The Catholic Thing is happy to let you know that we’re going to provide you with a new service. As a site that regularly reviews books (and films), we receive numerous titles from publishers, most of which we’ll never read or review. But we would still like to let you know about titles we think worthy your attention.
Hereafter, you can check our Books Received by clicking on that line on the left side of the page, just below True Beauty.
This first batch will be presented alphabetically; subsequent books will be listed as we receive them, i.e. chronologically.
Finally, the fact that a title is listed in Books Received does not mean that TCT will not review it at some point.
So, to begin . . .
Angels, Barbarians, and Nincompoops . . . and a lot of other words you thought you knew by Anthony Esolen (TAN Books). From the indefatigable TCT contributor comes a book in content recognizable to his Facebook friends, wherein he mines words, finding their precious depths.
The Cardinal Müller Report: An Exclusive Interview on the State of the Church, with Carlos Granados (Ignatius Press). The head of CDF responds to four key questions: What can we hope for from Christ? What can we hope for from the Church? What can we hope for from the family? And what can we hope for from society?
Catholics and Protestants: What Can We Learn from Each Other? by Peter Kreeft (Ignatius). Kreeft seeks to find the common ground between the two major Christian groups. The author characterizes his book as like a sheepdog, “herding and hectoring God’s separated sheep back to His face.”
The Dawn of Christianity: How God Used Simple Fishermen, Soldiers, and Prostitutes to Transform the World by Robert J. Hutchinson (Thomas Nelson). Using the most recent studies by top Christian and secular scholars, Mr. Hutchinson reconstructs all the known accounts of Christ’s resurrection appearances and follows the witnesses as they experience brutal persecution to become committed evangelists. “A riveting thriller of the most improbable history-changing movement imaginable.”
Don’t Divorce: Powerful Arguments for Saving and Revitalizing Your Marriage by Diane Medved, Ph.D. (Regnery Publishing). Not quite thirty years ago, Dr. Medved published The Case Against Divorce, which got a lot of well-deserved attention. Unfortunately, the number of broken marriages continues at an alarming rate, and Medved returns (with a brilliantly declarative title) to offer commonsense about making marriage last.
The Face of Water: A Translator on Beauty and Meaning in the Bible by Sarah Ruden (Pantheon Books). A Quaker lady from the Ivy League (Ph.D. from Harvard; visiting professor at Brown) looks at God’s Word without religious awe or orthodoxy, as we might understand it, but with great appreciation for the exquisite language and profound wisdom of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures.
The Heart of Holiness by Fr. Gary Lauenstein (Ignatius), which is subtitled “Friendship with God and Others,” which teaches an important lesson: that “our everyday experience of our friendships with others are our stepping stones to holiness.”
The Lion of Münster: The Bishop Who Roared Against the Nazis by Father Daniel Utrecht (TAN) is a biography of Cardinal Clemens August von Galen, the German Catholic leader who dared to speak out against Hitler. Fr. Paul Scalia says von Galen’s story should remind pastors today to “guard. . .against a different kind of tyranny – the dictatorship of relativism.”
Littlest Suffering Souls: Children Whose Short Lives Point Us to Christ by Austin Ruse, with a foreword by Raymond Cardinal Burke (TAN). These stories began life here at The Catholic Thing. Beautiful, heartbreaking, and faith affirming, these are stories of children taken too soon by the Lord; kids who have “led others to varying degrees of belief and practice.”
Mary of Nazareth by Michael Hesemann (Ignatius): “The first archaeological and historical biography of the most fascinating and revered woman in history, the Mother of Christ.” Paul Thigpen says of Hesemann, “His personal devotion to the Virgin shines through his extensive scholarship to create a delightful and enchanting portrait of the Mother of God.”
Monaghan: A Life by Joseph Pearce (TAN). The prolific biographer (Hilaire Belloc, Roy Campbell, G.K. Chesterton, and C.S. Lewis) profiles the founder of Domino’s Pizza, and former owner of the Detroit Tigers, and the founder of Ave Maria University, at the core of whose life “is an unwavering Catholicism that has strengthened him amidst adversity and grounded him amidst prosperity.”
Night’s Bright Darkness: A Modern Conversion Story by Sally Read (Ignatius): Staunchly atheist, Read converted to Catholicism in the space of nine electric months. Feminist and deeply anti-Catholic, she spoke with a Catholic priest. The interview led her on a dramatic spiritual quest that ended up at the Vatican . . .
Peter: Keys to Following Jesus by Tim Gray (Ignatius/Augustine Institute). Dr. Gray, a Biblical scholar, offers a guide to the tumultuous, inspiring life of the Apostle and first pope – with lessons from Peter’s life: casting into the deep; avoiding discipleship at a distance; repenting to receive mercy; and becoming a bold witness for Christ.