30 Good Books!

Absolutely Essential Reading

To Know Christ Jesus by Frank Sheed (Ignatius Press) $16.95

After the Gospels themselves, this is the first book to read if you want to encounter Jesus Christ as he lived and walked among us.

Theology for Beginners by Frank Sheed (Servant Books) $11.65

This is an inspiring compendium of the central doctrines of the Christian faith. Sheed makes the profound truths of theology understandable and exciting reading.

Theology and Sanity by Frank Sheed (Ignatius Press) $19.95

Sort of a sequel to Theology for Beginners, this volume shows the practical aspects of theology in the life of a Christian believer. Logic, clarity, simplicity – it’s classic Frank Sheed.


Revised Standard Version – Second Catholic Edition (Ignatius Press) $19.95

This is the only Bible translation that uses standard (non-feminist) English and is in conformity with the Church’s translation guidelines found in Liturgiam Authenticam.

Douay-Rheims Bible (Loreto Publications) $39.95

Even after all of the modern “revisions” of the bible that are now available to Catholics, the Douay-Rheims version, (the only Catholic English bible in use for almost 400 years) is the very best ever produced.

The Navarre Bible: New Testament Compact Edition (Four Courts Press) $44.95

This edition of the New Testament includes commentary drawn from Eastern and Western fathers of the Church, Vatican II, the Catechism, various spiritual authors, et al.


Catechism of the Catholic Church: Second Edition (USCCB Publishing) $19.95

The first new compendium of Catholic doctrine in more than 400 years, the second edition of the Catechism stands as “a sure norm for teaching the faith” and an “authentic reference text.”

The Catechism of the Council of Trent (Tan Books) $31.96

Ordered by the Council of Trent (1546-63) this catechism has lost none of its authority, and is often clearer than the new catechism in its exposition of doctrine. Read both together!

Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma by Ludwig Ott (Tan Books) $27.50

This one-volume encyclopedia tells exactly what the Church teaches on any particular topic and gives the sources from Scripture, Councils, Popes, and the Fathers and Doctors of the Church.


Orthodoxy by G. K. Chesterton (Ignatius Press) $11.95

A delightful read! Chesterton tells, in his inimitable, soaring prose, of his earth-shaking discovery that orthodoxy is the only satisfactory answer to the perplexing riddle of the universe.

Fundamentals of the Faith: Essays in Christian Apologetics by Peter Kreeft (Ignatius Press) $14.95

Includes a handful of rational proofs for the existence of God. Kreeft does a fine job of making these philosophical arguments easily accessible.

Catholicism and Fundamentalism: The Attack on “Romanism” by “Bible Christians” by Karl Keating (Ignatius Press) $16.95

A thorough defense of the Catholic doctrines most often attacked by Protestants. Special emphasis is given to the scriptural basis for Catholic doctrines and beliefs.

Liturgy and the Eucharist

The Reform of the Reform? A Liturgical Debate: Reform or Return by Thomas Kocik (Ignatius Press) $14.95

This book is written for anyone interested in the Church’s liturgy, and the controversies surrounding the liturgical renewal. It is a good primer for those who lack the theological and liturgical expertise to articulate their dissatisfaction with the state of the liturgy.

The Spirit of the Liturgy by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (Ignatius Press) $19.95

Pope Benedict XVI’s work will help readers to rediscover the Liturgy in all its hidden spiritual wealth and transcendent grandeur.

A Key to the Doctrine of the Eucharist by Abbot Vonier (Zaccheus Press) $12.95

Drawing on the teachings of St. Thomas, this book takes the reader step-by-step into the deepest mysteries of the Eucharist – an exhilarating journey into the heart of the Faith.


The Everlasting Man by G. K. Chesterton (Ignatius Press) $14.95

This is Chesterton’s whole view of world history as informed by the Incarnation. Here is the genius of Chesterton at its delightful best.

Triumph: The Power and the Glory of the Catholic Church by H. W. Crocker III (Three Rivers) $18.95

A brawling, colorful history full of pageantry and spirited polemic, Triumph will exhilarate, amuse, and infuriate as it extols the glories of Catholic history.

A History of Christendom (in 6 volumes) by Warren Carroll (Christendom Press) $25.00/Vol.

This series is the only comprehensive narration of Western history written from the Catholic perspective still in print. Thoroughly researched, heavily documented, entertaining narrative.


What We Can’t Not Know: A Guide by J. Budziszewski (Spence Publishing) $15.26

The author explores the lost world of common moral truths – what we all really know about right and wrong. A good introduction to Natural Law theory.

The Sources of Christian Ethics by Servais Pinckaers (Catholic University of America Press) $24.95

Pinckaers’s Thomistic view emphasizes the pursuit of happiness as the heart of the Christian moral life. This book reorients moral thinking.

Love and Responsibility by Karol Wojtyla (Ignatius Press) $16.95

Before he became Pope John Paul II, Karol Wojtyla produced a remarkably eloquent and resourceful defense of Catholic tradition in the sphere of family life and sexual morality.

St. Thomas Aquinas

St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Francis of Assisi by G. K. Chesterton (Ignatius Press) $16.95

Acclaimed as the best book ever written on Aquinas by many, this brilliant biography will completely capture the reader and leave him desirous of reading Aquinas’ own works.

Summa of the Summa: The Essential Philosophical Passages of the Summa Theologica Edited and Annotated by Peter Kreeft (Ignatius Press) $29.95

This book is the most intelligent, clear, and useful access to St. Thomas in print. Includes a useful glossary of philosophical terms and an index.

The Christian Philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas by Etienne Gilson (University of Notre Dame Press) $24.00

If you want to plunge deeper into St. Thomas’ work, Gilson presents the sweeping range and organic unity of Thomistic philosophical thought.

Spiritual and Devotional

The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis (Confraternity of the Precious Blood) $8.50

After the Bible, the Imitation is the all-time favorite book of Catholics for over 500 years. It speaks to the soul of the shortness of time, the length of eternity, and the brevity of earthly joy as compared to the eternity of happiness with God.

Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux (ICS Publications) $12.95

Here, expressed with all her spontaneity and fervor, are the great themes of this doctor of the Church’s spirituality: confidence and love, “the little way,” abandonment to God’s merciful love.

The Confessions by St. Augustine (Oxford University Press) $7.95

In this intensely personal narrative, one of the great works of Western literature, Augustine relates his struggle against lust, his renunciation of secular ambition, and the recovery of the Catholic faith aided by the prayers of his mother Monica.


Come Rack! Come Rope! by Msgr. Robert Hugh Benson (Neumann Press) $25.95

An historical novel about Catholics living under the reign of Queen Elizabeth in 17th Century England. Descriptions of profound insight into the physical and spiritual suffering of one persecuted and tortured for the faith. Read everything by Msgr. Benson.

The Lord of the Rings (in 3 volumes) by J. R. R. Tolkien (Houghton Mifflin) $12.00/Vol.

Widely regarded as the greatest work of English literature in the twentieth century, the Lord of the Rings is, to quote Tolkien himself, “a fundamentally Catholic work.”

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky (Everyman’s Library) $24.00

Dostoevsky writes with a feeling for the human condition unsurpassed in world literature.