Holy Writ

booksLast fall, Killing the Buddha entered its terrible two’s. That’s right, we celebrated our second birthday, having made it through another successful year of bringing you the best and ballsiest from the margins of faith. Around the same time we were making wishes and blowing out candles, we learned from our dear friends at The Utne Reader that we’d been nominated for an Independent Press Award (IPA, for short), selected out of hundreds of candidates for the Best Online Cultural Coverage category. But we didn’t let it go to our head, because, hell, we never thought we’d actually win. But win we did. And we’ll be out at San Francisco’s Fairmont Hotel on Saturday, January 18, to receive the award. If you’re in the area, we’d love to hear from you (see www.utne.com for details).

In the meantime, with the award nearly in our pockets, we’re feeling the pinch to provide you with our Recommended Reading List of the Best Books of 2002 for titles of cultural and religious significance. If Killing the Buddha attempts to transcend the complacency of belief, then this roundup bypasses the usual industry hype to include both fiction and nonfiction that delve into religious subjects with heart and intellectual verve. Some handle the topic overtly and others more obliquely, but all ask the kinds of important questions that we’ll continue to pose as we gear up for 2003. Most importantly, they’re all damn good stories.

Thanks for reading.