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Wellington Quakers Library

WELLINGTON QUAKERS LIBRARY COLLECTION AND CATALOGUE

The collection has about 850 titles, built up over very many years.  There is a wide variety of topics including Quaker history and action, religion, theology, spirituality, environment and social justice. Our librarian regularly adds to and updates the collection. There is something for everyone!

Books are on display in the library in Friends House, Moncrieff Street, and available for members, attenders and enquirers to borrow.

View on-line catalogue here 

 

LIBRARY NEWS

July/August 2021

Two further oral histories of Wellington Friends are held in the Alexander Turnbull Library’s  Quaker Oral History Project
  • Helen Hughes.  Copyright held by Penelope Dunkley.  National Library will supply copies of the original tapes with the agreement of the copyright holder.  Otherwise Wellington Monthly Meeting holds a thumb drive of the recordings which can be borrowed by approaching the librarian.  The National Library catalogue record holds details of the range of subjects Helen talks about and can be viewed at https://tiaki.natlib.govt.nz/#details=ecatalogue.235493
  • Sandra Jones.  Copyright held by David James and Jillian Wychel.  It seems as though the cataloguing for Sandra’s oral history is incomplete, but similarly: Wellington Monthly Meeting holds a thumb drive of the recordings which can be borrowed by approaching the librarian.  

New books - Wellington:

Care for the planet: toward a Quaker story, by Murray Short.  Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends…, 2021.
You can read the review of Murrays work here or go to our website at Quakers.nz to read the full text.   
Shelf placement in library:  First New book shelf, then Quaker thinking (yellow spine label,)
 
Abuse of children in care: submission to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, by A.J.W  Taylor.  Earl of Seacliff Art Workshop, 2019. 
Shelf placement in library:  First New book shelf, then Social concerns (green spine label, and shelved in glass-fronted cabinet)
 
On evil, by Terry Eagleton.  Yale University press, 2010. 
You can read the enthusiastic Guardian review, but briefly, the author draws on literary, theological and psychoanalytical sources to suggest that evil is a real phenomenon in our contemporary world. 
Shelf placement in library:  First New book shelf, then Theology section (white spine label)
 
Notes from an exhibition, by Patrick Gale.  Harper, 2008.
Another Guardian review to read, this novel has a Quaker as the protagonist.                             
Shelf placement in library:  First New book shelf, then Poetry, fiction, drama section (red spine label, and shelved in glass-fronted cabinet)
 
Quakerism: the basics, by Mary Post Abbott and Carl Abbott.  Routledge, 2021.
An accessible introduction to the history and diverse approaches and ideas associated with the Religious Society of Friends.                                                                    Shelf placement in library:  First New book shelf, then Quaker history section (black spine label)
 
The Dignity of difference: how to avoid the clash of civilizations, by Jonathan Sacks.  Bloomsbury, 2002.
Rabbi Jonathan Sacks presents a proposal for reframing the terms of this important debate. The first major statement by a Jewish leader on the ethics of globalization, it introduces a new paradigm into the search for co-existence. Sacks argues that we must do more than search for common human values. We must also learn to make space for difference, even and especially at the heart of the monotheistic imagination. The global future will call for something stronger than earlier doctrines of toleration or pluralism. It needs a new understanding that the unity of the Creator is expressed in the diversity of creation. 
Shelf placement in library:  First New book shelf, then Social concerns (green spine label, and shelved in glass-fronted cabinet)
 
Deep roots?  A fresh look at the origins of some Quaker ideas, by Simon Webb.  The author, 2007.
Where did George Fox and the early Quakers get their ideas? Was George Fox aware of the writings of continental mystics like Jacob Boehme? In this highly accessible book, Simon Webb traces the historical roots of Quakerism's most enduring ideas.
Shelf placement in library:  First New book shelf, then Quaker thinking (yellow spine label)
 
Quakerspeak: first aid for newcomers, by Alistair Heron.  Quaker Outreach in Yorkshire, rev. ed 2008. 
Shelf placement in library:  First New book shelf, then Quaker practice (grey spine label,)
 
The Guided life: finding purpose in troubled times, by Craig Barnett.  Christian Alternative Books, 2019
You can read the review in Friends Journal, September 2020.   
Shelf placement in library:  First New book shelf, then Quaker thinking (yellow spine label,)
 
Mind the oneness: the mystic way of the Quakers, by Rex Ambler.    Pendle Hill pamphlet 463.       
Shelf placement in library:  First New book shelf, then Pendle Hill pamphlets (freestanding wooden bookcase)
 
Quakers, by Peter Furtado.    Shire , 2013
This small book is ideal for both adults and older children wanting to explore the basics of Quakerism.  There are many striking images to illustrate Quaker history and practice. The book is part history, part Quaker theology and part examples of the Quaker testimonies in action, all well written by a sympathetic and knowledgeable historian.     
Shelf placement in library: First New book shelf, then Quaker history (black spine dot )
 
Quakers do what! Why? by Rhiannon Grant.  John Hunt, 2020
Structured around questions which non-Quakers often ask, this book explores Quaker practices, explaining them in the context of Quaker theology and present-day diversity. It describes how Quakers make decisions and why they have preferred this method, as well as looking at the Quaker rejection of common Christian practices like baptism. Each short chapter gives an answer, considers why that is so, describes some of the diversity within Quaker groups, and points to other resources which could be used to find out more.       
Shelf placement in library: First New book shelf, then Quaker practice (grey spine dot)
 
The Godless gospel: was Jesus a great moral teacher? by Julian Baggini.  Granta, 2020
Even if we don't believe that Jesus was the son of God, we tend to think he was a great moral teacher. But was he?  Julian Baggini challenges our assumptions about Christian values - and about Jesus - by focusing on Jesus's teachings in the Gospels, stripping away the religious elements such as the accounts of miracles or the resurrection of Christ. Reading closely this new 'godless' Gospel, Baggini asks how we should understand Jesus's attitude to the renunciation of the self, to politics, or to sexuality, as expressed in Jesus's often elusive words.     
Shelf placement in library: First New book shelf, then Bible and Bible study (royal blue spine dot)
 
Falling upward: a spirituality for the two halves of life [and] Immortal diamond: the search for our true self,  both by Richard Rohr.  SPCK, 2012, 2013.  
Dissolve the distractions of ego to find our authentic selves in God In his bestselling book Falling Upward, Richard Rohr talked about ego (or the False Self) and how it gets in the way of spiritual maturity. But if there's a False Self, is there also a True Self? What is it? How is it found? Why does it matter? And what does it have to do with the spiritual journey? His second book likens True Self to a diamond, buried deep within us, formed under the intense pressure of our lives, that must be searched for, uncovered, separated from all the debris of ego that surrounds it. In a sense True Self must, like Jesus, be resurrected, and that process is not resuscitation but transformation.   
Shelf placement in library:  First New book shelf, then Theology (white spine dot)
 

December 2020

The current library display: The Relevance of Myth  We also have two displays in the library. The first gathers books that have been recommended by a f/Friend, the second is that of new or newish books in our collection. If you have any that you’d like to add, or a recommendation to make please let Ruth know.
 
Books recently added to the collection:
 
Meditations, by Marcus Aurelius. Macmillan, 2011
This is a delightfully produced small book, ideal for dipping into and reflecting on our place in the world.  Aurelius advocates finding one's place in the universe and sees that everything came from nature, and so everything shall return to it in due time. Another strong theme is of maintaining focus and to be without distraction all the while maintaining strong ethical principles such as "Being a good man".
Shelf placement in library: First New book shelf, then Prayer and mysticism (pale blue spine dot)
 
Openings to the infinite ocean: a friendly offering of hope, by Tom Shakespeare.  Quaker Books, 2020. Swarthmore Lecture 2020.
What do Quakers do in an era of pandemic, climate emergency and right-wing populism? The author believes we must nurture ‘active hope’ by doing inner work on ourselves and outer work in society. Much as Marcus Aurelius suggested two centuries ago.
Shelf placement in library: First New book shelf, then Swarthmore pamphlets (freestanding wooden bookcase)
 
Seeking union with spirit: experiences of spiritual journeys, by Fiona Gardner.  Quakers Australia, 2020. James Backhouse Lecture 2020.
The author presents two themes in her lecture. The first examines the tensions of the spiritual journey, the second and more practical is how we can nurture our spiritual selves as we travel through life.
Shelf placement in library: First New book shelf, then Backhouse pamphlets (freestanding wooden bookcase)
 
Jack, by Marilynne Robinson. Virago , 2020
Many of us have enjoyed Robinson’s writing, both fiction and nonfiction that we hold in the Quaker library. But Jack focuses on, as its title would suggest, the character who has eluded, bedeviled, and grieved all the people who have ever loved him: the prodigal son. Robinson is a Calvinist, and over the course of these novels, Jack has stood out among her characters—troublesome, seductive, full of pathos—because he most represents a central theological question raised by the Calvinist doctrine of predestination: Can a person be damned to perdition? Or, to use non-Calvinist language: Can a person be irretrievably and miserably wrong, broken, no-good, unsalvageable? If he is, and he knows that he is, what is he then to do?  Does he have anything he can hope for?
Shelf placement in library: First New book shelf, then Poetry, fiction, drama (red spine dot - in glass fronted cabinet)
 

September 2020

The current library display: Quaker Ministry. We also have a small display of resources for the Tuesday and Thursday “Spiritual Roots of Quaker Ways” group.  You can find these on the window sill and the left as you come through to door into the library.
 
