Jon M. Sweeney: My Life in Seventeen Books

Thursday, May 9, 2024 - 6:30pm

Literati is pleased to welcome back author Jon M. Sweeney in celebration of the release My Life in Seventeen Books

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About the Book: A memoir for the bookish-inclined, using personal stories to demonstrate how books have a magical way to move a person from one stage of life to the next. Former bookseller, longtime publisher and author Jon M. Sweeney shows-with history and anecdotes centering around books such as Thoreau's Journal, Tagore's Gitanjali, Martin Buber's Hasidic Tales, and Tolstoy's Twenty-three Tales-what it means to be carried by a book. He explores the discovery that once accompanied finding books, and books finding us. He ponders the smell of an old volume, its heft, and why bibliophiles carry them around even without reading them. He demonstrates how and why there is magic and enchantment that takes place between people and books.

Jon M. Sweeney is an award-winning author who has been interviewed in print by a range of publications from the Dallas Morning News to The Irish Catholic, and on television for CBS Saturday Morning and many other programs.

His book, The Pope Who Quit, was optioned by HBO. New York Times Best-selling author James Martin, SJ, said about it: “The tale, as exciting and compelling as any novel or film, is beautifully told by Jon Sweeney. This long-forgotten saga is rightly restored to its place as one of the most unusual episodes in the entire history of the church.”Sweeney is also the author of forty other books on spirituality, mysticism, and religion, including the best-seller, Meister Eckhart’s Book of the Heart, coauthored with Mark S. Burrows (Hampton Roads), and Thomas Merton: An Introduction to His Life and Practices (St. Martin’s Essentials and Penguin Random House Audio, 2021).

His bookish reputation is nothing new. In 2014, when Jon lived with his wife, Michal, in Ann Arbor, Publishers Weekly featured him in an interview titled, “A Life in Books and On the Move.” He’s worked in books and publishing since 1990. He began that decade as a theological bookseller in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and ended it cofounding a multifaith publishing house, SkyLight Paths Publishing, in Woodstock, Vermont. 

Today he writes, reviews, edits, and recommends books. He's contributing editor for books at, editor of Living City magazine, and religion editor/associate publisher at Monkfish. He lives in Milwaukee’s East Side neighborhood.

Event address: 
124 E. Washington
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
My Life in Seventeen Books: A Literary Memoir By Jon M. Sweeney Cover Image
ISBN: 9781958972311
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Monkfish Book Publishing - May 7th, 2024

Thomas Merton: An Introduction to His Life, Teachings, and Practices By Jon M. Sweeney Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250250483
Availability: Usually Available in 2-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Essentials - May 18th, 2021

The Pope Who Quit: A True Medieval Tale of Mystery, Death, and Salvation By Jon M. Sweeney Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780385531894
Published: Image - February 14th, 2012