Tag Archives: books

Best books in the Catholic Press, 2014

July 14, 2015

1 Comment

Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 2.04.06 PMIf you’re looking for worthwhile reading in several religious genre — faith formation, spirituality, theology, liturgy, teens and young readers, Catholic novels and many more — those who judge the annual book awards of the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada have chosen these as the best of their class in the books published in 2014.

The judges’ comments make the list particularly valuable for those of us who have to be selective in our reading choices. Here goes:

B01: POPULAR PRESENTATION OF THE CATHOLIC FAITH

First Place

The Jesuit Post by Patrick Gilger, SJ, Orbis Books

Lively, witty, entertaining–modern, “with it” and of-the-moment writing likely to appeal to a contemporary audience geared to new ways of communicating. James Martin’s introduction is a plus to these compelling personal essays on faith and religious practices.

Second Place

Walking God’s Earth by David Cloutier, Liturgical Press

Important and impressive in its treatment of the Christian obligation to care for God’s creation yet written in a lyrical and literary style likely to appeal to a wide audience, including academics and professionals. The opening invitation to “take a walk” is irresistible.

Third Place

Sexuality and Morality: Answers for Modern Catholics by Charles E. Bouchard, OP, Liguori Publications

A useful, handy and modern consideration of sexual morality and sacramental marriage written with candor and understanding of contemporary concerns and realities.

Honorable Mention

Being on Fire by Richard G. Malloy, SJ, Orbis Books

Subtitled “The Top Ten Essentials of Catholic Faith,” this book commends itself for its light, personal style, leaning on stories about people and events to make its points.

Honorable Mention

This is Our Faith by Thomas P. Rausch, SJ, Paulist Press

A thorough, well-organized and reliable presentation written in a scholarly style without being pedantic.

B02a: SPIRITUALITY: Soft Cover

First Place

Good Saint John XXIII by Bro. Mickey McGrath, OSFS, Clear Faith Publishing

The book is artistically creative. A wide audience of readers – people of all ages and of various stages of interest in books about spirituality will find it appealing on many levels. Its content features quotes from Pope John XX111 and Pope Francis that radiate a contagious joy. It isn’t often that one can pick up a book on spirituality and find that each quote on each page engenders enthusiasm and encouragement for pursuing the spiritual life. Persons who pick up the book for the first time will find themselves picking it up again and again.

Second Place

The Beggar’s Banquet: A Personal Retreat on Christ, His Mother, the Spiritual Life, and the Saints by Regis Martin, Emmaus Road Publishing

How rare to find a book that’s — all at once — poetic, theologically rich, entertaining, and accessible. Martin draws from voices as diverse as Eliot, Pascal, Dickens, Balthasar, Barth (and countless canonized saints) to make his points. But he’s always telling stories, and always relating his reading to his own struggles, and so the book never feels academic. His humor is a singularity in the Catholic world and should probably be protected by UNESCO. He uses it to good effect and for the best purposes. For that especially this judge is deeply grateful.

Third Place

Signs: Seven Words of Hope by Jean Vanier, Paulist Press

Jean Vanier is an author every Christian should come to know. He founded the L’Arche communities and recently received the prestigious Templeton Prize. This book can serve as an excellent introduction to his particular spirit. He offers a profound and practical vision for reforming society — reforming community — through love expressed in simple deeds. He worries that Catholics are losing their steam, their zeal and enthusiasm, and he offers these brief meditations as a way to help us regain our vitality and effectiveness. The book will certainly succeed with those who read it. The world will be better for that.

Honorable Mention

The Song That I Am by Élisabeth-Paule Labat, Liturgical Press

Unusual, beautiful, intelligent.

Honorable Mention

A Book of Uncommon Prayer by Brian Doyle, Ave Maria Press

Brian Doyle writes prayers with a directness and in a manner unadorned with traditional piety. He speaks out of the circumstances of his life and his prayers reflect the raw emotions that arise from these circumstances. Doyle is a gifted writer who has the ability to engage the reader in the story of his life that is revealed in his prayers. The honesty with which he prays has the effect of enticing the reader to consider praying out of one’s own experiences – realizing that the most authentic prayers are drawn from the cloth of ordinary life.

B02b: SPIRITUALITY: Hard Cover

First Place

Sacred Fire by Ronald Rolheiser, OMI, Image, Penguin Random House

In his newest book, Ronald Rolheiser continues from where his contemporary classic The Holy Longing left off – how to go beyond the essential basics and seek a more mature Christian discipleship. In this second phase of discipleship – “the struggle to give our lives away” – Rolheiser uses invitations from the Gospels to guide us in our search, discusses the role of blessings in mature discipleship, and presents ten commandments for mature living. This book is a must for anyone who desires a deeper understanding of discipleship and spiritual awareness.

Second Place

The Church of Mercy by Pope Francis, Loyola Press

Excerpts from homilies, addresses and papers are beautifully organized and presented in this first Vatican-authorized book detailing Pope Francis’ vision for the Catholic Church. A must read for not only Catholics but anyone who wants to understand Pope Francis’ message of mercy and hope.

Third Place

Jesus: A Pilgrimage by James Martin, HarperOne

Another winner from the gifted spiritual writer James Martin. This time join him in a journey through the Gospels on Martin’s pilgrimage through the Holy Land. Insightful, touching, funny. When you are done, you will know Jesus in a deeper, more personal way.

Honorable Mention

The Way of Serenity: Finding Peace and Happiness in the Serenity Prayer by Jonathan Morris, HarperOne

A welcome new look at a popular and powerful prayer. Father Jonathan Morris explores each line of the Serenity Prayer in depth, helping his readers gain a new spiritual understanding and deeper discernment through personal stories, biblical passages and historical anecdotes.

B03: THEOLOGY

First Place

Mary’s Bodily Assumption by Matthew Levering, University of Notre Dame Press

In taking up Catholic teaching on the Assumption, Levering engages in a theological development that touches on Scripture, magisterial teaching, critical scholarship and objections in a manner that speaks to theological process and faith development. The mind is enlightened and the heart inspired in this work that provides a solid basis for understanding the Church’s dogmatic teaching that Mary was assumed body and soul into heaven.

Second Place

Mercy: The Essence of the Gospel and the Key to Christian Life by Cardinal Walter Kasper, Paulist Press

With his typical clarity and impressive ability to synthesize a broad range of material (biblical, historical, theological, and ethical), Cardinal Kasper provides a compelling vision of God’s mercy in Christian life. Given the upcoming Jubilee Year of Mercy, the book is also timely.