Books recently added to the Library are:
 
The Kendall Sparrow: a novel of Elizabeth Fletcher, by Barbara Schell Luetke. Quaker Press, 2019. The Kendal Sparrow is a historical novel about a young adult English Quaker, at the time of George Fox. The reader follows the main character, Elizabeth Fletcher, as she not only becomes a convinced Quaker but one of the “Valiant Sixty,” traveling around England to minister.
Shelf placement in library: First New book shelf, then Poetry, drama and fiction (dark red spine dot, placed in glass fronted cabinet
 
Shimmersea: Whatever happened to Miss New Zealand 1949? By Mary Woodward. Woodward, 2018. Mary Woodward, well-known West Auckland author of The Bethells of Te Henga, The Scent of Rosewater, Landscape of My Heart, The Piha Story, has now completed her memoir, Shimmersea. This limited edition is both compelling social history and a remarkable Quaker life story.
Shelf placement in library: First New book shelf, then Poetry, drama and fiction (dark red spine dot, placed in glass fronted cabinet.
 
Telling the truth about God, by Rhiannon Grant.  Christian Alternative,  2018.  Telling the truth about God without excluding anyone is a challenge to the Quaker community. Drawing on the author’s academic research into Quaker uses of religious language and her teaching to Quaker and academic groups, Rhiannon Grant aims to make accessible some key theological and philosophical insights. She explains that Quakers might sound vague but are actually making clear and creative theological claims.
Shelf placement in library: First New book shelf, then Quaker thinking (yellow spine dot)
 
What do Quakers believe? by Geoffrey Duham.  Christian Alternative,  2018.  This is the question Quakers are always asked first and the one we find hardest to answer, because we don’t have an official list of beliefs. And Quakerism is a religion of doing, not thinking. We base our lives on equality and truth; we work for peace, justice and reconciliation; we live adventurously. And underpinning our unique way of life is a spiritual practice we have sometimes been wary of talking about. In What Do Quakers Believe? Geoffrey Durham answers the crucial question clearly, straightforwardly and without jargon. In the process he introduces a unique religious group whose impact and influence in the world is far greater than its numbers suggest. 
Shelf placement in library: First New book shelf, then Quaker thinking (yellow spine dot)
 
August 2020
 
The current library display:  Quaker Ministry. We also have a small display of resources for the Tuesday and Thursday “Spiritual Roots of Quaker Ways” group.  You can find these on the windowsill and the left as you come through to door into the library.
 
Two books by Heeni Collins were recently added to the collection:
 
Ka mate Ka ora! The spirit of Te Rauparaha, by Heeni Collins.  Steele Roberts, 2010.  Heeni gave a 3rd Sunday talk based on her book after Meeting on 16th August. This is the history of Te Rauparaha’s life and the position of military resistance that he took after frustration with the courts.
Shelf placement in library: First New book shelf, then Biography – non Quaker (aqua spine dot, placed in glass fronted cabinet)
 
Te Putahitangi o nga tai e rua, Journeys of Mixed Heritage Māori–Pākehā towards Identity Strength by Heeni Collins.  Massey University, 2004.  Heeni gave her first 3rd Sunday talk based on her master’s thesis after Meeting on 19th July. The thesis  provided new insights and understandings about the challenges, vulnerabilities and strengths associated with being of mixed Māori and Pākehā heritage in Aotearoa New Zealand. It was based on the life narratives of eleven men and women of dual Māori–Pākehā heritage and looked at change over time.
Shelf placement in library: First New book shelf, then Social concerns (green spine dot, placed in glass fronted cabinet
 
July 2020
 
The current library display highlights Varieties of religious thought
 
Books recently added to the collection:   
 
The Testament of Mary, by Colm Toibin.  2012.  The Testament of Mary is an important and persuasive book: Tóibín's weary Mary, sceptical and grudging, reads as far more true and real than the saintly perpetual virgin of legend. And Tóibín is a wonderful writer: his lyrical and moving prose is the real miracle.
Shelf placement in library:  first on the New Books shelf then afterwards in the Poetry, fiction, drama section which you will find in the glass-fronted bookcase, red spine label
 
Home, by Marilynne Robinson.  Virago, 2008 .  Home parallels the story told in Robinson's Pulitzer Prize-winning Gilead. It is a moving and healing book about families, family secrets, and the passing of the generations, about love and death and faith
Shelf placement in library: first on the New Books shelf, then in Poetry, fiction, drama (glass-fronted bookcase, red spine label)
 
Lila, by Marilynne Robinson.  Virago, 2014.  Lila is the third Gilead novel. Robinson is known for the religious convictions that fortify her work, but her theological preoccupations are part of a larger moral vision that is not incompatible with a redoubtable skepticism. In particular, the Gilead novels can be read as an act of national and cultural recovery, resurrecting powerful ghosts to remind America of a forgotten moral lineage. 
Shelf placement in library: first on the New Books shelf, then in Poetry, fiction, drama (glass-fronted bookcase, red spine label)
 
No one is too small to make a difference, by Greta Thunberg.  Penguin, 2019. Speeches of Greta Thunberg, the young climate activist who has become the voice of a generation, including her historic address to the United Nations
Shelf placement in library: first on the New Books shelf, then in Social concerns (glass-fronted bookcase, green spine label)
 
Protecting Friends House, 7 Moncrieff Street, Wellington: the story of its seismic strengthening.  Wellington Monthly Meeting, 2019. 
Shelf placement in library: first on the New Books shelf, then in Quakerism in New Zealand (dark red spine label)
 
June 2020
 
The current library display highlights Varieties of religious thought.
 
Books recently added to the collection:   
 
Breakfast with the centenarians: the art of ageing well, by Daniela Mari.  2017. 
The author is an Italian doctor caring for some of the oldest people on the planet.  She draws on her experiences as a renowned gerontologist to reveal the science behind a healthy, happy old age.  Informed by the latest medical studies and incredible stories of individual longevity, Mari shows how our lifestyles can far surpass the influence of our genetics and why a daily glass of liquor isn't the end of the world. From our sleeping habits and diet to the crucial importance of our passions and interests, Breakfast with the Centenarians is commendably short at 150 pages, a handbook for a fruitful and fulfilling old age.
Shelf placement in library: Personal relationships (in glass-fronted bookcase, pink spine label)
                                                                                                                                                                            
Assisted dying: a Quaker exploration.  Leeds Area Meeting, 2016.   
A systematic theological reflection on Quaker beliefs. Widely used in theology courses. Includes questions for use in group discussions and a glossary of theological terms.
Shelf placement in library: Quaker thinking (yellow spine label)
 
On sheep: diary of a Swedish shepherd, by Axel Linden.  Quercus, 2018. 
This is a curious and quirky short read.  The author tries to manage life on the farm, the ever-escaping sheep and the trials and tribulations that come with being a shepherd - shearing, lambing and confronting the slaughterhouse. As time passes and he gradually settles into the rhythm of shepherding, his naivete fades away and is replaced with stark realisations about what is now his everyday life. You can read the Guardian review at: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/sep/23/the-sheep-whisperer-having-a-relationship-with-sheep-can-be-as-complex-as-reading-proust
Shelf placement in library: personal relationships (in glass-fronted bookcase, pink spine label)
 
Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson.  Virago, 2004.
Tale of three generations from the Civil War to the twentieth century: a story about fathers and sons and the spiritual battles that still rage at America's heart. Writing in the tradition of Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman, Marilynne Robinson's beautiful, spare, and spiritual prose allows "even the faithless reader to feel the possibility of transcendent order" In the luminous and unforgettable voice of Congregationalist minister John Ames, Gilead reveals the human condition and the often unbearable beauty of an ordinary life.  Pullizer prize winner 2006.
Shelf placement in library: Poetry, fiction, drama (glass-fronted bookcase, dark red spine label)
 
The book of joy: his holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, with Douglas Abrams. Hutchinson, 2016.  
The two close friends got together in Dharamsala for a talk about something very important to them. From the beginning the book was envisioned as their own stories and teachings about joy, the most recent findings in the science of deep happiness, and the daily practices that anchor their own emotional and spiritual lives.  They especially want to spread the core message that to have joy yourself, you must bring joy to others.
Shelf placement in library: Christian practice (deep pink spine label)
 

April and May 2020 (during pandemic "lockdown")

Part 1 (April 2020): What we've valued during our time in isolation. The library committee asked Friends for titles and comments about books, music and films they found particularly useful, enjoyable, sustaining and enriching during this period of isolation. 

