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Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Top Ten Fiction and Non-Fiction Books Second Quarter 2020

Top Ten Fiction and Non-Fiction Books Second Quarter 2020

This quarter I have read 85 books, which was one more than Q4 2019. I was down about 10% over the previous quarter. There were many excellent reads. I am a little behind my book a day pace that I have maintained for the better part of the last 3 years. But life happens. And reading and reviewing is my hobby. Of the 86 books read this quarter 61 got 5/5 stars of those 10 of those have been read before leaving 51 books to pick from for the 10 Ten lists this quarter. And 20 of those were fiction and 31 non-fiction.

Here is my top ten fiction and non-fiction books of the second quarter of 2020.

Top Ten Non-Fiction Books:
1. Bible
2. Immortal Combat: Confronting the Heart of Darkness - Fr. Dwight Longenecker
3. Books by Saint John Henry Newman
4. Impossible Marriages Redeemed - Leila Miller -  They Didn't End the Story in the Middle
5. CTS Concise Histories - The Catholic Truth Society
6. Our Lady of Silence - Fr Emiliano Antenucci - CTS Devotions
7. Our Lady, Untier of Knots: Story of a Marian Devotion -  Miguel Cuartero Samperi
8. Novena to the Holy Spirit - Philip G. Bochanski
9. CTS Biographies - The Catholic Truth Society
10. Miraculous! Catholic Mysteries for Kids - Kathryn Swegart - Catholic Stories for Kids Book 2

Bonus:
Novena to the Blessed Virgin Mary - Walter Macken
Meeting Christ in the Eucharist - Stephen Wang - CTS Living the Sacraments
History of the Mass Explained - Charles Wentworth Dilke - CTS Explanations

The Beautiful Story of Mary - Maite Roche

Top Ten Fiction Books:
1. Dex Hollister Series -  Karina Fabian
2. Unsparked Series - Corinna Turner
3. Dragon Assassin 8 Burning Empire - Arthur Slade
4. Fire Starters - Theresa Linden - West Brothers Book 6
5. Infinite Space, Infinite God II - Karina Lumbert Fabian and Robert Fabian Editors 
6. The Losers Club - Andrew Clements
7. A Boy Called Bat Series - Elana K. Arnold and Charles Santoso 
8. Breastplate of Righteousness - Theresa Linden - Armour of God Book 2
9. Sisters of the Last Straw - Karen Kelly Boyce and Sue Anderson Gioulis 
10. Shadow Stalker - T.M. Gaouette

Bonus:
Death Panels - Michelle Buckman
Abby in Oz - Sarah Mlynowski - Whatever After Special Edition 2

My reading has been consistent at about a book a day over the last few years, but this quarter was only about three quarters of a book a day. There were many great reads this quarter, some new books just out in print, and some older that have been around for a while. I encourage you to check a few of them out, and let me know what you think after you have read them.

Note: I do not include books that have been read in previous years and were reread this year in my top ten lists, they are sometimes in the bonus section. But if you want more options check out my favorite books year by year list


Relates Posts: 
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2010
Top 10 Reading Goals for 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2010

Top 10 Fiction Books 4th Quarter 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2010 - Recap

Top 10 Fiction Books 2010
Top 10 Picture Books of 2010
Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of 2010

Top 10 Graphic Novels for 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2011
 

Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals for 2011 Update
 
Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2011 
Top Ten Fictions Books 4th Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals 2011 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2012

Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books  4th Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2013
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2013

Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2013
Top 10 Books Second Half 2013
Top Ten Fiction Books 2013
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2013 
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2014
Top Ten Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2015
Top Ten Fiction Books 2015
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2015
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2016
Top Ten Non- Fiction Books 2016
Top Ten Fiction Books 2016
Top Ten Catholic Books
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2017
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2017
Top Ten Fiction Books 2017
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2018
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2018
Top Ten Fiction Books 2018
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2019
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2019
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2019
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2019
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2019
Top Ten Fiction Books 2019
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2020
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2020
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2020
... 

