Snippet Reviews of Recent Reads

Snippet Reviews of Recent Reads March 25, 2013

Here’s some snippet reviews of books I’ve finished in the last week:

33 Days to Morning Glory, by Fr. Michael Gaitley (Marian Press, 2011)

My Rating: 5 of 5 stars (reread)

I read this last year, and I’ll admit: given that we had plans for spring break that involved packing books, I read the last few days all at once. It was no less wonderful an experience than it was last year. I forgot so much! And I was struck by so much! Truly, Fr. Gaitley’s writing is so accessible and beautiful–poetic, really–that I think I could make this a quarterly read. (I won’t. I’m lazy. But it’s that good.) If you haven’t done a consecration to Jesus through Mary–and even if you have!–check out this book. For that matter, read it anyway. One of my favorite Marian reads.

Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism in the Jordan to to the Transfiguration, by Pope Benedict XVI (Ignatius Press, 2008)

My Rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow. I have been trickling through this book through Lent, and I finished it in one big sweep on Friday. And then, to be at Palm Sunday Mass with these images and insights swirling through my head was truly a gift. Though it has many scholarly components to it, this book felt, to me, like curling up with my professor grandfather. Pope Benedict uses imagery that’s accessible and even, in places, unexpected. I’ll be digesting and referring back to this book for quite some time to come.

Why the Mystics Matter Now, by Frederick Bauerschmidt (Sorin Books, 2003)

My Rating: 5 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book and it definitely sealed the deal: I’m going to be diving into the actual writings of the actual mystics within the month. In this book, Bauerschmidt taps into excerpts from each of seven mystics and then applies it in a modern way. It was a fairly fast read and I enjoyed it. I also learned about a few mystics I haven’t read before. It piqued my interest about Hildegard of Bingen, for example. Highly recommended.

The Secrets of Happy Families: Surprising New Ideas to Bring More Togetherness, Less Chaos, and Greater Joy, by Bruce Feiler (William Morrow, 2013)

My Rating: 4 of 5 stars

A friend and editor told me I should read this book. So I did. It was a fast read, and it made me highlight and think about many things, especially from a Catholic viewpoint. Feiler did a LOT of research, and he shares it extensively in a biography, notes, and throughout the text. I liked it, and I’d recommend it, for the most part.

Love Among the Chickens (P.G. Wodehouse, fiction, available free as an ebook)

My Rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wodehouse, like Chesterton, is mostly in the public domain, so when I found out that one of my favorite current authors, Daniel McInerny, was inspired by Wodehouse, I may or may not have downloaded everything I could find for my Kindle. I picked Love Among the Chickens to read first because, well, I have chickens. It was a delightful read–and I was glad to have read it on my Kindle because I actually looked up some of the words I didn’t recognize. I’ll be reading more Wodehouse, for sure!

Curious about what my ratings mean? Here’s an explanation of what the stars mean to me.

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