Part 2 (May 2020): This time the library team would like to offer our choices

 

October 2019

Current library display: Lloyd Geering’s writings
 
We have a new display in the library that gathers together books that are a challenging read. If you have any that you’d like to add, or a recommendation to make please let Ruth know.
 
Books recently added to the collection:
 
The Lost Art of Scripture: rescuing the sacred texts, by Karen Armstrong, Bodley Head, 2019
In her most profound, important book to date, religious historian Karen Armstrong (A History of God) examines the world’s major religions to make the case that modern humanity has lost track of what scripture meant in the past and, in the process, departed from the compassionate heart of those faiths.
Shelf placement in library: First New book shelf, then Bible and Bible study (blue spine dot).
 
The Abundance of less: lessons in simple living from rural Japan, by Andy Couturier, North Atlantic Books, 2017
Andy Couturier captures the texture of sustainable lives well-lived in these ten profiles of ordinary, yet exceptional, men and women who left behind mainstream existences in urban Japan. Drawing on traditional Eastern spiritual wisdom and culture, these pioneers describe the profound personal transformations they underwent as they escaped the stress, consumerism, busyness, and dependence on technology, of modern life.
Shelf placement in library: First New book shelf, then Social Concerns (green spine dot).
 

September 2019

The current library display: Living simply
 
Books recently added to the collection:
 
Jerusalem: city of the book, by Merev Mack and Benjamin Balint. Yale 2019.
The authors explore the history of Jerusalem’s libraries and map the terrain between the real Jerusalem and the one dreamed of by the countless communities of the city bound through time by a ‘reverence for the written word’.
Full book review: https://www.spectator.co.uk/2019/07/jerusalems-libraries-contain-priceless-treasures-but-almost-no-one-gets-to-see-them/
Shelf placement in library: First New book shelf, then Theology (white spine dot)
 

August 2019

The current library display: Peace testimony
 
Books recently added to the collection:
 
Lighthouse collection, by Jude Zwanikken, 2016.
Jude is one of Wellington’s remote members and she writes of this collection “…distilled from my experiences amidst the vastness and solitude of my days on Farewell Spit….flashes of beauty and insight like the flashes of light from the lighthouse…now you see it, now you don’t.
Shelf placement in library: First New book shelf, then Poetry, fiction and drama shelf in glass-fronted cabinet (red dot)
 
Living our beliefs: an exploration of the faith and practice of Quakers. Developed and edited by young Quakers with Graham Ralph, Quaker Books, 2016.
Short simple passages introducing different aspects of Quakerism. Some explore the words we use, others describe how and why we worship, make decisions and involve our communities.
Shelf placement in library: First New book shelf, then Quaker practice shelves (grey dot).
 
Golden age of Quaker botanists, by Ann Nichols, Quaker Tapestry, 2006.
An account of the early Quaker plant hunters who were responsible for introducing many well- known garden plants to the United Kingdom. Illustrated with hand drawn colour plates.
Shelf placement in library: First New book shelf, then Quaker biography shelves (brown dot).
 

July 2019

The current library display is on the Peace Testimony.
 
Books recently added to the collection:
 
The Givenness of things, by Marilynne Robinson. Virago, 2015.
A collection of essays by the incomparable Marilynne Robinson. Among the most affecting essays in this book is a disquisition, or perhaps sermon, on the nature of hope, considered (alongside faith and love) as one of the three “theological virtues”. Hope is to be distinguished “very sharply” from optimism, which is not in abundant supply in these essays. “Hope is loyalty.” Robinson urges her audience to stand by what makes us human – “creative, knowing, efficacious, deeply capable of loyalty”. Highly recommended but best to be read at a slow pace.
Shelf placement in library: First New book shelf, then Theology (white spine colour label)
 
A History of the Bible: the book and its faiths, by John Barton. Allen Lane, 2019.
How much of the Bible are Christians expected to believe? John Barton argues that it should be interpreted in the same imaginative way as Judaism treats its own sacred scriptures. An Anglican priest and Oxford professor, Barton brings the Bible splendidly back to life. Stripping away centuries of theological interpretation, he recovers the biblical text as a “repository of writings” – narratives, aphorisms, poems and letters – that both Christianity and Judaism have used, twisted and embellished for their own purposes. It is an exhilarating achievement, freeing a vast, heterogeneous body of work from the dead hand of religious authorities who had turned it into “a paper dictator”
Shelf placement in library: First New book shelf, then Bible and Bible studies (royal blue spine colour label)
 

May 2019

Current library display: Quaker(ish) fiction
 
Books recently added to the collection (all located on the First New Book shelf, then Poetry, fiction drama):
 
Voyageurs, by Margaret Elphinstone. Canongate, 2003.
In the early 1800s, Rachel Greenhow, a young Quaker, goes missing in the Canadian wilderness. Unable to accept the disappearance, her brother Mark leaves his farm in England, determined to bring his sister home. What follows is a gripping account of Mark's odyssey and his travels with the men who canoe Canada's fur-trade route.
The Invention of wings, by Sue Monk Kidd. Tinder Press, 2014. Sarah Grimké is the middle daughter. The one her mother calls difficult and her father calls remarkable. On Sarah's eleventh birthday, Hetty 'Handful' Grimké is taken from the slave quarters she shares with her mother, wrapped in lavender ribbons, and presented to Sarah as a gift. Sarah knows what she does next will unleash a world of trouble. She also knows that she cannot accept. And so, indeed, the trouble begins ... A powerful, sweeping novel, inspired by real events, and set in the American Deep South in the nineteenth century,
 
The Last runaway, by Tracy Chevalier. Borough Press, 2013.
Honor Bright is a sheltered Quaker who has rarely ventured out of 1850s Dorset when she impulsively emigrates to America. Opposed to the slavery that defines and divides the country, she finds her principles tested to the limit when a runaway slave appears at the farm of her new family.
 
The Messenger, by Siri Mitchell. Bethany House, 2012.
Hannah Sunderland felt content in her embrace of the Quaker faith...until her twin brother ran off and joined the army and ended up captured and in jail. Suddenly Hannah's world turns on end. She longs to bring her brother some measure of comfort in the squalid, frigid prison where he remains. But the Quakers believe they are not to take sides, not to take up arms. Can she sit by and do nothing while he suffers?
 
Measure of light, by Beth Powning. Vintage Canada, 2016.
Mary Dyer becomes one of America’s first Quakers. As both outcast and privileged citizen, caught between the callings of faith and the ambitions of her husband, she comes to the realization that she must follow her convictions in order to bring an end to the brutal repression of the Quakers in Massachusetts, for whom death by hanging is the ultimate punishment.
 
The Witch of blackbird pond, by Elizabeth George Speare. Houghton, Mifflin Harcourt, 1958.
Sixteen-year-old Kit Tyler is marked by suspicion and disapproval from the moment she arrives on the unfamiliar shores of colonial Connecticut in 1687. Just when it seems she must give up, she finds a kindred spirit. But Kit’s friendship with Hannah Tupper, believed by the colonists to be a witch, proves more taboo than she could have imagined and ultimately forces Kit to choose between her heart and her duty.
 
