What’s on your reading/listening list right now?

KindleSlated for reading on my Kindle right now:


I think he might have not quite understood St. Thomas More’s notion of Utopia, but he is exceptionally good.

Vince Flynn

More Mitch Rapp from my homey, Vince Flynn.  Prequel.


Hoping it will be a tenth as good as Patrick O’Brian.

Slated for listening on my iPhone/iPod:


It is good to review.  I got this from Audible.  I don’t know if the link will work.

Paul Creston

I learned about this composer from the great Fr. Perrone.

Jesu Dulcis Memoria

Wonderful motets.  Every one of them.

On my desk slated for reading:


The definitive book on the matter.  I read it years ago, but need to review.  Lots of nutty ideas going around these days about this issue.

Another view of the Roman Canon, and that is all I use.

Could there have been a better title?  It is polemical in spots.  Gosh!  Who knew?

I am also getting some things together for Lent.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in What Fr. Z is up to and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Mary Jane says:

    Right now I’m reading Mansfield Park. Need to gather some reading material for Lent…thinking Divine Intimacy, and I’d like to re-read the Dolorous Passion.

  2. Jim Ryon says:

    The Father’s Tale – Michael O’Brien. Long, but good novel from Ignatius Press.
    Jesus of Nazareth Part II – Benedict XVI

  3. Currently reading:
    The Mysteries of Christianity – Matthias Scheeben
    Manual of Catholic Theology – Wilhelm & Scannell
    Orthodoxy – Chesterton
    Treatise on the Angels – Aquinas

    Up Next:
    Three Ages of the Interior Life – Garrigou-Lagrange
    Treatise on the Six Days – Aquinas

  4. lh says:

    The Seven Wonders of the World, Meditations on the Last Words of Christ by Fr. George Rutler. I usually read this during Lenten Season. I’m also going to read Pope Benedict’s Jesus of Nazareth II.

  5. RichR says:

    I’m halfway through Kill Shot (Vince Flynn), and it’s one of the better ones I’ve read of Vince Flynn.

  6. milhon1 says:

    Reading “The Moviegoer” by Walker Percy and “A Guide for the Perplexed” by E.F. Schumacher

  7. APX says:

    Handi-Guide to Alberta’s OH&S Act, Regulation and Code (It’s a bit of a dry read)

    Criminal Code of Canada (it never ceases to amaze me how dumb our abortion laws are. Somehow a baby magically becomes a human being the moment it passes through the cervix.)

    St. Francis de Sales’ intro to the Devout life

    As for listening, no books, but plenty of sermons and talks given by priests. I listened to the most terrifying talk on Hell the other night. I fear for the souls who end up there.

  8. Darren says:

    Right now: Nearing completion of Volume III of The Mystical City of God by Ven. Mary of Agreda.

    Volume IV of the Same
    The Silmarillion, by Tolkien (I started it some years ago, now will restart and finish it)
    Orthodoxy, by Chesterton
    Confessions, St. Augustine
    2nd book on Jesus of Nazareth, by Pope Benedict XVI
    and a slew of others just waiting…

  9. Supertradmum says:

    Three Ages of the Interior Life – Garrigou-Lagrange

    CS Lewis, again, including novels, with a more critical eye for apologetic criticisms

    Gramsci, Letter from Prison and other writings

    Dickens, want to get through all the novels and have read most, working my way through, waiting for next one to come in the mail

    All the footnotes in the Navarre New Testament and Acts, Revelation and Pauline Epistles, slowly and prayerfully

    Encyclicals, again, from 1846 to present day

    Listening to Bach again, Partitas, Goldberg Variations, etc. and new liturgical choral and organ music from France and England

    Wish there were more hours in the day

  10. Supertradmum: Goldberg Variations

    Which version?

    I have quite a few on the shelf.

  11. aquinas138 says:

    Since I am in the middle of getting a dissertation proposal accepted, my reading list outside of the Breviary is alas limited to the hymns of Giwargis Warda for the foreseeable future.

  12. Andreas says:

    Mayle – Encore Provence
    Huntington – The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order
    Urbanski von Ostrymiecz – Maria Theresia
    Kraus – Wenn die Berg streitn

    Gleissner – Messe in G
    Var. – Tiroler Passionssingen 1990, 1991
    CPE Bach – Johannespassion
    Hasse – Miserere, Requiem

  13. acroat says:

    Just completed He Liked Tuesdays Best & now mid way in to The Broken Path by Judie Brown.

  14. Glen M says:

    Now: “Why Catholics Are Right” by Michael Coren

    Next: “A New Song For The Lord” by Card. Ratzinger (on liturgy)

    Soon: “Coming Apart. The State Of White America, 1960-2010” by Charles Murray (thesis partly links the collapse of marriage to economic failure)

  15. ghp95134 says:

    Speaking of books: “Great Works of Pure Fantasy”

    I just purchased a 1963 (14th impression) printing of The Hobbit … and a 1965 printing of the The Lord of the Rings. Can’t wait to read them … for the 7th~8th time since I began in 1977. Must prepare for the forthcoming movie this Christmas!


  16. ghp95134 says:

    Kindle? Yah … but you just don’t get the feel or smell of a first edition. [But it is great for some of these books that you don’t necessarily want to keep on your shelf.]