Third Place

Catholic Moral Theology and Social Ethics by Maria Christina A. Astorga, Orbis Books

Combining a remarkable array of methods and trends since the Second Vatican Council, along with an emphasis on Ignatian discernment, this volume lays out a rich account of moral theology and social ethics that is especially attuned to the complex issues of globalization.

Honorable Mention

Discovering the Human Person: In Conversation with John Paul II by Stanis?aw Grygiel, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

No one in this present age of the Church has not been touched at some level by the life, teaching and witness of St. Pope John Paul II. Grygiel opens the window into the person of Karol Wojtyla – a man “who lived day in and day out a profound Christian personalism” which formed the foundation for his vision of the human person and the life of faith. We are given a glimpse into this extraordinary conversation and friendship that reveals John Paul II’s conviction that it is the communion of persons that embraces human freedom and where the truth is revealed.

B04a: SCRIPTURE: Popular Studies

First Place

Sunday Homilies, Saint Vincent Archabbey, Cycle B by Demetrius R. Dumm, O.S.B., and Campion P. Gavaler, O.S.B., Saint Vincent Archabbey Publications

In this book, two fine scholars write simple, practical homily reflections for every Sunday of the Liturgical year. Each homily reflection provides a concise, insightful summary of the Gospel, obviously the fruit of years of study and contemplation of the passage! Each reflection also includes a wise life application that truly enables the Sunday Gospel to be lived in the ordinary moments of life that occur every day of the week. The insights in to the human heart provided in the “Life Implication” section of each chapter are profound. There are no excess words, which provides an excellent example for homilists.

Second Place

Sick, And You Cared For Me by Rob Bell, James Martin, SJ, Jan Richardson, Richard Rohr, OFM, et al, Clear Faith Publishing

The quality of writing, particularly of story telling is superb. Several of the most talented homilies of our time are featured in this compilation. It inspires those who may be looking for new material for effective preaching as well as the casual reader. Although the chapters are designed to be read for each Sunday of the Liturgical calendar, I could not put it down and read the entire year in an afternoon. Additionally the proceeds of this book, in the spirit of our Pope Francis, will go to benefit the homeless.

Third Place

Welcome to the Feast by Clifford Yeary, Liturgical Press

Synthesizing biblical and eucharistic theology in readable language is a gift the the Church. The charts are brilliant. At times the language is a bit too technical for the popular reader.

Honorable Mention

Faith in the Face of Empire by Mitri Raheb, Orbis Books

Honorable Mention

Living the Word in Lent 2014 by Alan J. Hommerding, World Library Publications

B04b: SCRIPTURE: Academic Studies

First Place

True and Holy by Leo Lefebure, Orbis Books

This book makes an invaluable contribution to the field of interreligious relationships by proposing a generous and hospitable way of interpreting the Bible rather than a way of hostility and contention. Lefebure ably constructs a bridge to mutual respect and understanding that will encourage open, positive interreligious dialogue.

Marked by in-depth scholarship, this timely book will reward the reader with a deepened understanding of the history of Christian relations with other major religions. It underscores the connection between biblical interpretation and the interplay with differing faiths and their holy books.

In the ongoing drama involving contentious interreligious relations, this book will play an important role in mitigating long-held hostile biblical interpretations and fostering hospitable ones. This is truly a book whose time has come!

Second Place

The Jesus Movement and Its Expansion: Meaning and Mission by Sean Freyne, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

This book offers readers the opportunity to take a trip into the time of Jesus that will vastly expand their knowledge and understanding of the living, dynamic environment of the world in which Jesus lived. Freyne shows how a knowledge of this ancient world brings a deepened understanding of the Gospel stories. His narrative is enriched by the skillful interweaving of the most recent archeological and literary research with the matrix in which Jesus lived. The reader is greatly helped to follow the narrative by referring to the Tables of significant dates and events that are strategically placed in the text.  

This book combines the awesome scholarship of the author with his remarkable ability to express his work in an interesting and fascinating manner. Anyone who is fortunate enough to read this book will be rewarded with a newly-found appreciation of the life and times of Jesus.

Third Place

Biblical Essays in Honor of Daniel J. Harrington, SJ, and Richard J. Clifford, SJ: Opportunity for No Little Instruction by Edited by Christopher G. Frechette, Christopher R. Matthews, and Thomas D. Stegman, SJ, Paulist Press

This book is a fitting tribute to Richard J. Clifford, SJ and Daniel J. Harrington, SJ, two eminent biblical scholars, renowned for their skillful pedagogical ability. Distinguished contemporary scholars have collaborated to produce this volume of essays that reflect the broad interests of both honorees. It is seldom that one has the opportunity to read scholarly discussions on a wide range of relevant biblical topics written by eighteen of the foremost biblical scholars of today.

For those who are interested in biblical scholarship related to a variety of topics, this book contains “something for everyone.” Without doubt it can be recommended as a biblical literary feast!

Honorable Mention

Letter & Spirit, Vol. 9: Christ and the Unity of Scripture by St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, Emmaus Road Publishing

This compilation of essays makes the case that salvation history is unified by the fact that Christ is present from the stories of the Old Testament through the stories of the New Testament. A scholarly work of great importance!

Honorable Mention

Saint Paul: Master of the Spiritual Life “in Christ” by Elliott C. Maloney, Liturgical Press

This book reveals Paul, his life and his teaching in a way that is bound to deeply affect the reader. Through the scholarly work of Maloney, readers will come to understand Paul and his writings in a way that will profoundly enrich their spiritual lives “in Christ.”

B05: LITURGY

First Place

Local Worship, Global Church by Mark R. Francis, Liturgical Press

One of the ongoing liturgical issues in the Catholic Church today is the influence and relationship of culture and liturgy. Using a historical approach to explore this issue Mark Francis provides a thorough and well researched treatment of the influences of popular piety on Catholic liturgy. Through his knowledge and insights on official Church documents and his first hand experience of a variety of cultural ritual events he draws the reader into this fascinating conversation about what he terms “liturgical inculturation. Only a very few liturgical theologians in the Church today have the the ability to explore this topic and make it relevant; Francis is one of the best.

