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Fish Island Books

Fish Island is an actual island in New Bedford Harbor, where my partner, freelance writer Carol Steinfeld, had her office for a number of years. As you can see from the image above, it’s a practical, down-to-earth island, which makes it a good symbol for the practical, down-to-earth liberal religious books you’ll find here.

Liberal Pilgrims: Varieties of Liberal Religious Experience in New Bedford, Massachusetts

Unitarians, Universalists, and other religious liberals in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Essays on Rev. William Jackson, the first African American minister to declare himself a Unitarians (in 1860); Mary Rotch, a primary influence on Ralph Waldo Emerson and theologian in her own right; Rev. John Murray Spear, Universalist and abolitionist; Tryworks Coffeehouse, an outreach program to teens; and more.

With an index, extensive notes, a list of all Unitarian and Universalist ministers who served in New Bedford to 2009, a bibliographic essay on sources, brief biographies of prominent New Bedford Unitarians and Universalists, etc.

428 pages. 2009.
Perfect-bound 6x9 in.
Print on demand: $9.46 + shipping.
Also available as a free ebook.

Thumbnail of the book cover
Thumbnail of the book cover

A Treatise on Atonement

A new reader's edition of the classic statement of universal salvation, edited for clarity and ease of reading by Rev. Dan Harper. Includes a general index, a scripture index, and a brief biography of Hosea Ballou.

205 pages. 2015 edition.
Perfect bound 6x9 in.
Print on demand: $12.99 + shipping.

Unitarians in Palo Alto, 1891-1924

A history of early Unitarianism in Palo Alto, California, told through the stories of individual Unitarians and Universalists, rather than through the stories of the institution, or the (mostly male) ministers. Includes extended biographical essays on Sylvie Thompson Thygeson, early provider of birth control; Leila Lasley Thompson, war widow and Unitarian minister; Alice Locke Park, suffragist and pacifist; and more.

With an index, extensive notes, a bibliographic essay on sources, etc. Expected publication date: 2022.

477 pages. 2022
Perfect-bound 6x9 in.
Print on demand: price to be determined.

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The Ecojustice Camp Outdoors Book

A book filled with fun ecojustice information for kids age 8 to 12. Written for Ecojustice Camp, a week-long day camp in Palo Alto, the book gives lots of interesting facts about the ecosystems of the Adobe Creek watershed. The book introduces ecojustice elders Rachel Carson, Cesar Chavez, Ishi, Wangari Maathai, and Henry Thoreau. Includes practical tips on camping, hiking, and spending time outdoors.

The 2022 edition will be published in May, 2022
Print on demand: price to be determined.

Sheet Music

Musical resources for religious liberals and shape note singers


Indian Melodies

Indian Melodies by Thomas Commuck was the first musical publication by a Native composer in the U.S., and was published with 4-shape note-heads. This inexpensive, legible, and complete edition is designed for use by Sacred Harp and shape note singers. As a Methodist himself, Commuck mostly drew on Methodist hymn texts. It is sold at cost, and I make no profit from this book; those who use this book are encouraged to send donations to the Brotherton Indian Nation.

Due to Lulu's printing limitations, this edition is bound across the top (long edge), instead of across the end (short edge) as is customary with shape note tunebooks. Since this edition is issued under a Creative Commons license, you are welcome to reprint it with whatever binding you prefer.

116 pages. 2019 reprint edition.
Paperback. Coil-bound (long edge).
Does not have Fish Island Books imprint.
Print on demand: $7.48 + shipping.

Thumbnail of the book cover
Thumbnail of the book cover

The Yuletide Song and Carol Book

This is a collection of four dozen Yuletide songs and carols, arranged for SATB voices. The texts mostly come from older Unitarian, Universalist, American Ethical Union, and Quaker hymnals and songbooks, and will appeal to religious liberals.

Suitable for carolers, choirs, and informal groups that enjoy singing four-part harmony. Includes both classic harmonizations, and less well-known harmonizations.

100 pages. 2014.
Perfect-bound 8.5x11 in.
ISBN: 9780988941335
Print on demand: $9.99 + shipping.