    Guy the Luddite
    (whose cell phone only makes telephone calls…. no camera, no texting, etc.) [O the humanity!]

  17. ghp95134:
    As a general rule, I think movie versions are usually best enjoyed when you do NOT prepare for them by reading or re-reading the book it’s based on. :-)

    I have a kindle question. Not that I have any immediate plans to purchase one, but I was wondering if the kindles sold through Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk are exactly the same. For some reason, I see that I am not allowed to purchase the kindle editions from Amazon.co.uk, but I can download from the American site. However, it might be handier to get the actual kindle device from the UK site if I ever get one. I should think that they have made it so that you can download any kindle edition onto any kindle device. Would this be the case? [FWIW… my US Kindle worked perfectly well in the UK. I have the version without any ads, etc. However, I understand that if you get the less expensive Kindle that pushes ads, you still get the US ads in the UK. Otherwise, I don’t there there is a problem with the 3G on either side of the pond.]

  18. Supertradmum says:

    Fr. , Karl Richter, Glenn Gould, Gustav Leonhardt.

    Will take suggestions. These are all very different, of course.

    [There is a good piano rendition by Murray Perahia which I have enjoyed HERE or HERE (UK). As a matter of fact, I think I will put it on now.]

  19. Supertradmum says:

    Fr. , You know Gustav Leonhardt just died in January.

  20. Midwest St. Michael says:

    For entertainment: “A Game of Thrones” by Goerge R. R. Martin

    For study: “For the Sake of Our Salvation” (Letter & Spirit vol. 6) edited by Dr. Scott Hahn

    For daily meditation: “My Daily Bread” by Fr. Anthony J. Paone, S.J. – Confraternity of the Precious Blood

    On deck: “Jesus of Nazareth” vol. one, Pope Benedict XVI and “A Clash of Kings” by George R.R. Martin


  21. contrarian says:

    Try Simone Dinnerstein’s Goldberg on for size. Lovely, I think.

    Father Z, thanks for the book suggestion on the Paul VI Mass by Cedada. I’ll have to check that out.

    As for my own book list: once I minus all of my boring philosophy and theology stuff, I’m trudging through Tony Judt’s Postwar and reading The Lord of the Rings. I’m ready to receive my nerd beating here upon this admission: I’ve never read The Lord of the Rings. I’ve had it read *to* me as a child, many times. But I’ve never read it myself. I know, I know…

  22. Fr. Frank says:

    Right now I’m reading:

    Robert Hugh Benson, “Lord of The World,” and Mark Steyn, “After America.”

  23. Supertradmum says:

    contrarian,when I taught LOTR as ND a long time ago, one of my students came up to me and said he found it boring and asked if we could study Conan the Barbarian instead. Wish it wasn’t true….

  24. Supertradmum says:

    ps will try suggested Simone Dinnerstein

  25. Dad of Six says:

    Eusebius’s History of the Church

    What if Aristotle Ran General Motors

    The Creston was a lot of fun to sing at Assumption Grotto. My wife enjoyed it so much, she cryed at missing out on the opportunity to sing his Mass!

    We’re working on a Haydn Mass for Easter…I do not recall which one.

  26. Peggy R says:

    –The Holy Father’s 2nd Jesus of Nazareth book
    –Fr. Le Joly’s 1980s bio of Mother Teresa (I’d like to learn more about Fr. LeJoly as well someday)
    –Currently reading a fiction book: Suite Francaise, in English. Written by Irene Nemirovsky, a Russian Jew who had escaped to France from the Bolshevik revolution as child. She wrote this novel of life in France during the occupation by Germany as the German occupation of France occurred (WW2). She was taken away and killed at Auschwitz. Her daughter had this notebook for years and was surprised to find the unfinished 5-part novel and her notes. The published book is her novel as far as it got and her notes. Lots of Catholic French culture of course.
    –Recently read “Communist Manifesto” as it seems vital to read. Dirt cheap on Kindle. Interesting how Marx rails on the Church so irrationally.

    –I am not good at finishing books these days. Raising the kids keeps me going and moving from one thing to the next. I usually finish compelling fiction, but informational, though interesting nonfiction & history, which is what I have mostly read, is moving more slowly these days.
    –To Contrarian: I tried to read LOTR a few years back. Fantasy is not my favorite genre of literature or film. I am probably the backward one here.

  27. Supertradmum says:

    Murray Perahia thanks, did here one time on radio in car and forgot about it

    Will go here and here now

  28. Supertradmum says:

    Fr , taking a sneak peak online. Very much to my liking.

  29. wmeyer says:

    Currently reading The History of Christendom. 300pp into Vol I. Vols II-V await.

    As to Goldberg Variations, I am hooked on Gould. Also can recommend the Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould (Colm Feore is a friend of a friend at Stratford, and I enjoy him on stage), and the documentary Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould. Both films are on Netflix.

  30. Centristian says:

    I’m skipping back and forth in no particular order at the moment through chapters of Matthew Kelly’s “Rediscovering Catholicism”, which I find invigorating, and I’ve just begun Scott Hahn’s “The Lamb’s Supper”. For Christmas, I was given that book about Lincoln’s assassination by Bill O’Reilly that I’m told I absolutely must read. I don’t know; I’ve read and heard and “watched” the history of that episode 16(000,000) ways ’til Sunday, and I can’t imagine enduring it yet again. I suppose I’ll give it a try, though.