Second Place

Chrismation by Nicholas E. Denysenko, Liturgical Press

Nicholas Denysenko’s exploration of the practice and theology of Chrismation in the Orthodox Christian communities is a scholarly and unique treatment of a topic that has few if any comparable works. One of the excellent aspects of this work is that it goes beyond an Orthodox frame of reference and puts hie tradition in conversation with rites of anointing, particularly Confirmation in the Roman Catholic tradition. His conclusions on how these two traditions could enrich each other offer a worthy agenda for future pastoral and theological and ecumenical unity.

Third Place

Worship with Gladness: Understanding Worship from the Heart by Joyce Ann Zimmerman, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

The phrase “full, active and conscious” participation in the liturgy is probably one of the most familiar from the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy. Zimmerman uses this vision as her reason for writing this book. She is especially concerned with how those who do participate understand what they are doing and if that understanding is translated into a fuller participation that comes from the heart. Zimmerman is a well known liturgical scholar with a passion for the Church’s liturgy; this is a must read for those who share her enthusiasm for it.

Honorable Mention

In These or Similar Words by Paul Turner, World Library Publications

Honorable Mention

Sick, And You Cared For Me: Homilies and Refections for Cycle B by Rob Bell, James Martin, SJ, Jan Richardson, Richard Rohr, OFM, et al, Clear Faith Publishing

B06: PASTORAL MINISTRY

First Place

A Pastor’s Toolbox by Paul A. Holmes, Editor, Liturgical Press

This is great book for any person in pastoral leadership. The book is geared to Pope Francis and his commitment to evangelization. It encourages and outlines simply the various processes of moving a parish into the unfolding missionary church.

Second Place

Divine Renovation: From a Maintenance to a Missional Parish by Fr. James Mallon, Novalis

This is a very good book for parish leaders. It examines how to move a parish into the new evangelization of Pope Francis. The suggestions are practical and encouraging to those who know that they must move the parish forward but lack the knowledge, energy, or insight on how to do that.

Third Place

A Life of Daring Simplicity by Edited by Michael A. Becker, Liturgical Press

This is a very good book of daily meditations for priests. It is based heavily on Saint John Paul II. It is targeted to those priests of the Saint John Paul II generation. I think it would have been more relevant if it was based more on Pope Francis and his new evangelization. Every priest has a dozen of these kinds of books.

Honorable Mention

An Imprisoned Heart by Petra Alexander and Gerardo Gomez, World Library Publications

This is a little jewel of a book. It is targeted to a population that is usually underserved by the church. It offers a spiritual path for those who suffer with a loved one in Prison. This is a valuable resource for Church leaders to give to those who have loved ones in prison.

B07: PROFESSIONAL BOOKS

First Place

Imagining Abundance by Kerry Alys Robinson, Liturgical Press

This work is excellent in all regards: inspirational, practical and workable for the audience. A recommended primer for fund-raisers and for dealing with issues covered. Author at Thomas More Center at Yale and various Yale faculty were involved in its creation and testing. Top-flight team working with author.

Second Place

Becoming Beholders by Edited by Karen E. Eifler and Thomas M. Landy, Liturgical Press

Excellent for lay teachers in college and advanced high school classes.

Third Place

A Catechism for Business: Tough Ethical Questions & Insights from Catholic Teaching by Andrew V. Abela and Joseph E. Capizzi, The Catholic University of America Press

A paucity of intellectual discernment in the context of everyday, living issues. Too doctrinaire for wide circulation. The interpretation of theological and philosophical writing is not applied all that well. Interesting and timely topic but approach is too rigid.

B09a: CHILDREN’S BOOKS AND BOOKS FOR TEENS: Children’s Books

First Place

Discover at Dawn – Gospel Time Trekkers Series by Maria Grace Dateno, FSP, Pauline Books & Media

I think this book would appeal to a vast age group. The idea of time travel is one that most find fascinating. I enjoyed the authors use of children as the explorers who discover the passion of Christ. Questions that children may have were explained in a simple and poignant manner. Especially enjoyable was the last chapter and the references to the Bible readers could use to delve deeper and continue their discovery of the life of Christ.

Second Place

The Story of Saint John Paul II, The Boy Who Became Pope by Fabiola Garza, Pauline Books & Media

I chose this book as a second place recipient because it was such a well written story of the life of John Paul II. It begins with his birth and continues with his life until he was elected Pope. I think it could serve as a source of inspiration to young people who may decide to enter into a religious order. The artwork was beautiful and the story was captivating.

Third Place

Sisters of the Last Straw Book 3: The Case of the Stolen Rosaries by Karen Kelly Boyce, Chesterton Press

I chose this book as my third place recipient. While longer than all the other entries in this catalog this story was a quick read. I think children would enjoy reading it and having discussions about solving the mystery. This could lead to conversations about giving forgiveness when it is difficult, something very relevant in today’s world.

Honorable Mention

The Legend of Saint Nicholas by Anselm Grün, illustrated by Giuliano Ferri, Eerdmans Books for Young Readers

B09b: CHILDREN’S BOOKS AND BOOKS FOR TEENS: Books for Teens & Young Adults

First Place

Chastity Is for Lovers by Arleen Spenceley, Ave Maria Press

Aimed at older teens and young adults, Chastity Is For Lovers presents a straightforward argument that single people need not be involved in a sexual relationship in order to be healthy or “normal.” Instead, it promotes Catholic teaching on chastity for all states of life without unduly preaching, talking down to the audience, or condemning anyone as “impure.” The author offers personal experience as well as research to back up her premise that chastity is not only possible but helpful not only for those in celibate vocations but also for those who hope to marry. Competently written, edited and designed, this book is a clear winner.

Second Place

Erin’s Ring by Laura H. Pearl, Bezalel Books

Presented as a story-within-a-story, Erin’s Ring offers an historical novel set within the story of two contemporary teen-age friends from very different kinds of families. Both stories have elements of Catholicism offered as ordinary and important parts of life. The small town setting is appealing and the characters are multi-dimensional. Erin’s Ring would appeal to younger teens and older ones looking for light reading.

Third Place

Real Life Faith: Bible Companions for Catholic Teens by Mary Elizabeth Sperry, Liguori Publications

Real Life Faith offers 19 brief profiles of biblical figures, including a number of lesser-known characters, each paired with a fictional example of how the biblical character’s virtue could surface in or affect the life of a contemporary teen-ager. Each includes discussion questions and a prayer. This book would provide excellent discussion-starters for a teen youth group or religion class.

