Our Catholic home library is growing, growing, growing and it's an embarrassment of riches, especially with the nonfiction. Our bookshelves are overflowing and we have piles of books everywhere and we just can't seem to stop. There's so much. Last Christmas Michael got a subscription to FORMED, a website that gives access to books, CDs, DVDs with great Catholic content. For $10/mo we can access all this. We easily spend twice as much so we're very happy. And they have audiobooks as well. I'm not the greatest fan of audiobooks because I often have to stop and ponder and there's something about being read to that prevents me from hitting the pause button, but Michael, with his cloudy eyes, enjoys them and has managed to listen to more books in the past six months than he could read. He's even listened to books that he's already read because they are that good.
His favorites: He Leadeth Me by Fr. Walter Czisek; Be a Man by Fr. Larry Richards; Theology for Beginners by Frank Sheed, and so many more.
These are some of the books I enjoyed and I'm cross-posting these reviews to Amazon:
As soon as I saw Awakening by Claudia Cangilla McAdam I knew I had to have it. Many years ago, when I was judging the Magazine Merit Awards, I read an article set in Australia of an underground town and she brought it to life. Similarly, she brings Jerusalem during the Triduum to life through the eyes of Ronni, a typical Catholic-lite young girl who is transported back in time. I loved how cleverly the author inserts Ronni and the people she knows in the familiar stories of the Gospel. The book moves quickly through Ronni's healing (she's the girl Jesus heals when he says, "Talitha koum"), the Last Supper, and Crucifixion. She tries to stop it because she doesn't think Jesus should die but her plans are always thwarted. Not only that, she's in peril as well. And there's a nice bit of romance too. Although the message is a bit heavy-handed I didn't mind. This is a great book for any kid who is wondering whether there's anything worth dying for (our Lord and Savior certainly did).
The Devil Hates Latin by Katherine Galgano was an action-packed book about an American family whose Catholic faith increases as they are unfairly attacked. The action begins in the US, moves to Rome and Scotland, and ends in the beautiful Italian countryside with an exorcism. There's also a good car chase. The author has a lot to say about the current times about the breakdown of the family to the point that young people don't even want to marry. I loved that the Chair of Peter was occupied by an African (why yes, I had hoped Cardinal Sarah or Cardinal Arinze would be elected last time). He invites an American Dominican exorcist to train priests in this ancient rite given the need for battling evil. And the bad guys, some of them priests, are really bad but the good ones exemplary. There was a fair bit of church bureaucracy that my eyes glazed over but all in all, I enjoyed the story of both the American family and the Italian family (with a nice romance). It was well plotted and would make a good movie, but I had a difficult time empathizing with many of the characters because the author head hops too much. And of course the devil hates Latin. It's the official language of the Church.
I'm looking forward to reading a few more books that I've downloaded by Fr. Thomas Dubay, Scott Hahn, and Michael O'Brien. And this July I'll go to the Catholic Writing Conference held in Schaumburg, IL. The registration is ridiculously cheap, though not the hotel. The schedule is being finalized; take a look. If you're in the area and would like to meet, please contact me.