This list was inspired by a listener who asked if I had a Top 10 Summer Reading List. We often think of summer reading as light, enjoyable books that we take on vacation or read while sitting on the patio. With that in mind, this list is heavy on fiction and uplifting personal stories. The list is in no particular order.
1. Surprised by Truth by Patrick Madrid. This is a collection of eleven conversion stories, and is a favorite book to give to anyone who may be interested in the Catholic Church. If you like this book, there are two additional volumes – Surprised by Truth 2 and Surprised by Truth 3
2.Rediscover Catholicism by Matthew Kelly. This is the new 2011 edition with a slightly different title, and an additional 30,000 words, of Rediscovering Catholicism that was published in 2002. If you would like an inexpensive copy of this book go to www.DynamicCatholic.com
3. Father Elijah by Michael D. O’Brien I have enjoyed all of O’Brien’s novels, and this is my favorite; however, if you like happy, storybook endings then O’Brien may not be for you.
4. Rome Sweet Rome – Our Journey to Catholicism by Scott & Kimberly Hahn This is probably the most popular conversion story around.
5. How Firm a Foundation by Marcus Grodi This is a fictional account of a protestant pastor’s path to the Catholic Church. An engaging story and you will learn a lot about your faith.
6. Four Witnesses: the Early Church in Her Own Words by Rod Bennett This is an excellent, very readable introduction to four of the Early Church Fathers. If you are interested in examining the Church Fathers this is a good place to start. The lives of Clement of Rome, Ignatius of Antioch, Justin Martyr and Irenaeus of Lyons are written in novel form.
7. No Wonder They Call It The Real Presence: Lives Changed by Christ in Eucharist Adoration by David Pearson This is a collection of stories about the power of Eucharistic Adoration.
8. A Faith for Grown-Ups by Robert P. Lockwood. This book will be a walk down memory lane for Catholics “of a certain age” who grew up thinking everyone in the world was Catholic. This is an amusing reflection by Lockwood as he discusses his early life in the Church, falling away, and return.
9. My Life with the Saints by Fr. James Martin, SJ Father Martin has written an engaging book that examines how nearly 20 saints, and near-saints, have impacted his life, along with a short review the saints’ lives.
10. Priest: Portraits of Ten Good Men Serving the Church Today by Michael S. Rose These are uplifting stories of ten very good priests. The opening story of the late Father Albert Lauer is worth the purchase price.