May’s Books

May’s Books

1. The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
Loved it.
Read my thoughts here

2. Strange Gods: Unmasking the Idols in Everyday Life by Elizabeth Scalia

This is such a great book. But I’m reading slowly, deliberately. I don’t want to rush because then it would be too easy to ignore. The best way to sum up this book is to say that Elizabeth Scalia has written a book-length examination of conscience on the first commandment. And yet that makes it sound utterly dry and boring and awful and it’s really exactly the opposite. Funny and fascinating and well, yes, utterly convicting. But that’s a good thing.

Actually, just go read Calah’s review. (If for nothing else for the excellent Emily Dickinson poem, one I’d never read before.):

3. Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life by Peter Gray

I don’t remember where I saw this recommended. I thought it sounded really interesting, but he totally lost me in the second chapter when he recounted his version of the history of education which included a very strong anti-Catholic bias. According to Gray Catholic universities were founded not to promote free inquiry but to solidify the Church’s hold on doctrine. And a bunch of other nonsense. Basically he seems to hold to a noble savage ideal: the hunter gatherers had a sort of pure and happy life and farming and cities and religion have messed it up. I would have read to the end to see what he said about contemporary education except that the book had to go back to the library because there were other holds on it. It didn’t seem worth letting the fine accrue to keep and read (which I often do since our library system’s fines are small and the librarians generally let me take books out even if I don’t have money on me to pay my fines.)

If you’ve read it and think I should check it out again to finish reading it, please do tell me why I’m missing out.

4. Spiritual Childhood: The Spirituality of St. Therese of Lisiseux by Vernon Johnson

Another book about St Therese? Well but my book club was reading it. And according to an Amazon reviewer the author was “one of the least well known of a fabulously gifted circle of English Catholic writers of the 1920s through the 1940s which included G.K. Chesterton, Hillaire Belloc, Ronald Knox, and Abbot Vonier.”

So far I’ve read chapter one, so I can’t say much. But it was a very good chapter. I do think this book will have something to teach me. I just need to buckle down and read it.

5. Angels and Demons: What Do We Really Know about Them? by Peter Kreeft

Someone on Google+ asked for recommendations for good Catholic books about angels. I went to Amazon to look up the one I know Do has on the shelf and while there I saw this one listed. I love Peter Kreeft and had to get it. Good stuff. Solid, mostly based on St. Thomas Aquinas, the Bible and the Catechism. Anything you ever wanted to know about what Catholics believe about angels. And demons. Even if you aren’t Catholic and are only mildly interested in the subject, this book will be an entertaining read. Kreeft is very witty.

6. Forming Intentional Disciples by Sherry Weddell (re-reading)

I had to create a new blog category for this book just to organize all the posts. A must read.

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