Brother John: A Monk, a Pilgrim, and the Purpose of Life by August Turak
On October 21, 2018, Clovercroft Publishing released Brother John: A Monk, a Pilgrim and the Purpose of Life, an essay about Mepkin’s Br. John and that won the coveted Templeton Prize, as an illustrated book. Brother John, written by August Turak, is the true story of a monastic encounter between the author, going through a midlife crisis, and an umbrella wielding Trappist monk: a magical Christmas Eve lesson that teaches us all the redemptive power of an authentically purposeful life.
Uplifting, deeply moving, and set in the magnificent Trappist monastery of Mepkin Abbey, Brother John is dramatically brought to life by 22 full-color paintings by Glenn Harrington, a multiple award-winning artist who has illustrated over 700 books for all the top publishers. “I didn’t try to retell Turak’s story,” said Harrington, “he does a great job of that. My vision was to artistically capture the incredible spirituality of Mepkin Abbey, and it is gratifying to find out that the reaction so far suggests that I was able to do just that.”
Brother John works equally well as a Christmas gift or all year long, and the book’s inspirational message and rich illustrations will bring readers back again and again.
“Brother John is a powerful message about what makes life worth living,” says David Miller PhD, the director of the Princeton University Faith &Work Initiative, “and with experts attributing things as apparently unrelated as mass shooting and the opioid epidemic to a cultural crisis of meaning and purpose, Brother John is extremely timely as well.”
According to Larry Carpenter, the CEO of Christian Book Services, Brother John is already creating quite a stir; a phenomenon that seems to indicate that Brother John is indeed the right book at the right time. “I told Turak,” said Carpenter, “that if readers like Brother John half as well as my buyers and distributors do, then we may very well have a huge book on our hands.”
Rick Warren, the author of The Purpose Driven Life, made an exception to his longstanding policy of not endorsing books, by endorsing Brother John.
“The reaction to Brother John so far is humbling” said Turak, “my goals for the book were far more modest. I just wanted to offer the healing power of Brother John’s magical umbrella to more people looking for a higher purpose in their lives, while paying tribute to all the Trappist monks of Mepkin Abbey for all they do.”
For more information about Br. John, go to: https://augustturak.com/product/brother-john.
Brother John Book Reviews
“Brother John by August Turak, is a captivating story that calls each of us to reflect on our own lives. Turak does an incredible job of pulling you into life at the monastery. As with any life of great compassion, we fear that we are incapable of living such nobility, but Turak gives us a compelling reason to try. He asserts that if we allow ourselves to pursue the ‘everyday noble’ in the same way as Brother John, we will experience the miraculous, and a release of fear that our life is not big enough. I found myself filled with hope after reading Brother John, reminded that growth lays before us, on the other side of fear!”
– Sarah Heath, Author, What’s Your Story? Seeing Your Life Through God’s Eyes
“Just beautiful. As humble and subtle as the brothers but staggering in southern color and beauty and geometry and light. What a treasure.”
– Mark Harrington, NY Newsday Journalist/Reporter
“A gorgeous Christmas present or special occasion book, Brother John is unique and joyful in its message.”
– Zippy Sandler
“This is a book that you will need to read at a slower speed than a regular story book as there is so much to absorb with the author’s observations and realizations. I personally had to go through this book a few times, as I was completely distracted by the GORGEOUS illustrations. This is a book that will be a part of my permanent library. Although it takes place on Christmas Eve, the message and the beauty of the book will have you returning again and again and not just at Christmas time.”
– Theresa Dunlap, Christian Blogger, Just One More Paragraph: Musings of a Pastor’s Wife
“I saw the beautiful book, Brother John, in Mepkin Abbey store. Loved your essay and the illustrations!”
– Sr. Beatrice
“The illustrations add to the depth and beauty of this book in a way that would make it a wonderful addition to any library. It is, in itself, a work of art.”
– The Plucky Reader
“I cannot stress enough how beautiful this book is. I am making a list of people that I want to share it with. It is a perfect blend of text and illustration.”
– Miriam Downey, the Cyberlibrarian
After reading the book twice, I returned many more times to view the stunning scenes.”
– Lynne Chapman, BellaOnline
I just received my delivery of Brother John today. I preordered it from Amazon and I was eagerly anticipating its arrival. Congratulations on an effort that checks so many fundamental boxes:
Meaningful. Relevant. Poetic. Elegant. Artistic. I will definitely be ordering copies for Christmas gifts.
– Bob Cergol