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Sunday, August 17, 2008


I've done a little research and did find a Catholic book Meme, but I wasn't satisfied as I felt that there were many books that should be listed but aren't.

So...I've started my own. Although I know I haven't read every Catholic book out there, not even 100 of them, I think maybe some of you would have book recommendations. What are the top 100 Catholic books? I'm looking for both contemporary spiritual books as well as contemporary fiction, to go along with the classic books I'll have listed such a St. Francis de Sales and the like. At this point my goal is to turn this into a sort of Meme, but who knows? Maybe it'll be a stand-alone post of good Catholic book recommendations.

So....everyone...suggestions? What makes the cut for the top 100 Catholic books? Go through your home libraries, look at your dog-eared tomes, and consider your Amazon wish list. Maybe it's a book you haven't read but have heard great things about? Maybe it's a reference resource? Maybe a Flannery O'Connor novel?

I need help with this list....send me your favorite books, and even if you see that someone has listed your title already, list it again. That'll tell me it's important!

The combox awaits....


Unknown said...

Woman by Edith Stine

Unknown said...

If you want some Catholic Novel selections I have a few:

Rumer Godden:
In This House of Brede
Five for Sorrow Ten for Joy

Evelyn Waugh
Brideshead Revisited

Walker Percy
The Moviegoers
Thanatos Syndrome

Morris West
Shoes of the Fisherman
Clowns of God
(These are his papal triliogy)

Daughter of Silence
The Devil's Advocate

Flannery O'Connor
The Complete Works
(0r At Least)
A Good Man Is Hard to Find

A.J. Cronin
Keys to the Kingdom

G.K. Chesterton
Father Brown Omnibus
(at least some of Father Brown or some Chesterton

Those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head. I am sure there are more in the fiction category that should be on the top 100.

Hidden One said...

The Ascent of Mount Carmel and The Dark Night of the Soul by St. John of the Cross, The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis, The Secret of the Rosary by St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort, A Priest is Not His Own and Treasure in Clay by SoG Abp. Fulton J. Sheen, Transformation in Christ by Dietrich von Hildebrand, Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine and Apologia Pro Vita Sua by Ven. John Henry Cardinal Newman, Orthodoxy and The Everlasting Man by G. K. Chesterton, Confessions by St. Augustine of Hippo, The Catechism of the Catholic Church, The Spirit of the Liturgy by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, The Road of Hope by Francis Xavier Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan, The Way and Furrow by St. Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer, The Story of a Soul by St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face, The Cloud of Unknowing, Autobiography and The Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila, Rome Sweet Home, Hail, Holy queen and The Lamb's Supper: The Mass as Heaven on Earth by Scott Hahn, Baltimore Catechism III, Where We Got the Bible by Rev. H. G. Graham... that's all the unforgettables that I can think of (not to say I've read them all). Hope it's of some use.

Christina said...

Non-fiction (off the top of my head since I'm not near my bookshelf):

- Orthodoxy by Chesterton
- The Pursuit of Happiness - God's Way:
Living the Beatitudes
by Servais Pinckaers, O.P.
- The Lamb's Supper by Scott Hahn
- The Catechism of the Catholic Church - The official one.
- The Catholic Catechism by Fr. John Hardon
- St Faustina's Diary by St Faustina


I've not read much catholic fiction, but these two works I enjoyed a lot.

- Any of the Fr Brown stories by Chesterton
- The Letters of Magdalen Montague by Eleanor Donlon

Lillian Marie said...

Anything by Scott Hahn
* Lord's Supper
* Hail Holy Queen
* Genesis to Jesus

(these are only 3 of the multitude)

The Better Part (A Christ-Centered Resource for Personal Prayer) by Fr. John Bartunek, LC

Will to Love (Relfections for Daily Living by St. Maximilian Kolbe, 'Prophet of the Civilization of Love') compiled by Fr. George M. Domanski

Catholic Action Principles (Creating Positive Conversations) by Bill FitzPatrick

Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
(of course, ANYTHING by C.S. Lewis)

The Hobbit by R.R. Tolkien

Lord of the Rings Trilogy by R.R. Tolkien

These are only the ones I could think of on top of my head since all my books are at home.

