinburgh itself becomes a character and not just a backdrop; the books that invoke the darker side of Edinburgh, the bits that stay hidden, the bits that only the locals know about. 


I wrote...

Trackman

By Catriona Child,

Book cover of Trackman

What is my book about?

Davie was about to leave the MP3 player lying on the pavement when something stopped him. A voice in his head. You'll regret it if you leave it. You'll only come back for it later.

Can a song change your life? Can a song bring people, places and moments in time alive again? Davie Watts is the Trackman. He knows what song to play to you and he knows exactly when you need to hear it. Davie seeks out strangers in need and helps them using the power of music. Davie however is continuously haunted by his past and memories of his brother. While helping other people, will he find the time to help himself?

Caleb's Crossing

By Geraldine Brooks,

Book cover of Caleb's Crossing

When Caleb’s Crossing came out I couldn’t wait to read it. Not only was it written by one of my favorite authors, it was inspired by a true story and set in the same place and time period as the novel I was working on. Brooks’ depiction of the love between a Puritan minister’s daughter and the son of a Wampanoag leader is fraught with tension as two very different cultures collide. The novel brings to life the forces driving the conflict through the characters of Bethia and Caleb as they struggle to navigate a perilous time and the looming prospect of war.

Caleb's Crossing

By Geraldine Brooks,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Caleb's Crossing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A bestselling tale of passion and belief, magic and adventure from the author of The Secret Chord and of March, winner of the Pulitzer Prize.

Bethia Mayfield is a restless and curious young woman growing up in Martha's vineyard in the 1660s amid a small band of pioneering English Puritans. At age twelve, she meets Caleb, the young son of a chieftain, and the two forge a secret bond that draws each into the alien world of the other. Bethia's father is a Calvinist minister who seeks to convert the native Wampanoag, and Caleb becomes a prize in the contest…


Who am I?

I write historical fiction set in New England and based on the lives of real people. My New England roots go back to the 1630s when my English ancestors first came to the region so I’m steeped in its traditions and literature. I love doing the research for my books, especially when my characters lead me in new directions. I spent ten years digging into the conflict between the Puritans and the indigenous Natives and in the process discovered a largely forgotten story that has long-lasting implications for our day.


I wrote...

Flight of the Sparrow: A Novel of Early America

By Amy Belding Brown,

Book cover of Flight of the Sparrow: A Novel of Early America

What is my book about?

In the midst of King Philip’s War, Mary Rowlandson is captured and sold into the service of a powerful woman tribal leader, where she becomes a pawn in the bloody struggle between English settlers and natives. As she battles cold, hunger, and exhaustion, she witnesses harrowing brutality but also unexpected kindness. She’s drawn to her captors’ open and straightforward way of life and disturbed by her attraction to a generous, protective English-speaking native.

All her life, Mary has been taught to fear God, submit to her husband, and abhor Indians. Now, having lived on the other side of the forest, she questions the edicts that have guided her, torn between the life she knew and the wisdom she’s discovered among the Natives.

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