National Book Lovers Day…

… I think there’s a holiday for everything. This one I’ll gladly celebrate. In honor of the day let’s talk about books; books we love, books we read over and over, books that profoundly shaped us, or even books that we are currently reading. Tell me why you love books.

On my bedside is H.V Morton’s, A Traveller in Italy. Morton, in my opinion, is the best travel writer ever. He weaves history, anecdotes, and culture into such a descriptive tapestry you are instantly transported to the locale. It’s been quite a while since an author has pulled me in so deeply with his writings that I look forward to the end of the day when I can curl up with this book and travel back to Italy each night.

Related Link: Hardest Books Ever, where Rod Dreher writes of James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, “I opened a copy of this book once in a bookstore, and thought I was staring at the Rosetta Stone.”

About Katrina Fernandez

Mackerel Snapping Papist

  • Anna

    Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited.  I have three copies:  one for lending, one for the bookshelf, and one that i read every now and again.  The last is well-worn and I can’t bring myself to buy a new one…

  • Lydia Cubbedge

    I’m currently re-reading The Man Who Was Thursday. It’s a pretty well-thumbed, well-loved copy.  I go back to it when the more puritanical  types start to get to me. The idea that we can’t ever quite see what’s really going on and if we could we ‘d be shocked at the joy and meaning of it all is good medicine and keeps the world in perspective.

  • Christine Hebert

    I have been reading a great deal of young adult and teen “literature” of late.  Having a 12 year old son and a 16 year old daughter, I try to keep abreast of what they are reading.  I read the Hunger Games trilogy, the first two books in the Divergent series and the six book Alchemyst series.  The Alchemyst series weaves historical figures and mythological creatures into a modern end of world story.  There is violence but no sexual content and would be safe for a mature 12 year old.  The Hunger Games is an excellent dystopian series which is very definitely a statement against the horrors of war.  My 12 year old has read the first 2 books and begun the third.  There is violence and male and female teens share a bed and kiss, but that is the extent of the sexual content.  Divergent is a dystopian series with a heavy emphasis on choices and consequences.  It is arguably better than the Hunger Games thus far, but is not appropriate for the same age level.  There is more sexual content which includes scenes of heavy petting which make this series more appropriate for mature readers at least 15 years of age.  As a mom who promotes chastity I would discuss these areas with my kids.
    I have also been working my way through Story of a Soul.  This is my first time through it.  I am finding it to be a lovely, gentle read which point toward our Lord at every turn.

  • FrRamil E. Fajardo

    My favorite image of a book: seeing people go to mass with their missals or prayer books absolutely stuffed with prayer cards, slips of paper, pictures, and prayer requests, that they are literally bursting at the seams or have to be held together by a rubber band.

    I can’t say that I have any particular book that is at my bedside (I can’t read in bed) but one book that I’ve almost always obsessively toted around with me over the years: The Handbook of Prayers ed. Fr. James Socias. I’m on my third copy after so many years of use.

  • Ron

    Two books were instrumental in my coming into the Catholic Church. One was “The Life You Save May Be Your Own” by Paul Elie. It is a combined biography of Flannery O’Connor, Walker Percy, Dorothy Day, and Thomas Merton. This book made the Catholic Church so appealing as I read how it affected these four writers. The other book is “Letters to a Young Catholic” by George Weigel. I return to it again and again and have given away numerous copies to my curious Protestant friends. I have just finished “Chasing Francis” by Ian Cron which is a novel about a Protestant pastor’s introduction to St. Francis during a crisis in his life. Catholics will find much in here to warm their heart and disturb their comfort zone. Happy reading!!

  • GeekLady

    Gosh, I always have several on the burner.  I’m working my way through the Lord of the Rings (in audio form, since I’m missing a big chuck of pages from the middle of my copy of The Two Towers, also so I can knit).
    Jane Eyre
    Jesus of Nazareth (Part 2, in preparation for Part 3.  Also, I owe Tiber River a review.)
    Home Comforts (the opening parts where she talks philosophy, not the reference bits that make up most of the book)

  • Anna

    Currently reading “No Vulgar Hotel: the Desire and Pursuit of Venice” by Judith Martin (aka Miss Manners) and “The Bad Catholic’s Guide to Wine, Whiskey, and Song” by John Zmirak.  And “Light from Heaven” by Jan Karon.  And “The Butch Bakery Cookbook” so I can try out new cupcake recipes. (They try to make cupcakes sound macho, and maybe things like the beer ones are, but S’mores and Nutella [the latter oddly called 'the jackhammer', Lord knows why] – well, nice try, guys.)   I have a problem, don’t I?
    Also, I’m not the same Anna who already posted, but I love “Brideshead” too.  Though I don’t have multiple copies.  We barely have room for the 1,980 books we already have… 
    And does anyone else look upon “with a disgust that amounts to absolute detestation” the current decor instructions to use stacks of color-coordinated books as pedestals for other stuff?  Gag.      

  • NY Mom

    I rarely re-read an entire book, but there are 4 that I dip back into frequently and are heavily underscored:

    Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis
    The Death of Christian Culture, by John Senior
    The Restoration of Christian Culture, By John Senior
    Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh

    I admire writers who can beautifully, cogently, and succinctly express themselves, and the above are 3 of the best.

    NY Mom

  • jd

    I really enjoyed Forsaking Mimosa by Valerie Winn.  It’s about a father that sends his son to an all-girls’ Catholic boarding school.  I can’t wait for the sequel to this enjoyable book.

  • Cambridm

    Currently reading Crime and Punishment. I can’t believe I have never read this book before now. Reading on my Kindle, which I love. How else could I carry War and Peace, The Brothers Karamazov and Crime and Punishment onto the bus everyday?

  • Angela

    Happy Book Lovers’ Day!

    Currently reading:  Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and Religion and the Rise of Western Culture by Christopher Dawson.  I have a bad habit of reading too many books at once, and am actually surprised at my only being in the middle of two!

    Some favorites:  Bronte’s Jane Eyre, Dante’s Divine Comedy, Caldecott’s Beuty for Truth’s Sake, and Sheed’s To Know Christ Jesus

    • Christine Hebert

       I loved both Brave New World and Jane Eyre.  Huxley’s dystopian view reminds me so much of our current society!

  • Fuquay Steve

    Any of the Henryk Sienkiewicz books but especially “With Fire and Sword”; “The Deluge” and “Fire in the Steppe”. Fascinaiing account of Polish people and Jasna Gorna Monastery (The Black Madonna)

  • Miss Doyle

    You are so right about HV Morton – I have his other books and they are all brilliant. His one on Ireland is particularly good. Like the priest below, Socias’ Handbook of Prayers is an absolute must have.
    My all time favourite is Daniel Deronda by George Eliot, anything by Elizabeth Gaskell and I really like Alexander McCall Smith.