Telling the Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy, and Fairy Tale

Telling the Truth 2Buechner searches for the underlying power of the Gospels and how they reflect God’s relationship to humanity as reflected in literature both sacred and profane.

“You don’t have to be in the habit of going to church to listen to such a literary minister; you don’t have to be a believer to be moved by Mr. Buechner’s faith.”–John Irving

“When I forget the power of the word, I read Frederick Buechner. When I forget the deep relief of telling the truth, I read Frederick Buechner. When I forget to look for the holiness all around me, I read Frederick Buechner. When I forget why the gospel matters, I read Frederick Buechner.”–Barbara Brown Taylor

Listening to Your Life: Daily Meditations with Frederick Buechner

Listening to Your LifeA daily reader of inspirational quotes from more than thirty of Buechner’s works, including key passages from novels, sermons, essays, and letters.

“If Frederick Buechner subordinated his nature and chose to write on naughts and nothings, he would still exalt his readers. When he is in representative harmony and writes of the accessibility of God to humanity and of humanity’s agreement with its potential divinity, we, the readers, are lifted up, buoyed up, and promised wholeness. This book is meant to possess, and at the same time liberate, the heart. I’m happy to report it succeeds.”–Maya Angelou

Wishful Thinking: A Seeker’s ABC

Wishful Thinking 2Bridging from daily life to the language of God, the universe, and the human spirit, Buechner brings his faith, doubts, and laughter to theological wordplay making believers of us all.

“Thoughtful, spirited, entertaining…a dictionary for doubters and restless believers.”–Chicago Tribune

“Original, pungent and joyful.”–The Christian Century

“[Buechner] examines language about God and human life with immense perception, a great economy of words, and an engaging use of irony.”–Methodist Recorder

The Magnificent Defeat

The Magnificent DefeatBuechner’s lectures at a New England boarding school provide a platform for his examination of what it means to follow Christ, the lessons of Christmas and Easter, the miracles of grace, and “the magnificent defeat” of the human soul of God.

“These are powerful sermons, designed for the skeptical and inquiring, no less than for the devout.”–Choice

“Combines high writing skill with a profound understanding of Christian essentials.”–New York Times Book Review

“One of today’s most powerful writers on religious themes here offers meditations on key passages of the Old and New Testaments that fuse “rhythmic style, rich imagery, forthright biblical exegesis [and] bring to mind the meditative work of J. B. Phillips and C. S. Lewis.”–Presbyterian Life

Beyond Words: Daily Readings in the ABC’s of Faith

Beyond WordsBuechner’s witty and incisive daily devotional dictionary brings fresh perspective to sacred and ordinary words and Biblical characters, offering an enchanted vision of religious life.

“Combines high writing skill with a profound understanding of Christian essentials.”–New York Times Book Review

“Whether reading ‘Beyond Words’ makes for a happier, easier or more fulfilled life, I couldn’t say. This much I know—it does, at least, for the duration of time you’re reading it.”–Jeff Simon

“[A collection] that all preachers, teachers, and seekers will find themselves returning to again and again for spiritual inspiration.”–Spirituality and Health Magazine

The Alphabet of Grace

The Alphabet of Grace 2Buechner’s meditation on a single day of life and how the innermost mysteries interweave our personal, literary, and spiritual lives into a beautiful whole where the momentous becomes trivial and the trivial sacred and life-altering.

“A book by an experienced writer, a novelist, a poet, a clergyman. … The Alphabet of Grace is a small but beautiful whole, ordered by poetic structure.”–Madeleine L’Engle

“Frederick Buechner surprises and delights (and—very softly—teaches) us by giving some shape to apparently random experience by uttering it. ….  He has articulated what he sees with a freshness and clarity and energy that hails our stultified imaginations.”–The New York Times Book Review

Secrets in the Dark: A Life in Sermons

Secrets in the DarkThis definitive collection of Buechner’s sermons reflects his exquisite gift for storytelling and his compassionate heart as he revitalizes belief and faith by embracing doubt and revealing the presence of God in the midst of his daily life.

“Brilliant…overflowing with images and questions and honesty and insights that will haunt you for days.”–Rob Bell

“In the beginning, we’re told, was the word. Every once in a while someone shows up on the planet who is word-obsessed and word-gifted; and the light and darkness get named again. In our day, that someone is Buechner.”–John Ortberg

“Buechner uses words with such transformative power that any comment on them is like the moon palely reflecting the sun.”–Walter Brueggemann

Peculiar Treasures: A Biblical Who’s Who

Peculiar TreasuresIn this second book of his popular lexical trilogy, Buechner profiles more than 125 of the Bible’s most holy and profane people—and one whale, bringing pivotal moments from scripture to life with his trademark lively and witty prose.

“A fresh perception of the biblical stories with razor-edged humor in such a manner as to bring them alive to modern readers.”–Theology Today

“The entries from Peculiar Treasures that got the most play…were no doubt those treating Abraham, Sarah, and Isaac. Musicians like Michael Card and Daniel Amos wrote songs based on the humor and contemporary themes Buechner finds.”–W. Dale Brown, The Book of Buechner

Whistling in the Dark: A Doubter’s Dictionary

Whistling in the DarkIn a companion volume to Wishful Thinking, Buechner takes readers on a wry and thought-provoking jaunt through the spiritual terrain of our everyday language.

