"Wrestling with God" book with Barbara Falconer Newhall

Wrestling with God: Stories of Doubt and Faith

"Any seeker of any faith will be blessed to read the words of this fine author and observer."

Publishers Weekly, starred review

Click to learn more about "Wrestling with God"

Fifteen Patriotic Holiday Gifts for the Worried Progressives on Your List

Patriotic holiday gifts: The American flag is spread at a Warriors basketball game in Oakland, CA. Photo by Barbara Newhall

A Warriors game in blue state California, where subscriptions to the Los Angeles Times or San Francisco Chronicle would make patriotic holiday gifts. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

The holidays are upon us, and it’s getting way too late to put a package in the mail in time for the celebrations ahead. But it’s not too late to give patriotic holiday gifts to friends and family troubled at the prospect of an incoming president [Read more…]


Christmas Is Big. Bigger Than Christianity — And Donald Trump

A cheery Santa Claus painted by Art Thou on a store window in Oakland, CA, 2016. Christmas is bigger than Christianity. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Christmas is big. And so is this cheery Santa Claus painted by a local artist on a holiday store window in our neighborhood. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Christmas is big — bigger than Christianity. And it’s getting bigger.

Our decades-old World Book Encyclopedia devotes four dutiful pages to Christianity — and nine luscious full-color spreads to Christmas. Copyrighted 1994, our family’s set of books sits on a shelf within reach of our dining room table. There, it was a handy reference in our pre-cell phone days whenever a dinner  [Read more…]


Oakland’s Ghost Ship — A Vigil

A memorial banner by schoolchildren at the site of the Oakland Ghost Ship fire that killed 36 mostly young people, artists, musicians, LGBTQ folks. Photo by Barbara Newhall

A memorial banner, painted by schoolchildren, at the site of the Oakland Ghost Ship warehouse fire that killed 36. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

I keep thinking, if only. If only those young people hadn’t decided to party. If only the makeshift stairways of the Ghost Ship had been closer to the exits. If only there had been fire escapes. If only Oakland’s building department had been  [Read more…]


One Broken Ankle, and Two Lives Grind to a Halt. Or, Why You Should Definitely Stop and Tie That Loose Shoelace

A 75-year-old man with his broken ankle in a cast in a hospital bed in his den with TV. Photo by Barbara Newhall

I rented a hospital bed to set up in the den, the room with the biggest TV. It’s not far from bathroom and kitchen. Jon’s non-injured leg was weakened by polio, so he needs that wheelchair and knee walker to get around. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Jon’s got a broken ankle — and a torn deltoid ligament. Life has ground to a halt for him. And for me. The orthopedic surgeon who stitched the ligament back in place says absolutely no weight is to be put on that foot for at least four [Read more…]


The Turkeys at Our House, Dead and Alive

A turkey roasted brown and ready to be carved. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Turkeys at our house: this one was delicious. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Hope you are having a great Thanksgiving surrounded by friends, family or both — of every political persuasion. As always there’s a lot to be thankful for, but today I’m feeling especially grateful for that most American of birds, the turkey.

Every year around this time a bunch of them show up at our house. One arrives in a shopping bag, all plucked and cleaned and frozen and ready to be stuffed. [Read more…]