Quaker café, by Brenda Bevan Remmes. Lake Union, 2014.
When Liz Hoole, a free-spirited liberal from the Midwest, marries into a conservative Quaker family, she knows that raising children in compliance with Quaker values will be challenging. Twenty-five years later, she still feels like she’s falling short of expectations. Fortunately, her faith and her friends in the small, rural North Carolina town of Cedar Branch keep her strong.
 
The Dispossessed, by Ursula Le Guin. Harper Voyager, 1974.
Shevek, a brilliant physicist, decides to take action. He will seek answers, question the unquestionable, and attempt to tear down the walls of hatred that have isolated his planet of anarchists from the rest of the civilized universe. To do this dangerous task will mean giving up his family and possibly his life--Shevek must make the unprecedented journey to the utopian mother planet, Urras, to challenge the complex structures of life and living, and ignite the fires of change.
 
Selected poems, by Kathleen Raine. Golgonooza Press, 1988.
Poems from 1943- to the present day, Kathleen Raine's pared down style is filled with deeply elemental, powerful imagery, in her unmistakably female voice.
 
Aotearoa psalms: prayers of a new people, by Joy Cowley and Terry Coles. Pleroma Christian Supplies, 2004.
Vivid and evocative imagery in texts and photography. Aotearoa Psalms, like their namesakes, range over a wide variety of moods. They will be a very helpful stimulus to reflective prayer for New Zealanders from many Christian traditions.
 
Psalms for the road, by Joy Cowley and Terry Coles. Pleroma Christian Supplies, 2005.
Through this book, Joy Cowley offers us the hospitality of her heart, God as companion, the hand and city streets as places of divinity, and our brothers, sisters and strangers as pilgrims on the road.These prayers hum and ring with reverence for life in all its forms. A collection for contemplation to carry with you on trains, planes and picnics.
 

March 2019

The current library display :  Best books of the year
 
Books recently added to the collection
 
William Penn; a life, by Andrew R Murphy.  Oxford University Press, 2019.  
This is the first significant biography of William Penn for forty years.
On March 4, 1681, King Charles II granted William Penn a charter for a new American colony. Pennsylvania was to be, in its founder's words, a bold "Holy Experiment" in religious freedom and toleration, a haven for those fleeing persecution in an increasingly intolerant England and across Europe. An activist, political theorist, and the proprietor of his own colony, Penn would become a household name in the New World, despite spending just four years on American soil. Though Penn is an iconic figure in both American and British history, controversy swirled around him during his lifetime. In his early twenties, Penn became a Quaker-an act of religious as well as political rebellion that put an end to his father's dream that young William would one day join the English elite. Yet Penn went on to a prominent public career as a Quaker spokesman, political agitator, and royal courtier. At the height of his influence, Penn was one of the best-known Dissenters in England and walked the halls of power as a close ally of King James II. At his lowest point, he found himself jailed on suspicion of treason, and later served time in debtor's prison.
Shelf placement in library: New Books shelf.  Then afterwards in George Fox and founding Quakers section .
 
February 2019
 
The current library display:  Best books of the year
 
Books recently added to the collection: 
 
The Jerusalem Bible.  Darton, Longman and Todd, 1974.  
The Jerusalem Bible text is a version in modern English which keeps as close as possible to the literal meaning of the ancient texts from which it has been translated. Very brief introductions are provided to indicate the historical setting of each book, and a small number of short footnotes to clarify only the literal meaning of the text without attempting interpretation. The Jerusalem Bible first appeared in 1966 and was the work of a team of scholars (including J. R. R. Tolkien) under the direction of Father Alexander Jones, influenced by La Bible de Jerusalem - a French translation of the Bible produced by the French Biblical School in Jerusalem. It was hailed as a masterpiece of textual accuracy and modern style. 
Shelf placement in library: First New book shelf, then Bible studies
 
New Bible commentary: 21st century edition.   Intervarsity Press, 1994.  
In recent years there have been many new developments in biblical scholarship, some challenging and some affirming scriptural accounts. This authoritative reference work brings together many of the finest scholars of our day to meet the needs of the church well into the next century. 
Shelf placement in library: First New book shelf, then Bible studies
 
How did we get into this mess? Politics, equality, nature, by George Monbiot.   Verso, 2016.  
George Monbiot is one of the most vocal, and eloquent, critics of the current consensus. This book assesses the state we are now in: the devastation of the natural world, the crisis of inequality, the corporate takeover of nature, our obsessions with growth and profit and the decline of the political debate over what to do.
While his diagnosis of the problems in front of us is clear-sighted and reasonable, he also develops solutions to challenge the politics of fear. 
Shelf placement in library: First New book shelf, then Social issues
 
Pursuing peace in Godzone: Christianity and the peace tradition in New Zealand, edited by Geooffrey Troughton and Philip Fountain.   VUW, 2018.  
This is a book about how New Zealanders have been inspired by visions for peace. Focusing on diverse Christian communities, it explores some of the ways that peace has influenced their practices, lifestyles and politics from the Second World War to the present—the period in which New Zealand’s peaceable image and reputation as ‘God’s Own Country’ grew and flourished. New Zealand Christians and others have worked for peace in many different ways, from attention-grabbing protests against nuclear weapons, apartheid and war, to quieter but no less important efforts to improve relationships within their churches, communities and the natural environment. 
Shelf placement in library: First New book shelf, then Christian practice
 
Ikigai: the Japanese secret to a long and happy life, by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles.  Hutchinson, 2017.   
Ikigai is a traditional Japanese concept that embodies happiness in living. It is, essentially, the reason that you get up in the morning. This book is about finding your ikigai - identifying your purpose or passion and using this knowledge to achieve greater happiness in your life. Your ikigai doesn't have to be some grand ambition or highly noble life's purpose - it can be something simple and humble, like tending your garden or walking your dog.
Shelf placement in library: First New book shelf, then Personal relationships
 
Quakers & the First World War: Lives and Legacies series, by various authors and supported by Central England Area Meeting:
1. Conscientious objection & conscription
2. Quakers on the home front
3. Friends’ War Victims’ Relief Committee
4. The Friends’ Ambulance Unit
Shelf placement in library: First New book shelf, then Quaker history
 
Tears, love and laughter: Bill and Sill’s amazing New Zealand adventure, by Sylvia Sanderson.  PublishNation, 2017.
In 2011 the Sandersons left Britain to take on the role of Resident Friends in Christchurch.  The two earthquakes failed to daunt them, and this is their story of their travels in New Zealand.
Shelf placement in library: First New book shelf, then Quakers and Quakerism in NZ
 
Kid’s Bible story book, by Jesse Lyman Hurlbut.  Christian Literature Brigade,1999.
A simplified version of the 1908 original now written for 8years old and above.  Not all stories have illustrations.  At the end of each story is a “think about it’ prompt usually very good.  It would be the sort of book to read to a younger child, although an older child would be able to read it alone.  The introduction stresses the importance of a second reading of each story to show a child that we read the Bible for what it can teach us.
Shelf placement in library: First New book shelf, then Bible and Bible study
                                                                
December 2018
 
The current library display:  Some Quakerly fiction, poems and plays.
 
Books recently added to the collection: 
 
The Battle for God: fundamentalism in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, by Karen Armstrong.  Harper Collins, 2004. 
One of Britain’s greatest religious historian chronicles the rise and rise of fundamentalism., the  religious extremism which is currently bedevilling the modern world and which our need to understand has never been greater..
Shelf placement in library: New Books display, afterwards Theology
 
Quaker roots and branches, by John Lampen.  Christian Alternative, 2018. 
John Lampen distills central ideas and beliefs of Quakerism in this quick introduction to the pacifist faith. 
Shelf placement in library: New Books display, afterwards Quaker thinking
 
Walk humbly, serve boldly: modern Quakers as everyday prophets, by Margery Post Abbott.  Inner Light Books, 2018. 
By considering the prophetic ministry an ordinary consequence of listening for the Spirit of Truth as often as possible in all we do, space opens up for this way of being to be part of our life journey. 
Shelf placement in library: New Books display, afterwards Quaker thinking                                                                        
 
November 2018
 
The current library display: Some Quakerly poetry, fiction and drama. In it you will find poetry by two of
our members: Noeline Gannaway and Sally Holmes.
 
