By Eric Weiner
Twelve, $26.99, 350 pages

In Man seeks God, author Eric Weiner does not really go chasing after a heavenly father. Rather, he embarks on a hopeful journey in search of peace of mind. Long-suffering from depression, Weiner anchors his search in the pragmatic wisdom of William James: he wants something that just “works.”

The moral he finds is that, often, the quest itself dooms the effort. His rational, philosophical take on the diversity of belief systems into which he delves (such as Sufi, Wiccan, Raelian, and the Kabbalah) paralyzes him against the kind of committed engagement needed for such spiritual relief. His approach, a series of tutorials, studies and reflection, keep bringing up the same restless mind that plagues him.  A skilled writer who unfortunately too often takes the glib and ironic over the earnest, Weiner eventually finds a calm, even tone to his narrative. The reader is treated to a balanced, affecting story, one both informational and confessional.

Reviewed by Neil Liss