    Recent music: a Spanish classical guitar CD. For some reason I find myself fascinated by the California Missions founded by Junipero Serra lately and when I see the images of those amazing mission chapels and their endlessly intriguing reredos, I hear Spanish guitars playing in my head. So I decided to buy a CD from an artist named John H. Clarke, whose music I discovered on YouTube:


    The album I purchased is called “Acoustick Guitar” and I just love it. What I also loved was the order confirmation I received from CD Baby . com (where I purchased it) which read:

    “Your CD has been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow.

    A team of 50 employees inspected your CD and polished it to make sure it was in the best possible condition before mailing.

    Our world-renowned packing specialist lit a local artisan candle and a hush fell over the crowd as he put your CD into the finest gold-lined box that money can buy.

    We all had a wonderful celebration afterwards and the whole party marched down the street to the post office where the entire town of Portland waved “Bon Voyage!” to your package, on its way to you, in our private CD Baby jet on this day, January 13, 2012.

    We hope you had a wonderful time shopping at CD Baby. In commemoration, we have placed your picture on our wall as ‘Customer of the Year.’

    We’re all exhausted but can’t wait for you to come back to CDBABY.COM!”

  31. pfreddys says:

    I know you should go by WHAT is said, rather than WHO is saying it: but, you do know who F. Cekada is? [Of course I do.]

  32. Supertradmum says:

    wmeyer, you can find the famous photos of Gould from Life Magazine online–do not have the link handy

  33. Rob Cartusciello says:

    New Proofs for the Existence of God: Contributions of Contemporary Physics and Philosophy by Fr. Robert Spitzer, S.J. (One of the good Jesuits)

  34. PA mom says:

    I have recently finished reading God’s Secretaries by Adam Nicolson. It is about the translating of the King James Bible. He describes the text as including “accessibility and beauty, plainness and richness, simplicity and majesty, the people and the king.” The strength of the translation is in the tug between these seemingly opposing goals. He points to examples of how the current english translations flatten the language, dumbing down the meaning and robbing it of any poetic value. The book contains the history of the time, and a fairly sympathetic account of the plight of various Catholics involved.

  35. Augustin57 says:

    Currently reading: Toward a Truly Free Market: A Distributist Perspective on the Role of Government, Taxes, Health Care, Deficits, and More (Culture of Enterprise) by John C. Médaille

    Also, listening to a 10 talk series “retreat” by Bishop Bruskewitz.

  36. Jayna says:

    Just finished reading the first volume of von Balthasar’s Theological Aesthetics and Graham Greene’s The Power and the Glory. Moving on to the fourth volume of von B’s Theo-Drama next and then Chauvet after that. That’s the interesting stuff anyway (all for my Sacramental Aesthetics class), the rest is pretty boring.

  37. lucy says:

    Just finished The Seven Cardinal Sins by Sheen.
    Reading Maurice and Therese: The Story of a Love by Patrick Ahern
    Next up – What’s Wrong With the World by Chesterton
    Reading Sherlock Holmes….one story per night before bed
    Recently read – The End of the Present World and the Mysteries of the Life to Come by Fr. Charles Arminjon (St. Therese said it was one of the most important books she ever read – enough endorsement?)
    Listening: http://www.audiosancto.org Many good sermons on this site
    Listening to my son learn The Black Rider from LOTR – love it

  38. Fr. Frank says:

    Wmwyer, I’m also hooked on the Gould Goldberg Variations. I’ve always loved being able to overhear him softly humming the counterpoint in the background.

  39. guatadopt says:

    Newman’s masterpiece “Arians of the 4th Century”. Also Lawler’s “The Faithful Departed”…again. Up next is “Absolute Monarchs A History of the Papcy” and “The Church in the Middle Ages”.

  40. Theodore says:

    Current books:

    Honor in the Dust: Theodore Roosevelt, War in the Philippines, and the Rise and Fall of America’s Imperial Dream

    Taken by Robert Crais

    Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration, by Pope Benedict XVI

    The Charm School by Nelson DeMille (re-read)

    Morning devotional reading varies

    Kindle books in progress:

    Junichi Haga’s Secrets of Kendo

    The Three Conjectures, by Richard Fernandez (Wretchard on the blog Belmont Coast)

    Catholic Catechism, by John Hardon

  41. JonPatrick says:

    Intro to Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales (for the 2nd time)
    Orthodoxy by GK Chesterton
    I was reading Mauritius Command by Patrick O’Brian, need to get back to it.

    For Lent, planning to read the Holy Father’s Jesus of Nazareth part 1, then read part 2 again. Yes I ended up reading them in reverse order.

  42. GregH says:

    Fr Cekada’s “Problems of the Prayers of the Modern Mass” was the great eye-opener to the difference between the Novus Ordo and Extraordinary Form. A true masterpiece.

  43. Father Z, would you recommend Work of Human Hands? I’m a little bit hesitant on that one because I know that Cekada is a sedevacantist, but I wouldn’t say that I’m exactly against reading it for that reason alone. [I don’t think it is for the average reader. Most people would do better to read less polemical stuff.]

  44. anniemw says:

    Fr Zuhlsdorf, Fellow wdtprs Readers – did you know Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin series is now available on Kindle? FYI annie

    [Oh yes!]

