Book Marks: New releases on Advent and Christmas, pausing, and puppies
Here are some interesting new book releases for December:
Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope, and Repair
By Anne Lamott
From the New York Times bestselling author Anne Lamott comes Stitches (Riverhead Books, 2013) , a handbook that helps us face and find renewal in times of suffering and sadness. Through personal stories and reflections, Lamott shares how each of us are connected through stitches of shared experiences that are woven together. As a community, we can survive and strive toward healing in these tragic times.
The Art of Pausing: Meditations for the Overworked and Overwhelmed
By Judith Valente, Michael Bever, and Brother Paul Quenon, OSBO
This collection of poems, photographs, and reflections was put together for those who are feeling overworked and overwhelmed by life. The Art of Pausing (ACTA, 2013)  offers meditations focusing on the 99 names for God, such as “God, the Compassionate” and “God, the Eternal.” Each name is accompanied by a haiku and reflection. Take a minute to breathe and reflect on these simple meditations if you’re stressed.
Advent and Christmas: Wisdom from St. Augustine
By Agnes Cunningham, SSCM
St. Augustine of Hippo was an incredibly influential father of the church. Using his wisdom and writings, Cunningham guides us along the path to deeper understanding of the incarnation during the Advent and Christmas seasons in her book Advent and Christmas (Liguori, 2013) . St. Augustine’s grace will transform your seasons into a time of peace and reflection.
Religious Life at the Crossroads: A School for Mystics and Prophets
By Amy Hereford, CSJ
Religious life, especially that of younger women, has been changing rapidly over the past several decades. In her book Religious Life at the Crossroads (Orbis, 2013)  Hereford explores the changes that have occurred and the theological sources that have caused these changes. From this knowledge, she shows how religious life is part of the emerging church of today.
Bless the Dogs
By the Monks of New Skete
A dog’s unconditional love and understanding of his or her master is a beautiful thing and something that we can learn a lot from about ourselves and our spirituality. In Bless the Dogs (Center Street, 2013) , the monks of New Skete have put together a collection of wisdom-filled reflections of the things we received from our four-pawed friends which are all accompanied by adorable, adorable photographs by Vincent Remini.
Image: Illustration by Angela Cox