CatholicMom-booknotes-logo We have cucumbers. Oh, do we have cucumbers.

Well, to be more specific, my mother-in-law has cucumbers. AND the idea in her head that a certain daughter-in-law needs to learn another canning and preserving skill.

And so, as the cukes come on, I will have more pictures like this:
book talk-pickles

Those are bread-and-butter pickles, which I'm sort of enh about but which, apparently, I could sell for big bucks to some of the folks who saw them posted on Facebook.

Now, for some reading that did NOT have me pickle-faced...

Recent Reads

Tiny Blue Lines: Reclaiming Your Life, Preparing for Your Baby, and Moving Forward in Faith After an Unplanned Pregnancy, by Chaunie Brusie (Ave Maria Press, expected publication 2014)

I always debate whether I should mention the galley copies I sometimes get to read. In this case, YES. Keep your eyes out and your hearts open: this is a book that had me laughing out loud and tearing up in ways I just didn't foresee. I wasn't a young mom (by the definitions of "still in college, early 20s") and I didn't have unplanned pregnancies. Even so, this book spoke to my heart and not only impacted my worldview, but opened my eyes to a brave group of women who need my prayers and support. Highly, HIGHLY recommended.

Breaking Through: Catholic Women Speak for Themselves, edited by Helen M. Alvaré (Our Sunday Visitor, 2012)

This book sat on my shelf and gathered a fine layer of dust. My excuses were many, though pitiful. Once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down. It's the kind of book that had my 12-year-old niece asking if it was any good and that I think I will even share with her (and her older sister) in a few years.

Because it's important to not only know what the Church teaches, but to hear it from real people. This book is important, and it's also well-done. So well-done that I'll be quoting it at length and writing more about it. Another HIGHLY recommended book.

Tweet Inspiration: Faith in 140 Characters (or Less), by Mark Hart (Servant Books, 2013)

This is essentially a book of quotes, though the quotes are in 140 characters or less, Twitter-style. That appealed to me, as did the varied insights, wisdom, and humor they contained. It was both a snapshot and a light. I really enjoyed it and will be sharing it. Highly recommended.

Current Reads

Theology of the Body for Every Body, by Leah Perrault (Novalis, 2012)

New to My Review Shelf


The Miraculous Medal: Stories, Prayers, and Devotions, by Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle (Servant Books, 2013)

I've been reading Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle for years, and I remember back when she only had a single-digit number of books out. I've been a recipient of her miraculous medals and I'm particularly interested to read this.

Over twenty years ago, Mother Teresa gave Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle a blessed Miraculous Medal, and she has never taken it off. To date, Donna-Marie has given away thousands of Miraculous Medals. But what is the Miraculous Medal--and why is it considered miraculous? Why is it important for us today? You'll learn the answers to these questions, and you'll also discover:

  • The origin and history of the Miraculous Medal
  • How the medal got its name
  • The story of St. Catherine Labouré

The author has collected many contemporary stories of the Miraculous Medal's attraction and impact. Also provided is a section of prayers and devotions, including the perpetual novena prayer, spiritual benefits, and more. This is an informative, fascinating, and inspiring book, designed to stir the hearts of those who aren't familiar with the Miraculous Medal's miraculous powers through the Blessed Mother's intercession, as well as those who are.


How Far Can We Go?: A Catholic Guide to Sex and Dating, by Leah Perrault and Brett Salkeid (Novalis Publishing, 2009)

I'm so excited to read this book. No, it's not new, but after my introduction to Perrault's writing in Theology of the Body for Every Body, I have a sense of how good this could be (and it comes to me highly recommended).

A clear and concise guide on sex and dating in the Catholic Church. What does the Church say about sex and dating? Too often, Catholic teens and young adults get all their information on this topic from the secular media. If they do hear something from people in the Church, much of what is being said is misguided, impractical or both. This embarrassment-free presentation, designed to take seriously the concerns and social realities of today's teens and young adults, sets out a Catholic approach to dating and sexual relationships in simple, direct language. This short, entertaining and very helpful book is the result of extensive workshops with teenagers in both school and parish settings. As a result, the approach taken by the authors is both unapologetically Catholic and definitely theologically correct while at the same time completely open in its direct presentation of human sexuality. This book is a must have for Catholic teachers, high school chaplains, youth minsters, campus ministers, parents and anyone else who deals with these questions from young people on a regular basis.


Youcat Study Guide (Ignatius Publishing, 2013)

Why yes, I have been waiting by the mailbox for this little gem to arrive. I'm a biiiiig fan of the Youcat (check out the new Youcat prayer guide too!)

Aimed at helping readers to get the most out of YOUCAT, the YOUCAT Study Guide features 35 topics based on the catechism. Each topic has a brief introduction (Behind YOUCAT); short questions on YOUCAT's coverage of the topic (What does YOUCAT say?); a section on Scripture (What Does the Bible Say?); discussion questions based on YOUCAT (YOU Chat); a brief reflection on the YOUCAT material covered (YOU Reflect); and a set of ideas for action (YOUCAT Challenge). Each topic relates the material of YOUCAT in one of the four pillars of the catechism--the Creed, the Sacraments, Morality, and Prayer. And each topic includes space for readers to "journal" their thoughts while reading through YOUCAT.

What have YOU been reading lately?

*Are you on Goodreads? I'll see you there!

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Copyright 2013, Sarah Reinhard