  45. digdigby says:

    “Holding the Stirrup” by Baroness Elisabeth von Guttenberg. The Catholic aristocracy of Bavaria resists Hitler. 4,000 of the old nobility were tortured, starved and killed after the 1944 plot to kill Hitler. She was a devout Catholic who founded ‘Caritas’ which was an immense relief effort after WWII. She was a bit nervous about the Americans billeted in her castle, particularly the one who was fond of her daughter. Taking communion, she found him kneeling next to her. (needless to say, he married the daughter!). For Lent: “Man, the Saint” by Father Loidi. (old book reprinted from Roman Catholic Books). How to be a manly Catholic, not a pious fraud. i.e. “…to be a conteduh, instead of a bum, which is what I am”.

  46. Philangelus says:

    Currently reading Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco. Also in progress is Fr. Walter Cizek’s He Leadeth Me.

    Currently editing a novel about a string quartet. Currently planning a novel about…well, women. And families. :-)

  47. Ed the Roman says:

    About to start Samurai Cat Goes to the Movies, by Mark E. Rogers.

  48. Maltese says:

    I’m almost done with the fantastic, While the Eyes of the Great are Elsewhere (a LOTR quote–the author is a huge fan of Tolkien, who was a Traditional Catholic, btw., as is the author of this book). Biersach, interesting, teaches the history of Rock and Roll at USC, and has been on the BBC and interviewed in Rolling Stone Magazine. That was his profession before re-converting, so he kept doing it, but it is a dichotomy in ways, considering he is a rock-solid Traditional Catholic (pun intended). The book, with its extensive quotes from the Bible and Church Fathers, and written in a very witty, humorous style, refutes almost every Protestant heresy, while bolstering almost every Church dogma you can think of.

    For listening pleasure, my taste runs from Chant (some of my favorites coming from Fontgombault to Moby.

  49. Jim Ryon says:

    Thanks anniemw. I didn’t realize that. I will download The Mauritius Command, which is the next in the series for me.

    [Be sure to use my link!]

  50. teomatteo says:

    the Order of Things, Schall
    Into Great Silence, the book
    and Feser’s Aquinas for Beginners (and He means beginners)

  51. catholictigerfan says:

    I’m reading a handful of books some for my classes here at seminary.

    For my formation class I’m reading When God asks for an undivided heart by Andrew Apostoli a dominican priest I believe

    For my theology course that focuses on the sacraments Im about to read The WellSpring of Worship by Jean Corbon

    Along with a couple other summary type books on philosophers and such and a Metaphysics book.

    I’m reading for pleasure and spirutal reading right now Introduction to the devout life by St Francis De Sales, and Spirit of the Liturgy by the Pope.

    I’m about to start reading a health type book called wheat belly.

    Then there is always the second book of the LOTR trillogy but I never have time for that because of my busy life here.

  52. Mary Jane says:

    Just me, but I’d seriously hesitate before dubbing any work by a Sedevacantist (Cekada) a “true masterpiece”.

  53. AnnAsher says:

    I Know You Are Lying, Mark McClish
    The Pilgrim’s Progress From this World to the Next, John Bunyan (kindle)
    Breaking the Vicious Cycle, Elaine Gottschall
    The Painted Darkness, Brian James Freeman (kindle)
    Divine Mercy with Stations of the Cross by Mark Mallett (iPod nano, iPhone)

  54. Bruce says:

    Conservatism in America – Clinton Rossiter
    What is Truth?: From the Academy to the Vatican – John M. Rist
    Changing Political Thought of John Adams – John R. Howe
    Newman and Conversion – Ian Ker

  55. Maltese says:

    Mary Jane, I understand your concern, and though I’ve never read the work in question, one can be not entirely aligned with the current Magisterium and still write true masterpieces (I hesitate to say it, but Cicero’s Latin is many times more refined than the Latin in the Traditional Latin Mass, though, obviously, the latter is more profound in every sense. St. Luke knew his Hebrew better than St. Mark. An apostate, James Joyce, wrote the 20th centuries’ greatest novel, etc.) St. Thomas Aquinas read Islamic, Platonic and Pagan works. Catholics have benefited from Lucrecius, Aristotle, etc. In fact, the reasoning goes, the world was not ripe for Christ until Hellenistic and Romanistic thought, philosophy and reasoning had ripened the world for Christ. My point being, one can learn from thinkers not entirely aligned to to their own.

    Another great work, free on-line, and associated with Cekada’s, is the FSSPX treatise The Problem of the Liturgical Reform.

    But, Ms. Jane, I entirely agree with you that if the work in question directly posits sedevacantism it should be avoided (I don’t know if it does or not), because the Sedevacantist position is, in my opinion (though I think there are some very good thinkers in that persuasion; and I’ve read Cekada over at Rorate, and he seems to be very intelligent, and debates respectfully) absurd on its face, for this simple reason: Who decides that the Chair is Empty? Although it is truly empty after the death of a Pope, and two have claimed it at the same time, would God allow a conclave of Cardinals to vote-in a non-pope?

    Of course these are competencies beyond my faculties; yet, I would prefer Benedict XVI above many of the Borgia Popes!

  56. I’m still working on Beatus. (Man, verifying footnotes is a P.A.I.N.)

    Read some Agatha Christie, which is good for chilly February weather. She’s a very different read after forty than she was when I was twelve. People say her stuff is potboilery, but I find that her characters have more depth now that I have more experience in life. Thinking about re-reading LOTR and the Hobbit, or listening to the magisterial Inglis unabridged version.

