Here in Ohio, we have spring flowers and April showers (finally!). The weather's gotten warmer, and I'm even holding out hope that it will stay this way...even though my farm sense reminds me that the forsythia hasn't bloomed. (I know better than to lay too much stock in spring until I see those little yellow beacons of hope out back.) They've bloomed in town, but in my backyard the bush is still bare. (Maybe it died. It's the kind of year where, yeah, I'm okay with that if it means the end of snow.)
I have books galore, but unlike a month ago, when I was ready to declare bookshelf bankrupcy and give up altogether, now I see the hope. It's the hope of afternoons at the park, of lugging books to the pool (but not for six weeks or so), of chucking the laptop for the pages of my latest.
Totally Catholic! A Catechism for Kids and Their Parents and Teachers, by Mary Kathleen Glavich, SND (Pauline Books & Media, 2013)
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Can you say "new favorite book for a Catholic you know"? Because that's my short review of this gem. If I was still teaching 5th grade religion classes, I would probably be petitioning to have copies of this for all my students. It might be geared a little young for my Confirmation students, but the content is GOLDEN, and probably right at a level most of the parents I've worked with could appreciate. (That's not a knock on them. It's a recognition of a reality I've experienced.)
I consider this a must-have for all Catholic families with kids younger than 12. And for those with kids older? Maybe still worth checking out...
Holy Goals for Body and Soul: 8 Steps to Connect Sports with God and Faith, by Bishop Thomas John Paprocki and Joe Paprocki (Ave Maria Press, 2013)
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. While I'm a big fan of books that tie in things like sports with faith, I'm not a big hockey player or fan. So if this book hadn't landed in a pile I was committed to reading, I probably would have skipped it.
And if I had done that, I would have missed out.
Bishop Paprocki could probably write about just about anything and I would be following along enthusiastically, but I wouldn't have known that if I hadn't read this book. Paprocki writes in a down-to-earth, man-on-the-ice way, and he ties it in in a way that's decidedly not preachy. No, really.
This is a book for the young men in your life and the older of the young boys. Bishop Paprocki makes his points unapologetically and does what I absolutely love: he makes the Catholic faith manly. I mean, what's not manly about hockey and a bishop who loves nothing more than getting out on the ice and taking some hits with a puck?
Definitely a book to check out. I really enjoyed it.
Catholic Dad: Mostly Funny Stories of Faith, Family, and Fatherhood to Encourage and Inspire, by Jake Frost (Amazon Digital Services, 2013) (Kindle only)
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
This book is utterly delightful from start to finish. You have the option of reading it in a "pick and choose" sort of way, diving in where you want, because the essays are all stand-alone.
I read it the way I read most things: cover to cover. I walked away from it with a clear picture of just who Jake Frost is and just how he got to be that way. He's the kind of guy I want my son to grow up to be: proud of his Catholicness, laughing about the foibles of life, and appreciating the blessings all around him.
His essays are a glimpse at life from "the other side" (or is it just that I read more women than men?). What makes a dad tick? Well, I still don't know, but I know that I'm even more fascinated and intrigued by the wisdom that comes from these Catholic dad types.
This is a book not to miss and one you'll share, whether you're a mom peeking in or a dad looking for inspiration.
Everywhere in Chains, by James Casper (fiction, Ignatius Press, 2013)
This is a great character novel. But it's not fast-moving in the way some of the other novels I've read recently are. That, and it's coming at a time when I'm not getting to it until much too late to do it justice. I'm really enjoying it, though.
The Sinner's Guide, by Venerable Louis of Granada (with the Catholic Spiritual Direction Book Club)
I'm warming up to this book. (I suspected I would.) But it's not easy reading and it really gives you a lot to think about. I can't read more than one chapter a day, and it's the kind of reading where I can't have a lot of interruptions or background noise. But...yeah, it's a spiritual classic for a reason. :)
The Candymakers, by Wendy Mass (YA fiction, read-aloud with my nine-year-old daughter)
You know what's maddening? Not reading ahead. I'm reading this aloud with my nine-year-old daughter, and I am DYING to know what's coming next. But I can't cheat!
Ahhh, well. It's reminding me of the joy of sharing a book in real time. And it's a good book. It has a point-of-view thing that I am soft for anyway, and it's pretty well done overall. We're on the second-to-last section and we have our theories about what's coming...and we're pretty sure that we'll be reading more of Wendy Mass's books!
What have YOU been reading lately?
*Are you on Goodreads? I'll see you there!
Curious about what my ratings mean? Here's an explanation of what the stars mean to me.
Be sure to check out our Book Notes archive.
Copyright 2014, Sarah Reinhard
About the Author
When she’s not chasing kids, chugging coffee, or juggling work, Sarah Reinhard’s usually trying to stay up read just one…more…chapter. She writes and works in the midst of rural farm life with little ones underfoot. She is part of the team for the award-winning Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion, as well as the author of a number of books. You can join her for a weekday take on Catholic life by subscribing to Three Shots and follow her writing at Snoring Scholar.