Celebrating the Third Place: Inspiring Stories about the "Great Good Places" and the Heart of Our Communities

(Roy Oldenburg). Marlowe and Company, 2001.

In spite of connections people make through internet and cell phone, there still resides a deep longing for face-to-face community places. In a previous book, this author dubbed those places “the third place,” after home and work—a place where one can find comfort and solace from the pressures of life. The decline of old, traditional community gathering places has led to the establishment of new “third places,” such as coffee shops, gyms, quaint restaurants, and bookstores, among others. This book is a collection of nineteen stories about unique places that have become gathering points for community. Each contributor details the dynamics that shape interaction and caring of the folks who frequent these places. The remarkable story of how a gift and garden shop continues to evolve as a place where people are cared for underscores the need for such “third places” in our fragmented society. Though not written with churches in mind, this book does resonate with spiritual overtones and would offer faith communities insight into what is drawing people together.