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.”
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.