Books recently added to the collection:
 
Society without God: what the least religious nations can teach us about contentment, by Phil Zuckerman. New York University Press, 2008.
Before he began his recent travels, it seemed to Phil Zuckerman as if humans all over the globe were "getting religion"-praising deities, performing holy rites, and soberly defending the world from sin. But most residents of Denmark and Sweden, he found, don't worship any god at all, don't pray, and don't give much credence to religious dogma of any kind. Instead of being bastions of sin and corruption, however, as the Christian Right has suggested a godless society would be, these countries are filled with residents who score at the very top of the "happiness index" and enjoy their healthy societies, which boast some of the lowest rates of violent crime in the world (along with some of the lowest levels of corruption), excellent educational systems, strong economies, well-supported arts, free health care, egalitarian social policies, outstanding bike paths, and great beer.
Shelf placement in library: New books, then afterwards Theology
 
Unapologetic: why, despite everything, Christianity can still make surprising emotional sense, by Francis Spufford. Faber, 2013.
Francis Spufford's Unapologetic is a wonderfully pugnacious defence of Christianity. Refuting critics such as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and the "new atheist" crowd, Spufford, a former atheist and Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, argues that Christianity is recognizable, drawing on the deep and deeply ordinary vocabulary of human feeling, satisfying those who believe in it by offering a ruthlessly realistic account of the grown-up dignity of Christian experience. Fans of C. S. Lewis, N. T. Wright, Marilynne Robinson, Mary Karr, Diana Butler Bass, Rob Bell, and James Martin will appreciate Spufford's crisp, lively, and abashedly defiant thesis. Unapologetic is a book for believers who are fed up with being patronized, for non-believers curious about how faith can possibly work in the twenty-first century, and for anyone who feels there is something indefinably wrong, literalistic, anti-imaginative and intolerant about the way the atheist case is now being made.
Shelf placement in library: New books, then afterwards Theology
 
Jesus, by Michael Keene. Lion Publishing, 2002
This title written for young adults is part of a series focused on religions, presenting them in a clear, simple and colourfully illustrated manner. Jesus is one of the most influential figures of all time. But who was he? What can we know about him? How did he change the course of history? And how has he helped shape humanity? This work covers the most excellent aspects about the life of Jesus of Nazareth, from the announcement of his birth to his crucifixion and influence in the present day; it paints a clear portrait of the founder of Christianity.
Shelf placement in library: New Books display, afterwards History of Christianity
 
Joseph in Egypt, a cultural icon from Grotius to Goethe, by Bernard Lang. Yale University Press, 2009.
The biblical story of Joseph ranks in the history of world literature alongside The Odyssey and other ancient legends as a seminal canonical text and has provided rich material for later writers to imitate and elaborate. This book, by Bernard Lang, an internationally acclaimed biblical scholar, examines the many and varied ways that the story of Joseph has been interpreted in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe. During that time, Joseph was heralded as an icon by many different writers and thinkers, among them Henry Fielding, Voltaire, Chateaubriand, and Goethe. Educators commended Joseph as a model of piety, moralists extolled him in defence of chastity, and political philosophers regarded him as an exemplary leader; historians debated variously whether he was a benefactor, tyrant, or merely a character in a well-told ancient oriental tale. Lang examines a range of texts-novels, stage plays, poems, children's books, and critical treatises-to illuminate the debt each owes to earlier versions of the Joseph story. In doing so, he presents a masterful, sensitive, and highly readable account of the early modern world.
Shelf placement in library: New Books display then afterwards Theology
 
October 2018
 
The current library display: Highlights from Quaker pamphlet series.
 
Books recently added to the collection:
 
Metaphors of meaning, by Linda Wilson. Pendle Hill Pamphlet 437, 2016.
Linda Wilson (Waikato Monthly Meeting) explores metaphors that are commonly used to for expressing life in the spirit, noting that their meaning can vary from person to person, framed by one’s geographical roots, culture and gender.
Shelf placement in library: Current table display, afterwards Pendle Hill Pamphlets
 
Changing ourselves, changing the world, by Chris Alton. Quaker Books, 2018.
In his lecture ‘Changing ourselves, changing the world’ Chris shares how he seeks to challenge people and create change through his art and how art can be an act of witness. Chris will address the challenges we face in a changing and increasingly violent and fractured world, while considering how he as an artist and we as Friends might respond creatively, and offer subversive alternatives.
Shelf placement in library: Current table display, afterwards Swarthmore Lecture series
 
New Oxford book of Christian verse, edited by Donald Davie. OUP, 1988.
This well-loved anthology embraces everything from the Anglo-Saxon 'The Dream of the Rood' to the works of modern poets such as T. S. Eliot, Sir John Betjeman, W. H. Auden, and John Berryman. Australian and American poetry appears alongside English, Anglo-Irish, Scottish, and Anglo-Welsh verse, and the book also includes a selection of congregational hymns.
Shelf placement in library: New Books display, afterwards Poetry, Fiction etc shelf in glass-fronted cubpoard
 
September 2018
 
The current library display highlights Lloyd Geering’s writing.
 
Books recently added to the collection:
 
The Oxford book of Quaker studies, edited by Stephen W. Angell and Pink Dandelion. Oxford University press, 2013.
This volume provides an indispensable reference work for the study of Quakerism. It is global in its perspectives and interdisciplinary in its approach whilst offering the reader a clear narrative through the academic debates. In addition to an in-depth survey of historical readings of Quakerism, the handbook provides a treatment of the group's key theological premises and its links with wider Christian thinking. Quakerism's distinctive ecclesiastical forms and practices are analysed, and its social, economic, political, and ethical outcomes examined.
Shelf placement in library: Current display, afterwards Quaker thinking
Alternative version: available as an e-book from: https://global.oup.com/academic/product/the-oxford-handbook-of-quaker-studies-9780198744986?cc=nz&lang=en&
Local libraries: John Kinder Theological Library
 
Geering, Lloyd Tomorrow’s God : How we create our worlds. Bridget Williams Books, 2000.
The post-Christian era offers a mixed blessing, as people find greater personal freedom while facing a future without the certainty of traditional beliefs and practices.
In Tomorrow’s God, renowned writer and commentator Lloyd Geering argues that the world we live in is largely a product of our own making. Thus ‘God’, a central symbol of meaning, is entirely a human creation. Geering urges us to consciously create new meaning for our lives in a work that is a distillation of a lifetime’s reading and reflection on religious and social questions.
Shelf placement in library: Current display, thereafter Theology
Alternative version: Bridget Williams e-books @
https://www.bwb.co.nz/books/tomorrows-god
Local libraries: Most libraries
 
Geering, Lloyd. Wrestling with God: the story of my life. Bridget Williams Books, 2015.
Wrestling With God tells the story of the man who came to personify New Zealand’s debates over the role and meaning of religious belief in increasingly secular age.
Shelf placement in library: Current display, thereafter Biography (non- Quaker)
Also available Bridget Williams Books @ https://www.bwb.co.nz/books/wrestling-with-god
Local libraries: Most/all local libraries
 
Geering, Lloyd. Christianity without God. Bridget Williams Books, 2005.
Does the failure of the conventional idea of God spell the end of the Christian tradition? Or does it simply mean the end of conventional Christian doctrine? Christianity without God affirms the latter, treating Christian culture as a living and evolving stream. In this cogently argued book, Lloyd Geering brings the resources of his deep scholarship to look at what the world really needs from contemporary religion. His inspiration is the cultivation of the wisdom of Christianity, not a dependence on beliefs about a supernatural saviour.
Shelf placement in library: Current display, thereafter Theology
Also available Bridget Williams Books @ https://www.bwb.co.nz/books/christianity-without-god
Local libraries: Most/all local libraries
 
Geering, Lloyd. God in the New World. Hodder and Stoughton, 1965.
Has Christianity anything to say in this secular age? Dr. Geering examines two of the most misunderstood areas — the nature of the Bible, and the relation of Christian faith to science — and affirms that Christ is completely relevant to the modern world.
Shelf placement in library: Current display, thereafter Theology
 
August 2018
 
The current library display highlights Lloyd Geering’s writing.
 