    Supertradmum — Howard is a very different writer, of course, but his Conan stories have a lot to offer the reader. And to be fair, Tolkien really doesn’t seem to be for everybody, to the point that I can sometimes predict who will not suffer him gladly. I can’t imagine a worse penance than being forced to read a book that grates one’s neurons.

    Conan isn’t a good guy, per se. He’s a tough survivor, and his stories are generally about fighting hard and smart enough to live to tell it. He’s the fantasy equivalent of, say, a hardboiled detective. But there’s a lot of grit and wit in there. Again, perhaps not the books for everybody, but probably an essential for understanding American literature. None of the movie adaptations come very close to doing Howard justice; he’s not a stupid writer, and he infused his stories with as much poetry as Tolkien did.

    I don’t think either of them would have been big fans of each other’s work, because their objectives and aesthetics were too different. But they shared a lot of similar interests. It’s a long way from Oxford to Cross Plains, Texas, but they had a lot of the same things driving them to write fantasy, and I think they would have understood each other. But there just wasn’t much contact between the pulp crowd and the Inklings, barring contacts between (C.S.) Lewis and (Arthur C.) Clarke; and one was mostly of the pre-war generation and the other post-.

  57. Oh, I guess I’ll mention what I’m reading too. :)
    -The Bugnini Liturgy and the Reform of the Reform (Laszlo Dobszay)
    -Magisterium: Teacher and Guardian of the Faith (Avery Cardinal Dulles)
    -The Eternal Woman: The Timeless Meaning of the Feminine (Gertrude von le Fort)
    -Management Accounting, 6th Canadian Edition <—-Bleh
    -Organic Development of the Liturgy (Alcuin Reid)

    Aaaaaand, once my fiancee flies in I'll also be reading that biography of Marcel Lefebvre by Bernard Tissier de Mallerais. :)

  58. Vincentius says:

    Just finished “Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul:Church State and the Birth of Liberty” just as the current controversy blew up. Very timely and a book the Obamaites should read.(By John Barry-read on Kindle). Also currently reading “Ameritopia” on Kindle currently.
    Great thread, some good suggestions for Lenten reading.

  59. tealady24 says:

    Currently reading:
    The End of the Present World – Fr. Charles Armonjon
    The World’s First Love – Fulton Sheen
    Divine Intimacy – daily
    The Last Superstition – Edward Feser (excellent!)

    Magnificat Lenten Companion
    Ameritopia – Mark Levin
    God in the Dock – C.S. Lewis
    Deliver Us From Evil – Ravi Zacharias
    the occasional historical fiction / mystery-suspense novel
    with about 20 others waiting in the wings.

    Don’t we just love books!

  60. Maltese says:

    Suburbanbanshee , have you heard of the Agutha Christie Indult ?

  61. Maltese says:

    One more song, which I absolutely love, is When the Levee Breaks by Led Zepplin. They combine Rock, Jazz, Classical Music, etc. Good stuff!

  62. Jbuntin says:

    Overcoming Lukewarmness: Healing your souls sadness, Francis Fernandez
    Shirt of Flame: A year with St. Therese of Liseiux, Heather King
    Food: The Good Girl’s Drug, Sunny Sea Gold
    Not quite as heavy as some of the above, but just what my average IQ can deal with while I sit in the waiting room while my husband gets his radiation therapy.

  63. Maltese, I read about that in that new-ish book of the correspondence between Evenlyn Waugh and Cardinal Heenan. Fascinating book. Did you read that one?

  64. Maltese says:

    In a competition between Palestrina and Tomas Victoria, I would choose the latter in terms of shere polyphonic beauty; though the choice is close!

  65. bookworm says:

    Two books I read recently were “The Crisis” and “The Crossing,” both by Winston Churchill — NOT Winston Churchill the British Prime Minister, but an American novelist of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. (The British Churchill signed his books “Winston S. Churchill” in order to avoid confusion with the American Churchill, whose novels were also popular in England.)

    “The Crisis” takes place in St. Louis (the American Churchill’s birthplace) before and during the Civil War, while “The Crossing” recounts the settlement of Kentucky and the conquest of the Illinois Country during the American Revolution. Both are currently out of print but can be read online at http://www.gutenberg.org, or borrowed from libraries or found at antique book stores.

    Although Churchill’s writing style may seem a bit dated and melodramatic today, he was known for his attention to historical accuracy and his books do convey very well what it was like to live in “interesting” times. He also doesn’t hesitate to point out where he believes God was at work in various events, or through certain people; and he also shows people being changed for the better by bearing suffering and privation with patience and courage.

  66. acroat says:

    @ Lucy. I asked a priest about “The End if the Present World…” as I had purchased it after reading what you had read about it. He stated she read it before her “conversion” when she was struggling with scrupulosity.

  67. I’m reading St. Teresa of Jesus and St. John of the Cross on the Beatitudes by Thomas M. Reid, OCDS.


  68. robtbrown says:

    Currently paging through Ben Graham’s The Intelligent Investor.

    For those with a Kindle, the complete Dickens is free on the Internet. Also Conan Doyle, including his medieval novel The White Company.

  69. Maltese says:

    Ireaneaus, could you provide the quote, if possible?

