Friday, December 9, 2011

Seven Quick Takes- Book Review Edition

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My guardian angel is doing pretty well with pushing me out the door to get to 8am mass most days so far this Advent. I'm happy to be getting so much practice at the new translation of the mass. Have most of it cold, except for some reason, that pesky "And with your spirit". The old way was just too thoroughly ingrained, and if I'm at all zoned out (which is typical for me at that time of the morning ), I give the auto-pilot old  response. Or else some weird hybrid such as "And also with Spirit!"For motivation and to have a few laughs, I've been posting my A.W.Y.S. score each day on Facebook, and a couple of friends respond with theirs. There are 5 times per mass to make this response. I started the week with 2 out of 5. Today I managed 4 out of 5. How are you folks doing with this one?
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Need some recommendations on Catholic books that would make nice gifts? My next few takes will be some quick pics since there are lots of review copies coming through the mail these days.  The first winner is A Special Mother is Born by Leticia Velasquez. The subtitle says it all: Parents Share how God called them to the extraordinary vocation of parenting a special needs child. These 35 essays by mostly moms and a couple of dads (including a presidential candidate) about the challenge and grace of welcoming a child whom many would have preferred to "screen" out of existence. (90% of children with Down syndrome are now aborted.) This book is a plea for their lives.  As the mother of a special needs child, I found great affirmation in these pages.
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Surrender- the Life-Changing Power of Doing God's Will by Father Larry Richards.  Any spiritual book that is under 200 pages has one point in it favor already. The second point in its favor--Father Larry writes like a guy who grew up on the streets of Pittsburgh, PA. Because he is. His tough-love approach is refreshing. And fun. And profound. An easy read, but a shot in the arm for anyone whether you're new to a faith-commitment or have been friends with Christ for a long time.
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The Godless Delusion by Patrick Madrid is not a brand new book. It came out in 2010. But it's new to me. With all the "new atheism" going around, you might find this helpful in discussions on the internet, or, God help you, with loved ones who have come under the influence of the evil one. Not to mention for yourself, on those dark days when you're tired, confused, in pain, and life all looks (temporarily) rather pointless.  Very readable.
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The Ignatius Catholic Study Bible by the Holy Spirit, with commentary by Scott Hahn and Curtis Mitch. For years Ignatius has been publishing single books of the New Testament in booklet form with all that wonderful study material by Hahn and Mitch. Now it's finished in a complete New Testament. Given my track record with paperback Bibles I thought it better to invest in the leather hardbound edition, which was only a few dollars more on Amazon. Fantastic for bible study. All the apologetics-type notes you want are right there with the text.
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Strengthening Your Family: a Catholic Approach to Holiness at Home  by Marge Fenelon. This is a great book for Moms with growing families. Realistic and  humorous. Marge is well acquainted with the ups and downs of family life, the forces in society acting against our children's souls, and also---the sheer joy of all the amazing possibilities of the married vocation.
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The Church and the New Media by new media wonderkid  Brandon Vogt. Do you have a blog, a twitter account, a facebook page? This book will fire you up to use it better than ever before to get our the good news of our Salavation. Do you not have a Catholic blog but are thinking of starting one?  This will get you moving on that. 
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


  1. I'm usually 4 for 5 on AWYS. I think it's because we say it the most--it will take the longest to relearn.

  2. Please, can we give a mention to Fr. Robert Barron's fantastic book and DVD series "Catholicism"? Visit for buying info. Also available on Amazon. This one is not to be missed!

  3. ha! Mine just came from Amazon yesterday and I can't wait to open it at Christmas. I'll do another batch of reviews this week, and also at Faith&Family.