Women of spirit
In a season of reflection, these three little books pack a powerful spiritual punch.
A Prayer Journal (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) by Flannery O'Connor, edited by W.A. Sessions, reproduces a heartfelt youthful notebook by one of the great 20th century American writers, who was a devout Catholic.
Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope and Repair (Riverhead Books) by Anne Lamott brings the beloved author's trademark compassion, wisdom and tart wit to the question of how to deal with suffering and loss, both public and personal.
Survival Lessons (Algonquin Books) by Alice Hoffman, author of The Dovekeepers and several dozen other novels, is her first nonfiction book and a thoughtful meditation on how she coped with breast cancer; it offers poetry and practical advice as well as knitting instructions and a brownie recipe.
Colette Bancroft, Times book editor