All Top Ten Lists on Book Reviews and More

Statistics Books Read By Year:

181 - 2020 January-June
392 - 2019
359 - 2018
380 - 2017 
272 - 2016 
177 - 2015 
130 - 2014 
88 -  2013
176 - 2012 
163 - 2011
302 - 2010
142 - 2009
98 - 2008
83 - 2007
191 - 2006
151 - 2005
60 - 2004
52 - 2003
97 - 2002
50 - 2001
41 - 2000
71 - 1999
73 - 1998
131 - 1997
101 - 1996



Monday, 29 June 2020

Novena to the Holy Spirit - Philip G. Bochanski CO - CTS Devotions

Novena to the Holy Spirit
CTS Devotions
Philip G. Bochanski CO
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 
9781860823817
eISBN 9781784694463
ASIN B073H2KH5F
CTS Booklet D678


This past lent I used several different versions of Stations of the Cross and Way of the Cross. Including a few from The Catholic Truth Society. I enjoyed them so much I decided to continue with Road to Pentecost Prayer Guide for Eastertide by Kristina Cooper. While reading that one I picked up and worked through this novena book. Over the last few years, I have read over 150 volumes from the CTS. I have read books from many series. And many authors. This was the second book I have read by Father Philip G. Bochanski CO. The print edition is our of print but the eBook is wonderful to have for the season of Easter. The book was originally published in 2006 and the eBook released in 2017. 

The description of this volume is:

“After Jesus's ascension into heaven, his apostles remained nine days in Jerusalem, praying for the coming of the Holy Spirit. This has inspired the Christian novena or nine days of fervent prayer, to prepare for major feasts or for special intentions. With St Philip Neri as our guide, we follow nine days of prayer, each linked to a fruit of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. With down-to-earth reflections from St Philip and Cardinal Newman included, this ebook can be used at any time throughout the year.”

The sections in the volume are:

Praying to the Holy Spirit
The Fruits of the Holy Spirit
The Novena to the Holy Spirit
The Vessel of the Holy Spirit
Heart of Fire
Day One - Love
Day Two - Joy
Day Three - Peace
Day Four - Patience
Day Five - Kindness
Day Six - Goodness
Day Seven - Faithfulness
Day Eight - Gentleness
Day Nine - Self-Control
Hymns
Litanies

As can be see by the chapter titles the first three sections of this volume before the Novena begins is about the Holy Spirit. A chapter on the Fruit, one on the novena and one on being a vessel of the Holy Spirit. We are told in the first of those sections that:

“Although we have all heard of the Holy Spirit, he can sometimes be the most difficult of the three Persons of the Trinity to understand. Jesus himself compares the Holy Spirit to the wind: we cannot see the wind, which is invisible, but we recognise it because we can feel it blowing on our skin, and we can see its effects on the objects around us. In the same way, although the Spirit himself is invisible, and often works in hidden ways, we can recognise his presence in the works that he accomplishes in those who believe. St Paul calls these works - “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” - the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).”

The beginning of the next section states:

“Before he ascended into heaven, Jesus instructed the apostles to remain in Jerusalem and to pray for the coming of the Holy Spirit. If we wish to receive the power of the Holy Spirit that will help us to bear his fruits, we too must follow this command and example of fervent prayer.”

And the book concludes with three hymns and 2 litanies to the Holy Spirit. Each of the days of the Novena follow the same formula:

Hymn (chosen from the back of the book)
Antiphon
Prayer
Reading
Responsory
Meditation
Litany (chosen from the back of the book)
Our father, Hail Mary, Glory Be
Concluding Prayer

This is a wonderful Novena, it can be used for personal devotion or done in a group corporately. It is easy to work through. And will be beneficial no matter what time of the year you work through it.

Another excellent book from the Catholic Truth Society. A great part of the CTS Devotions Series.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.


For other books in the CTS Devotions Series click here.

