About Soul Librarian


Hi. I’m Karen Quance Jeske, PhD, also known as the Soul Librarian. If you are a reader who is also a soul seeker, you should feel right at home here.

This site will help you change the way you read by addressing both what you read and how you read. A main feature of Soul Reading will be to take the ancient spiritual practice of Lectio Divina and apply it to secular texts.

I will post two to four times each month. These posts might include book reviews, reading lists centered around a theme, thoughts on living a soulful life, and tips for better soul reading. Also, be sure to take a look at the Sharable Images sidebar button for inspiring and beautiful quotes.

If you are curious to know more about why I felt called to create this site, you should check out the blog posts, especially Reading and Our Soulful Lives. If you’re curious to know more about Soul Reading you can read about it here and you can also check out Being a Soul Reader.

Two other good starting posts are Living a Soulful Life and Reading Should Change You.

It is my hope that our relationship will change the way we both read and enjoy books. If you decide to share your email address with me, I promise to honor your time and your inbox by sending only a monthly digest of posts from the blog as well as important announcements about changes, programs, or products.

My Biography

With the exception of a four-year stay in Chicago, I have lived in Iowa for my entire life. I grew up in a great small town and today I live in the great small city of Des Moines with my husband and our West Highland White Terrier, Wellington.

I am a spiritual seeker and former professor with a PhD in sociology. I am a graduate of the Prairie Fire spiritual formation program as well as programs in Contemplative Leadership and Contemplative Dialogue. I have experience leading workshops and retreats and am the co-creator of a new adult faith formation curriculum at my church.

I believe we find God (feel free to substitute love, the universe, creation) in relationships. My PhD research examined 50 years of the Dear Abby advice column. Studying these letters gave me unique insights into the ways in which we put up barriers in relationships and how relationships get damaged. As a sociologist, I also see the ways we interact in all relationships be they with friends or family members, groups, organizations, institutions, society, or culture. I bring this lens to the books I read, to my own path of spiritual growth, and to this blog.

When I am not reading and blogging, I work as the Connections Coordinator at Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ in Des Moines. I also enjoy painting, going to the movies, hosting quiet dinner parties, traveling, Bible study, cheering for the Cyclones, spending time with my friends and family, and trying to culturally mentor my eight nieces and nephews.

If you’re curious about my painting, you might want to read Soul Librarian Art: A Note

You are welcome to email me at karen@soullibrarian.com.