Remarkable Reading: 2 Novels and a Jesus Story

"Remarkable Reads: 2 novels and a Jesus story" by Sarah Reinhard (

Copyright 2018 Sarah Reinhard. All rights reserved.

It’s always a joy to read wonderful books, and even more so when I know I can share them with others. All three of these books are remarkable and wonderful reads: Enjoy!

Jesus: The Story You Thought You Knew

by Deacon Keith Strohm (Our Sunday Visitor, 2017)

A fellow editor had mentioned that this was a good read, so I bumped it up in my reading. Boy, am I glad I did! Turns out, this was just the book I needed at just the time I read it!

Strohm begins by laying it all out there: “This is not a book on theology.” Instead, what he’s crafted is a journey, a getting-to-know-you sort of book, minus any of the sentimentalism that such a description implies.

I found myself highlighting and bracketing, rereading sections and enjoying what I had thought I already knew.

Each chapter explores one facet of Jesus and what Strohm has dubbed “The Great Story.” He unpacks it, and then he gives you assignments: scripture selections that highlight the chapter’s theme and reflection questions. There are also questions that would be perfect for journaling or small group discussion.

This isn’t “Catholic lite” reading, but is instead a dive into Jesus as a person, as the person. We meet him every week, we interact with him every day, we know him … or do we?

Dying for Compassion

By Barbara Golder (Full Quiver Publishing, 2017)

If you read the first of Golder’s novels, Dying for Revenge, then you already know that this is a must-read. If you haven’t, well, let me introduce you to suspense with a dose of humor and insanity that feels a little too close to possible.

Golder has created characters who ring true, and her bad guys are just not-bad enough to make you look over your shoulder.

While it’s full of suspense, there’s nothing inappropriate for sensitive readers: Yes, people die. Yes, there is bad stuff going on. It’s not, however, beyond the line of decency for readers. Golder knows just how to paint her pictures so that you see what’s going on without her having to spell it out.

There’s a lot of clever in this novel, but not so much that you feel duped as a reader.

Excellent reading, and the sort of thing that makes me want to write notes to the author, demanding more!

Looking for the King

By David C. Downing (Ignatius Press, 2010)

I picked this up many moons ago at our local Catholic bookstore, then secured it away on a shelf and quickly forgot about it. Every so often, I would catch a glimpse of it and think, “I should read that.”

So here I am, having read it. It’s historical fiction, and highly entertaining. There’s a touch of suspense and a bit of mystery, and it’s better for it.

At times, I found the main character’s atheism/agnosticism tiresome, but thankfully, he’s offset by a young lady who is no-nonsense and full of verve.

There’s a glimpse of the Inklings, that writing group that included C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and a few others. There’s also a bit of a tour of England that I couldn’t help but enjoy.

Visit our Book Notes archive.

Copyright 2018 Sarah Reinhard
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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 Triple Take, from Our Sunday Visitor.

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