Books by Philip G. Bochanski:
A Blessed Lent
Novena to the Holy Spirit












Friday, 26 June 2020

The Beautiful Story of Mary - Maite Roche - CTS Children's Books

The Beautiful Story of Mary
Maïte Roche (Author and Illustrator)
Helena Scott (Translator)
CTS Children’s Books
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781860827624
CTS Booklet CH37



Over the last few years I have read and reviewed over 150 books from the Catholic Truth Society. But only a few of them have been from the CTS Children’s Books line, but after reading this one with my youngest two that is going to change. This was an amazing little read. My youngest has read it to me twice now, and the second time she read it to her older brother as well. She loves the book and has been carrying it around the house with her. I think she has read it 4 or 5 times already.

The description of this volume is:

“Maïte Roche brings to life Mary, the mother of Our Lord, from her childhood, through the Annunciation, her marriage to St Joseph, the Nativity, Jesus’ childhood and his ministry, to her suffering at the foot of the cross, and her joy in the Resurrection and at Pentecost. A delightful gift for any child.”

This is the first volume we have read written and illustrated by Maïte Roche, but it will not be the last. Many of her books appear to have been written in French and then translated into English. The back of this volume states it is good to read to children aged 4 and up, and that children 7 and up should be able to read it independently. The back of the book states:

“The life of the Virgin Mary beautifully retold for children by Maïte Roche, using all her talent and experience. An ideal book to help children get to know the Mother of God.”

This story was translated by Helena Scott. The CTS edition was released in 2011 and the original French was published in 2010. And it is a wonderful volume. Our whole family has loved it.

The book follows Mary from her childhood through to Pentecost. The illustrations are beautiful. And my children recognized that much of the text is taken from the bible. Every two page spread tells of an event in the life of Mary. The colors are bright and vibrant. And the style engaging. It is a book easy to read again and again. And while examining the artwork to pick out new things or details.

A fantastic book for young people in your life. Well enough done that as a parent you will be able to read it again and again and not grow tired of it. An excellent book, and one that has spurred us on in tracking down more books from the Catholic Truth Society that are for children.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Books by Maite Roche:
A Pop-Up Advent Calendar with Booklet
Baptism Day
Christmas Coloring Book
Christmas!
First Prayers for Little Children
Hail Mary
Jesus in the Manger
My First Bedtime Prayers
My First Pictures of Easter
My First Pictures of Jesus
My First Pictures of Mary
My First Prayers for Christmas
My First Prayers for the Whole Year
My First Prayers with Mary
My Little Family Prayer Book
My Little Missal
My Picture Book Of The Catholic Faith
Our Father
The Beautiful Story of Jesus
The Beautiful Story of Mary
The Beautiful Story of the Bible
The Bible for Little Children
The Bible for Little Ones
The Christmas Shepherds
The Christmas Star
The Gospel for Little Ones
The Most Beautiful Christmas Story


Note many are available and appear to originally have been in French.


  



 

Thursday, 25 June 2020

Road to Pentecost Prayer Guide for Eastertide - Kristina Cooper - CTS Devotions

Road to Pentecost: 
Prayer Guide for Eastertide
CTS Devotions
Kristina Cooper
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 
9781860826450
eISBN 9781784692162
ASIN B07FDH1VBH
CTS Booklet D724


This past lent I used several different versions of Stations of the Cross and Way of the Cross. Including a few from The Catholic Truth Society. I enjoyed them so much I decided to continue with this volume. Over the last few years I have read over 150 volumes from the CTS. I have read books from many series. And many authors. This was the first book I have read by Kristina Cooper. The print edition is our of print but the eBook is wonderful to have for the season of Easter. The book was originally published in 2010 and the eBook released in 2018. But the book was originally published a year earlier for the National Service Committee for Catholic Charismatic Renewal in England.

The description of this volume is:

“Beginning on Easter Sunday and ending on the Vigil of Pentecost this prayer guide will lead you through a journey of 50 days of prayer and reflection, in preparation for the great feast of Pentecost - often an unappreciated feast. The first forty days reflect on scripture and the Catechism, drawing our lives into the history of salvation. The final nine-day Novena of prayer, from Ascension to Pentecost, is dedicated to helping Christians to be open to a personal Pentecost in their own lives.

