Not God's Type

Holly Ordway

This is the fascinating and very engaging story of an atheist who converted to Catholicism thanks to her affinity for literature and competitive saber sword-fighting. No really! I love the way she skillfully and accessibly takes us through the series of ideas and arguments she needed to work through in the process of conversion. I am also completely intrigued by the fact that she is a Catholic who now holds the chair of apologetics at Houston Baptist University.

An excellent and fairly quick read for high schoolers and adults that will be especially enjoyed by book-lovers.

The Core

Leigh A. Bortins

The Core is a practical guide to those who are new to the idea of classical education and are looking for an outline of what to teach in different subject areas. Leigh Bortins has written this book for all parents and teachers--those in a regular school setting as well as those who are homeschooling--but her methods would work particularly well within a home education environment. Bortins uses the ideas laid out in Dorothy Sayers’ oft quoted 1947 essay, The Lost Tools of Learning, as a guide upon which to build her lists of necessary skills for students of the trivium.

Jesus of Nazareth, Holy Week

Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI has given us a gift of a second volume illuminating the events of the life of Christ. The first volume,Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration was reviewed here. Like the first volume, it is a book written for adults, but may be appropriate for group study among teenagers, provided that expectations regarding understanding are kept reasonable.

Through the Year with Mary

Karen Edmisten

I love quote books. I’ve probably got 10 or 12 different ones on my bookshelf. They’re lovely for browsing through, “chewing” on a little something (without getting overwhelmed by the whole) and have often lead to discovering new authors and new books of interest. They can be used for tidbits of inspiration to start the school day or for memory work.

The Reed of God

Caryll Houselander

Passing along to others the concept of such an incredibly personal and delicate matter as the value of suffering can be extremely difficult. It's so easy to come across as heavy-handed, trite or condescending - and many materials do! Here is it presented a loving and very gentle way by means of Our Lady. Mary brought Christ to the world through her faith, love and humility and we are called to do the same. Here are a few quotes to give you the flavor of it:

Finding Darwin's God

Kenneth Miller

This book sat on our bookshelf for quite a while, unread. Honestly, I found the title offputting, especially given Charles Darwin's known rejection of God in his own life. Eventually, my husband read it, and encouraged me to do the same.

Nurture Shock

Po Bronson
Ashley Merryman

NurtureShock is a parenting book with a strong scientific foundation that's designed to have a big impact on breaking some of society's misguided conventions regarding parenting and education; which looks to be an exceptionally good thing. It focuses on a number of issues relating to parenting and education in which good science shows us a different view from current cultural assumptions.

Here's a small sampling from the Introduction which will give you a little sense of what the authors' intentions and attitudes are:

The Fathers of the Church, expanded edition

Mike Aquilina

This past year my Lit class in our Tutoring Center read the biography of Saint Athanasius. We were all equally amazed at the tempestuous life of the important Church father: I confess I had never read a Church Father biography until then. As the importance and relevance of reading the early Fathers became evident, I read Mike Aquilina's "The Fathers of the Church" very happily to prepare for this review.

Praying the Rosary with St. Paul

Paul Thigpen

I am happy to review this little book as the prayer of the Rosary is my constant life companion. The book consists of clever selections drawn from the biblical writings of Saint Paul, to illustrate a theme related to the fruit of each of the twenty mysteries of the Holy Rosary.

St. Paul: A Bible Study Guide for Catholics

Fr. Mitch Pacwa, SJ

Our homeschool moms' group met monthly this past year and studied this book from cover to cover. We read aloud Fr. Pacwa's text, looked up and read aloud the bible passages, and discussed the questions posed. We learned a lot about Saint Paul! We did it during the year of Saint Paul, but needless to say this book is perfect for a group at any time, as the life of the great Apostle is always relevant, and speaks to our life any time!


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