B10: FIRST TIME AUTHOR OF A BOOK

First Place

Mercy in the City: How to Feed the Hungry, Give Drink to the Thirsty, Visit the Imprisoned, and Keep Your Day Job by Kerry Weber, Loyola Press

A young New Yorker’s account of her efforts to do each of the seven Corporal Works of Mercy during Lent is a graceful blend of personal experience and theological insight. Helping others turns out to be frustrating and ambiguous–and a surprising way to know oneself.

Second Place

The Prodigal You Love by Theresa Aletheia Noble, FSP, Pauline Books & Media

A wise and thought-provoking book aimed at Catholics who badly want their friends and loved ones to return to the Church.

Third Place

The Oblate’s Confession by William Peak, Secant Publishing

An ambitious novel–serious religious themes explored in a remote historical setting (7th century England). The pace is slow and the writing is ponderous at times, but Peak’s work is impressive.

Honorable Mention

Connected toward Communion by Daniella Zsupan-Jerome, Liturgical Press

B11: FAMILY LIFE

First Place

Mortal Blessings by Angela Alaimo O’Donnell, Ave Maria Press

Recognizing and celebrating “signs of the sacred” in the midst of caring for a dying relative a special gift and grace. Mortal Blessings is beautifully written and O’Donnell is refreshingly honest in relating her experiences. It is wonderful to see such a moving book, since so many of us will experience being caretakers of loved ones in their final journey in life.

Second Place

Everyday Sacrament by Laura Kelly Fanucci, Liturgical Press

Finding God in the midst of taking care of young children can be a real challenge. Fanucci has done a fine job of discovering grace in the messy moments of parenting and showing her readers how to find signs of each of the 7 Catholic sacraments in everyday life. Well-written, honest, easy to relate to. Lots of great stories and slices of life.

Third Place

Love Is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive: A preparatory catechesis for the World Meeting of Families by The Pontifical Council for the Family and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Our Sunday Visitor

While this compact book was produced for preparatory catechesis for the World Meeting of Families in September 2015, it also serves as a learning tool for all Catholic families who are interested in learning more about how the Church views its families and how Catholic families can serve the Church. Fresh and insightful, it outlines Catholic teaching regarding sex, marriage and family in an accessible way. The questions at the end of each chapter are great discussion starters.

B12: MARRIAGE

First Place

Catholic and Married: Leaning Into Love by Art and Laraine Bennett, Editors, Our Sunday Visitor

Only two entries in this very important category and this one leads the pair. A group of talented writers herein focus on marriage as a lifelong journey, maybe with problems and failures along the way, but also with joy and success resulting from life-long love and sharing by the married partners. It tackles present-day marriage challenges: marrying young, cohabitation, contraception, divorce, but also affirms the gift of children, commitment to the other and especially that love factor as the key for successful marriage today.

Second Place

Vocation to Virtue: Christian Marriage as a Consecrated Life by Kent J. Lasnoski, The Catholic University of America Press

Clearly intended for a more limited academic audience, this entry concerns itself with the theological aspects of marriage. Its focus is on the Second Vatican Council’s declaration that all in the church are called to Christian perfection, and how married couples can achieve that vocation. It is thus beyond the everyday concerns of an average Catholic married couple. That narrower focus, and its more sophisticated writing, put it in second place.

B13: HISTORY

First Place

Christianity in Roman Africa: The Development of Its Practices and Beliefs by J. Patout Burns Jr. and Robin M. Jensen, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

This is the most outstanding work submitted in this important category. Well deserving of a #1 Catholic Book Award. Magnificent design and quality manufacturing with 4-color graphics, clearly drawn maps and other resources. Fine reference for any Catholic or public library, of great interest to classics scholars. Very well written and edited.

Second Place

When Saint Francis Saved the Church by Jon M. Sweeney, Ave Maria Press

Anengagingly popular story of, arguably, our most popular saint. In the manner of Thomas Cahill’s How the Irish Saved Civilization, Jon Sweeney brings Francis to life as we continue our fascination with his namesake, Pope Francis, in 2015. The Holy father reaches out to the poor and marginated as the converted troubadour did from 1205-1219 when he, in fact, changed the church. A quick read but based on the best that history has recorded and deserving of the attention it will command in the general and religious markets.

Third Place

What They Wished For: American Catholics and American Presidents, 1960–2004 by Lawrence J. McAndrews, University of Georgia Press

Catholicism and the modern presidency is quite a timely topic, more so since the days of JFK. Though the time period covered is only 1960-2004, religion and politics have found their way into the news regularly since and this work does a fine job of presenting the ramifications to the public. Readable, accurate without bias. With an update through the Obama years and second GW Bush presidencies it would have a strong general appeal in the election year 2016.

Honorable Mention

Thomas Aquinas’s Summa theologiae: A Biography by Bernard McGinn, Princeton University Press

A remarkable editing job by a master, Fr. Bernard McGinn of the Univ. of Chicago. Aquinas needs to be known by students in the 21st C as he has been for centuries in the Church. An abridged version of the massive five volume Summa in a handy paperbound format for student and lay study. Important introduction by McGinn sets the context for this “biography”of a classic by a modern classical scholar.

B14: BIOGRAPHY

First Place

Pope Francis: Life and Revolution by Elisabetta Piqué, Loyola Press

This year several entries focused on Pope Francis, our new media star in the Catholic world — indeed the world at-large. This excellent work by a native Italian who is an experienced Vatican reporter for Argentina’s major newspaper, stands out. Elizabetta Pique’s longtime friendship with Francis gives her book superior authority and her warm writing style makes it an engrossing report on her friend the Pope, now our hugely popular spiritual leader.

Second Place

Katharine Drexel: The Riches-to-Rags Story of an American Catholic Saint by Cheryl C. D. Hughes, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

This is a solid traditional biography, deeply researched and documented and strongly-written — a major resource covering the full span of the subject’s life and career and her importance in Catholic life in America and the Catholic Church at large. It’s a strong, absorbing story, with good illustrations. which tells us Katherine Drexel’s role as teacher, builder, religious order founder, fighter against racism and American saint. A close second in this group.

Third Place

The Franciscan Heart of Thomas Merton by Daniel P. Horan, O.F.M., Ave Maria Press

This book is a delightful surprise, as it connects two of Catholicism’s most popular figures, Saint Francis of Assisi and Thomas Merton of Gethsemani. The author successfully and delightfully show how these two giants of the Church were connected in thought, spirituality and influence in a readable attractive volume.