“Compelling and imaginative … uncovers bright patches of light and discloses wry kernels of wisdom and insight.”–Chicago Tribune

“Whistling in the Dark is not so much a book to be read as savored. Buechner’s reflections and reminiscences are by turns moving, provocative, or fascinating—but always insightful. This could be called ‘devotional literature’ at its best. … I find myself wanting to have it within easy reach for frequent treats of stimulation and fresh perspective.”–J. Randall Nichols, Princeton Theological Seminary

A Room Called Remember

A Room Called RememberHome is where family begins and in this volume Buechner explores faith, love, and family through private musings and public sermons.

“[Buechner is] one of our most original storytellers. … [His] reader … feels as if he is being addressed in an extraordinarily personal way. Intimate, dignified and wryly humorous, Buechner’s voice turns us into listeners.”–USA Today

“No one is better than Buechner at intertwining the stuff of faith, the gritty details of life ‘in the real world,’ and the witness of personal quest.”–Presbyterian Survey

“[Buechner’s] magnificent command of the English language will enlighten and enthrall.”–Bookstore Journal

The Faces of Jesus: A Life Story

The Faces of JesusBuechner revisits the ancient stories of the Gospels, presenting a warm-hearted introduction to different aspects of Jesus—the person, the God, the teacher, the wanderer, the man of suffering—and reminding us to seek to see Jesus afresh is to be changed and challenged every day.

“Reading this book is akin to praying with religious art, with Rev. Buechner as a reverent guide to the artist’s intent.”–Rachelle Linner, The Catholic Review Online

“[Y]et another of Mr. Buechner’s poetic musings; this time he puts a human face on the gospel events, one that mirrors our own. … Clearly he has a way with words. He makes familiar New Testament encounters refreshingly vivid, drawing the reader in so closely that we must either gaze in awe or avoid meeting Jesus’ eyes altogether.”–Dallas New Religion

The Hungering Dark

The Hungering DarkBuechner reflects on the core ideas of truth, doubt, good, and evil in a complicated world and the hunger to find and experience God.

“Combines an acute sensitivity to the biblical word with a keen awareness for what is relevant for his contemporaries.”–Choice

“Frederick Buechner is a poet and master of English prose.”–The Living Church

“This pastor-novelist-essayist is a master of graceful writing.”–Concern

“Frederick Buechner’s style is ostensibly prose, yet so compressed are the ideas and so vivid are the images that the writing often seems to be free verse.”–Presbyterian Life

Speak What We Feel (Not What We Ought to Say)

Speak What We FeelBuechner shares the stage with four of his heroes—William Shakespeare, Gerald Manley Hopkins, Mark Twain, and G.K. Chesterton—examining how they each came to terms with despair in their lives, on the page, and how each of them found faith by facing his vulnerabilities.

“Frederick Buechner is a poet and master of English prose.”–The Living Church

“A hauntingly terrifying and beautiful book about the depths of human existence.”–Dallas Willard

“Serves to illuminate a path through the ambiguities and complexities of human life.”–Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

The Yellow Leaves

The Yellow LeavesReflecting upon his long life as a writer, Buechner contemplates transcendence and the presence of the divine in the midst of the commonplace activities of daily life.

“Before there was Rob Bell, Anne Lamott and Brian McLaren, there was—and still is—Frederick Buechner. Frederick Buechner was—and remains—a pioneer in spiritual memoir.”–David Crumm, Editor of

“This book is cause for rejoicing. Buechner’s remarkable way with words continues. From presidents to teachers, from famous folk to family, Buechner’s subjects become poignant portraits that bespeak his artful attentiveness. Ranging from memoir to short story, from book review to poetry, this book will be good company for longtime Buechner readers and a revelation to those just arriving.”–W. Dale Brown

The Longing for Home

The Longing for HomeFrom the day of our birth to our last breath, we live in one home or another, tragic or comic, happy or sad. In this volume, Buechner illuminates the search for our eternal home and meaning in our lives through friends, family, and loved ones.

“Journey on, Frederick Buechner. We need your stories to help us make sense of our own.”–New Oxford Review

“Extraordinarily personal…intimate, dignified, and wryly humorous.”–USA Today

“Buechner has articulated what he sees with a freshness and clarity and energy that hails our stultified imaginations.”–New York Times Book Review

The Clown in the Belfry

The Clown in the BelfryA collection of 14 eclectic pieces in which Buechner explores his iconoclastic views on faith and fiction, daily life, and what he believes God wishes the church to become.

“The Clown in the Belfry is an edifying and illuminating read. Turn your contemplation of it into a spiritual exercise, and you are bound to be surprised by joy.”–Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality & Practice

“Frederick Buechner is without question one of the truly great writers of the 20th century and into the present. He is already being mentioned in the category of C. S. Lewis and G. K. Chesterton.”–viaLibri

“Buechner defies the odds. His sermons read like wisdom literature.”–Jim Gordon