Review: The American Catholic Almanac

As I was cruising through my new favorite book, The American Catholic Almanac: A Daily Reader of Patriots, Saints, Rogues, and Ordinary People Who Changed the United States, I came upon the April 7 entry, entitled "The Duke."It began, When asked about his religion, John Wayne usually gave one of two responses. Either he claimed to be a "presbygoddamnterian" or a "cardiac Catholic." Now, my husband has endured his fair share of my reading aloud from this particular book, prefaced by an … [Read More...]

On Writing by Stephen King

Review: On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

Few authors are as prolific and successful as Stephen King. In 2000, he published this book, part autobiography and part writing advice. The memoir covers his early years, from childhood until he broke his addictions to booze and drugs. King does not give a thorough or strictly chronological biography but "snapshots" of moments influential in his writing. The details of his dirt poor childhood, his school life, and his marriage are interesting. Always his writing and struggles with publishing … [Read More...]

unwind complete

Why I Recommend the Unwind Series to Everyone

Last summer, my eighth grade niece insisted I would LOVE a book she was required to read for her Language Arts class. The book was Unwind, by Neal Shusterman.As it turns out, she was more than right. I did love it.In fact, watching Shusterman talking about his inspiration for writing the book only made me more interested.I have since gone on to read all the books in the series and I'm in the midst of the final book, which came out last week (on October 14).(Link to interview w … [Read More...]

cover-quick reference guide to the catholic bible

Review: The Quick Reference Guide to the Catholic Bible

How many times, asks the back cover of The Quick Reference Guide to the Catholic Bible, have you wanted some context and background about a book of the Bible but didn't have the time to wade through a long commentary?Well, I answer, plenty. Isn't that why we have the internet?Oh lo, the internet and the imperfections of searching for scriptural help online. It's a crapshoot at best and a dangerous game of roulette at worst.I didn't have time to give this book a complete and thorough … [Read More...]

Art, Poetry, and Literature: Two New Books on Prayer You Need to Get

I haven't done more than dip into these books but I already know enough to recommend them. Full reviews will follow but I didn't want to wait until I was finished to tell you about them. Art and Prayer: The Beauty of Turning to God by Timothy Verdon There is an “art of prayer,” when faith and prayer become creative responses by which creatures made in the image and likeness of the Creator relate to him with help of the imagination. ... Richly illustrated, Monsignor Verdon explains that ima … [Read More...]

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Review: When the Church Was Young

In the past few weeks, we've had a number of our contributors at sing the praises of Marcellino D'Ambrosio's new book, When the Church Was Young: Voices of the Early Church Fathers. In fact, I've raved about it at my Register blog and interviewed D'Ambrosio at Integrated Catholic Life.What, I wondered, could I possibly add to this conversation?Well, I can repeat what I've been saying, in various ways:When the Church Was Young is gripping, compelling, and fast-moving. … [Read More...]

The Joyful Beggar by Louis de Wohl

The Joyful Beggar by Louis de WohlMy rating: 4 of 5 starsWhat is it with Louis de Wohl's books? They're like peanuts or popcorn. You just keep tossing back handfuls because they're so good and go down so tastily.I received The Joyful Beggar on a Saturday at noon in the mail. Sunday at noon I was 75% done. It really grabbed me, obviously. I should've expected that since I've had that reaction to de Wohl's books before. They are consistently entertaining, historical fiction of saints … [Read More...]


Review: The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien

I'm delighted to announce that Joseph of Zombie Parent's Guide will be joining the Happy Catholic Bookshelf team at Patheos. I've enjoyed his excellent reviews for a long time and hope you do too! Joseph's debut is with The Lord of the Rings, which is one of my favorite of his reviews. Enjoy! The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien Hi, I'm Joseph and I've been invited to post reviews by Happy Catholic herself. Of course I couldn't resist the chance to join such an illustrious group. I hope … [Read More...]


Great New Prayer Books

I have a bit of a "thing" for prayer books, it's true. For one thing, they make great gifts. For another, they help if you're stuck in a corner with your prayer life (which, ahem, I may or may not be quite often). These new books are perfect for teens...and for the rest of us too!Prayers for Young Catholics (Pauline Books and Media)This is a beautiful hardcover book, with full-color semi-gloss pages. It includes basic prayers (the ones you'd expect), as well as prayers to Mary and the … [Read More...]

The American Catholic Almanac by Brian Burch and Emily Stimpson

The American Catholic Almanac: A Daily Reader of Patriots, Saints, Rogues, and Ordinary People Who Changed the United States by Brian BurchMy rating: 4 of 5 starsI'm a sucker for daily readers whether they are devotionals, writings of the saints, or historical almanacs. So if you combine American History with Catholicism naturally I'm going to be interested. I grew even more interested when a cursory glance revealed that General Longstreet, Buffalo Bill, and General Sherman were all … [Read More...]