Honorable Mention

Oscar Romero by Kevin Clarke, Liturgical Press

B15: GENDER ISSUES

First Place

Gay and Catholic by Eve Tushnet, Ave Maria Press

For those who may still consider gay Catholic to be an oxymoron, Eve’s honest, expansive coverage of this “touchy” subject is healing balm for those who are in or out of the closet and could be a mind- and heart-opener and a stepping off point for open discussion of an otherwise taboo subject. Whether or not minds are changed to be more accepting, understanding, loving to those who are same-sex attracted will not be the benchmark of success for Eve’s story. Telling her story as a faithful lesbian woman of the Church and being published by a Catholic press are award-winning in and of themselves. Kudos to Eve and Ave Maria Press.

Second Place

Feminist Catholic Theological Ethics by Linda Hogan and A.E. Orobator, Orbis Books

This is a fascinating compendium of theological discourse from across the globe that addresses both traditional and progressive women’s issues. For those who desire to expand their minds and hearts in order to better identify and remedy the needs of 21st century women, this book is critical. Despite the profound and diverse voices gathered in this text, it is highly readable and engaging.

Third Place

Spiritual Leadership for Challenging Times by Annmarie Sanders, Orbis Books

These addresses were given over 30 tempestuous years by women religious who have gained respect and placement at the top of the prestigious Leadership Conference of Women Religious. They encompass hundreds of years of history and contributions of countless faithful women. Readers should not only applaud their extraordinary efforts in so many areas of society but use the wisdom and knowledge they impart that has come through their hard work and difficult circumstances to better respond to the people and Church they so successfully serve.

Honorable Mention

Man Up! Becoming the New Catholic Renaissance Man by Jared Zimmerer, Bezalel Books

Honorable Mention

Joan Chittister: Essential Writings by Mary Lou Kownacki and Mary Hembrow-Snyder, Orbis Books

This book tries to do too many things and in the end doesn’t hit the mark on Gender Issues. The lengthy Introduction detailing the life of Joan Chittister is worthy of a small volume on this wise and productive religious woman. The section on Passion for Justice fits the bill. The majority of the essays however are a better fit for a spiritual life category.

B16: REFERENCE BOOKS

First Place

Being in the World: A Quotable Maritain Reader by Edited by Mario O. D’Souza, C.S.B., with Jonathan R. Seiling, University of Notre Dame Press

The editors of this collection of the writings of Jacques Maritain, one of th eoutstanding philosopher / theologians of the mid-twentieth centruy, provide a readable and “Quotable” resource for contemporary students, scholars, and theologians. D’Souza reread fifty-five of Jacques Maritain’s works, took over 1700 pages of notes, and organized them into a quotable corpus of forty topics from “Airstotle” to “Wisdom.” The result is what well may be a classic study.

Second Place

The Catholic Teacher’s Companion by Les Miller, Novalis

To help teachers of religious education, Les Miller offers an alphabetical listing of the key terms and the fundamentals of Catholic teaching. Intended primarily for teachers of religious education, Les Miller presents 94 entries from Advent to Way of Prayer. The terms used follow the Institute for Catholic Education for Ontario Catholic schools. Miller assures all religious education teachers that they will find these terms very helpful.

 

B19: BEST BOOK BY A SMALL PUBLISHER

First Place

Theology of the Body, Extended: The Spiritual Signs of Birth, Impairment, and Dying by Susan Windley-Daoust, Lectio Publishing

This book is well-written and insightful. It applies the Theology of the Body to themes that are rarely discussed and illustrates how God’s grace lifts up the suffering, dying, and those with disabilities. The author combines compelling research with beautiful reflections on what it means to be a person in communion with God and with others.

Second Place

Love Awakened by Love: The Liberating Ascent of Saint John of the Cross by Mark O’Keefe, OSB, ICS Publications

While the scope of the book is narrow (it is a companion book to “The Ascent of Mount Carmel” by St. John of the Cross), it is compelling and well-written. Since many readers find St. John of the Cross’s works to be difficult, this is a helpful volume that will assist many Catholics in their spiritual journey.

Third Place

Edith Stein: Letters to Roman Ingarden (the Collected Works vol. 12; Edith Stein: Self-Portrait in Letters) by Edith Stein/ translated by Hugh Candler Hunt, ICS Publications

This publication of Edith Stein’s letters in English reveals a lesser-known period of her life and her intimate thoughts as she converted to Catholicism and entered the Carmelite cloister. The book is professionally crafted and is interesting and spiritually engaging.

Honorable Mention

The End of the Fiery Sword: Adam & Eve and Jesus & Mary by Maura Roan McKeegan, Emmaus Road Publishing

B20: CATHOLIC SOCIAL TEACHING

First Place

The Vision of Catholic Social Thought: The Virtue of Solidarity and the Praxis of Human Rights by Meghan J. Clark, Fortress Press

Clark creatively and critically advances our understanding of solidarity in Catholic Social Teaching as an essential counter-point to the global human rights movement.

Second Place

Jesus Christ, Peacemaker by Terrence J. Rynne, Orbis Books

Rynne crafts a compelling presentation of the trajectory of peacemaking in Catholic social thought and action.

Third Place

Seek Justice That You May Live by John R. Donahue, Paulist Press

Donahue has given readers a valuable handbook for study and reflection, teasing out the pervasive focus on social justice in the diverse books of the Bible.

B21: FAITH AND SCIENCE

First Place

Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial? by Guy Consolmagno, SJ and Paul Mueller, SJ, Image, Penguin Random House

In an engaging and accessible dialogue, Consolmagno and Mueller tackle some of the thorniest issues confronting Christians about science and faith, including the origins of the universe, the compatibility of belief in God and science, and the Church’s treatment of Galileo. One particular strength of this work is the authors’ ability to treat profound topics seriously, with playful and clever humor! Great read.

Second Place

Teilhard’s Mysticism by Kathleen Duffy, SSJ, Orbis Books

With insight reflective of a keen understanding, Duffy provides an enthusiastic and wide-ranging reflection on Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and his life work. Duffy skillfully brings the readers to a deeper understanding of the “inner face of the world,” which framed Teilhard’s mystical journey.