    Here is what William F. Buckley Jr. writes about Waugh, and the Second Vatican Council :

    “I somewhere opined that Evelyn Waugh’s death on Easter Sunday in 1966, the Sunday before the reformers promulgated the Kiss of Peace, was evidence that the Holy Spirit was in fact behind it all, but merciful in His afflictions: no imagination is so vivid as to visualize Mr. Waugh yanked from prayerful thought to clasp the hand of the pilgrim to his right, to his left, ahead, and behind him.”

    Waugh wrote to Buckley, before the imposition of the Novus Ordo:

    The nature of the Mass is so profoundly mysterious that the most acute and holy men are continually discovering further nuances of significance. It is not a peculiarity of the Roman Church that much which happens at the altar is in varying degrees obscure to most of the worshipers. It is in fact the mark of all the historic, apostolic Churches. I think it highly doubtful whether the average churchgoer either needs or desires to have complete intellectual, verbal comprehension of all that is said. He has come to worship.

  70. Charles E Flynn says:

    Fr. Z,

    Could this collection of important letters be the “something less polemical” about the liturgy?:

    A Bitter Trial: Evelyn Waugh and John Cardinal Heenan on the Liturgical Changes.

  71. UncleBlobb says:

    Listening to The Olde Curiousity Shop; reading a little at a time of Self-abandonment to Divine Providence, and The Compendium of the CCC.

  72. Martial Artist says:

    Reading Thunder Below: The USS Barb Revolutionizes Submarine Warfare in World War II by the late RADM Eugene B. “Lucky” Fluckey, USN (ret.). This followed my reading, first, of Wahoo: the patrols of America’s most famous World War II submarine by the late RADM Richard H. O’Kane, USN (ret), and, second, Submarine Diary: The Silent Stalking of Japan by the late RADM Corwin Mendenhall, USN (ret). It takes me back to my 5 years in submarines in the early 1970s, although they were all diesel-electric fleet boats, and my submarine service was entirely in (a mixture of attack and ballistic missile) nuclear submarines , followed by 14 years, 4 months as a Naval Oceanographer. Of the three, Wahoo gives the best sense of what submarince service in WWII would have entailed, followed closely by Thunder Below which is, in some ways the more poignant and exciting read. I won’t claim they are up to the literary standard of any of O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin novels (all 20 and 1/2 of which I’ve read), but they are solid and honest accounts.

    Pax et bonum,
    Keith Töpfer, LCDR, USN (ret)

  73. q7swallows says:

    Jesus Appeals to the World:  The Unceasing Act of Love Revealed to the Capuchin Nun, Sr. Mary Consolata (1903-1946),  by Lorenzo Sales, IMC

    The End of the Present World by Fr. Charles  Arminjon

    Abandonment to Divine Providence, via iPieta

    The Life of St. Thomas More by Wm. Roper

    On deck [ah, the beckoning smell and crackle of new books!]:  
    Jesus of Nazareth:  Holy Week by BXVI

    Doctors of the Church by BXVI

    Annual favorite:  Visions of Anne Catherine Emmerich

    Oh, and getting the Christmas  hymns ready again — there’s nothing more poignant in Lent.  Esp. Holy Week.

    But my theme song for the last two weeks (bishops vs. HHS Mandate) has been “Red Warrior” by Hans Zimmer — from the soundtrack of (original motion picture) ‘The  Last Samurai.’   Played triple fortissimo. Especially the war cries.  

  74. Mariana says:

    Thanks to everyone for posting inspiring suggestions!

    I’m now reading Back to Virtue by Peter Kreeft and will start Jesus von Nazareth I and II come Ash Wednesday, and listen to The Eton Choirbook.

  75. NoraLee9 says:

    I am retreading the Patrick O’Brian books and am currently up to the Surgeon’s Mate. After I finish this (which should be tonight), I will set them aside until after Lent. For Lent I am going to try to slog through the OT from Ruth until where ever I can read up to in 40 Days. I have the Ascension Press study kit, so this ought to be fun and enlightening.

  76. Darren says:

    Guy: ghp95134 says:
    I just purchased a 1963 (14th impression) printing of The Hobbit … and a 1965 printing of the The Lord of the Rings. Can’t wait to read them … for the 7th~8th time since I began in 1977. Must prepare for the forthcoming movie this Christmas!

    I am a bit afraid of the movies. But isn’t it interesting that LOTR got three movies when it should have been about 9 movies? Yet, the Hobbit itself is shorter than any third of LOTR, and it gets two movies? Maybe they are doing this one right! Still, I think Tolkien would be greatly angered over any of his works being made into movies. I haven’t decided yet on whether to see the Hobbit movies or not.

    On my listening list: Assorted works by Dvorak, Strauss II, Sibelius, Hovhaness, Mussorgsky, Vivaldi “The Red Priest”, etc… I am on a current Beethoven fast as I prepare for the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra’s performance of his 3rd and 5th Symphonies on April 1 (Palm Sunday).