Nancy said...

Another vote from me for The Lamb's Supper.

This is the Mass by Henri Daniel-Rops (with illustrations of Abp Sheen as photographed by the famous portrait photographer Yousuf Karsh)

The Fulfillment of All Desire by Ralph Martin.

A contemporary one that really blew me away big time: 7 Secrets of the Eucharist by Vinny Flynn

I don't know what category this would fit in: Mother Angelica: The Remarkable Story of a Nun, Her Nerve, and a Network of Miracles by Raymond Arroyo (and his compilation of Mother's wisdom)

Christina said...

Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
(of course, ANYTHING by C.S. Lewis)

I would have included Narnia and the Space Trilogy in Fiction but he's not Catholic...

X said...

Some duplicates here but you said that was OK....

by Scott Hahn
Lamb's Supper
Rome Sweet Home
A Father Who Keeps His Promises
Hail Holy Queen
Lord, Have Mercy

by Fr. B. Groeschel
Healing the Original Wound
(actually anything by Fr. BG is excellent!)

by Christopher West
Theology of the Body for Beginners
Good News About Sex & Marriage

by Abp. Fulton Sheen
Life of Christ
and pretty much anything else he ever wrote

by Randy Alcorn (not Catholic but a must have if you are ProLife)
ProLife Answers to ProChoice Questions

by Zmirak & Matychowiak
The Bad Catholics Guide to Good Living (orthodox and hilarious!)

by Vinny Flynn
Seven Secrets of the Eucharist (this is one of my favorites!)

by Raymond Arroyo
Mother Angelica

by Brennan Pursell
Benedict of Bavaria
(if you love the Holy Father now you will love him even more after reading this!)

by Dawn Eden
Thrill of the Chaste

by George Weigel
Letters to a Young Catholic
(I'm not young anymore but this is a wonderful book!)

by Trigilio & Brighenti
Catholicism for Dummies

Christine said...

One book that actually helped get me through a spiritual crisis I was going through a couple years ago is "Story of a Soul" by St. Therese. It helped me find my way back to Christ when I was drifting away from him.

uncle jim said...

Morris West's books are 'out-of-print' i'm told, but can be found and are a great read

anyone tried using Harold Bloom's 'The Western Canon'? Certainly not 'Catholic' but are universal.

Lillian Marie said...

I totally forgot about Vinny Flynn's Seven Secrets of the Eucharist! Excellent book!

I just remembered a few others (by author)

Fr. Ronald Rolheiser
- The Holy Longing
- The Shattered Lantern
- The Restless Heart

Fr. Henri Nouwen
- Life of the Beloved & our Greatest Gift
- A Restless Soul
- The Return of the Prodigal Son

Melody K said...

If we are including authors who wrote about Catholic themes, and who had a Catholic sensibility(but who weren't necessarily Catholic themselves) I would recommend Elizabeth Goudge. Especially her novels "Island Magic" and "Gentian Hill". Her recurrent themes are renewal and redemption.
Another one I would recommend is "To Quell the Terror" by William Bush; it is the story of the Carmelite martyrs of Compiegne during the Reign of Terror.

Mark said...

This Tremendous Lover by M. Eugene Boylan; The Sinner's Guide and Summa of the Christian Life by Ven. Louis of Granada; Edmund Campion by Evelyn Waugh, The True Church - The Path which Led a Protestant Lawyer to the Catholic Church, by Peter H. Burnett (one of the best apologetic books ever!); Faith of our Fathers, Archbishop Gibbons; Blood Drenched Altars, Bishop Kelley; Iota Unum, Romano Amerio; Battle for the American Church, Msgr Kelly; Catena Aurea St. Thomas Aquinas; Haydock Commentary Bible, Geo. Haydock; Architects of the Culture of Death, DeMarco & Wiker; "Conferences" of Lacordaire, "Conferences" of Fr. Faber; A New Song for the Lord. Faith in Christ and Liturgy Today, Cdl Ratzinger;

thats a few; most of the library is still in storage...

