Best Catholic Books I Read in 2013



Here’s my list of best Catholic books I read and reviewed in 2013 — best for couples, best for parents, best for kids. There should be something here for everyone. Enjoy!

For Married or Engaged Couples

For Better… Forever!: A Catholic Guide to Lifelong Marriage, by Greg Popcak

This modern Catholic classic has been offering helpful advice to couples for more than a decade. Valentine’s Day is coming up! Give a gift that helps love grow all year long. Click here for my review.

For Moms and Dads

Growing Up in God’s Image, by Carolyn J. Smith

One of the biggest struggles parents face is teaching their kids a healthy outlook on sexuality. You can start laying the groundwork when your kids are very young by teaching them respect for their bodies. Then, it’s much easier to talk to them as they get older. Learn how in this helpful book. Click here for my review and link to buy.

Catholic Family Fun, by Sarah A. Reinhard

The family fun can last all year round if you use the ideas in this clever book. Imagine always having something wholesome to do that will keep bodies and minds active and electronic devices off. With this book, you’ll never be at a loss thinking of things to do. Click here for my review and link to buy.

Big Hearted, by Patti Armstrong and Theresa Thomas

Do you have a big family? Is someone close to you always asking questions about why you made that choice? Big Hearted answers a lot of those questions by providing intimate portraits of big families in their joys and in their struggles. Click here for my review and link to buy.

Dad is Fat, by Jim Gaffigan

Laugh through the pain of parenting, and then share it. My husband bought this book as a Christmas gift for nearly every dad in the family. Guaranteed to make you laugh out loud. Click here for my review and link to buy.

A Catholic Mother’s Companion to Pregnancy: Walking with Mary from Conception to Baptism, by Sarah Reinhard

If you’re looking for deeper meaning in the little aches and pains of pregnancy, read Sarah’s wonderful book. It offers pregnant moms a week-by-week journey in prayer with Our Lady through pregnancy, labor, birth, and beyond. Mary had no sin, but she had emotions, the book reminds us, and so we can turn to Mary for comfort, knowing that she must have felt at least some of what we feel. Click here for my review and link to buy.

For Kids through Teens

Sisters of the Last Straw: The Case of the Haunted Chapel, by Karen Kelly Boyce

For third- to fifth-graders, this charming tale has ghosts, animal chases and, best of all, the cutest habit-wearing nuns since The Sound of Music. Inspire thoughts of a vocation in the little girls in your life! Click here for my review and link to buy.

St. Francis and Brother Duck, by Jay Stoeckl

Eight- through twelve-year-olds will love this comic book rendition of the life of St. Francis and his fictional sidekick Brother Duck. A great way to bring fun and excitement to learning about this inspirational saint. Click here for my review and link to buy.

Garden of Souls, by Chéri Vausé

An Indiana Jones-style romp back to where it all began. Evocative imagery and non-stop action won’t fail to please the teens and action-lovers on your list. Click here for my review and link to buy.

Praying with Your Five Fingers, by Pope Francis

Pope Francis likes to use this helpful prayer method, which is good for kids and adults, too. Buy several of these laminated cards and use them instead of gift tags for every kiddie birthday you attend in 2014. Click here for my review and link to buy.

For the Romantic

Anything from Full Quiver Publishing

All the romance and none of the bodice-ripping. This small publisher run by Ellen Gable Hrkach specializes in Catholic romances where respect is the name of the game. Click here for their web site.

The Rose Ring, by Anne Faye

A romance in the style of Nicholas Sparks, this book is a true tear-jerker. Exploring deep themes of forgiveness and second chances, The Rose Ring will warm your heart! Click here for my review and link to buy.

For the Theology Buff

Fill These Hearts: God, Sex, and the Universal Longing, by Christopher West

This is the latest offering from popular Theology of the Body expert Chris West. Learn how to aim your desire according to God’s design so you can arrive at your destiny — totally blissful union with Our Lord and Savior forever in heaven. Prayer, participation in the liturgy, and reception of the Eucharist can take you there. Click here for my review.

Be sure to check out our Book Notes archive.

Copyright 2014, Karee Santos


About Author

We welcome guest contributors who graciously volunteer their writing for our readers. Please support our guest writers by visiting their sites, purchasing their work, and leaving comments to thank them for sharing their gifts here on To inquire about serving as a guest contributor, contact


Leave A Reply

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.