A Book for Hearts & Minds

We first met Byron Borger when It Was Good: Making Art to the Glory of God was just coming out. He was immediately supportive of Square Halo Books, and ever since then has promoted our titles with gusto. We make it a practice to always release our books to his store first, and he always has our titles in stock. Around here we affectionately refer to Hearts & Minds as "The Official Bookstore of Square Halo."

We were delighted to publish the book he edited called Serious Dreams, but for the last few years there has been a jovial argument between us about publishing a book collecting Byron's BookNotes into one volume. Byron insisted no one would want such a thing. He is a bookseller and knows his business, so maybe he was right about that. But not to be discouraged from featuring Byron in a book, we changed our tack and secretly organized a festschrift in honor of the work that Byron and Beth do through Hearts & Minds. Now, festschrift is an unusual word, to be sure. It is defined as "a collection of writings published in honor of a scholar." If you wonder whether or not a lowly bookseller is worthy of this sort of honor, read these commendations from these respected writers and scholars to learn why A Book for Hearts & Minds needed to be written:

Byron and Beth Borger have been a gift to both authors and readers. Unapologetic champions of the life of the mind, their work has been a ministry to generations of Christians who have discovered that God’s joy and delight is as wide as the world itself. Curators of the imagination, stewards of the tradition, priests of print, they have always done more than sold books: they have furnished faithful minds and hearts. This book is a lovely testimony to that good work.James K.A. Smith, Calvin College, author of You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit

When I want to know how to think about the things that matter most, I trust Byron Borger to point me in the right direction—never telling me what to think, but ready with endless resources to help me discover how to think in the best ways. He and Beth have made me, on countless occasions, feel like the most treasured writer and person in the world, as I suspect they have done for many of the contributors to this volume. Their impact in hearts and minds is now multiplied, through these pages and in the lives of countless readers they’ve guided and nurtured through the years. May this smart personal volume make you curious enough to buy a book—this book!—for readers you love, at Hearts & Minds Bookstore.Margot Starbuck, author of Small Things with Great Love: Adventures in Loving Your Neighbor

Byron Borger is a true believer. Like the lineup of insightful essayists who contributed to this book in his honor, Borger believes that reading the right book at the right time can supply just the kind of provocation, insight, or solace we need, when we need it. Cameron J. Anderson, author of The Faithful Artist: A Vision for Evangelicalism and the Arts

Byron Borger spent his life making us all richer by introducing us to authors and ideas that helped us flourish. Some of his suggested readings made us laugh, made us angry, made us wrestle—but each made us better people. We honor you and we are indebted to you. Thank you for discovering the good and true and beautiful and spending your life generously sharing it with us.Margaret Feinberg, author of Flourish: Live Free, Live Loved

While living and teaching in New York City I had been hearing about the Hearts & Minds Bookstore for some time. And then one day I was lured to a speaking engagement for The Row House in Lancaster, PA with the promise of a visit to the bookstore. How could I say no? My expectations were high and, boy, were they met. I felt like a gambling addict stumbling into a casino. Suffice it to say that on my return trip to the city I traveled back home with far more baggage than I had left with. This book is a tantalizing taste of what it is like to visit that magical place. It makes me dream of returning there to restock! Harry Bleattler, chair of the Media, Culture, and the Arts program at The King’s College, New York City  

Byron Borger represents everything that is right with bookstores. He is a thoughtful and winsome curator of ideas and prose in moment when most booksellers are crass consumerists. Thank God for Byron, and thank God for Hearts & Minds! Jonathan Merritt, contributing writer for The Atlantic and author of Learning to Speak God from Scratch

How fitting this splendid collection is as a tribute to Byron and Beth Borger, partners and booksellers extraordinaire whose life-long vision and ambitions exemplify the idea of Christian vocation and faithful living. Featuring an array of writers commenting on influential works in their fields, this volume represents the fruit of the Hearts & Minds enterprise and will no doubt encourage the same lively discourse we’ve come to associate with Bryon’s own booklists. —William D. Romanowski, Calvin College, author of Reforming Hollywood: How American Protestants Fought for Freedom at the Movies

I thank God for Byron and Beth Borger—they are such solid gold people, and friends as well. Without them, many a thoughtful Christian writer would be on the endangered species list in the face of the tsunami of Big Data recommended reading. While Hearts & Minds exists, serious Christian books can live too. —Os Guinness, author of Impossible People: Christian Courage and the Struggle for the Soul of Civilization