Books recently added to the collection:
 
Duke, Elizabeth. Can religion speak truth? Religious Society of Friends in Aotearoa New Zealand, 2018. The Quaker lecture series.
Eizabeth argues that truth goes far beyond statements and belief: we live in action, in relationships and in the nature of all that is..
Shelf placement in library: Quaker Lecture series
Alternative version: The Lecture may become available online at a later date.
Local libraries: National Library of New Zealand
 
Armstrong, Karen. A History of God, from Abraham to the present; the 4000-year quest for God. Vintage Books, 1999.
This highly regarded author examines Western society’s unerring fidelity to the idea of one god and the many conflict convictions it engenders.  This is a controversial story of worship and war ...
Shelf placement in library: New Books display, then: Theology
Also available for purchase through Book Depository and Amazon
Video can be watched at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJkNs512Lsk
Local libraries: Wellington City Libraries (211 ARM)
 
July 2018
 
The current library display highlights Quakers in Commerce.
Friends may be interested in previous years Backhouse Lectures. Many of these are now available in electronic format (MP3 videos and/or pdf format). If you are interested in exploring the possibility here is the link: https://www.quakersaustralia.info/resources/backhouse-lectures
 
Books recently added to the collection:
 
Bible. The New Testament: a translation [by] David Bentley Hart. Yale University press, 2017.
This important new translation from the Greek aims to render the original text as accurately as possible. As a result, each of the four gospels is now recognizable as the work of four quite different authors each with their own voice. The author believes that any translation done by mass collaboration is likely to lead to blandness and imprecision due to ‘diplomatic accord”. Even worse doctrinal ideologies have driven translators to distort the original text to a “discreditable degree” even to the extent that it becomes “fraudulent”.
Shelf placement in library: New Books display, then: Bible and Bible studies
Digital version: E book and audio available through Amazon.com https://www.amazon.com/New-testament-David-Bentley-Hart/dp/0300186096
Local libraries: Wellington City Libraries (225.5209 BIB)
 
Newman, Katherine K. First day stories. Lulu [publishing] 2016
Twelve stories about contemporary Quaker life for 3-6 year olds. This book describes situations familiar to young children who attend meetings. Some focus on such things as shaking hands, holding others in the light and so on. While other stories are about problems common to childhood such as feeling lonely, angry etc. The stories are short enough to be used as an introduction to discussion, crafts, singing and play. Nicely illustrated.
Shelf placement in library: New Books display, then: Quaker practice, but shelved in Children’s collection in Quaker centre
Also available for purchase through Amazon
Digital version: not available
Local libraries: not held
 
Humphries, Debbie L. Seeds that changed the world: essays on Quakerism, spirituality, faith and culture. Quaker Press of FGC, 2017.
Our Quaker tradition is a practice-based religious path that embodies the ability to hold paradoxical truths with deep love and a minimum of hierarchy. The author suggests that this capability is something that the world as a whole needs today.
Shelf placement in library: New Books display, then: Quaker practice
Also available for purchase through Book Depository and Amazon
Digital version: not available
Local libraries: not held
 
Ehrman, Bart D. The Triumph of Christianity: how a forbidden religion swept the world. Oneworld, 2018.
The first Christians were a small group of illiterate peasants from the backwaters of the Roman Empire, who proclaimed that an executed enemy of the state was God’s messiah. Less than 400 years later it would be the official religion of Rome with some 30 million followers. Christianity might easily have gone the way of other now forgotten sects of Judaism. The author explores what it was about the Christian message that its followers found so compelling and which has shaped modern Western civilization.
Shelf placement in library: New Books display, then: History of Christianity
Also available for purchase through Book Depository and Amazon
Digital version: available from Amazon
Local libraries: Wellington City Libraries (270.1 EHR), Auckland Libraries, Christchurch City Libraries, Whangarei District Libraries, John Kinder Theological Library
 
Ehrman, Bart D. The orthodox corruption of scripture: the effect of early Christological controversies on the text of the New Testament. 2nd ed. Oxford University Press, 2011.
Bart Ehrman explores the close relationship between the social history of early Christianity and the textual tradition of the emerging New Testament. He examines how early struggles between Christian "heresy" and "orthodoxy" changed the documents over which many of the debates were, and still are, being waged.
Shelf placement in library: New Books display, then: Bible and Bible studies
Also available for purchase through Book Depository and Amazon
Digital version: available from Amazon
Local libraries: University of Waikato and John Kinder Theological College
 
December 2017
 
This month’s library display showcases books that may be of interest to Friends who have children.
 
Here are a couple of good books that Friends might find rewarding over the Christmas break:
 
The Buried Giant, by Kenzo Ishiguro. Faber, 2015.
This book is a fascinating story about memory loss that has served a troubled people as a blessing in helping them to forget of the horrors of slaughter and to live peaceably together. But the mist of memory loss also serves to threaten individuals with the dissolution of his or her self. It is also a deeply affecting portrait of marital love, and of how even the most precious memories can end up vulnerable. While it takes place in post-Arthurian Britain the lessons are eternal.
Held in all local libraries. Some also have Large Print and audiobooks as well as the print format.
 
Lila, by Marilynne Robinson. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014.
A new American classic from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Gilead and Housekeeping as well as her non-fiction books already held in the Theology section of the Meeting House library , Marilynne Robinson, one of the greatest novelists of our time, tells an unforgettable story of a girlhood lived on the fringes of society in fear, awe, and wonder. Lila, homeless and alone after years of roaming the countryside, steps inside a small-town Iowa church--the only available shelter from the rain--and ignites a romance and a debate that will reshape her life. She becomes the wife of a minister, John Ames, and begins a new existence while trying to make sense of the life that preceded her newfound security. Neglected as a toddler, Lila was rescued by Doll, a canny young drifter, and brought up by her in a hardscrabble childhood. Together they crafted a life on the run, living hand to mouth with nothing but their sisterly bond to protect them. Their shared life was laced with moments of joy and love. Lila arrives struggles to reconcile the life of her makeshift family and their days of hardship with the gentle Christian worldview of her husband. The questions she asks her husband about his faith are revealing to both of them as well as the reader.
Held in all local libraries. Some also have Large Print and audiobooks as well as the print format.
 
New books added to the collection:
 
The darkening age: the Christian destruction of the Classical word, by Catherine Nixey. . London, Macmillan, 2017.
The author tells the relatively unknown story of the way a militant Christianity deliberately extinguished the teachings of the Classical world. Despite preaching peace, Christianity practiced violence, ruthlessness and intolerance in order to usher in unquestioning adherence to the "one true faith".
Shelf placement: History of Christianity
Digital version: Available through Amazon.com and
bookdepository.com
Other option: https://www.bookdepository.com/search?searchTerm=nixey+darkening+age&search=Find+book
Local libraries: Wellington City Libraries ( 270.1NIX)
 
The Language of leadings: a reflection on faith, action and concern, by Jane Pearn. London, Quaker Books, 2017.
This book follows the course of a concern from initial promptings to testing, developing and acting on it, and eventually perhaps laying it down.
Shelf placement: Quaker practice
Digital version: not available
Other option: not available
Local libraries: not available
 
Coming to light: cultivating spiritual discernment through the Quaker clearness committee, by Valerie Brown. Pendle Hill Pamphlet 446, 2017. 
The Pamphlet shows ways in which the Quaker clearness process for spiritual discernment can be adapted for secular and non-Quaker groups.
Shelf placement: Quaker practice
Digital version: not available
Other option: not available
Local libraries: not available
 
Discernment and inner knowing: making decisions for the best, by Joycelin Dawes. Woodbrooke, Feedaread Publishing, 2017.
The author explores spiritual and secular discernment by comparing Quaker practice and Theory U. She explores the Quaker tradition and practice of discernment alongside modern secular leadership approaches of presencing and sensing.
Shelf placement: Quaker practice
Digital version: not available
Other option: available through Amazon.com
Local libraries: not available
 
What does love require of us? Quaker promptings towards love in action, by David Brown. London, The Kindlers, 2017.
This booklet explores forty two Advices and Queries, guidelines and challenges, which Quakers have evolved over 350 years. These spiritual experiences
strive to put love in action as a way of life and as the heart of Quaker worship.
Shelf placement: Quaker practice
Digital version: not available
Other option: not available
Local libraries: not available
 
A Little history of religion, by Richard Holloway. New Haven, Yale University press, 2016.
The author retells the history of religion from the dawn of religious belief to the twenty-first century. The book is particularly applicable for young adults whose curiosity and interest in religious matters has been wakened.
Shelf placement: History of Christainity
Digital version: Kindle edition via Amazon.com
Other option: print available through Amazon.com
and Book Depository.com
Local libraries: Wellington City Libraries (200.9.HOL)
 
November 2017
 
The physical reorganization of the library is virtually complete: A number of books on Quakerism have been archived and are shelved in the top part of the tall cupboard.  Depending on usage during the next year, it may be worth thinking of offering these to the Yearly Meeting collection housed in Wanganui. The New Zealand Friends’ Newsletter for the last 50 or so years is now boxed, labeled and shelved in the bottom part of the tall cupboard.  Unfortunately the runs are not complete. Two easy chairs are now in place.  It is hoped that this will provide a welcoming look to the library as well as a place where Friends can browse the collection at their leisure. Focus will now be placed on small subject displays to highlight different aspects of the collection.  If any Friend would like to see books on a particular subject gathered together please let the librarian know.
 