Third Place

Do Monkeys Go to Heaven? by Fr. John McCarthy, S.J., Novalis

With deceptive simplicity, this series of essays easily invites the lay reader into an intimate dialogue between faith and science. Rather than arguing their compatibility, McCarthy’s personal anecdotes provide food for personal reflection and meditation on God’s presence in all creation. Don’t let the title turn you away!

Honorable Mention

The Wisdom of the Liminal: Evolution and Other Animals in Human Becoming by Celia Deane-Drummond, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

With depth and insight, Deane-Drummond shows how evolutionary cosmology and Thomistic philosophy can be harmonized to enhance our understanding of our incarnational nature and what it means to be made in the image of God.

B22: 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF VATICAN II

First Place

From Vatican II to Pope Francis by Fr. Paul Crowley, Orbis Books

A collection of essays, the fruit of a university course, this book by scholars well known and less well known provides a broad overview of Vatican II, its effects and the seeds it has sown which may grow in the Church in the future. It can be read straight through or the chapters may be taken separately to be digested and discussed. It would be suitable for a competently led course for motivated lay parishioners. The book is well though not intrusively footnoted and includes an index.

Second Place

The Church in the Modern World by Michael G. Lawler, Todd A. Salzman, and Eileen Burke-Sullivan, Liturgical Press

The Church in the Modern World: Gaudium et Spes Then and Now offers an in-depth look at the history, development and effects of one of the most important documents of Vatican II. Each chapter offers questions for reflection and an extensive index is provided. The chapter on marriage is especially interesting, but the whole book is accessible to readers who are not professional theologians. This book is a suitable celebration of the jubilee of the Council.

Third Place

Sacramental Theology: 50 Years After Vatican II by Kenan B. Osborne, OFM, Lectio Publishing, Inc.

Probably of greatest interest to Church professionals (clergy, liturgists, etc.), Sacramental Theology: 50 Years After Vatican II is nevertheless an accessible treatment of its subject. It offers an historical outline of the development of the sacraments and, in a broader sense, of the notion of sacrament (e.g. the Church as sacrament); a treatment of Vatican II’s teaching on sacramental theology; and summaries of the modern history of sacraments and contemporary thought on the liturgy. It is wide-ranging without being excessively long.

B24: FAITHFUL CITIZENSHIP/RELIGIOUS FREEDOM

First Place

Crucified People by John P. Neafsey, Orbis Books

This is a very powerful book. It is small but mighty. It was a special gift to read this book during the last days of Lent, as it is truly about Christ crucified and Christ rising from the dead over and over in the many faces and stories that John Neafsey places before his audience. The use of beautiful, diverse and poignant poetry enhances his examples of the tortured ones. Dealing with such a painful subject as torture, he finds a piece of the resurrection story in each person that he introduces to the reader. It is a book that is nicely written, easy to read from a stylistic view, but heart wrenching at the same time as he points out the inhumanity that continues until this very day. His victims are crucified just as Our Lord was crucified, but they surely do Rise. I recommend this as a great book for political science and history classes for the consciousness raising that it provides as well as for religion classes because of its underlying basis in faith. Even though there is Good Friday, it is surely followed by an Easter Sunday.

B27: COFFEE TABLE BOOK

First Place

Meditations on Vatican Art: Angels by Mark Haydu, LC, STL, Liguori Publications

Mark Haydu’s book is reader friendly: appealing to the eye, to the mind and to the spirit. Although structured in approach to the Ignatian 30-day retreat form, it is open-ended in terms of reader participation via reflections and meditations. Art and text are beautifully blended. This is a book to pick up and savor daily.

Second Place

Splendors of Christmas by Pierre-Marie Dumont – Fr. Frederic Curnier-Laroche, Magnificat

This exploration of various aspects of the Nativity story as interpreted by various artists is artistically instructive and visually appealing, unveiling the mysteries of faith and the creative genius of the artists. Unfortunately, the book’s severe vertical format compromises some of the art and too frequently separates the art from the explanatory text.

B28: CATHOLIC NOVELS

First Place

Master of Ceremonies by Donald Cozzens, ACTA Publications/In Extenso Press

Cozzens scores high marks on all the important aspects of fiction writing: plot, character development, suspense and intrigue. He takes an overly treated topic–clergy sexual abuse–and with the help of some very sleazy, secret “brothers,” one very smart and courageous woman, and a few faithful men of the cloth–dishes up a very believable,very scary–story. Separating fact from fiction is the real work of the reader who may want to sprinkle some holy water on themselves or say a decade before each chapter and pray for those abused, their abusers, and our Holy Mother Church.

Second Place

The Oblate’s Confession by William Peak, Secant Publishing

Not quite an epic tale, but very well researched and detailed, Peak has produced a solid first-time novel. Tending to be needlessly wordy at times, the pace picks up with excellent weaving of imagination and history throughout. First rate character development that exposes the mind, body and spirit of the main characters paired with mystical people and places provides a winning combination for the reader of facts and faith for the reader.

Third Place

Erin’s Ring by Laura H. Pearl, Bezalel Books

This is a charming story, beginning with a charming cover and with a good measure of history,contemporary drama, and spirituality between the covers. It is highly readable and can be used effectively as an evangelization tool for young people who would otherwise never open a book that espoused Catholic morals and teachings.

 

Continue reading...

Canonize Lino Rulli? His new book shows how we’re all saints in the making

September 28, 2013

0 Comments

photoThe Catholic Church calls each and every one of us to answer the call to holiness and strive toward sainthood — even in light of our obvious weaknesses and everyday struggles with sin.

It’s a daunting task for most, but Lino Rulli is up to the challenge. In fact, the St. Paul native and host of Sirius/XM Radio’s “The Catholic Guy” show would like to get there a little faster than the rest of us. In his new book “Saint,” he makes the tongue-in-cheek case for why the Church should canonize him today. (After all, why trust your friends to push your sainthood cause after you die when you can do it yourself?)

In all seriousness, however, the book has a deeper purpose: to encourage you to focus on your spiritual growth and help you “to realize that you might not be as big a sinner as you think, and that, with God’s help, you might just become a saint.”

“Saint” is a follow-up to “Sinner,” Lino’s first book of short, humorous and inspiring stories aimed at encouraging us to live out our faith despite our imperfections. In “Saint,” Lino turns once again to short stories about his life — some funny, some painfully honest, and many with a short nugget of reflection about lessons he learned along the way.

