10 books to read while socially-distancing

Wednesday 18 March 2020

Communications Office

While socially-distancing or self-isolating, there's never been a better time to catch up on reading all the books on your to-read list. We've compiled some of our favourites, taken from book reviews published in Melbourne Catholic over the last couple of years.
1. The Heart of Perfection: How the Saints Taught me to Trade my Dream of Perfect for God’s

Colleen Carrol Campbell

Colleen Carroll Campbell, an award-winning author and former presidential speechwriter shares stories of struggle and compares them with those of seven saints who were once perfectionists themselves. Throughout she shows us how to pursue a new kind of perfection: freedom in Christ.

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2. Any Ordinary Day

Leigh Sales

Any Ordinary Day explores ‘what happens after the worst day of your life’. Award-winning Australian journalist and author Leigh Sales interviews people who have faced unimaginable tragedy, like Stuart Diver and Walter Mikac—people whose lives have been changed irrevocably on what was otherwise just an ordinary day.

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3. Hatch Match & Dispatch: A Catholic Guide to Sacraments

Richard Leonard SJ

Written by best-selling author Richard Leonard SJ, this book expands on the meaning of the sacraments in everyday Catholic lives by questioning why they are so essential. He additionally explores the myriad of possibilities they offer in providing a pathway to developing our Christian lives.

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4. God through Binoculars: A Hitchhiker at a Monastery

Danushka Goska

At a very low point in her life, the author decides to ‘take her problems to God and ask for guidance’ through a week-long silent retreat at a monastery in Virginia. The experience, she finds, doesn’t exactly provide the consolations or answers she is looking for, but rather sparks a series of unexpectedly satisfying meditations on nature, love, friendship and faith.

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5. Food for the Highways and Byways: Commemorating 75 years of the Missionary Sisters of Service

Missionary Sisters of Service

Food for the Highways and Byways is a commemorative cookbook that celebrates 75 years of the Missionary Sisters of Service. It is full of recipes—35 in total for you to try at home and contains an array of photographs showcasing the sisters’ work over 75 years.

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6. God is Good for You: A Defence of Christianity in Troubled Times

Greg Sheridan

Greg Sheridan’s God is Good for You: A Defence of Christianity in Troubled Times is an intellectually engaging and emotionally moving reflection on Christian faith and its place in Western societies. In this book, Sheridan attempts to present what he regards as the best aspects of Christianity: the reasonable elements of what Christians believe, the benefits and virtues of Christian living, and Christianity’s historical contribution to Western and global culture.

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7. Forty Reasons Why I am a Catholic

Peter Kreeft

A great choice as a gift for someone who is curious about the Faith or just starting to question their atheism, Forty Reasons Why I am a Catholic provides the reader with a glimpse of universality, beauty, mystery and the adventure of Catholicism. It offers a simplified approach to communicating the value of Catholic theological nuances everyday people can not only digest but also see value for their own lives.

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8. Just whatever: How to help the spiritually indifferent find beliefs that really matter

Matt Nelson

Just whatever breaks down the blocks of religious indifference, offering readers a look into the three types of indifference we encounter with those around us, and even within ourselves to understand where they are coming from and what makes this attitude enticing. To counter these, author Matt Nelson offers a gripping vision for where authentic truth and authority have their place.

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9. Humility rules: Saint Benedict’s 12-step guide to genuine self-esteem

J Augustine Wetta OSB

The number of self-help books published each year is staggering. Humility Rules is a kind of antidote, in that it demonstrates the value in seeking the forgotten virtue of humility as a route to true fulfillment in life. Written by Benedictine monk J Augustine Wetta, Br Augustine engages with you as a reader with humour and offers opportunities to partake in tasks aimed at helping the reader implement his advice.

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10. 100 books to read before the four last things: The essential guide to Catholic spiritual classics

Marie I George

Providing fewer excuses to start our own spiritual reading program, Marie George takes the hard work out by surveying one hundred books for her readers ranging from St Augustine’s Confessions to Come be my light by St Teresa of Calcutta; to the work of authors such as St Teresa of Ávila and St John Vianney. Designed for browsing, reading or referencing,100 books will help you choose books suited to your situation and stage of spiritual development.

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