What other books would you recommend?

I am new to Catholicism, and I am reading any and everything I can get my hands on. Our local parish has RCIA classes once a year and we missed the beginning date, so I am learning all I can on my own. So far I have purchased Catholicism for Dummies, Why Do Catholics Do That?, Firesides’s New American Bible Personal Study Edition, United States Catholic Catechism for Adults.

What else would you recommend? I’m looking for both nonfiction and fiction.

“A Biblical Defense of Catholicism” by Dave Armstrong and “Catholic and Christian” by Alan Schrek.


I am not an expert on religion. There are professors of religion, priests, archibishops whose advice would guide you much better,
but I can recommend you The Holy Bible. It seems to have varied
editions, but one can read as many editions as possible.
There is an edition in The Louvre Museum- Tha Barnaba’s Bible
which is also recommended.
Then controversial perhaps, but not to a true believer of God,
one can also have a look at The Holy Koran which came (as this is stated in it) “to confirm the books sent by God prior to it”.

I am a convert to Catholicism from evangelical Protestantism.

My favorite book is Evangelical is not Enough, by Thomas Howard. Beautifully written with literary style, but very understandable. ignatius.com/ViewProduct.aspx?SID=1&Product_ID=589&AFID=12&

The Catholic Mystique by Jennifer Ferrara is excellent if you are a woman or are interested in women’s issues, especially the issue of women in the clergy and the Marian doctrines. catholicfreeshipping.com/Products/cfs_camybyjefeca.html

I like all the Scott Hahn books, but I don’t like his writing style. It sounds like he dictates the books, and then the secretary transcribes his dictation word for word. Sometimes it’s a little jumpy. But the teaching is wonderful.

I like David Currie’s books, especially Rapture. It took me six months to study my way through it, but I learned a lot. I’ve met Mr. Currie a few times, and he is charming and genuine. amazon.com/Rapture-End-Times-Error-Leaves-Behind/dp/1928832725

One book that will blow you away is Imitation of Christ, by Thomas a Kempis. It’s an ancient Catholic book, and a lot of the theology is just plain upsetting to a convert like me who is used to “name it and claim it” theology! But as you read, you realize that the writer is speaking wisdom and truth. It has really changed my attitude about what I want in life. alibris.com/search/books/qwork/3138658/used/Imitation%20of%20Christ

Finally, if you don’t mind my tooting my horn, read my novels! They’re written for teens, but adults like them, too. The second book in the series is a Rosary mystery with a theme of forgiveness and reconciliation. They will give your brain a respite from the heavy theological tomes above! jazzicals.com/

How Firm a Foundation by Marcus Grodi its a novel but its a good book.

*Marcus Grodi’s novel revolves around the life of Stephen LaPointe - a Congregational pastor who finds himself at a crossroads. In a story familiar to most converts, LaPointe discovers that his preconceived belief, that the Bible alone is a sufficient foundation for his life, suddenly no longer holds true. This discovery sets him on an irreversible course towards the Catholic Church.

Naturally, how LaPointe wrestles with his questions of faith impact not only himself, but also all those around him - his loving, but troubled wife, Sara, whom is haunted by a secret in her own past, their two sons, his pastoral colleagues, and his parishioners, most especially Walter Horscht, a passionate yet confused father and husband. The novel effectively builds to a climactic confrontation between LaPointe and Horsch*

Canon Ripley’s This Is the Faith. I find it is quite thorough, clearly written, and well-organized.

Has anyone read the book Mere Catholicism by Ian Ker? My husband bought it yesterday. I’ll try to get to it soon, but it has to wait its turn to be read. It sounds good, doesn’t it?

James Martin, SJ: My Life with the Saints. A great way to learn about the great saints in a modern context.

Yup, I understand that stage well! I spent a lot of time reading when I was searching, well, and still do! :smiley: Not exactly a hardship for me though. :wink:

