Pass the Coffee...and a Book


CatholicMom-booknotes-logoHere’s proof that I have had a whirlwind of a week: only one book under my “Read” heading this week. It was a doozie of a book, though, and one I hope you will pick up and read yourself.

Recent Reads

Refuse to Do Nothing: Finding Your Power to Abolish Modern-Day Slavery, by Shayne Moore and Kimberly McOwen Yim (IVP Books, 2012)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a book that, while difficult, will inspire hope and demand action. My full review, along with a list of relevant resources and websites, is up at my blog.

Current Reads

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

I’m loving this book! I’m not whipping through it (in part because no, I’m not reading part of it every day as I had intended), but I am thoroughly enjoying it. Here’s a nugget for you:

Faith cleanses the heart. It is the result of God’s initiative toward men. It is not simply a choice that men make for themselves. Faith comes about because men are touched deep within by God’s Spirit, who opens and purifies their hearts.

Manalive, by G.K. Chesterton (originally published in 1912, fiction) (available free as an e-book)

I was supposed to be finished with this already, but…well, I have until tomorrow to get it done for my book club. 🙂 I’m enjoying it, though, I just haven’t planned my reading time quite well enough to finish this.

I feel like I’m missing out on something, though the last time I read fiction by Chesterton, I felt a similar feeling. There’s a feeling of mystery throughout, as though there is a message he has that he will reveal, slowly, gradually, when you’re ready for it.

I’m at the halfway point as of typing this, so my fingers are crossed that I can get through it before my book club tomorrow! I’m also curious as to what the other ladies will have to say about this (it was my pick).

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

I read this a year or so ago, and wasn’t planning to read it now, but…well, it seemed like I should. Father Jay is doing a series of talks for Lent on it over at iPadre (see episodes 292 and 294) and that put me over the top. It’s just as delightful as I remember it being, and some of the most accessible Marian writing I’ve read.

New to My Review Shelf

I Wasn’t Dead When I Wrote This: Advice Given in the Nick of Time, by Lisa-Marie Calderone-Stewart (Loyola Press, 2012)

Go ahead, see if you can read this synopsis and not (a) order the book immediately after (b) tearing up immensely:

“The best part of my life has been the honor of sharing this tree branch with you…”

Youth minister Lisa-Marie Calderone-Stewart gives a powerful testament to life in I Wasn’t Dead When I Wrote This, a collection of the best practical advice she has given and received while working with young people. Written in her final months before dying of cancer, here are a few examples of Calderone-Stewart’s wise counsel:

  • Learning how to forgive is one of the most essential tasks of adulthood.
  • You don’t have to save the world.
  • You only have to find the one area in which you can serve.
  • Don’t waste a minute of your life regretting who you are or wondering why you couldn’t be some other person.You are just what the world needs now.

It is never too late to change your life or to shape someone else’s— and Calderone-Stewart does just that with this honest, heartfelt perspective on living written a few months before dying.

Real Men Pray the Rosary: A Practical Guide to a Powerful Prayer, by David N. Calvillo (Ave Maria Press, 2013)

Why yes, it IS all I can do not to drop everything and dive into this advance review copy…

The Rosary is for old ladies and funerals. Or is it?

In David N. Calvillo’s debut book, he reveals how each week thousands of men of all ages and backgrounds join together each week in the Real Men Pray the Rosary movement and are seeing the fruit of this spiritual discipline in their lives and families.

A new centerpiece of Catholic mens spirituality, this dynamic book and movement brings men together, deepening their devotion to Christ through Mary. Often surprising and always inspiring, Calvillo combines storytelling with a profound, inviting guide and convincingly shows how the Rosary is alive and well todayfor men. In a world filled with ubiquitous distractions and technology, Calvillo helps men to unplug from time to time and tap into this simple system of prayer that takes only minutes each day, but whose transformative power is beyond measure. He shares why the Hail Mary is the perfect prayer and concludes with a 33-day Rosary Challenge so readers can experience for themselves how praying several minutes each day for thirty-three days radically changes their lives.

C.S. Lewis a Life: Eccentric Genius, Reluctant Prophet, by Alister E. McGrath (Tyndale House Publishers, 2013)

This one has me strangely intrigued–I tend to not be much of a memoir/biography reader:

Fifty years after his death, C. S. Lewis continues to inspire and fascinate millions. His legacy remains varied and vast. He was a towering intellectual figure, a popular fiction author who inspired a global movie franchise around the world of Narnia, and an atheist-turned-Christian thinker.

In C.S. Lewis—A Life, Alister McGrath, prolific author and respected professor at King’s College of London, paints a definitive portrait of the life of C. S. Lewis. After thoroughly examining recently published Lewis correspondence, Alister challenges some of the previously held beliefs about the exact timing of Lewis’s shift from atheism to theism and then to Christianity. He paints a portrait of an eccentric thinker who became an inspiring, though reluctant, prophet for our times.

You won’t want to miss this fascinating portrait of a creative genius who inspired generations.

What have YOU been reading lately?

*Are you on Goodreads? I’ll see you there!

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

Be sure to check out our Book Notes archive.

Copyright 2013, Sarah Reinhard


About Author

When she’s not chasing kids, chugging coffee, or juggling work, Sarah Reinhard’s usually trying to stay up read just one…more…chapter. She writes and works in the midst of rural farm life with little ones underfoot. She is part of the team for the award-winning Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion, as well as the author of a number of books. You can join her for a weekday take on Catholic life by subscribing to Three Shots and follow her writing at Snoring Scholar.

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