At the end of one story, for example, about an instance when he successfully resisted what can be described as a “temptation of the flesh,” Lino writes: “A saint isn’t someone who has never been tested; a saint is a person who has been tested and, with God’s help, has passed — or, with God’s help, has gotten up the next morning and tried again.”

Saints you can relate to

While Lino was in town yesterday to talk about his book, I asked why he would invest the time and energy to remind people about the call to sainthood. Here’s what he said:

“I guess the reason people like [‘Sinner’] is because a lot of them could relate to it. But, the other side of that coin is the fact that we do need to be reminded that we’re not just a bunch of miserable losers because we fail. For whatever reason, God loves us and we’re still called to holiness. It’s sort of a contradiction in our lives, but it’s the reality of our lives.”

And where can average Joes like myself draw that affirmation and inspiration, other than from Lino and the stories of people who already have a place in the Church’s catalog of saints?

“I get inspired by the average person in church. When I see the mom and dad in church Sunday morning with kids running around like maniacs and you’re going to lose your mind, it inspires me. They don’t have it all together, but they know it would be ten times worse if they didn’t try to go to church. . . . Those are the saints who inspire me: the guy who says I went out Saturday night but I’m still waking up and going to church Sunday morning. Or the single mom. Or even the older people who have their own problems and struggles. I really do look around and I go: We’re all called to be saints, but we’re all saints in the making.”

Chances are future generations won’t be reading about St. Lino in the Church’s official catalog of saints. But he — and the rest of us — should always be striving to be counted eventually among those in heaven.

“Saints” concludes with these wise words:

“Sometimes you chase me, Lord. Sometimes I chase you. But the only time I’ll quit running, the only time I will finally feel at peace, will be when I’m at home with you: there in heaven. That’s when I’ll truly be called a saint.”

Read more about Lino and his new book on his website. You can also order the book from Servant Books.

Continue reading...

‘The End of Your Life Book Club’ shouldn’t be missed

November 2, 2012

0 Comments

Never was there so much life in a book about someone dying.

Will Schwalbe’s memoir of his mother’s last two years glows with inspiration. This is a beautifully written new work that has an urging and urgency that will move you to read more books and better books while at the same time compel you to get up off your couch and do something, to both relish time with the ones you love and to be a person for others, a person who dares to help a stranger, even strangers around the globe.

If you love to read, you won’t want to miss “The End of Your Life Book Club” (Knopf).

If you want to absorb some wisdom from a person who got the most out of life and gave back even more, read this book.

If you want to meet a woman in whom the spiritual wasn’t just part of her but imbued in her every fiber, read this book.

Mary Anne Schwalbe was a remarkable woman both before and after pancreatic cancer made its presence known.

A leader among women

She was the first woman director of admissions at Harvard and Radcliffe and first woman president of the Harvard Faculty Club. She was the founding director of the Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children and deeply involved with the International Rescue Committee. She was an election monitor in Bosnia, a college counselor and head of a high school. She was a trustee at Marymount Manhattan College and counted De La Salle Academy in Manhattan as one of her favorite schools.

Even as the cancer in her abdomen sapped her strength she worked to form a foundation to build – what else – a library, in Afghanistan, a country she visited nine times in order to be able to report on the status of refugees there.

The anecdotes about her heroic efforts in refugee camps on several continents are merely the mortar in between the bricks that make us this exceptional work.

Those bricks are books.

And when Mary Anne Schwalbe’s son Will writes about he and his mother reading books and sharing their thoughts about them, they create a fine a piece of literature.

‘What are you reading?’

Author Will Schwalbe acknowledges honestly that the “book club” is something his mother started unwittingly and he joined grudgingly. The family had always discussed books and movies and the like, so when mother and son found themselves together regularly for hours both before and during treatments for the tumors in her pancreas, the question, “What are you reading?” came up naturally, and this unique, two-person book club came into existence.

Chapter titles are the titles of the books the pair read and discussed.

Here’s just a handful and the snippets of “book club” comments and conversation.

There’s “Gilead” by Marilynne Robinson: Reading the novel, Mom said, “was like praying.” It “gave her another chance to talk with God.”

There’s “The Lizard Cage” by Karen Connelly about life in prison in Burma, “which, Mom says, makes one forget any problems here.”

A book shouldn’t just inspire you, Mary Anne Schwalbe claims, “It should make you furious.” And she took from “Gilead” a question she thought all should ask themselves: “What is the Lord asking of me in this moment, in this situation?”

They read Patricia Highsmith’s “The Price of Salt,” eliciting Mary Anne to comment, “That’s one of the amazing things great books like this do – they don’t just get you to see the world differently, they get you to look at people, the people all around you, differently.”

The Schwalbe mother-son book club balanced reading new works and older ones, fiction and non-fiction, Mohsin Hamid’s “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” as well as T.S. Eliot’s “Murder in the Cathedral”; “The Elegance of the Hedgehog” by Muriel Barbery and “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” by Stieg Larsson.

In their pages the two find insight into friendship, loneliness, fate, the effects of choices, the joy of thanking, benevolence, stewardship, anger, forgiveness, suicide, absolution, joy, death, kindness, aging, relationships, second chances.

Books help us talk about something we don’t want to talk about, Will Schwalbe declares.

A spiritual life lived

A Presbyterian, Mary Anne Schwalbe kept “The Book of Common Prayer” handy and Mary Wilder Tileston’s 1884 “Daily Strength for Daily Needs” even closer.

She succumbed to the cancer some two years after it was diagnosed, having bookmarked a page in “Daily Strength” that contained the quote from John Ruskin: “If you do not wish for His Kingdom, don’t pray for it. But if you do, you must do more than pray for it; you must work for it.”

She tended to steer the book club toward works where Christian faith played an important role, her son wrote.

The book offers insight to us all in how to talk with those ill with a “treatable but not curable” disease. Ask not “How are you feeling?” but “Would you like to talk about how you’re feeling?” And, if you are thinking about sending a message to someone in hospice, do it.

Author Will Schwalbe noted, as he and his family dealt with the situation, “I was learning that when you’re with someone who is dying, you may need to celebrate the past, live the present and mourn the future all at the same time.”

There’s a slice of the author’s mother’s wisdom on every page.

For example, after a chemotherapy treatment one day, she doesn’t perk up. She explains, “I’m feeling a little sad. I know there’s a life everlasting – but I wanted to do much more here.”

That Mary Anne Schwalbe did enough while with the living we’ll  leave to her creator’s judgment.

