Book Talk as Summer Starts


Though summer doesn’t technically begin until June 20, we’re calling it summer due to the end of the school year (and the hope of more sun! more swimming! more fun!). Summer always puts me in a different frame of mind with my reading…and with a puppy and a toddler boy under foot, I have a feeling, I’ll have lots of opportunities to sit near the dirt pile and read. (A mom can hope…)

Recent Reads

Strange Gods: Unmasking the Idols in Everyday Life, by Elizabeth Scalia (Ave Maria Press, 2013)

It’s no surprise that Strange Gods is well-written or thought-provoking. Anyone who’s come across one of Elizabeth Scalia’s columns or blog posts knows she’s articulate and masterful with the written word. She writes through life as a boy pokes through the mud, examining each and every thing she finds and bringing it to the light or stashing it in her pockets to bring out later.

What surprised me was how relevant I found Strange Gods to my life.

I highly recommend you buy two copies: one for yourself (and don’t lend that one out) and one for a friend. If we called our idols what they were, how would it change the world as we know it?

{Link to my full review.}

Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte (fiction, audio, courtesy of Just the Books)

Yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s a classic and all of that. But what I really love about listening to the audio through Just the Books is that Heather Ordover gives you a college-level instruction on it without making you feel like you’re learning anything. She gets professionals to do the narration and then she prefaces and ends each chapter or section with commentary that’s second-to-none.

KNOW I read Jane Eyre in my youth. Somehow, though, I forgot pretty much all of it. Thanks to the craziness of my life, I never did actually pick the book up and read to find out what would happen next (but you’d better believe Just the Books got bumped to the top of my playlist as soon as it showed up in iTunes!).

I’m reminded of what’s so fun about reading the classics and even more, what’s fun about reading them together. Just the Books gives me the feel of a book club even while I’m out and about, mowing the yard or running errands.

Consuming the Word: The New Testament and the Eucharist in the Early Church, by Scott Hahn (Image Books, 2013)

If you feel like the Year of Faith is slipping through your fingers, like maybe you are slackering a bit (I’m holding up a mirror to my face here), let me make a suggestion. Pick up a copy of this book and read it slowly, prayerfully, and maybe with a friend. Consider the lessons Hahn includes and the fire he ignites for the Word of God, both as sacrament and as text. Let Hahn inspire you to make the Word of God your life’s priority.

A book you’ll be glad you read and one you’ll want to share as you re-read it. Hopefully, though, it lights the fire under you to attend to the Word of God at Mass and in your life with a new fervor.

{Link to my full review.}

Current Reads

A Method to the Madness: A Guide to the Super Evil, by Jeffrey Hite (Five Rivers Chapmanry, 2013, fiction)

I will finish this book this week. I WILL. After all, I have minions to breed and small children to brainwash and evil to sow…mwahaha. A seriously entertaining book that I wish I wasn’t reading at the end of the day when the couch’s comfort is greater than my ability to keep my eyes open…

Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus, by Sherry Weddell (Our Sunday Visitor, 2012) (as part of the Lawn Chair Catechism study here at

I’ve been meaning to read this book for quite some time, and thanks to Jen Fitz, now I am. (Yes, the secret’s out: she’s the brain behind the LCC summer fun.) So far, so good. I’ll be posting about it here and at my place on Wednesdays.

On Heaven and Earth: Pope Francis on Faith, Family, and the Church in the Twenty-First Century, by Jorge Bergoglio (Pope Francis) & Abraham Skorka (Image Books, 2013)

Whether I read one chapter or five, this book is like a sweet caramel melting in my mouth. The taste lingers and hopefully the wisdom sinks in. I’m reading it slowly (in part by design and in part by necessity).

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 Triple Take, from Our Sunday Visitor.


  1. What I’m reading now? Go in Peace. By Fr Pacwa, Rosery workout. By Peggy Bowes, Spousal Prayer by Dr Keeting, American Church by Bernard Shaw, Consoling the Heart of Jesus byFr. Giatley, and as always something from Chesterton. Now his book on St Francis.
    Summer isn’t the best time for reading for me. The garden always needs something and the evening gets eaten away too quickly. I love getting lost in a book under a blanket in the winter waiting for the family to come back from skiing. My knee just won’t let me ski.
    What I don’t have a handle on is decent contemporary fictional writing. I don’t want to trash my heart so I’ve really shied away from it. Anybody got a handle on a few good reads?

    • Sarah Reinhard on

      Sue, you are reading a few books I’ve loved (Fr. Gaitley and Rosary Workout) as well as one that’s on my review shelf (American Church).

      Are you looking for fiction recommendations? Here are a few:
      – The Man Who Was Thursday (Chesterton)
      – Poor Banished Children (de Maria, Ignatius Press)
      – Stealing Jenny (Hrkach)

      And I can keep going. Maybe I’ll do a post soon about good fiction that won’t “hurt” to read… 🙂

  2. I am so lost on your website! I don’t have ADHD, but there is so much going on I am lost. I got in late for the “Forming Intentional Disciples” summer program and am trying to find the May 29th discussion I missed. Where is it and where will the next one be found on the website? It is stored somewhere, or did I miss it entirely? I guess I am not too familiar with blog website, but homepage is hard to out what is going on and nothing is dated. Please help, I don’t want to give up before I’ve started!

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