A selection of books written by Unitarian Universalists.
Dough Boy. Peter Marino. Holiday House, 2005; $6.95. In this young adult novel, overweight fifteen-year-old Tristan has heard it all: “Butterball,” “Humpty,” “Dough Boy.” His life changes when an attractive new stepsister moves in and starts spending time with his best friend. The author is a member of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Hairy Blenny and the Monkeyface Prickleback. Twig Walkingstick No. 2. Kurt Knebusch. Ohio State Univ. Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, 2007; $5. Kurt Knebusch, a member of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Wayne County, in Wooster, Ohio, writes a nature column for children under the name “Twig Walkingstick.” This book is the second collection of his columns. He addresses questions such as “What good are mosquitoes?” and “How do kissing fish kiss?” in an understandable and humorous way for children in grades 3 to 5.
Charlotte Bakeman Has Her Say. Mary E. Finger. Illus. by Kimberly Rose Batti. Little Pear Press, 2007; $16. Charlotte Bakeman, a girl growing up in a Depression-era New Hampshire town, learns to overcome shyness and stand up for a new French-Canadian friend. Mary E. Finger is a member of the First Unitarian Church of Providence, R.I.
Get Satisfied: How Twenty People Like You Found the Satisfaction of Enough. Ed. by Carol Holst. Easton Studio Press, 2007; $14. A collection of twenty personal essays written by ordinary people who made conscious decisions to simplify and change their lives. Holst, co-director of the nonprofit organization Simple Living America, is a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Verdugo Hills in La Crescenta, Calif.
I Love Female Orgasm: An Extraordinary Orgasm Guide. Dorian Solot and Marshall Miller. Illus. by Shirley Chiang. Marlowe & Company, 2007; $15.95. Sex educators Dorian Solot and Marshall Miller, who speak at colleges and adult education centers, offer a guide to women’s sexual experience. The authors are members of the Unitarian Church of Sharon, N.Y.
Letters from the Editor: Lessons on Journalism and Life. William F. Woo. Ed. by Philip Meyer. Univ. of Missouri Press, 2007; $19.95. A posthumous collection of essays on the practice of journalism by William Woo (1936–2006), a contributor to this magazine, who was the first person outside the Pulitzer family to edit the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the first Asian American to edit a major American newspaper. He and his wife were members of the Eliot Unitarian Chapel in St. Louis.
Notable American Unitarians 1936-1961. Ed. by Herbert F. Vetter. Harvard Square Library, 2007; $18.95. Concise, personal biographies of more than 100 prominent people from the fields of religion, education, human rights, literature, the arts, and social services, including May Sarton, John Dewey, and Whitney M. Young Jr. The Rev. Dr. Herbert Vetter is the minister at large, emeritus, of First Parish in Cambridge, Mass. He is the founder of the Harvard Square Library, a collection of websites about liberal religion.
Feeding the Kids: The Flexible, No-Battles, Healthy Eating System for the Whole Family. Pamela Gould and Eleanor P. Taylor with Katherine Cason. Mancala Press, 2007; $16.95. Advice on helping children enjoy foods they often shun, such as fruits, vegetables, dairy, and whole-grain products. Includes recipes and tips on understanding nutrition labels. Taylor, a member of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Clemson, S.C., has a master’s degree in family health nursing.
The Flipside of Godspeak: Theism as Constructed Reality. John F. Crosby. Resource Publications, 2007; $17. The author, a professor emeritus of marriage and family therapy at the University of Kentucky and a former Presbyterian pastor, argues that human beings cannot know ultimate or absolute truths. He develops a theory of morality that does not require an authoritarian deity. Crosby is a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington, Ind.
Big Ideas for Small Congregations: A Friendly Guide for Leaders. Jane Dwinell and Ellen Germann-Melosh. Spirit of Life Publishing, 2007; $20. Practical advice on fundraising, leasing vs. buying space, avoiding volunteer burn-out, managing conflict, and hospitality. The Rev. Jane Dwinell, a member of First Universalist Parish in Derby Line, Vt., is an independent small congregation consultant. Ellen Germann-Melosh has been active in UU congregations for forty years.
Coaching Kids to Play Soccer: Everything You Need to Know to Coach Kids from 6 to 16. Jim San Marco and Kurt Aschermann. Second ed. Fireside Book, 2007; $13. An updated version of a popular guide with suggestions for teaching soccer skills, running practices, game strategy, and pep talks. Aschermann is a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, Va.
Staying Focused in the Age of Distraction: How Mindfulness, Prayer and Meditation Can Help You Pay Attention to What Really Matters. Elizabeth Hanson Hoffman and Christopher D. Hoffman. New Harbinger Publications, 2006; $16.95. Drawing on positive psychology, the authors provide techniques for minimizing distraction and achieving positive change. Elizabeth Hoffman is a clinical psychologist and member of Unitarian Universalists of the Cumberland Valley, Boiling Springs, Pa.
Sabbatai Zevi: Testimonies to a Fallen Messiah. Trans. with notes and intro. by David J. Halperin. Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2007; $49.50. A collection of documents about a Turkish Kabbalist, Sabbatai Zevi, who electrified the Jewish world in 1665 with claims of being the Messiah. David J. Halperin is professor emeritus of religious studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and a member of the Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Durham, N.C.
Lesbian Widows: Invisible Grief. Vicky Whipple. Harrington Park Press, 2006; $14.95. An associate professor of counseling and human services at National-Louis University and a member of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of DeKalb, Ill., Whipple tells the stories of twenty-five women who lost their partners.
Planning for Uncertainty: Living Wills and Other Advance Directives for You and Your Family. David John Doukas and William Reichel. Second ed. Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 2007; $18.95. A practical guide to help individuals make end-of-life decisions and communicate them to healthcare providers, family members, and other loved ones. Dr. William Reichel is a member of Towson Unitarian Universalist Church in Lutherville, Md.
Don’t Let Your Children Choose Your Nursing Home: A Guide to Planning Your Elderhood. Betty Halladay. Sixth Place Publishers (12637 W. 6th Place, Golden CO 80401), 2007; $14. Self-published book on options from living at home to assisted living to nursing homes. The author is a member of Jefferson Unitarian Church in Golden, Colo.
Submissions for Books by UU Authors may be sent to UU World, 24 Farnsworth Street, Boston, MA 02210. Indicate publisher, date, price, and the author's UU affiliation. We cannot include every title and cannot return books. Preference will be given to books of general interest; self-published books will be included selectively.
Please note: newsletter on hiatus
Jane Greer is a former senior editor of UU World magazine.
Christopher L. Walton is editor of UU World. He holds degrees from Harvard Divinity School and the University of Utah.