But the story of the book club that she and son Will devised have left a remarkable gift for those of us left behind.

Will writes what he learned from his mother:

“Books are how you take part in the human conversation, how we know what to do in life and how we tell others, how we get closer to each other and stay close.”

Continue reading...

Catholic Guy of Sirius Radio has book that’s funny before it even starts

September 8, 2011

0 Comments

You know a book is going to be entertaining when you bust out laughing just reading the page of comments by those puffing for the author — make that allegedly puffing for the author.

The book is “Sinner” by Lino Rulli (Servant Books), and you can read more about it at this link, but get a load of what’s on the page titled “Praise for Lino Rulli”:

  • “A radio host like Howard Stern, only guilt-ridden and confession-going.” — The New York Times
  • “He’s a jerk.” — Ex-girlfriend
  • “Laugh with Lino Rulli and discover why he’s so darned popular.” — Catholic Digest
  • “He owes me fifteen bucks.” — Best friend
  • “He has Letterman’s sharp delivery and Stern’s penchant for pushing boundaries. Yet Lino is also pious.” — St. Anthony Messenger
  • “Lino fights for all sinners, but usually stays bogged down with his own caseload.” — Lino’s personal attorney.
Continue reading...

Stories you shouldn’t miss

July 6, 2011

0 Comments

Here’s a sneak preview of some of the stories you can read this week in the print edition of The Catholic Spirit and online at TheCatholicSpirit.com.

• “Get a good read — on what’s happening at local Catholic bookstores.” Our Page 1 story gives a snapshot of the joys and challenges of operating independent Catholic bookstores in the age of Amazon and BN.com. Don’t overlook the summer reading list suggested by the booksellers.

• Two articles have a Catholic Charities focus. Agency CEO Tim Marx writes about how the current Minnesota state government shutdown is a wake-up call to mend our civic culture. And, staff writer/photographer Dave Hrbacek spent time with St. Paul Homeless Connect — a one-day event that offers important services and resources in one location for people in need. Read about one of the event’s volunteers who knows personally the challenges faced by the homeless.

• This week’s “Outdoors” column by Dave Hrbacek features a priest who recently led a fishing retreat as an opportunity for men to pray and deepen their spirituality while spending time on the lake.

Continue reading...

Everybody thinks they have a book in them

May 20, 2008

1 Comment

It must be part of modern culture that everyone who ever received a B+ or better on a high school essay has a gut feeling that they could write a book someday.

Whether prompted by illusions of penning the great American novel, delusions that a lot of other people will care about your life story or sincere conviction that others will benefit by knowing your take on a topic, the urge to write can be overwhelming.

Also overwhelmed, in turn, are book reviewers.

Write a few reviews and the hopeful of the literary world beat a path to your in box.

That’s okay, though. Keep ’em coming.

As I crack the spines of new deliveries that appear with the request for reviews, a question that regularly comes to mind is this: Who does the person who wrote this think will be interested in this?

That may be a valid question, but others, and a better ones are: Might there be people out there who would get something out of reading this? Are there gems in here that make this worthwhile?
Let me give you a couple of examples.

Ready for your coffee table?

Judy McCabe, who lives in Minnetonka, put together some of her thoughts of home with photos — some good, some just ordinary — to create a well-design, coffee table book titled, um, “Thoughts of Home.”

McCabe, a member of St. Patrick in Edina, has moved around the country, and she wrote, “What I really want to do with the book is open a dialog for people who are relocated or transferred.” Could viewing scene of normal, every-day life around homes of various kinds inspire fond memories and help people appreciate home life?

To be perfectly honest — and I told McCabe this — the book didn’t do anything for me. I did like the book’s design, and I think it works as a coffee table book to browse through. The ordinariness of the home life she describes, though, doesn’t compel me to give a ringing endorsement of “Thoughts of Home,” but McCabe deserves at the very least a pat on the back for not letting her creative urge lie inert.
Find out more about McCabe and her work at http://www.thoughtsofhome-judymccabe.com/.

Life story of interest?

Then there’s Bill Mori. Mori is a member of St. Paul in Ham Lake who pulled together his memories of growing up in Fort Dodge, Iowa, during the 1950s.
“East End Italian” is a series of brief chapters that, for the most part, aren’t unique. Life in Fort Dodge and at Holy Rosary Parish there isn’t much different from life elsewhere in the country that I could see. Yet….

There are slices of small town life that Mori has preserved by being willing to try this authorship thing. My favorite concerns his job at the local mom-and-pop grocers, a holdout to the supermarkets of the day. Customers came in to Brechwald’s with a list of items, and schoolboys like Mori ran through the aisles to “fetch” them, as he writes. Never heard of that before.

Mori’s got some funny, funny anecdotes. There’s a great story about being fascinated with airplanes, writing away to obtain photos from the manufacturers like Lockheed, Boeing and McDonald Douglas, only to have the government agents show up at their door, wanting to question a certain William Mori who was so curious about the latest military aircraft.

If you want to know more, contact the author at bmori@comcast.net.

Spiritual poetry, anyone?

Margaret Peterson has been rhyming for years, and now her poems are collected in her first book, “The Pearl of Great Price: Spiritual Poetry to Life the Soul.”

My guess is that poetry experts might judge her work as syrupy, Pollyannish maybe, and definitely old fashioned, as if that’s a crime. But I liked it. It wore on me.

Yeah, it’s a bit on the sweet side, but I’m going to bet Peterson is sweet, too. This is a lady who has taught 4th grade faith formation at her parish, St. Bonaventure in Bloomington, for more than 20 years, and just loves doing it, we hear.

There is surely simplicity in some of her poems, but others carry wisdom — and do so with great economy. Two samples:

Mirrors
A mirror reflects
Whatever it views
We reflect
The paths we choose.
The Pearl of Great Price
God is the pearl
In the ocean of life;
Will we love Him or cast Him aside…
And spend our lives searching
For something unknown
To ease the longing inside?
Find out more by looking her up at http://www.margaretpetersonpoetry.com.

Courage counts

These are just three examples of local people who have yielded to the urge and tried their hand at the book world. Their work may or may not be your cup of tea or may have value for just a small number of readers.

But if wholesale endorsement of a work isn’t in the cards, anyone with the courage to work hard at getting a book out of their system deserves applause for at least that effort. And who know when the next author of bestsellers might be one of those folks brave enough to put words on paper. — bz

Continue reading...