A book not for the faint hearted:
I have just read a book review for: ‘Priest of nature’: the religious worlds of Isaac Newton, by Rob Iliffe.  OUP, 2017.     Newton believed that Jesus was not the divine Second Person of the Trinity at a time when such a view was idolatrous. Rob Iliffe, professor of history at Oxford, begins his study of Newton’s religious thought by saying, ‘Newton’s extensive writings on the Trinitarian corruption of Christianity are among the most daring works of any writer in the early modern period, and they would merit careful study even if they had not been composed by the author of the Principia.’  You can find the full review at: https://www.spectator.co.uk/2017/09/isaac-newton-was-a-fierce-critic-of-the-trinitarian-corruption-of-christianity-priest-of-nature-reviewed/ You can purchase the book, since it is not currently held at any NZ library at https://www.amazon.com/Priest-Nature-Religious-Worlds-Newton/dp/0199995354
While fascinating, I don’t think this book fits the profile of our library, but am willing to be persuaded otherwise if anyone feels that it would be read.
 
New books added to the collection:     
                                                                                                                                                                                      
The Rise and fall of Adam and Eve, by Stephen Greenblatt.  New York, W.W Norton, 2017.  
Stephen Greenblatt explores the enduring story of humanity's first parents. Tracking the tale into the deep past, Greenblatt uncovers the theological, artistic, and cultural investment over centuries that made these fictional figures so profoundly resonant in the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim worlds and, finally, so very 'real' to millions of people even in the present. The biblical origin story, Greenblatt argues, is a model for what the humanities still have to offer: not the scientific nature of things, but rather a deep encounter with problems that have gripped our species for as long as we can recall and that continue to fascinate and trouble us today.
Shelf placement: Theology.
Local libraries: Wellington City Libraries
Digital version: Available through Amazon.com 
Other option: https://www.amazon.com/Rise-Fall-Adam-Eve/dp/0393240800
 
The fearless Benjamin Lay: the Quaker dwarf who became the first revolutionary abolitionist, by Marcus Rediker.  Verso, 2017.
Originally from Essex, Lay was a radical Quaker in the early days of quietism. He was one of the first people to demand total and unconditional emancipation of all enslaved Africans around the world. He insisted that human bondage violated the fundamental principles of Christianity.
Shelf placement: Quaker biography
Local libraries: not available
Digital version: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fearless-Benjamin-Lay-Revolutionary-Abolitionist/dp/1786634716/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1509265970&sr=1-1&keywords=fearless+Benjamin+Lay
 
Essays in Quaker history, by David Rubinstein.  Quacks Books, 2016.
This book is a mix of both Quaker history and biography dealing mostly with Quakerism since the late 19th century rather than previous centuries. It comprises previously published essays, edited to make a single publication.
Shelf placement: Quaker history
Local libraries: not available
Digital version: https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=essays+in+quaker+history+rubinstein&rh=n%3A266239%2Ck%3Aessays+in+quaker+history+rubinstein
 
The Gathered Meeting, by Steven Davison.  Pendle Hill Pamphlet 444, 2017.
The author describes what fosters the gathered meeting wherein lies the soul of Quaker faith and its hope for a Quakerism that remains vibrant and relevant into the future.
Shelf placement: Quaker practice
Local libraries: not available
Digital version: not available
 
Two brothers and a chocolate factory, the remarkable story of Richard and George Cadbury, by Juliet Clare Bell, illustrated by Jess Mikhail.  Bournville Village Trust, 2016.  
A beautifully illustrated children's book which tells the lives of brothers George and Richard Cadbury who saved their father's chocolate factory from failure and improved the lives of the factory's employees in a way that was copied by other industrialists both in England and internationally.
Shelf placement: Quaker biography
Local libraries: not available
Digital version: not available
Other option: not available
 
October 2017
 
The bookcase that contains four Quaker lecture series (Swarthmore lectures, Pendle Hill Pamphlets, Backhouse lectures and Quaker Lectures) have been date-ordered
and any duplicates withdrawn. Duplicates have been offered to the Quaker Settlement library.
A plea: We have discovered that Audrey Brodie’s small book/pamphlet (27p) The Society of Friends (Quakers) in Wellington is not held by the library. If any Friend
has a copy they would be willing to donate, the library would be the richer for it.
 
New books:
 
How to read the Bible, by James L. Kugel. Free Press, 2007.
The author guides the reader through the 'quiet revolution' of recent biblical scholarship. He introduces the host of research findings that have fundamentally challenged long-standing interpretations of the ancient texts of the Hebrew Bible. The book is written in a lucid colloquial style and comes with ample illustrations.
Shelf placement: Bible and bible studies.
Local libraries: John Kinder Theological Library; Tauranga City Libraries
Digital version: Available through Amazon.com as an audiobook and MP3
Other option: https://www.amazon.com/ search for How to Read the Bible: A Guide to Scripture
 
September 2017
 
As indicated in last month’s newsletter, the collection has been weeded. Withdrawn items were offered to Friends over the previous six weeks. The remainder have been donated to St Vincent de Paul’s for their Bookfair to be held in early October.
 
New books:
 
Faith in Politics? A testimony to equality, by Catherine West and Andy Hull. Quaker Books, 2017. Swarthmore Lecture 2017.
The authors challenge Friends to champion the cause of equality in their own communities.
Shelf placement: Swarthmore Lecture series.
Local libraries: not available
Digital version: not available
Other option: not currently available
 
Transcending neoliberalism: moving from a state of denial to progressive transformation, by Jane Kelsey. Religious Society of Friends in Aotearoa New Zealand, 2017. 2017 Quaker Lecture.
The author believes New Zealand has accepted the concept of neo-liberalism or free market economics. Also that the country has a shallow trading base and is at risk in the near future. She believes New Zealand needs to apply the values of truth, integrity and social justice if we are to escape harsh conditions in the 21st century.
Shelf placement: Quaker Lecture series
Local libraries: Alexander Turnbull Library New Zealand Pacific Collection
Digital version: not currently available
Other options: not currently available
 
August 2017
 
A significant part of reorganizing the library is now complete. The collection has been weeded. As a consequence, there are some duplicated Quaker texts that are
available for anyone interested. In addition some non-Quaker books have also been withdrawn. These have been placed on the two windowsills in the library and will
remain there until end of September. Please feel free to take any of these home with you.
 
New books:
 
The quiet book, by Deborah Underwood. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010.
Delightfully illustrated picture book for children to think about the quality of quietness.
Shelf placement: Children’s collection
Local libraries: South Wairarapa District Libraries
Digital version: not currently available
Other option: https://www.amazon.com/Quiet-Book-Deborah-Underwood/dp/B004TE6TRG/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1500511024&sr=1-4&keywords=quiet+book+underwood
 
The worship kit: a young person's guide to Quaker worship, by John Lampen. Quaker Books, 2010
A book for children and young teenagers who attend Quaker Meetings. It suggests ways to be calm and quiet and how to use the silence.
Shelf placement: Quaker practice
Local libraries: not available
Digital version: not currently available
 
A Quaker reader, compiled by Jessamyn West. Pendle Hill Publications, 1962.
Extracts from the writings of members of the Religious Society of Friends from 1650 to 1962. A guide to those who want to learn of Quakerism and to those who wish to replenish their Quaker faith.
Shelf placement: Quaker thinking
Local libraries: Christchurch City Libraries
Digital version: not currently available
Another option: https://www.amazon.com/Quaker-Reader-Jessamyn-West/dp/087574916X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1500511457&sr=1-1&keywords=Quaker+reader+west
 
Through a glass darkly: a defence of Quaker nontheism, by David Boulton. Dales Historical Monographs, 2016
In response to his critic, Derek Guiton, the book defends the Society's openness to religious diversity.
Shelf placement: Quaker thinking
Local libraries: not available
Digital version: not currently available
 
