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