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Churches Pick Heavenly Bestseller for National Beach Read

Contact: Jim Kimmel, Executive Director, Nonjustice Foundation, 610-347-0780, jkimmel@nonjustice.org 

PHILADELPHIA, May 19 /Christian Newswire/ -- When you head off to enjoy the good life this summer, why not take a piece of the afterlife with you?

That's the idea behind "National One Book+One Parish+One Summer 2010"--the church version of the popular "One Book, One City" programs designed to keep congregations connected by reading the same book together--no matter where the vacationing faithful may roam.

The book chosen for this summer is the new novel "Forgiving Ararat" by Gita Nazareth, an unusual Alice Sebold ("The Lovely Bones") meets John Grisham ("The Firm") literary thriller about a young lawyer who dies unexpectedly and, in the afterlife, is chosen to join the elite lawyers who prosecute and defend souls at the Final Judgment. The story actually begins on the cover itself with the book claiming to be the "#1 Bestseller in Heaven" and featuring endorsements from long-dead authors including John Steinbeck, Franz Kafka, and Leo Tolstoy speaking from the afterlife.

"People tend to miss church services for travel or other leisure activities during the summer and begin to feel disconnected from their spiritual home," says Jim Kimmel, Executive Director of the nonprofit Nonjustice Foundation organizing the program.

"But it's a wonderful time to read. Reading the same great book together during summer helps parish members feel more connected, and gives them lots to talk about when they return."

Why "Forgiving Ararat"?

"Summer reading means pleasure reading," Kimmel explains, "so the book has got to be both entertaining and spiritual--a well-written novel with a page-turning plot that keeps you on the edge of your seat but that also makes you think and has an uplifting message. 'Forgiving Ararat' does all that very well. It's the perfect beach read for America's parishes."

Launched less than a month ago, churches are already flocking to the program, including Methodists, Presbyterians, Baptists, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Brethren, Unitarians and Quakers.

More information about National One Book+One Parish+One Summer 2010, including a free downloadable study guide for the book, can be found at the official website: http://onebookoneparishonesummer.wordpress.com/