Adults

To Whom Shall We Go?

Author(s): 
Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan

This is a really lovely, very accessible exposition of what St. Peter's life teaches us about how we are called to follow Christ. Written by Archbishop Timothy Dolan, the new Archbishop of New York City, the book is centered around the words that Dolan has taken on as his episcopal motto (To Whom Shall We Go?), which is from the Gospel of John 6:67-68.

In Search of Shakespeare

Author(s): 
Michael Wood

This is a fascinating documentary, but not suitable for children. Although it leans secular to a certain extent, it provides a very helpful (and detailed) background of the nature of the political and religious conflicts going on in Shakespeare’s world. It also makes a pretty strong case that Shakespeare grew up in a Catholic household and had some Catholic sympathies throughout his life, that at least seem to reflect the basic morals found in his plays. There is plenty of ugliness too, but I think it’s worth sorting through the muck to get a better understanding of the Bard.

Much Ado About Nothing

Author(s): 
William Shakespeare

Much Ado About Nothing is an uproarious comedy (with plenty of dramatic elements) about love and hate. While awaiting the marriage of Hero and Claudio, several plots unfold. One is an incredibly funny conspiracy to set up Beatrice and Benedick, two swift-tongued sworn enemies, to fall in love with each other. The other is nefarious, a plan to ruin Hero by convincing Claudio and company that she has been unfaithful.

King Lear

Author(s): 
William Shakespeare

King Lear is the heart-wrenching tragedy of a king with three daughters who decides to test their love for him as a condition for inheriting a part of his kingdom. Naturally the two who are most interested in the prize are the most willing to tell him what he wants to hear. The youngest, Cordelia, in her honesty and simplicity, refuses to flatter him and is disinherited. Over time, Lear realizes his mistake, as his two other daughters are only “nice” when they have something to gain from it.

Othello

cover from first quarto, c 1619
Author(s): 
William Shakespeare

Othello, which we studied in tenth grade, is a dark play, a tragedy brought about by Othello's surrender to Iago's campaign of deceit.

The Bard of Avon

Author(s): 
Diane Stanley

Diane Stanley's picture book biographies are wonderful! I can think of a number of titles I have seen so often on homeschool families' shelves: Joan of Ark, Michelangelo, Peter the Great, Saladin, Charles Dickens, and more! She has a very unique and captivating way to write--and illustrate--these great historical figures' biographies! These are longer picture books with a pretty good amount of text on each page.

Foyle's War

This is a war series, set in England during WWII. The series centers around an aging detective, with a dry English wit, and an unassuming manner. Each episode (there are five sets in the Foyle’s War series and each set has four episodes in it) involves a murder mystery.

There is an assortment of likable characters that appear throughout the series.

Some of the British dialect is at times difficult to decipher. The movies would also have appeal for history students.

Preparing your Child for Baptism

Author(s): 
Janet Schaeffler, OP

A concise, brief synopsis to aid parents regarding the Baptism of their children. The rite and symbols of this Sacrament are explained, and there is a page on the seven sacraments. In addition, there are scripture readings, prayers and some questions parents may have about he rite of Baptism as well as on Christian living. An interesting page offers "Suggestions of 8 ways to fulfill our Baptismal promises for year to come": I liked some of these, including the suggestion of celebrating baptismal anniversaries and talking to your children about their godparents.

Preparing your Child for Confirmation

Author(s): 
Janet Schaeffler, OP

This is a concise guide for parents of young people who are preparing to be confirmed. Questions and answers about confirmation names, sponsors and service projects are brought up, along with suggestions for family discussion and scripture readings.

The seven gifts as well as the twelve Fruits of the Holy Spirit are highlighted with explanatory notes for the youth.

Meat & Potatoes Catholicism

Author(s): 
Rev. Joseph F. Classen

Are you malnourished? Many Catholics feel that they don’t know the faith, they are spiritually malnourished. To satisfy your hunger for the faith, Fr. Classen wants to feed you the fundamentals of your faith in Meat & Potatoes Catholicism.

Determined to write a book that makes sense to those who sit in the pews, Fr. Classen has set out to educate you in the essentials of the faith. As he says, “We need to nourish ourselves and feed voraciously on the basic fundamentals of our Catholic faith and redefine the way we live our lives.”

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