What Are You Reading?

by Fr. Christian Mathis on February 1, 2013

If you were to ever visit my house it would difficult not to notice the abundance of books. The hallway leading into the house is lined on one side with shelves of them. Just off the kitchen is another shelf. The guest room has them. The bathroom has them. My bedroom has them. Then of course there are the ones stored on my kindle. Knowing the stacks of books I have yet to read, it may be a mistake on my part to write today’s post, but then again I do like to read, so here it goes.

One of the earliest posts I wrote for this blog was a list of some of my favorite books, with an invitation to my readers (all five of them!) to share a few of their favorites. Since then I have discovered some new favorites as well as subtracting some books from the list. Now that a few years have gone by, I thought it would be fun to extend the same invitation again. I hope that some of you might find something interesting on my list and share a few of your own favorites. Here is my updated list. I look forward to hearing your recommendations.

For The Life of the World by Alexander Schmemann

The Weight of Glory by C.S. Lewis
A Grammar of Assent by John Henry Newman

The Cube and the Cathedral by George Weigel
The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene

Homilies on Genesis by St. John Chrysostom
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig

Four Witnesses by Rod Bennett
A Walk In The Woods by Bill Bryson

Jesus of Nazareth by Pope Benedict XVI

Holy the Firm by Annie Dillard

On the Beaten Path by Robert Rubin
Leaves from the Notebook of a Tamed Cynic by Reinhold Niebuhr

Evangelical Is Not Enough by Thomas Howard
God’s Human Face by Christoph Schonborn

Blood Brothers by Elias Chacour
The Complete Poems of Anne Sexton

The Wellspring of Worship by Jean Corbon
God In Search of Man by Abraham Joshua Heschel

Being As Communion by John Zizioulas
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

The Arena by Bishop Ignatius Brianchaninov
A Memory for Wonders by Mother Veronica Namoyo

Of Water & the Spirit by Alexander Schmemann
Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton

The Gurus, the Young Man, and Elder Paisios by Dionysios Farasiotis
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Called Out of Darkness by Anne Rice
The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell

Lit by Mary Carr
The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis

Memorize the Faith by Kevin Vost
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World by Michael Hyatt
Homilies on the Song of Songs by St. Bernard of Clairvaux

Forming Intentional Disciples by Sherry Waddell
The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip by George Saunders

Everywhere Present by Fr. Stephen Freeman
New Seeds of Contempation by Thomas Merton 

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Dakota by Kathleen Norris

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Life You Save May Be Your Own by Paul Elie

The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

The Complete Stories of Flannery O’Connor

In the Parish of the Poor by Jean-Bertrand Aristide

The Long Loneliness by Dorothy Day

Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis

Mama Makes Up Her Mind by Bailey White

The Seven Storey Mountain by Thomas Merton

Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather

Strength to Love by Martin Luther King Jr.

Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

A Harsh and Dreadful Love by William Miller

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

The Habit of Being by Flannery O’Connor

The Meaning of Icons by Leonid Ouspensky Vladimir Lossky

The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje

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  • http://fathershelton.blogspot.com/ Father Shelton

    Great list! Some classics, some controversies, and some really weird reads.

    Sadly, at least insofar as it may be a minor illustration of the present trajectory of Western Civilization, the closest I’ve come to such a thing are lists of my favorite movies and Country and Western songs. I’ll even admit to having started a list of favorite situation comedies.


    Besides reading excerpts from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, I am reading A Well-built Faith: A Catholic’s Guide to Knowing and Sharing What We Believe by Joe Paprocki, and Youcat: Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church. I also read the Mass readings for daily and Sunday Mass.

  • Centavo-aqui

    I am reading The Benedict Rule, and have been seriously attracted to all writings of Thomas Merton, as my spiritual compass for 2013.

  • http://www.blessedisthekingdom.com Fr. Christian Mathis

    Merton has some great things to say, and many times challenging things to say.

  • http://www.blessedisthekingdom.com Fr. Christian Mathis

    Sounds like Year of Faith reading!

  • Centavo-aqui

    I welcome the challenge, as I tarried too long in Ezekiel’s land of “dem dry bones”

  • http://www.facebook.com/ironiccatholic Susan Windley-Daoust

    I’m reading my own book, doing revisions…not much time for other reading outside class right now. But I am enjoying a new text for one of my classes called What We Can’t Not Know: A Guide. It is, of all things, a natural law introduction. But pretty darn good stuff.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ironiccatholic Susan Windley-Daoust

    BTW this is seriously a pretty good “how to be a well read Catholic” list.

  • http://www.blessedisthekingdom.com Fr. Christian Mathis

    Especially that book about the Gappers of Frip.

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