dear people, i've felt some sort of spiritual kinship with the Quaker way for many years and am now feeling a need to learn more and attend a local meeting of Friends here in Austin, TX. i am not and have never been a Christian but have always had deep spiritual feelings. i have always believed in the equality of all peoples and had passionate feelings for social justice. i marched for all such causes back in the 60s in Chicago and feel as strongly now as i did as a youngster. i have been reading novels and a couple of books involving Quakerism and would love to hear from anyone as to what books i should read first that might help me gain a better understanding. my dress is not often simple, and i have always worn jewelry. could that mean that i do not fit in or maybe would not be welcome? silly questions, perhaps, but i am most surely a novice here! many thanks to anyone who might respond with ideas and/or information! Beth

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Beth

Did I see that you'd read de Hartog, The Peaceable Kingdom? Perhaps you've seen the others in his series on Friends? The Lamb's War and The Peculiar People. Don't rely on these for accurate history but de Hartog paints good pictures and tells fascinating stories.

I've enjoyed some Quakerish science fiction: Joan Slonczewski, A Door into Ocean and Still Forms on Foxfield. The latter seems to be out of print. Judith Moffett, Pennterra. David E. Morse, The Iron Bridge is a quite unusual blend of historical and science fiction. Molly Gloss, The Dazzle of Day is by a non-friend, but is remarkably perceptive in characterization. More info on the genre here.

Jay Worrall has a couple of seafaring novels with a Quaker character in them.

Ann Turnbull has published No Shame, No Fear and Forged in the Fire, which are young adult novels about a romance between a young merchant and a Quaker girl in 1662 in Shropshire.
There's also an earlier conversation about books on QuakerQuaker.
this is great info, Jay. thanks so much! i'll be sure to look for them on amazon when i do my monthly book order.
Hello Beth,
.. you might enjoy any of the books by Daisy Newman. The book that comes to mind first is.. I Take Thee Serenity. It's a sweet book about a young couple planning marriage and discovery of Quaker ways. "Four Doors to Meeting for Worship" by Bill Taber is my fave Pendle Hill pamphlet.
Beth, it sounds like you are contemplating attending the Meeting soon. Maybe sensing nudges from that Still Small Voice within! In my experience, and for most people I think- it takes courage to walk into a new place of worship! I know it is not easy, - my heart always opens and melts a little when someone has come to worship for the first time! Although meetings can be close communities, which you are probably familiar with in other groups, meeting communities tend to very much want to be welcoming to new attenders and help them feel comfortable. A meeting is Not a group of perfect people-- but does tend to sincerely "practice" the kind of radical love that Jesus modeled.
I remember one Sunday when a new attender shared that she had been "meaning to come to meeting for 16 years!" That brought many warm chuckles and a reassuring humerous response of "yes, we've felt your spirit here!"
Love and God's peace on your journey - Alice
Alice, thank you so very much! i will add some Daisy Newman books to my wish list for February to be sure. your message is very comforting and kind. you are right, of course--it is not easy to walk into a new place of worship where you know no one. one young man did respond to me earlier on this site, though, and he attends the meeting that i plan to visit soon. so maybe i will recognize him. just imagine 16 years of intending to go to a meeting--wow! buy it's all okay. things work out exactly as they are supposed to in accordance with the flow of the universe, i believe.

ah, yes, the Still Small Voice within! in spite of its stillness, it is a very powerful force, isn't it?

again, thanks for your kind words, Alice. Peace be with you!

Beth
Alice! how are you? i bought "I Take Thee, Serenity" and am just loving and savoring every word of it! i'm a (young) 62, but even so, this interesting story of these 2 young people finding themselves being introduced to Quaker ways keeps me spellbound. so i am also learning more about Quaker ways myself in the process of enjoying an uplifting story! Thank you so much!

Beth
hi, Jay! i bought some of the books referred to me on this site. I found The Peaceable Kingdom, and it is next on my l,sit to enjoy! thanks so much!

Beth

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