It’s been a week of big news in my little world. And it’s been a week of big reading.
This week, I’m sharing at least one book that I’m calling a must-read, and I plan to put my money where my mouth is, because I’m going to be ordering at least two copies for family members. Enjoy!
Joyful Witness: How to be an Extraordinary Catholic, by Randy Hain (Servant Books, expected publication November 2014)
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars
I think I’ve read all of Randy Hain’s books. And they’re good. But this, this is something different and much, much, MUCH better. (And I told Randy so.)
I have never had tears in my eyes reading a Randy Hain book, but within ten pages, I had them coursing down my face. Don’t start thinking this is a tear-jerker, emo-job, though, because it’s not. It’s a tender and heartfelt series of insights.
In this book, Hain has done something unescapably brilliant: he’s gathered everyday heroes and highlighted their saintly efforts. This book isn’t just inspiring drivel: it’s full of practical tips that even slackers like me can apply. You’re going to find yourself unable to not be changed by the incredible stories, the heartwarming examples, and the down-to-earth advice. Even better, you’ll be motivated to get off your couch and DO something!
Definitely pre-order it now.
King of the Golden City: An Allegory for Children, Study Edition, by Mother Mary Loyola and Janet P. McKenzie, OCDS (fiction, Little Way Press, 2004) (Read for the Catholic Spiritual Direction book club)
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
I’m glad I read this book, but I’ll be honest: it wasn’t my favorite read. (Hence the 4 stars. That’s more a reflection of “what Sarah doesn’t so much care for” as anything else.)
When I started reading it aloud to my kids in a pinched moment at Adoration last week (I hadn’t intended to, honestly), I had a glimpse of the brilliance of this book. I plan to revisit it with them and see how that changes my opinion of it.
Chastity Is for Lovers: Single, Happy, and (Still) a Virgin, by Arleen Spenceley (Ave Maria Press, expected release Fall 2014)
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Call this your “Sarah said so” must-read for 2014. I laughed, I cried, I pre-ordered two copies for my nieces. This is some of the most important writing I’ve read on the topic of sex…ever. (JP2 might have her beat with TOB, but let’s not get picky.)
Spenceley cuts to the heart of the matter, and she does it with grace, style, and a smile. I found myself crying–and don’t you DARE blame hormones!–because I so wish I had been told this, had read this, had heard this beautiful truth BEFORE NOW. (OK, so I have. But not when I was her age.)
This book is courageous and wise. It’s logical and methodical, even as its softer side is strewn throughout, weaving it together.
Truly, a masterpiece. I couldn’t put it down, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. Go, pre-order.
UnWholly (Unwind #2), by Neal Shusterman (YA fiction, Simon & Schuster, 2012)
I’ve been saving this book. It all started because Unwind, the previous book in this series, was required reading for my niece. She told me that I HAD to read it. And she was right.
From what I’ve read of this book, it’s more of the same. Shusterman is bringing up important considerations and using the medium of fiction to craft a story that’s wow even as it makes your mind work.
If you have a stake in the abortion vs. not movement (and don’t we all?), then this book is worth reading and discussing. (Oh, don’t worry. I’ll be writing more. LOTS more.)
Faithfully Gardening, by Margaret Rose Realy (Ave Maria Press, expected publication 2015)
I’m going to love this one. I’ve peeked at the table of contents already, and I have hot tea all ready to brew. It will be like curling up with a gardener bff, I just know it!
Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial?…and Other Crazy Questions, with some Not-So-Crazy Answers, by Br. Guy Consolmagno and Paul Mueller, SJ (Image Books, expected release October 2014)
The title captured me, and from what I’ve glanced through the book to see, it’s going to be fun and quirky reading, grounded in some catechesis and learning. Which is just what my September needs!
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 2014, Sarah Reinhard