What Are Books Every Catholic Should Read?


I was born and raised Catholic, but haven’t been practicing properly for a while. Thankfully, the Lord brought me here and reading through these posts have helped renew my faith. Firstly, I really need to go to confession … secondly, is there any books you recommend to help me get back on track and discover more about our faith? I have started reading the Bible daily, is there anything else?


The Catechism.


The Catechism itself is a good resource to have - I really liked The Catholic Way: Faith for Living Today by Bishop Donald Wuerl. It’s much easier to sit down and read this, but you can always refer to the CCC if you want to dig deeper.

Here’s a snippet from Amazon:
Anyone who wants to know the Catholic Church’s position on just about any topic can easily find it by consulting the church’s new catechism, a superbly organized and accessible compendium first published in 1992. For those intimidated by the catechism’s language or overwhelmed by its sheer size, several guides have been produced, the latest of which is this easy-to-use companion volume, written by the bishop of Pittsburgh and chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Education. Although not intended as a substitute for the catechism itself, Wuerl’s book provides a fitting introduction to the more detailed summary of Catholic thought, which was produced by a commission of church cardinals and bishops. Wuerl is an excellent teacher who has expanded on portions of the catechism’s teachings in 83 chapters, each of them brief and followed by questions for discussion or reflection. He deals with the catechism itself, the place of Scripture, the sacraments, the commandments, moral conscience, natural moral law and prayer.

Oh and even if you already have a Bible, the New Catholic Answer Bible is chock-full of Apologetics! :thumbsup:


suggested list from my favorite spiritual guide
Time Management for Catholics by Dave Durand

Theology for Beginners , Frank Sheed
A Guide to the Bible, Antonio Fuentes
Where is That in the Bible, Patrick Madrid
Fathers of the Church, Mike Aquilina
Short History of the Catholic Church, J. Orlandis
Art of Praying, and Rosary of Our Lady, and Preparing Yourself for Mass all by Romano Guardini
How to Make a Good Confession by John Kane
Intro to Devout Life, St. Francis de Sales
Hidden Power of Kindness, lawrence Lovasik

it is no coincidence that most of these can be had from Sofia Institute Press
and yes I have read them all except the last 2, halfway through St. Francis, it is something I dip into and digest slowly.

I would add a couple that have been definitive for me
Tools Matter for the Spiritual Life by Margaret Funk OSB
Faith, by Fr. John Hardon
CAtholic Church and the Bible by Fr. Stravinskas


“Rome Sweet Home” by Scott and kimberly Hahn.

This book helped me to underatdn where I had REALLY landed once I converted to the Catholic faith. It solidified everything for me.

peace to you and welcome home!


The Bible, the Catechism, ‘History of the Church’ by Eusebius, ‘The Fathers of the Church’ by Mike Aquilina, ‘A Biblical Defense of Catholicism’ by Dave Armstrong, ‘Jesus, Peter & The Keys’ by Boder Dahlgren and Hess and ‘Where we Got the Bible’ by Henry G. Graham.


The Faith Explained

by Fr. Leo Trese


Personal favorites

Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic -David Currie
By What Authority? An Evangelical Discovers Catholic Tradition- Mark Shea
Surprised By Truth-Patrick Madrid (This is a collection of 11 converts stories.)
Catholicism And Fundamentalism -Karl Keating
Upon This Rock- Stephen Ray

Godspeed on your journey, jgmes2001.


I also was impressed with “Catholicism for Dummies”. Also I think a good one is “Why Do Catholics Do That?”. The Compendium is also a nice addition, and perhaps a Catholic Encyclopedia.

Welcome Home!:thumbsup:


A good book on morality and faith is Guidance to Heaven by Giovanni Cardinal Bona. It was written in the 1700s, I believe, but it’s amazing how exact his view on humanity is with our state today. I highly recommend it!

Pace e Bene


Given the embryonic state of your faith, more focus should be given to the books you ought to avoid. Find yourself a late copy of the Index Librorum Prohibitorum and take care to avoid all the literature mentioned within it.


well, I’m not going to say that which has already been said, so in addition to those books:

Jesus of Nazareth by Benedict XVI - A damn fine book, I must say.

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


Well, for starters, LOTR was written by a catholic, and a traditional one at that so no ‘Harry Potter’ things can be applied here. Basically, it explores many Catholic themes well, albeit in an indirect sense of the term. I just think it is a really nice example of how the values of someone’s life can be echoed in their work, and a traditionalist catholic is certainly one of interest.


J.R.R. Tolkien’s books are ultimately a sacrilege. I would not recommend them. What the author did was reimagine creation and thereby implied that he knew better than God. Christian themes notwithstanding, the true story behind those books is that they are about an author who wished to make a god of himself.


Umm no. The story behind the book was that he felt dissapointed by England having a lack of mythology, and sought to create one. Through his works and his own actions he converted a now known atheist to Christianity, whom was also writing a fantasy series at the same time Tolkien was developing Middle Earth. This person created Narnia, and known as C.S. Lewis.

The books are fiction, and should be accounted for it. If you regard it as fact in any derogatory sense of the word, that is, you may agree with the themes put forth and respect the work, but one cannot assume for a moment that Middle Earth actually existed or that the author’s intentions was to blaspheme through written word.

Besides, Middle Earth was fulled by his passion of languages, it started with him creating Quenya and its parent and derived elven tongues and making a history behind them, not conciously going, ‘I know, I think I’ll upstage God.’


Even if we were to ignore the brash presumption involved in Tolkien’s work, we would still have to contend with the rather troubling themes presented in it. The Lord of the Rings is nothing more than an apologia for Pelagian heresy. It is a work that puts forth the idea that we can end evil ourselves, without the need for God. The spirituality contained within the books is deeply poisonous for any Catholic.

As for Lewis, he is one to be wary of as well. The Narnia books are naught but trash that either mock the Incarnation or imagine a polytheistic metaphysical reality. His space trilogy is a deeply troubling set of stories that challenge the primacy of man in God’s creation and draws on pagan imagery.

The OP is looking for books to help him in his faith. Let’s avoid introducing him to works that will only produce questions.


May I suggest:

Pearl of Great Price by Antony Matthew.

An Anglican’s journey to the Catholic Church. The book was published in 1991 by Fischer Press, UK


You might consider:

The Spirit of Catholicism by Karl Adam.

It didn’t seal the deal for me, but likely came closer than 95% of the other books that I read.


I liked this book:

Literary Converts by Joseph Pearce


The best thing about this book is that it leads you to more books.


Great list. I would add:

Catholic Christianity by Peter Kreeft
Crossing the Tiber by Steve Ray
Catholic and Christian by Alan Shreck
Theology and Sanity by Frank Sheed


Don’t feed the troll!

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