Sincerely in Christ,



Great Books to Tuck in a Beach Bag: (all carry the Catholic Writer's Guild Seal of Approval)

In Name Only
, by Ellen Gable; Gold Medal Winner in the Religious Fiction category, 2010 Independent Publishers Book Awards—a wonderful Catholic romance, rich in Theology of the Body and faith/redemption themes.

Murder in the Vatican: The Church Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes, by Ann Margaret Lewis; this is the 2011 Gold Medal Winner in the same category. Ann writes the missing cases referred to by Dr. Watson in the original stories. These are wonderfully researched with charming, lively characters.

Infinite Space, Infinite God (I and II); Anthologies edited by Karina Fabian, who wrote some of the stories and has won many awards. These are terrific collections of science fiction informed by an authentic Catholic perspective. They are dramatic, funny, and intriguing. Karina also writes fantasy novels with really delightful funny bones. Check out her book list here.

Unplanned: The Dramatic True Story of a Former Planned Parenthood Leader's Eye-Opening Journey across the Life Line
, by Abby Johnson (with Cindy Lambert). What an amazing memoir, written with unflinching honesty. For all of us "true believers" on the pro-life side, we simply must try to see this debate through the eyes of well-meaning people on the "other" side in order to acquire a well-informed and compassionate Christian perspective. This book accomplishes that. A stunning read.

The Amazing Secret of the Holy Souls in Purgatory: An Interview with Maria Simma, by Sister Emmanuel of Medjugorje. This is a fascinating little book, an interview with Austrian mystic, Maria Simma, who ministers to the Holy Souls who have appeared to her for decades. It increased my faith. Read it free online here, or purchase it through Amazon.

The Quest for Shakespeare, by Joseph Pearce. This examination of the facts of Shakespeare's life by a great contemporary biographer reads like a fast-paced mystery and convincingly presents the case for Shakespeare's Catholic faith. Don't be intimidated by the subject matter. It's a lot of fun. (And once you've read Pearce's book, try anything from the No Fear Shakespeare series. You need never fear the Bard again. In this series, the original text of each play is displayed on the left side and a modern vernacular translation on the right. Our home school group is using these to help our children—ages 7 and up—to befriend some of the greatest plays ever written. We all love them.)

A Guy's List
I can't vouch for these personally, so caveat emptor: My husband recommends:

Seabiscuit: An American Legend, by Laura Hillenbrand, which chronicles the true story of one of the greatest race horses in American history. (I have actually read several chapters of this and enjoyed it . . . so far!) This should be in your public library.

With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa, by E.B. Sledge. Another of my husband's top picks in historical reading. For those who love true war stories.


Have a delightful summer! Happy Reading!