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James L. Kugel's award-winning How to Read the Bible (9780743235877) won plaudits from general readers as a "thrilling...magisterial" "tour de force of Biblical scholarship." Though equally readable, his In the Valley of the Shadow is quite a different book. This deeply personal memoir recounts Kugel's difficult spiritual journey through two years of cancer treatment, during which he grappled with the meaning of religious belief and the question of how innate it is for humankind. This comforting book will appeal to readers of Karen Armstrong's The Case for God and Timothy Keller's The Reason to Believe.