Man that looks on glass: standing up for God in the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), by Derek Guiton. Feedaread Publishing, 2015.
The author believes British Friends currently have a existentialist crisis and he challenges the "inevitability of the 'Godless' strand in British Quakerism".
Shelf placement: Quaker thinking
Local libraries: not available
Digital version: not currently available
Another option: https://www.amazon.com/MAN-THAT-LOOKS-GLASS/dp/1786102323/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1500511885&sr=1-2&keywords=guiton%2C+derek
 
Quaker meeting houses, by David M. Butler. Quaker Tapestry Booklets, 1995.
The author is an architect whose meticulous drawing of British Quaker meeting houses in bring to life these simple and beautiful buildings.
Shelf placement: Quaker history
Local libraries: not available
Digital version: not currently available
Another option: https://www.amazon.com/Quaker-meeting-houses-Tapestry-Booklets/dp/095115818X/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1500512011&sr=1-2&keywords=Quaker+meeting+houses+butler
 
Speaking silence: Quaker poets of today, edited by R.V Bailey and Stevie Krayer. Indigo Dreams Publishing, 2013.
The first anthology of Quaker poets for over a hundred years. Not a book of sacred verse, but an exploration of the world in all its light and shade seen through a Quaker lens.
Shelf placement: Poetry, fiction etc
Local libraries: not available
Digital version: not currently available
Another option: https://www.amazon.com/Speaking-Silence-Quaker-Poets-Today/dp/1909357308/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1500512260&sr=1-1&keywords=Quaker+speaking+silence
 
Quakers, a very short introduction, by Pink Dandelion. Oxford University Press, 2008.
The author charts the history of the movement from its origins to the diversity of Quaker groups around the world today. He explores its distinctive worship methods, approaches to belief, theology and ecumenism.
Shelf placement: Quaker practice
Local libraries: Carey Baptist College Library, John Kinder Theological Library, Whangarei Libraries
Digital version: Available at some local libraries through Proquest
Another option: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Quakers-Very-Short-Introduction-Introductions/dp/0199206791
 
Through us not from us: vocal ministry and Quaker worship, by Rex Ambler et al. The Kindlers, 2015.
This book recounts the talks of four experienced Friends from a conference on Vocal Ministry, how it began, how it is now practiced and nurtured.
Shelf placement: Quaker practice
Local libraries: not available
Digital version: not available
Another option: not available
 
Living the Quaker way, by Pink Dandelion. Quaker Books, 2012.
The author explores why we do things in the way we do them and includes extracts from Friends talking about these topics.
Shelf placement: Quaker practice
Local libraries: not available
Digital version: not available
Another option: https://www.amazon.com/Living-Quaker-way-Pink-Dandelion-ebook/dp/B0085WDWB4/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1500513158&sr=1-1&keywords=living+Quaker+way+pink+dandelion
 
Twelve Quakers and pacifism. Quaker Quest pamphlet 3, 2005.
A short collection of personal views on this complex and troubling issue which is designed to help those who are starting to explore the Quaker way in the twenty-first century.
Shelf placement: Quaker thinking
Local libraries: not available
Digital version: not available
 
Twelve Quakers and death. Quaker Quest pamphlet 11, 2017.
Twelve writers have attempted to show how Quakerism has shaped their faith and attitudes to death.
Shelf placement: Quaker thinking
Local libraries: not available
Digital version: not available
 
Twelve Quakers and faith. Quaker Quest pamphlet 8, 2009
A collection from twelve anonymous Quakers who reflect on faith. The collection shows both the diversity of Quaker belief but also the shared understanding of that faith.
Shelf placement: Quaker thinking
Local libraries: not available
Digital version: not available
 
Twelve Quakers and prayer. Quaker Quest pamphlet 10, 2015.
Quaker worship is centred in silence and at its heart is prayer. These writers have attempted to express those workings of prayer, silence and worship in their own experience.
Shelf placement: Quaker thinking
Local libraries: not available
Digital version: https://www.amazon.com/Twelve-Quakers-Prayer-Book-ebook/dp/B01IA3MWC2/ref=pd_sim_351_2?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=7NFVRKSBSC80461FJFTC
 
Twelve Quakers and Jesus. Quaker Quest pamphlet 6, 2007.
Twelve Quakers share their testimony to simplicity, peace and integrity which are rooted in Jesus's message.
Shelf placement: Quaker thinking
Local libraries: not available
Digital version: https://www.amazon.com/Twelve-Quakers-Jesus-Book-ebook/dp/B01I5O70AU/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1500522950&sr=8-2&keywords=twelve+quakers+and
 
July 2017
 
The library is now back to its pre-earthquake strengthening subject order, albeit with an additional category, (George Fox and founding Quakers). Friends are gently reminded that if they have a book that they have finished or are no longer reading, the library would welcome their return.
 
We have one new book this month and it looks particularly valuable:
Gross, Zelie: With a Tender hand: a resource book for eldership and oversight. London, Quaker Books, 2015.
Quaker Life commissioned this book to help Quakers today provide confident eldership and oversight to offer support to Friends as they nurture the life of their worshipping community. It aims to support both new and existing elders and overseers.
Further information:
https:/www.friendsjournal.org/with-tender-hand-resource-eldership-oversight/ and
http:/www.quaker.org.nz/our-organisation/quaker-roles/elders-and-overseers/with-tender-hand
Shelf placement: Quaker practice
Local libraries: not available
Digital version: Not currently available.
 
June 2017
 
Do you have any library books languishing at home? If you have finished reading them the library would be grateful for their return.
 
New books:
 
Mombo, Esther and Cecile Nyiramana. Mending broken hearts, rebuilding shattered lives:Quaker peacebuilding in East and Central Africa. 2016 Swarthmore Lecture.
Describes Quaker peace building in five countries: Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda.
Shelf placement: Quaker lecture series
Local libraries: not available
Amazon: not currently available https://www.amazon.co.uk
 
Abbott, Margery Post. Everyday prophets. 2016 James Backhouse Lecture.
Describes Quaker peace testimony and the sometimes equivocal relationship that some Friends have with the testimony.
Shelf placement: Quaker lecture series
Local libraries: not available
Amazon.co.uk: www.amazon.co.uk
 
Francis, Diana. Faith, power and peace. 2015 Swarthmore Lecture.
The author explores the interplay between faith and action. She maintains that faithfulness to the Inward Guide may enable us to become an everyday prophet to follow the path of compassion and justice.
Shelf placement: Quaker lecture series
Local libraries: not available
Amazon.co.uk: currently unavailable
 
He marau mo te Rongopai huri ruarautau. 2014.
Describes the impact of the Christian mission in early Aotearoa/New Zealand
Shelf placement: Christianity
Local libraries: not available
Available online at: https://nzchristiannetwork.org.nz
 
Connolly, Peni. Weaving the fabric of peace: Quaker peacebuilding in the Pacific. 2015.
A practical guide to those working in the field and also a historical account of Quaker reconciliation workers in the Pacific region.
Shelf placement: Pacifism
Local libraries: not available
Available online at: not available
 
Johnson, David. A Quaker prayer life. 2013
The Australian author asks "How did early Quakers pray?” He draws on early Quaker and other writings to answer his question.
Shelf placement: Quaker practice
Local libraries: not available
Available online at: www.amazon.co.uk
 
Howell, Robert. Investing in people and the planet. 2017
The author talks about ethical investment both on a personal and government levels.
Shelf placement: Social issues
Also Available at: National Library of New Zealand, Otago University, Hocken Library
Available online at: not available
 
Owen, Thomas. Patents, pills and the press: the rise and fall of global HIV/AIDS medicines crisis in the news. 2015
The book provides a view of reality of global campaigning for access to medicines, focusing
on the role of the press in the scaling up of access to HIV/AIDS treatment.
Shelf placement: Social issues
Local libraries: Massey University, Unitec Institute of Technology,
Auckland University of Technology libraries
Available online at: www.Amazon.com
 
Cadman, David. Love matters. 2014
The author is a practising Quaker who believes if we put Love at the forefront of every decision our lives can be transformed.
Shelf placement: Quaker practice
Local libraries: not available
Available online at: www.Amazon.co.uk
 
Cowley, Joy. Saint Grandma: the story of Suzanne Aubert. 2013
A children’s' book on the life of Suzanne Aubert who founded the Home of Compassion in Island Bay.
Shelf placement: Children’s collection
Also Available at: Christchurch City Libraries, Carterton Library, Waimakiriri Library
Available online at: not available
 
 
 
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