  77. WaywardSailor says:

    Just finished:

    Pacific Crucible by Ian Toll (proving once again that the Allied victory in WWII was by no means a sure thing, even after the US entered the war)
    Colonel Roosevelt by Edmund Morris
    After America by Mark Steyn

    Next up:

    Morning of Fire: John Kendrick’s Daring American Odyssey in the Pacific by Scott Ridley (about the first US expedition to explore the Pacific)
    Civilization: The West and the Rest by Niall Ferguson
    Socrates: A Man for Our Times by Paul Johnson
    1812: The Navy’s War by George C. Daughan

    On deck for Lent:
    Rendezvous with God by Fr. Vincent P. Miceli
    The Life of Christ by Bishop Fulton J. Sheen

  78. Genna says:

    Just finished A Bitter Trial: Evelyn Waugh and John Cardinal Heenan on the Liturgical Changes – Alcuin Reid
    Recent: Victorious Troy (or The Hurrying Angel) by John Masefield, 1935, a graphic novel of a sailing ship attempting to weather a typhoon. You’re right in there.
    Robert Goddard, English mystery writer
    Three spy trilogies (nine novels) by Len Deighton.
    Waiting (and waiting) for Goodbye Good Men, by Michael Rose – ordered from a US seller via Amazon on 3 January. Hmm.
    In the meantime will re-read Pius X’s encyclical: Pascendi Dominici Gregis – on the docrines of the modernists.

    Beethoven Piano Sonatas – Ingrid Fliter
    Frank Martin Mass – Westminster Catheral Choir
    César Franck organ works (loud)
    Dream of Gerontius, Elgar
    Coming up during Lent the John and Matthew Passions, the latter conducted by Richter and with the wondrous Fischer-Dieskau
    The Seven Last Words – Haydn
    Waiting for a Marilyn Horne disc
    Saving the Berlioz Te Deum for Easter!

  79. irishgirl says:

    Right now I’m dividing my time between two books on Lourdes:
    Saint Bernadette Soubirous-Abbe Francois Trochu (from TAN)
    My Witness, Bernadette-J. B. Estrade. He was a city official in Lourdes at the time of the apparitions and became one of Bernadette’s confidants.
    For secular reading, I’m getting through a biography of Emperor Maxmilian of Mexico and his Empress Charlotte (or Carlota). Terrible what happened to him, getting shot by Mexican revolutionaries; and worse for her, she became totally mad and was confined to a castle in her native Belgium until she died in 1927.
    I kind of ‘bounce around’ with my reading, so I don’t know what I’ll be doing for Lent. I play it by ear…..

  80. Supertradmum says:


    I was teaching literature, well-written, not badly written stories. There is a difference. Story and characters are only part of teaching literature. And, art is based on objective norms, not subjective likes and dislikes. Tolkein’s books are literature, truly well-written. I cannot say that about most fantasy.

  81. q7swallows says:

    Addendum: after reading today of the blacklisting of Pat Buchanan at MSNBC, “Suicide of a Superpower” will also be on deck.

  82. AnAmericanMother says:

    Reading the second volume of BXVI’s Jesus of Nazareth. Much heavier going than Vol. 1 – at least for me.
    Bennett, Four Witnesses – a survey of the early Church Fathers.
    Herman, How the Scots Invented the Modern World (just ask ’em!)
    Cassity, Building a Retriever – Drills and More. Met Carol Cassity at a seminar and loved her drills (and her adorable Chessie “Day” GRHRCH UH Rippling Waters Daytona MH 500 Point Club)
    Dahl & Dahl, Retriever Trouble-Shooting. Read their The Ten-Minute Retriever and loved it so I’m looking forward to this one.
    Marryat, Mr. Midshipman Easy – already read Children of the New Forest and Peter Simple. Unlike Forester or O’Brian he was actually there.
    Will re-read C.S. Lewis’s The Great Divorce as I do every Lent. Probably will dip back into his volume of the Oxford History of English Literature – he is highly opinionated and provides acid and unforgettable criticism of those unfortunates he doesn’t like, but I learned more about the early 16th century Scottish poets than I ever knew before . . . .

    Listening to a CD survey of the music of Thomas Weelkes — an outstanding late 16th c. English composer primarily known for his madrigals, but he also wrote some outstanding motets and short sacred consort songs for solo voice. If your choir can handle the complex lines (and can COUNT, for heaven’s sake), his Alleluia – I heard a voice will knock your congregation’s socks off. (Unfortunately the audio sample does not include the opening 8 bars, in which each part enters on a different beat of the first measure and then all combine for something like a vocal trumpet fanfare.) He was a very odd bird indeed (his bishop seems to have detailed an assistant to make sure he showed up for services clean and sober, mostly sober) but drunk or sober he was incapable of writing bad music – everything on this disc is magnificent.

  83. I’m currently reading “Mary: Mother of Faith” by Josef Weiger. It is one of the most beautiful books about Our Lady that I have ever read.

  84. Darren says:

    irishgirl: I have that book by Abbe Trochu. It is on my list of things to read. Abbe Trochu wrote an excellent book on St. John Vianney, which I highly recommend. Also from TAN

  85. Mariana says:


    Thanks! I really like Abbé Trochu on St. Bernadette, so will trying to find the one on St. Jean

    Also, to the person reading about St Thérèse and Fr. Maurice, I love that book, too, and have had the happiness of visiting Fr. Maurice’s grave in Normandy!

  86. robtbrown says:

    Genna says:

    Three spy trilogies (nine novels) by Len Deighton.

