Hi, Liz & everybody! I LOVE book lists, and I can't wait to dip into the treasures that end up here.
Liz, you didn't really say if you were looking for books to grow in faith, or novels that reflect Catholic teaching/faith. Specifically in answer to your question, Catholic books I can personally recommend include:
'The Fullness of Proof: Taking Hold of Eternity Now' by Ken Yasinskiwww.thechristianbookcorner.com/fullness-of
(just finished this and I believe every Catholic should read it!)
'The Catholic Way: Faith for Living Today' by Bishop Donald W. Wuerl
The Catechism is a great reference book to keep and read, but it's a little difficult to understand in its fulness at times, especially if you're young in the faith... this a good book to read instead... it is an introduction to the Catechism, and explains the basics and spirit of Catholic doctrine in an easy to understand, heartfelt way.
'Catholicism for Dummies'
Another truly great book to have as a reference book (don't laugh everybody). It is FANTASTIC for answering all of those "I wonder why..." questions. We buy this one for our nieces and nephews, and they usually end up *sincerely* thanking us for it at some point, lol.
'Mass Confusion: The Do's & Dont's of Catholic Worship' Second Edition, Expanded by James Akin
This book makes liturgical issues understandable for the laity.
'Answer Me This!' by Patrick Madrid
This book contains concise and well-documented answers to questions - exactly as Protestants would ask - about what (and why) the Catholic Church believes and teaches.
'Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic' by David B. Currie
(besides explaining what we believe and why in a crystal clear fashion, this book is a reading Catholic's 'must read' as it clearly explains the Fundamentalist mindset with regard to Catholics and gives us the knowledge to refute their claims... and to recognise the bias when we find it in other books related to our faith)
With respect to learning about the core teachings of our faith and how to live it day to day, you can't go wrong with C.S. Lewis... and while he wasn't Catholic (Anglican), the orthodoxy of the Catholic and Anglican Churches is virtually the same, with the exception of Papal authority (the only issue Henry the VIII had with the Church was Papal authority with respect to divorce... he kept everything else). The fact that his writing so acurately reflects Catholic orthodoxy is why the Church encourages Catholics to read his books. My favourites (I've read them at least 3 times each and I get something more every time) include:
'The Great Divorce'
'The Problem of Pain'
'The Chronicles of Narnia'
Now if you're looking for books that allow God to speak to your heart in a deeply personal way...
'Redeeming Love' by Francine Rivers
NOT by a Catholic, but a must read for all Christian women... it healed so many of my heart's wounds... Francine Rivers is an AMAZING writer (I've read everything she's written and recommend it ALL):
Also her 'Mark of the Lion' Trilogy: 'A Voice in the Wind' 'An Echo in the Darkness' 'As Sure As the Dawn' (historical fiction taking place at the time of Christians being martyred by the Romans... I can only pray I could be this faithful)
Books I've read more than once, and will read again (Catholic content, Catholic writers... I learn about the faith, and God works wonders in my life through them):
'Left to Tell: Discovering God: Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust' by Immaculee Ilibagiza
'Dead Man Walking' - by Sr. Helen Prejean (so much more than the movie)
'Father Elijah' by Michael D. O'Brien
In This House of Brede' by Rumer Godden
'The Devil's Advocate' 'The Shoes of the Fisherman' ' The Clowns of God' & 'Lazarus' by Morris West (the Vatican series)
'Collected Stories' by Flannery O'Connor
'Lord of the Rings' & 'The Hobbit' by JRR Tolkien (though I honestly prefer the movies)
Others I liked:
'Callista: A Tale of the Third Century' by John Henry Cardinal Newman
'Prodigal Daughters: Catholic Women Come Home to the Church' by Donna Steichen
'Mary Called Magdalene' by Margaret George (she's not Catholic writer, but she does impecable research)
'A Corner of the Veil' by Laurence Cosse
Here's a reference book for when you run out of things to read:
The Catholic Lifetime Reading Planwww.amazon.com/Catholic-lifetime-reading-p
Here's a dip into the book without having to buy it:www.holyspiritinteractive.net/columns/john
VERY cool lists that allow you to preview the books for yourself (may help you best scratch wherever your faith 'itches' at the moment):
Popular Catholic Lifetime Reading Plan Bookswww.goodreads.com/shelf/show/catholic-life
Popular Catholic Womens Book Club Bookswww.goodreads.com/shelf/show/catholic-wome
Popular Catholic Novelists' Bookswww.goodreads.com/shelf/show/catholic-nove
Novels with Catholic Spiritualitywww.amazon.com/Novels-with-Catholic-Spirit
I like this list, too (for people who already know a bit about Catholic writers):en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Roman_Catho
Intriguing... any 'takers'?
Free Catholic Novels from Saint Jude Mediawww.catholicity.com/novels/
My biggest challenge as a reader is to find good novels/books that entertain/feed me, but are true to the teachings of our faith as well. And not all Catholic writers are 'faithful' to the Church's teachings. My book club made a decision to read only 'Christian' fiction for a year, and then we realized that this wasn't necessarily helping us grow in faith because the vast majority of 'Christian' writers are Fundamentalist Evangelicals, and not Catholic. This was creating confusion in our minds and hearts (and this is when we found 'Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic')... though I find that the more I am living my faith in a Sacramental way in the Church, the more anything I read simply enhances the journey (and why I read a lot of Catholic non-fiction for balance)!
Some non-Catholic books that have set my faith on fire (and which also led me deeper into the Church itself) include:
'The Sunflower' by Simon Wiesenthal
'Safely Home' by Randy Alcorn
'ProLife Answers to ProChoice Arguments' by Randy Alcorn
'He Chose the Nails' by Max Lucado (Eucharist and the Triduum have never been the same since... and while not a Catholic writer, in this book Max Lucado presents nothing in contradiction with Catholic teaching, he only enhances it)
'The Shack' by William P. Young (got to be a little careful with this one)
I especially enjoy historical faith fiction (particularly books that bring the Old Testament to life), so if anyone has any recommendations, I am all ears (Children of the Lion Series - 19 books - by Peter Danielson is AWESOME, but hard to find)!
P.S. I got a little excited and forgot... welcome to the Church, Liz, and to Catholic Critters!
Edited by: _RAMONA at: 7/14/2011 (16:55)
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