Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Kahneman takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. Kahneman exposes the extraordinary capabilities – and also the faults and biases of fast thinking, and reveals the pervasive influence of intuitive impressionson our thoughts and behavior. He impact of loss aversion and overconfidence on corporate strategies, the difficulties of predicting what will make us happy in the future, the challenges of properly framing risksat work and at home, the profound effect of cognitive biases on everything from playing the stock market to planning the next vacation each of these can be understood only by knowing how the two systems shape our judgments and decisions.

He offers practical and enlightening insights into how choices are made in both business and in our personal lives – and how we can use different techniques.

To guard against the mental glitches that often get us into trouble.

That Used to Be Us by Thomas L. Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum

Thomas Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum offer both a wake-up call and a call to collective action.They analyze the four challenges we face — globalization, the revolution in information technology, the nation’s chronic deficits, and our pattern of excessive energy consumption– and spell out what we need to do nowto sustain the American dreamand preserve America’s power in the world. They explain how the end of the Cold War blinded the nation to the need to address these issues seriously, and how China’s educational successes, industrial might, and technological prowess remind us of the ways in which “that used to be us”.They explain how the paralysis of our political system and the erosion of key American values have made it impossible for us to carry out the policies the country urgently needs.

And yet Friedman and Mandelbaum believe that the recovery of American greatness is withinreach. They show how America’s history, when properly understood, offers a five-part formula for prosperity that will enable us to cope successfully with the challenges we face.They offer vivid profiles of individuals who have not lost sight of the American habits of bold thought and dramatic action. They propose a clear way out of the trap into which the country has fallen, a way that includes the rediscoveryof some of our most vital traditions and the creation of a new third party movement to galvanize the country.

Full of Grace by Judith Dupre’

Two thousand years ago, a girl from Nazareth was transformed by a simple “yes” into the Mother of God—the subject of sublime devotion, divisive controversy, and extravagant speculation. A mother and a virgin, a saint and a peasant, a woman both tragic and triumphant; Mary has held sway over the human imagination for centuries. Yet she has never felt as relevant to our everyday lives as she does today.

In a series of poignant stories and essays, Dupre examines Mary’s artistic, cultural, and historical influence, and at the same time shows how Mary’s human journey of love, compassion, grief, and humble strength inextricably connects her to our modern lives.

Where is Knowing Going? by John C. Haughey, SJ

Catholic institutions of higher learning are at a crossroads: How can they remain true to their roots while recognizing that many of their administrations, faculties, and student bodies have little connection with the tradition? How can these institutions remain competitive while maintaining a relationship to the Church?

During the past several years Catholic theologian John C. Haughey, S.J. has conducted groundbreaking research on these questions in tandem with a team of Catholic scholars from around the United States. Those relationships and conversations provide the foundation for this book’s many insights.

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

As the United States celebrates the nations’ “triumph over race” with the election of Barack Obama, the majority of young black men in major American cities are locked behind bars or labeled felons for life. Jim Crow laws were wiped off the books decades ago, but today an astounding percentage of the African –American community is warehoused in prisons or trapped in a permanent, second-class status – much like their grandparents before them, who lived under an explicit system of control.

In this stunning and incisive critique, civil rights lawyer –turned- legal scholar Michelle Alexander argues that we have not ended racial caste in America: we have simply redesigned it. Alexander shows that, by targeting black men through the War on Drugs and decimating black communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary of racial control. In the current era, it is no longer permissible to use race, explicitly, as a justification for discrimination, exclusion, and social contempt. Yet it is perfectly legal to discriminate against criminals in nearly all the ways that it was once legal to discriminate against African Americans. The old forms of discrimination — discrimination in employment, housing, education, and public benefits; denial of the right to vote, and exclusion from jury service –are suddenly legal once you are labeled a felon.

The Book of Genesis: Question by Question by William T. Miller, SJ

This study guide for Genesis is the first in a new series of books on the Bible. It is designed to assist individuals or groups who are planning to read the entire book of Genesis, and who want to gain a full understanding of its meaning, its authorship, and the circumstances under which it was written.

The book is divided into different sections based on individual stories or remarks made by the various authors and editors of Genesis. For each section an introduction provides the basic information needed to read the biblical story in line with current scholarship. The study questions are provided to help the reader wrestle with specific verses and contexts. The answers at the end of the book should be consulted by readers after they have invested time in reflection and in writing down their responses.

A Treatise on Prayer from the Heart by Jean Pierre Caussade, SJ

This book responds to our desires for prayer by showing a simple and direct path to prayer. True prayer has to spring from our center, from the heart. A heart-charged prayer comes from our deepest self, from the heart where God speaks to us and where we know God. Through what the author calls attentive pauses, we can enter into inner silence and learn how we might single-mindedly follow God.

An Ignatian Introduction to Prayer by Timothy M. Gallagher, OMV

This is a book for those who desire to pray with Sacred Scripture. Following the spiritual itinerary of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola, forty reflections offer a great resource for those beginning pray with Scripture. They provide accompaniment in the first, tentative steps of such blessed prayer. For those already practice prayer with Scripture, and who seek new depth in that prayer, these emotionally rich reflections can provide an opportunity for such growth.

Catholicism: A Journey of the Heart of the Faith by Robert Barron

What is Catholicism?

A 2,000 year-old living tradition? A worldview? A way of life? A relationship? A mystery? In Catholicism Robert Barron examines all these questions and more, bringing the mysteries of the faith to life for a new generation.

Starting from the essential foundation of Jesus Christ’s Incarnation, life, and teaching, Father Barron moves through the defining elements of Catholicism – from sacraments, worship, and prayer, to Mary, the apostles and saints, to grace, salvation, heaven and hell – using his distinct and dynamic grasp of art, literature, architecture, personal stories, Scripture, theology, philosophy, and history to present the church to the world.

Paired with his documentary – film series of the same name, Catholicism is a one-of-a-kind, global, and intimate journey, capturing “The Catholic Thing” in all its depth and beauty. Father Barron seeks to capture the body, heart, and mind of the Catholic faith in a style that is both faithful to timeless truths while simultaneously speaking in the language of contempory life.