Nonfiction Recommendations

With several nephews and godchildren getting ready to face their last year in college I’m looking for nonfiction book recommendations that will help inspire and motivate them this year as they look to their future. I’d like to give them as Christmas gifts this year.

Some want to buck the system all together and pursue a vagabond’s life, others want to stay close to home and continue with their part time jobs until ‘the job’ comes up, others have general goals but have not been able to break those down into attainable steps, some have enlisted in the military because they ran out of options.

I’m looking for stories of people who found peace and succes when they found their purpose in life, stories which share their journey. I am a fiction reader myself, so I have no clue where to begin to look for such titles. Your suggestions are most welcome. Thanks!

I’d suggest books that deal with strengthening daily connections to God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, Mary, the saints, etc.,

Books that encourage habit formations which help young people find a close relationship with God, that help them cope with fear, personhood, mate selection, and with situations that range from horrible failure to incredible success.

My spirituality deepened in conflict and failure and lessened with success.

Success, without the ability to realize God’s daily guidance, is a very shallow victory.

Some other ideas:

gather with them at every holiday,
make sure each of them have your number on their cell phones,
text each of them once a week,
encourage them to watch and discuss the EWTN programming which you enjoy, etc.
set all your nieces and nephews up on a family run book trading book club
get online through email or instant messaging, face book, and become their spiritual advisor

Good suggestions, thanks! I still need titles though so I can shop for the books.

The Rhythm of Life by Matthew Kelly would be a good one…I like all his books and he definitely speaks a language young people can understand. This particular book speaks about being the “best-version-of-yourself” aka holiness in today’s terms…

I heartily recommend It’s All Too Much! by Peter Walsh. On the surface, this book is about clutter and organization. But Mr. Walsh is actually making a case for avoiding materialism. I think that it would be ideal if people could read this book while they are young and make a decision to avoid the quest for acquiring more and more possessions. I love this book and I’ve read it several times. It’s changed my whole attitude towards my possessions.

I highly recommend Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger by Ron Sider. It’s an old book (revised now), but it really makes young people think hard about their life goals and aspirations. Here’s a link:

Along the same lines, get the More With Less Cookbook by Doris Jantzen Longacre. Get the spiral-bound version. If you google this, you will find many testimonials about this great cookbook that encourages people to use food lovingly and work to stop hunger in the world. Longacre is a Mennonite, BTW, and she died before she finished writing the cookbook. RIP.

I recommend Dr. James Dobson’s Love Must Be Tough. This book is incredible, phenomenal, and very powerful. I wish more Catholics (especially on CAF!) would read it. Dr. Dobson, who is a clinical psychologist, btw, not a pastor, describes how many marriages end up on the rocks because spouses inadvertantly drive their spouse away by their clinging, desperate behavior. He describes methods to win your spouse back again, tough methods that some might question, but there is so much wisdom in Dr. Dobson’s advice. I think that the best time to read this book is long before you get married or are even in a relationship, because the principles apply to other relationships as well. Here’s a link:

One book I really enjoy is Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon by Ghiglieri and Myers. Why on earth would you give this book to people who might never visit the Grand Canyon?! Because it teaches the value of preparedness, a principle that applies to all areas of our lives, including our faith. It’s also very entertaining.

There’s a whole series of wonderful little books called Eat This Not That by David Zinczenko. These are great books to help all of us make better choices. The one we have applies to eating out, but there are other versions for all kinds of eating situations. Very useful books for both cooks and those who never cook.

I hope some of these non-fiction titles are helpful for you.

Thanks, Cat and mskejj, I’ll look into those.

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