Good Catholic Fiction?

Theology Grad student who likes to read…currently reaading one of Joshua series but from I read here he is heretical? Ijust like reading that it is light but not full of smuck! Help!

Not light reading but very good: Flannery O’Connor. You might find her interesting enough to write a theology paper about.

On a lighter side, try the novels of Father Andrew Greeley.

Graham Greene The Power and the Glory.

Piers Paul Read writes both fiction and non-fiction. He is the VP of the Catholic Writers’ Guild in England.

Mary Higgins Clark

Post-1997 Dean Koontz.

I am a reader but the only honest to goodness American Catholic writer who I have read is Flannery O’Connor who specialized in short stories. She is not for the faint of heart and is deep. Miss O’Connor demarcates the good versus evil like no one else I have ever read.

Walker Percy another Southerner was a novelist and Catholic but I didn’t get a feel for his religion via his books.


I like A. J. Cronin…kind of the Gresham of the 40’s…only he was a doctor by trade first. His books are widely available on ebay or at garage sales of older folks. (Might be able to find them at the library.)“The Keys of the Kingdom” is about a priest in China. “A Pocket Full of Rye” has an awesome scene about the main character encountering Christ’s while visiting a church late at night. Cronin has an interesting personal story that is reflected in his writing. (Adventures in Two Worlds is his autobiography.)


I love Bud Macfarlane Jr.'s Pierced By A Sword**.

I have read that book 5 times and I cry every time. Bud Macfarlane has two other books and all three of them are deeply Catholic and grab you by the gut.

for sci-fi fans there is christopher Stasheff

Originally posted by Angel Bradford****
I have read that book 5 times and I cry every time. Bud Macfarlane has two other books and all three of them are deeply Catholic and grab you by the gut.

I know, I love that the book is so very Catholic and also feels so relevant to what’s going on in the world right now. I’ve read it a few times, and like you, I cry every time. I’ve also read Conceived Without Sin**; what is the third book?

It’s called “House of Gold” and it’s the sequel to “Conceived Without Sin”. Just to give jou the headsup, when you read it, have your tissue handy because you’ll need it!

I would recommend G.K.Chesterton.

I would recommend any of the books by Michael D. O’Brien. He writes excellent Catholic fiction. The six books of his I have are all part of a series called “The Children of the Last Days”:

  1. Father Elijah
  2. Strangers and Sojourners
  3. The Plague Journal
  4. Eclipse of the Sun
  5. A Cry of Stone
  6. Sophia House

The books all stand on there own and could be read in any order, although Books 2, 3, & 4 form a trilogy within the larger work. Still, even the trilogy follows a family over the course of 100 years, so you could read those out of order and probably still be okay (although if you’re like me, the thought of reading things “out of order” is frightening! :o ). My favorite of the series is “Eclipse of the Sun”. These books aren’t fluff fiction, but I found them to be quite engaging.

He also has a new one out called The Island of the World.

I enjoyed Bud McFarlane’s books, but he’s not nearly as good a writer as O’Brien (sorry, it had to be said! ;)). To me, it’s the difference between pulp fiction (McFarlane) and thoughtful (although extremely accessible) literature (O’Brien). But that’s just my opinion. :slight_smile:

I agree most whole-heartedly with Joe. The Michael O’Brien novels are fantastic reads. I have always been a voracious reader, thousands under my belt, but Father Elijah is probably my most favorite fiction of all time. :thumbsup:

P.S. I am awaiting delivery of his latest!

I can think of so many good Catholic books (including those already mentioned, though not Fr.Greeley, he gives me the creeps), and my post will include books for folks other than current theology grads because I’m sure they’ll be looking in.

First, let me say that my family may be a bit odd about reading. We often read books together, out loud. If it’s too adult my wife and I will read it alone together, too much for younger children then my wife and I plus our teenager, otherwise all of us together. We just (re)read the Hobbit, and included our youngest. We’ve recently read many of the books for older kids and adults that can be found at Sophia Institute Press. We’re finishing up The Tripods Attack! It’s fiction, and it’s about a young GKC (Chesterton) and HG Wells, and includes Fr. Brown. I like it, but my wife and daughter aren’t too crazy about sci-fi. There’s also the Fairy Tale Novels by Regina Doman which are geared towards teenage girls and older. My wife and daughter loved them (and I liked them too), as did my sister-in-law who teaches in public schools, reads quite a lot, and is not Catholic. These fairly tale novels are very Catholic.

Of course there’s always The Lord of the Rings, which we read as a family every couple of years, looking for more of Tolkien’s catholicity. Ignatius Press has many good novels too. How about Marcus Grodi’s How Firm a Foundation, or A Philadelphia Catholic in King James’s Court? Geez, could I go on.

If you want a really good list, go to Catholic Summer Reading. They list, I believe, over 100 good Catholic books. Many are classics from the recently passed century. That’s my more than 2 cents.

I went to a funeral for a former parish priest on Friday, and the homilist (not the eulogist) spoke of short stories written by different two authors about priests. The stories were comedies about the lives of priests and the homilist spoke of a story about the monsignor who was plotting against his cat. One author was J F Powers, and I don’t remember the other.

I’m an avid reader, but I’ve never read any Mary Higgins Clark, what would make her work stand out as good Catholic fiction?

I would have to agree that Michael O’Brien is an amazing author. Island of the World looks daunting with its 800 odd pages, but it grips you (yes, have tissue ready). Some older classics are great too: Quo Vadis,and Fabiola. Also books by deWohl are good. I am currently reading The Beloved an italian novel.

So many books, so little time! Happy reading.:o

I guess I am the odd man out, but I hated Conceived Without Sin and House of Gold. Seemed to much like the Left Behind series gone Catholic

I guess I am the odd man out, but I hated Conceived Without Sin and House of Gold. Seemed to much like the Left Behind series gone Catholic

You are not alone. I do not hate it per se but I prefer that the Catholic parts of the story be embedded in the story and not made explicit, just like in LOTR.

Just my 2 cents :slight_smile:

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