Books Galore!

In the last week or so, I’ve looked around me and realized that I’m under a deluge of books. And I love it! I keep stumbling upon books that look so very delicious to me. Some of them are being re-read in order to work on a blog post, some are new, and blog related, some just look darn good! Let me know if you’ve read any of them, or have any thoughts about any of these books.

The Death of Innocents: An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions by Sr. Helen Prejean. I read this book in college as part of a philosophy course on the death penalty. I’m re-reading some parts of it in order to prepare part two of my blog series on the death penalty. (I haven’t forgotten about it! I’m just reloading. *kidding*) In the first part of the book, she tells the stories of two men whom she has accompanied to execution, both of whom, the evidence seems to indicate, were innocent. The second part of the book examines Catholic teaching on the death penalty, and the many examples of how easy it is for an innocent person to be wrongfully convicted of murder and placed on death row. Highly recommended if you’re interested in learning more about capital punishment.

The Authentic Catholic Woman by Genevieve Kineke. I am *almost* done with this book. I have been reading it with Elizabeth of That Married Couple. In fact, sometime in the next week or two, Elizabeth will be doing a guest post on this blog about her thoughts on the book. So, I won’t spoil it by saying too much right now, other than in my opinion this is a great read for all Catholic women, but especially for those in the throes of raising a family.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver (with Stephen Hopp and Camille Kingsolver). Author Kingsolver, who wrote “The Poisonwood Bible” and a whole bunch of other fiction, has written a book about her family’s challenge to spend a whole year eating only food that they have either grown themselves, or that has come from the county in Virginia where they live. It’s so fascinating. I have read about 120 pages of 350. Along with telling her family’s story, she also gives some stark truths about how the food we eat is produced, and what we can do to make it more sustainable and healthy. Fascinating read. Also includes some great recipes.

Ten Prayers God Always Says Yes To: Divine Answers to Life’s Most Difficult Problems by Anthony DeStefano. I think this is actually a pretty absurd book title, BUT, it did prompt me to pick it up off the shelf and start to read it. It’s really a very wonderful book. It addresses many of the situations in life where it is difficult to pray, and how prayer, to be “answered” can’t simply be a bunch of demands we thrust in God’s general direction. I especially loved this quote:

“When God decides to grant a prayer request, he uses a completely different set of criteria than we do. Like a good father, he is not concerned with gratifying our every wish. Instead he is concerned about only one thing: our ultimate good, which boils down to whether or not we make it to heaven. Every request we make of God is “evaluated” by him in light of that long-term goal.”

OH. Well, of course, when you put it that way. I like this book, despite it’s cheesy title.

He Leadeth Me: An Extraordinary Testament of Faith by Fr. Walter Ciszek S.J. with Fr. Daniel Flaherty S.J. Fr. Ciszek was captured during WWII by the Russians, and held as a “Vatican spy” for 23 years in Soviet labor camps in Siberia. He was released in 1963. I have not started this one yet; I just picked it up from the Library today. BUT, there have been some wonderful quotes from it in my ENDOW class book on suffering, so I wanted to check it out. I think I might read this as part of my Advent devotions; after all, Advent is a time of penitence. Joyful penitence, but penitence all the same.

Letter and Spirit: From Written Text to Living Word in the Liturgy by Scott Hahn. The parish where I do my ENDOW class has an amazing Catholic library in the parish center where anyone can take out books! I have borrowed this one from them. I know it might be sac-relige to say so, but I am not a huge fan of Dr. Hahn’s books. Now, he is an amazing and engaging speaker, but I sometimes feel that books are talking down to me, just a little bit. However, I am trying to get more into the Mass, and I thought reading through this book might help me do just that. If anyone’s read it, I’d love to know your thoughts!

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling. Inspired by a wonderful blog post about the HP series, I have decided to re-read the whole series, back to back (something I have not done before). I am on the second book of the series now. I will hopefully have some new and witty insights into HP once I finish. But, more than likely I’ll just cry a little, and then post quotes from the books anyway. 🙂

The Gospel According to Harry Potter: The Spiritual Journey of the World’s Greatest Seeker by Connie Neal. This is a book that seeks to show how aspects of this series, far from being Pagan or evil, actually contain glimmers of the Gospels. I am very intrigued, because I have drawn basically the same conclusion myself, but it will be interesting to see what she has to say.






5 thoughts on “Books Galore!

  1. Hi!

    Authentic Catholic Woman is ON MY LIST!

    I agree with you about Scott Hahn. As a matter of fact, sometimes in his talks I feel he is talking down to me…but I have often wondered if that is my own insecurity…or if he is really doing it. 🙂 And I LOVE Scott Hahn…but I still get that feeling sometimes.

    I, too, am going to re-read Harry Potter back to back. My parents did that with my youngest brother any time the next book would be about to come out. They’d spend time reading all the books up to that point and then go get the next book and read it. I feel like I probably missed something by not doing that!

  2. Oh, I can’t wait for our next book group meeting! 🙂

    I’ve heard Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is interesting. And I also have Ten Prayers God Always Says Yes To sitting in my bedroom! I went and heard Christopher West speak earlier this week and ended up buying three more books to add to the stack: Theology of His/Her Body (in the hopes that some day I’ll be able to share this with teens), Homosexuality and the Catholic Church by Father Harvey (so I can knowledgeably address this subject), and Theology of the Body Explained (so I can really dive into it).

    Looks like we’ll both be busy this winter!

  3. I read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and really enjoyed it. In fact, I’ve been thinking of looking at it again recently as we just joined a CSA and I’ve been dealing with seasonal vegetables to a much greater extent than I have before! I loved reading about the rhythm of the year where she lived, and the picture she painted of her farm on the mountainside. I can still see that picture when I close my eyes and think about it!

    I’ve read Harry Potter, of course. 🙂 The Harry Potter as Spiritual Seeker book sounds interesting. So does the “Ten Prayers God Always Says Yes To.” It reminds me of the Mitford books, where the characters often talk about the prayer God always says yes to: “Thy will be done.”

  4. I really want to read _He Leadeth Me: An Extraordinary Testament of Faith_. I even bought a copy (and then gave it away before I’d read it). Please do blog about your thoughts on it once you’ve read it.

  5. Letter and Spirit is actually one of my least favorite Scott Hahn books, but at least you shouldn’t have the same problem of feeling that he is “talking down” to you. Actually, I can see why his books would feel that way sometimes. Personally, when I read them, I just laugh because sometimes they’re a little hokey, but I really like what I learn from them.

    I think I’m most interested in The Authentic Catholic Woman. I’m just scared to get it, because any time I go looking for one book, I end up buying 5 or 6!

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