    He wrote The Ipcress File, which awakens an unusual baseball memory in me. My first year in college a friend called and said that the athletic dept had 4 tickets to a KC A’s vs Boston Red Sox game. So four of us went, 3 basketball players and 1 football player (yours truly), and went to the game, we saw the movie of TIF with Michael Caine.

    So what’s significant about the story? Pitching for the A’s that night was Satchel Paige, who then was anywhere from 59 to 64 years old. He pitched 3 innings, gave up 1 hit (an off field double by Yaz). We had seats near the dugout, and it was obvious that he was throwing harder than the Bosox pitcher, who if memory serves was Bill Monbouquette, never a hard thrower but once a 20 game winner who had a no hitter to his credit.

  87. robtbrown says:

    should say: and before the game we saw movie TIF with Michael Caine

  88. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    Just finished “The Lord of the World” by Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson. FANTASTIC. And despite all of its attempts to prognosticate on future cars and technology, the author seems to never have conceived a lack of Latin in the liturgy.

    Am now reading “Jesus of Nazareth: Part II” by Papa B.

  89. norancor says:

    Wife, Mother, Mystic, a biography of Blessed Anna-Maria Taigi

    Also reading:
    Robert Greene’s books the 33 Strategies of War and the 48 Laws of Power
    Epikeia: A Study of It’s Use
    Braudel’s Trilogy on the History of Economy
    Jone’s Moral Theology (re-read)
    Ott’s Dogmatic Theology (re-read)

    Chesterton’s Heretics
    Dodd’s Violence and Phenomenology
    Augustine’s On Nature and Grace
    Brown’s The Death of Christian Britain

  90. oblomov says:

    Reading The World, the Flesh, and Fr Smith by Bruce Marshall. It’s a charming and deeply Catholic novel that follows a Scottish Priest for thirty years or so in the middle of the 20th century. Marshall wrote a slew of Catholic inspired novels, a few of which were made into movies. I started reading him because Wm F Buckley praised one of his other novels (Fr Malachy’s Miracle) in his spiritual autobiography Nearer, My God. Good reads and very Catholic.

  91. Luke Whittaker says:

    Reading Father von Balthasar’s book on Prayer and continuing to work through his trilogy. Also rereading the collected works of Saint John of the Cross.

  92. mdgspencer says:

    I am providing this simply because I greatly appreciate learning about some of the books mentioned here.
    “Mother Teresa of Calcutta; a Personal Portrait,” by Fr. Leo Maasburgh. This book is different and stands out from other biographies of her, providing many interesting and even amusing stories by a priest associated with her for many years. An excellent look at the inimitable Mother Teresa.
    “Cure d’Ars; a Biography of St. Jean-Marie Vianney,” by Fr. Francis Trochu. Father Trochu wrote the standard and much longer biography of this saint. I came across this shorter 200 biography by him on this saint in a bookstore in the Philippines and recommend this. This probably is Trochu’s “shorter biography” about this saint sold in the U.S.
    “The Boy Who Met Jesus, Segatashya of Kibeho,” by Immacule Ilibagiza. This book is by the author of the well-regarded “Left Behind to Tell,” about the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. In the 1980s there were apparitions of Mary in Rwanda, now approved by the Church. This is the remarkable and fascinating story of a boy of Kibeho who at the same time had some extrordinary experiences of Jesus. The Church was going to investigate his story when the genocide occurred, stopping everything, but I think he is obviously genuine. You can read the reviews on this book on amazon.com
    I write serious books on religion and articles on Scripture and will mention some of the books I have used in the last week, books though which are not for everyone.
    “Dictionary of the Bible,” by John L. McKenzie. This 1963 book is an extraordinarily excellent source for articles on the things and people of the Bible.
    “The Antichrist,” by Vincent Micelli. In this 1981 book Father Micelli looks gives the Catholic view of the antichrist (and other things of the last days) as shown by Scripture, the Fathers and later Catholic writers. Several days ago my wife asked if the antichrist is a real person and I told her to look at what Cardinal Newman had to say as shown by this book
    “Theological Dimensions of the Liturgy.” by Fr. Cyprian Vagaggini. I have just put this 1000 page study to good use, appreciating most of all what he has to say about angels being present at the mass, a conviction as this book shows manifested openly in liturgies of the Church and in the Fathers of the Church.
    “Christ the Savior, a Commentary on the Third Part of St. Thomas’ Theological Summa,” by Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Langange. I have some of Father Garrigou-Largrange’s books (and am particularly appreciative of his “The Three Ages of the Interior Life”). I was delighted to find this book and several others being sold since I didn’t know they existed. Father Garrigou-Lagrange is one of the greatest modern theologians, and a teacher of Pape John Paul II when the Pope was doing his theological studies in Rome in the 1940s.
    St. Cyril of Alexandria’s Commentary on the Gospel of Saint John, I consider this along with St. John Chrysostom’s and St. Augustine’s commentaries on this Gospel, one of the three greatest commentaries on St. John by the Fathers of the Church.
    St. Cyril of Alexandria, “Commentary on Isaiah.” This work in 3 volumes from this Church Father provides quite interesting insights into Isaiah, finding in fact Christ in Isaiah. Modern Biblical exegetes on Scripture very often seem to think in the same ruts, all focusing on the same sometimes rather narrow ranges of themes. This commentary on Isaiah provides the thinking of an original thinker. The Fathers had a charism for their insights, a charism given by God, giving their commentaries especial importance.

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