By Jean Lupinacci

I am a voracious reader and have been since first grade. I keep track of the books I read on Goodreads and proudly report that I read fifty-six books in 2021! One of my fondest childhood memories is spending summer days lost in a book. Books can be a fantastic way to grow in your spiritual life. Or you may want to read for fun but want ideas of wholesome books with Christian themes. I have put together a list of a few of my favorite books.

For Fun and Light Reading

The Inspector Gamache series by Louise Penny! Louise is a Catholic author from Canada, and her series highlights the adventures of Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. The inspector is a gentle soul who solves murder mysteries with grace and goodness in the quaint fictitious town of Three Pines in the Canadian province of Quebec. You do not have to read these books sequentially; my favorite is How the Light Gets In.

The Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear! There are sixteen books in this series. It is about a female private detective in London after WW II. Maisie is a good listener and a kind and cultivated detective. She tries to go beyond solving the mystery to leave all involved in peace. No violence or darkness is involved in the books, but the focus is on finding solutions and mending. I recommend you start with the first book Maisie Dobbs.

Spiritual Reading

The Way of a Pilgrim by Anonymous, edited by Faith Annette Sand and translated by R. M. French. I read the kindle version of this small yet powerful book. It takes place in 19th century Russia and is the true story of a wandering religious pilgrim. We do not know the pilgrim’s identity – his manuscript came into the hands of a monk who made copies and published it in 1884. The pilgrim in the story decides to follow the words from St. Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 “pray without ceasing.” He starts by reciting the Jesus Prayer “Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me” three thousand times a day and builds up week by week until he is saying it constantly as a breath prayer. 

The Story of a Soul: the autobiography of St. Therese de Lisieux is also available on Kindle. This book is another short, yet powerful real-life story as told by the saint herself and describes her “Little Way,” her simple path to holiness. 

Family Reading

Saints Around the Word by Meg Hunter-Kilmer. The author wrote each of the one hundred saint stories with children in mind. She also writes about Saints from every continent and those with disabilities and unique problems or challenges that children can relate to. 

Please feel free to stop by the Faith Formation Office to share a cup of coffee and discuss books! Here’s to the lazy, crazy days of summer!