Note: This list is incomplete. I wrote it in one sitting. I’ll add to it as more ideas come to me.
RULE OF BENEDICT, DELATTE: The best theological commentary on the rule, it is also full of practical advice.
RB1980: The most accurate, most popular edition of The Rule, the hard-bound edition comes wit h tons of useful commentary.
LISTEN MY SON, DWIGHT LONGENECKER: A gentle guide to family life based on the Rule.
FINDING SANCTUARY, CHRSTOPHER JAMISON: A practical introduction to Benedictine living.
MY PEACE, DAWN EDEN: In my opinion, the most eloquent Catholic devotional writer alive. No joke.
HAVING A MARY HEART IN A MARTHA WORLD, JOANNA WEAVER: A guide to biblically-based contemplative prayer amidst the pressures of a frantically busy
Note: Read these books before you give them to your kids. Most of them are theologically or ethically problematic. I recommend them because I believe they are great artworks with something valuable to contribute. Besides that, if I refused to read every book that disagreed with Catholic teaching, I’d have to ignore William Blake, John Milton, John Donne…to say nothing of Homer, Virgil, and even Dante. In a few words, I’ll try to say why I think they made this eclectic, but (slowly) growing list.
THE ILIAD, THE ODYSSEY: Everything good in Western poetry and literature starts here.
PARADISE LOST: Possibly the most beautiful prose in English literature (second to Shakespeare)
INFERNO, PURGATORIO, PARADISO: Don’t neglect the second abd third parts. Most folks stop with hell, but people who know better say the best is yet to come.
THE GLORY OF THE LORD, by Hans Urs Von Balthasar. Here’s a quote: “Only the West received the grace of birth under the sign of a perfect cosmos, in which religion and art are one.”
THE GOLDEN COMPASS – Based on Homer, William Blake, and John Milton, it’s a fantasy that is solidly prt of our Western literary tradition. In spite of his best efforts, Mr. Pullman ultimatle reinforces Catholic theology.
THE GOLUM AND THE DJINNI: A rich interweaving of Jewish and Islamic mythology, Wecker imports two legends into !9th century New York!
THE BARTIMAEUS TRILOGY: Based on Jewish mystical traditions surrounding the power of names.
What I'm currently reading...
The Sayings of the Desert Fathers, Benedicta Ward
Sunday Will Never Be the Same, Dawn Eden
Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
The Exorcist, Peter Blatty
Son of the Morning Star: Custer and The Little Bighorn, Evan S. Connell
Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtrey
I, Claudius, Robert Graves
Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
The Road, Cormac McCarthy
Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austin
In Cold Blood, Truman Capote
World War Z, Max Brooks
Surface Tension, Mike Mullin
Rabbit, Run, John Updike*
Blood Maridian, Cormac McCarthy*
Hell's Angel's, Hunter S. Thompson*
*read with caution...