Jennifer @ Conversion Diary said...

- Jesus of Nazareth by Pope Benedict
- He Leadeth Me by Fr. Walter Ciszek
- The Everlasting Man by Chesterton

Those are my top three. :)

Mairin :o) said...

1.Moods & Truths - Archb.Fulton Sheen
2.The Privilege of Being a Woman - Alice Von Hildebrand
3.Thirsting for God- Bl.Mother Teresa
4.By What Authority - Mark Shea
5.Conceived without sin- Bud McFarlane, Jr.

Adoro said...

Thanks, everyone! I have some of those on my list, some not.

I've considered CS. Lewis but decided to leave him and other similar authors off this particular list...thinking to keep this solidly Catholic by authorship. Although it kills me because I LOVE CS Lewis! lol!

Thank you for ALL the recommendations!

BretonHobbit said...

i'm a bit late perhaps with the recommendations, but i've been reading the biography of st. thomas aquinas by Chesterton, and it's amazing. Just started his bio on St. Francis...but I've heard it is equally good!
yes, pity about Lewis. After all, he had a considerable hand in leading me back to the Church, as I'm sure it is the case with many others.

Hidden One said...

I'll second, belatedly, ABp. Sheen's Life of Christ and Dr. Scott Hahn's A Father Who Keeps His Promises, as well as St. Faustina's diary as well as adding Uniformity of God's Will by St. Alphonsus Liguori.

ignorant redneck said...

"The Ark and the Dove"--1950s erea religion textbook for 11th graders--brilliant, clear and informative.

"Peace of Soul"--Abp Sheen
"Jesus of nazareth"--HH Benedict XVI
"Spirit of the Litturgy"--HH Benidict XVI

"House of Gold" and "Concieved Without Sin"--novels by Bud MacFarlane Jr.

"The Bad Catholics Guide to Good Living"

Unknown said...

How could I forget Jesuits in Space?

Mary Doria Russell
The Sparrow
Children of God

Jonathan said...

The one that led me to the church: Theology and Sanity - Sheed

Incredibly deep yet easy to read at the same time.

Anonymous said...

My list would include
Interior Castles - St. Teresa of Avila
Story of a Soul - St. Therese of Lisieux
Living the Christian Faith - Archbishop Charles Chaput
Deep Conversion/Deep Prayer - Thomas Dubay
Full of Grace - Johnette Benkovic
Fulfillment of All Desire - Ralph Martin
Sign of the Cross - Bert Ghezzi
Transformation in Christ - Diedrich vonHildebrand
Privilege of Being a Woman - Alice vonHildebrand
St. Benedict and St. Therese - Dwight Longenecker
Imitation of Christ - Thomas a Kempis
7 Secrets of the Eucharist - Vinny Flinn
Called to Be Holy - Arch. Timothy Dolan
True Devotion - St. Louis de Montefort

Anonymous said...

A good Catholic novel is
Kristen Lavransdatter - Sigrid Undset

Annie said...

I would add:

Graham Greene - The Heart of the Matter

Flannery O'Connor - The Habit of Being

Georges Bernanos - Diary of a Country Priest

Thomas Merton - The Seven Story Mountain

Anonymous said...

just the first that come to mind:

Dubay – Fire Within
P. Eugene Marie – I want to See God
P. Eugene Marie – I am a Daughter of the Church
De Caussade – Abandonment to Divine Providence
Therese of Liseux – Story of a Soul

Simply Sister Mary said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Simply Sister Mary said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Simply Sister Mary said...

so blogger was havnig problems and I didn't think it went... and it went three times. so sorry-

Unknown said...

More Catholic Novels
these are funny, and touching

John R Powers

the Last Catholic in America
Do Black Patten Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up
The Unoriginal Sinner and the Ice Cream God