Here are the books I’ve read so far with a few comments on what or why or whatever. There are a couple that aren’t exactly “Catholic” but they played a part in my journey, so I included them any way. They are also listed more or less in the order I read them.[LIST]
*]Evangelicals on the Canterbury Trail: Why Evangelicals Are Attracted to the Liturgical Church by Robert E. Webber: This is one of the first books I read on this journey, but it isn’t “Catholic.” It is a great introduction to what is so amazing about liturgical worship. It got me to try going to Mass, and well, everything has pretty much snowballed from there!
*]Catholicism for Dummies by John Trigilio: you have this one already, good book though!
*]Choosing to Be Catholic: For the First Time (Or Once Again by William J. O’Malley: I read this in bits in pieces. Some of it was fairly basic coming from an already firm Christian commitment. But it was helpful.
*]Church History In Plain Language Updated 2nd Edition by Bruce L. Shelley: So this one isn’t exactly Catholic, but the history is one of the BIG reasons for my conversion. This was a good general overview of all of Christian history, up to very recently.
*]Christ Among Us: A Modern Presentation of the Catholic Faith for Adults (6th Edition) by Anthony Wilhelm: Don’t waste your time! I picked it up at the used bookstore and sounded helpful, but even from my non-Catholic position, it is VERY far on the liberal end of the spectrum.
*]A History of Christian Theology: An Introduction by William C. Placher: Another not “Catholic” book, but I read it for similar reasons as the history book. I wanted more help tracing doctrine through time. Which also lead me to the Catholic Church.
*]Surprised By Truth 1 and 2: Ok books. A lot of people love them, but they weren’t really my favorite. But I’m not really sure I can explain why, most of the stories just didn’t really click with me. :shrug:
*]Scriptural Roots of Catholic Teaching: How the Bible Proves the Truth of the Catholic Faith by Chantal Epie: I didn’t read this one straight through, used it more as a resource. When I was thinking about certain topics it was helpful to read and be able to have the basic supporting scripture all complied together.
*]Catholicism: The Story of Catholic Christianity by Gerald O’Collins: Another history book. I wanted a brief history more from a Catholic perspective. This one was ok, but I think I was kind of getting burnt out on history and theology by this point! :smiley:
*]This Is Our Faith: A Catholic Catechism for Adults by Michael Francis Pennock: This is the book we are using in my RCIA class. Over all it is a good book and includes the paragraph numbers for the Catechism if you want to know more. But it was pretty basic, and by the time I got to it, I’d learned most of what is in it from other books or here online. But it would have been a pretty good starting place.
*]My Life With the Saints by James Martin: So I finally hit my theology burn out and decided I need some “easier” read type books. This one was great! It helped me understand the communion of the saints a lot better, not from a theological perspective, but from personal experience. :thumbsup:
*]May Crowning, Mass, and Merton: 50 Reasons I Love Being Catholic by Liz Kelly: A quick light read, but has some great little bits of wisdom in understanding Catholic culture.
*]Letters to a Young Catholic (Art of Mentoring) by George Weigel: This is where I’m at now. I picked it up because, well, I’m young, and almost Catholic (27 days to go!). I like it so far. He uses famous Catholic places to talk about both theology and experience.
*]Behold Your Mother: Priests Speak About Mary: I have this book, but haven’t read it yet, it is next. I got it for similar reasons as the Saints book. I understand the theology behind Mary, but don’t totally “get” it yet (although it is slowly coming). But I figured the personal experiences with the saints really helped, so I’m hoping for something similar from this one.[/LIST]

Anything by Patrick Madrid.
Scott Hahn
Introduction to the devout life

Have you heard of Karl Keating? :wink:

I hear he’s written a few good books–“Catholicism and Fundamentalism” is very good.

Ditto for “How Firm a Foundation” by Marcus Grodi. Patrick Madrid’s books are excellent. Kimberly Hahn wrote “Life-Giving Love” which is an excellent book about the Church’s position on pro-life issues.

Ann Ball has written several good books on the lives of the saints. And Louis de Wohl’s novelizations on the lives of the saints are excellent (read “The Spear”! It’s his best!)

I won’t reiterate some of the excellent recommendations already made, but here are a few more:

Scripture
[LIST]*] Ignatius Catholic Study Bible, Scott Hahn & Curtis Mitch, Ignatius Press - excellent verse by verse commentary; not all books are out yet, but will be eventually
*]Understanding the Scriptures, Scott Hahn, Midwest Theological Forum - excellent overview of the Bible
[/LIST]

Church Teaching
[LIST]*]Catechsim of the Catholic Church - Much more thorough and profound than the US Adult Catechism, but can be more difficult to read.
*]Jesus of Nazareth, Pope Benedict XVI, Doubleday - I cannot possibly recommend this enough. An excellent, readable, profund look at the life and person of Jesus Christ
[/LIST]

Apologetics
[LIST]*]Yes or No?: Straight Answers to Toughs Questions on Christianity, Peter Kreeft, Ignatius Press - This book is responsible for me starting to take my faith seriously. I would recommend this or any other book by Peter Kreeft
[/LIST]

I also started a blog to keep track of the top quality Catholic resources and websites I come across. Right now, it pretty much serves myself as a place for me to keep things organized and easy to locate, but you’re welcome to look through it as well: www.averagejoecatholic.blogspot.com.

Welcome to the Catholic Church!

Try, “Father Elijah” by Michael O’Brien. It’s a suspenseful novel loaded with all things Catholic. It will inspire you to read more, and to pray.

Yep, I like that one too.

WOW . . . what an awesome list! Looks like I will have plenty to read going into this Winter season.

Thanks to everyone for responding.

Greg Cherry

I second that! I am reading it right now. Just finished the chapter on confession. Very good stuff for Protestant Christians looking for answers about the Catholic faith that are actually backed by scriptural and early Church documents.

I have “Catholicism and Fundamentalism” :thumbsup:

If you read nothing else, read “The Teaching of Christ”.

It’s one volume, very thorough, and probably the best single book in English on Catholicism to be had.

I really enjoyed the Catholic Catechism for Adults

I personally guarntee you, this next book will be a revelation to any Christian.
This Tremendous Lover
Who has read it? Its in its 37th printing!

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