The sections in the volume are:

Be Open to Pentecost
Forty Day Journey with Jesus
     Week 1 The Creation and Fall
     Week 2 God Calla A People To Be His Own
     Week 3 God Rescues His People and Gives Them The Law
     Week 4 Predictions of the Messiah
     Week 5 A New Covenant
     Week 6 The Kingdom of God is for All People
Novena to Pentecost
Novena Prayers to the Holy Spirit
Daily Prayers to the Holy Spirit

The first part of this book begins with:

“As Christians, we celebrate Christmas and Easter, but Pentecost – the third element of the Good News of Salvation – seems to be rather neglected. This prayer guide is to help Christians to be open to a personal Pentecost in their own lives, and to pray for a new Pentecost on the earth, so that the life changing power of the Gospel can be proclaimed and experienced.”

And the volume aims to help us do just that. In that same introduction we are told to have a time and a place:

“Often we don’t have time to get away so this prayer guide is to help you have a retreat at home and to prepare for Pentecost. A retreat is a time you set aside for God so that he can speak to you. Choose a specific place and time for prayer (it need only be ten minutes) and keep to that time every day if possible.”

I choose early mornings, after I said some of my daily prayers. And had started my coffee, I used the daily reflections to start my day. Each of the days offers a biblical verse, a short meditation, an explanation drawn from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and concludes with a prayer. When you get to the Novena the format changes. Each day of the Novena has a special intention for intercession, a scriptural passage, a reflection and a prayer. It also has option prayers we can choose from that are found at the end of the book. A sample on one of the 40 days is:

Week 6 Day 2

Power and help from heaven You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere - in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (Ac 1:8) 

1 Corinthians 12 describes gifts that the Holy Spirit gives to members of the Church for the building up of the body of Christ. Words of wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophesy, discernment, tongues, and interpretation of tongues. It was these very gifts that the disciples received at Pentecost. They were told to wait in the city until they were clothed with power from on high. It is a renewal of this power that we need in our Church again. 

PRAYER: Lord, as the Church approaches Pentecost, help us to be open vessels to your Spirit. Fill us anew with your gifts so that we can become a channel to others. 

CATECHISM: [Grace] includes the gifts that the Spirit grants us to associate us with his work…There are furthermore special graces, also called charisms… Whatever their character – sometimes it is extraordinary, such as the gift of miracles or of tongues – charisms are oriented toward sanctifying grace, and are intended for the common good of the Church. (CCC, 2003) 

SCRIPTURE: Is 61:1”

Before the novena is a short teaching drawing from Pope Leo XII, Vatican Council II, Saint John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI. And at the end of the volume is reference to the Novena To the Holy Spirit by Philip G. Bochanski from CTS as well. Which I finished right before starting the novena in this volume. 

It was a real blessing to have read this book over Eastertide and I will likely return to it again next year. I highly recommend this little devotional. Another excellent read from the Catholic Truth Society.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.


For other books in the CTS Devotions Series click here.












Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Once Upon a Frog - Sarah Mlynowski - Whatever After Book 8

Once Upon a Frog
Whatever After Book 8
Sarah Mlynowski
Scholastic
ISBN 
9780545746632
eISBN 9780545746618
ASIN B00YD46BS4


This is the fifth book in this series that I have read with my oldest daughter. A few years ago when she was a reluctant reader. Back then when we read, I would read two pages for every page she read to me. But she has just read this book to me and read the whole thing in four sittings. She also read a few books in the series to her aunt and gram on a road trip last year. The whole family loves these stories from 8-year old’s to 79 year old’s. It is a wonderful series, and currently it is my oldest daughters favorite in the series. 

Both my daughter and I give this story a solid 5/5 stars. We loved the twists on the old tale. We appreciated that Abby learned a lesson about judging people and applied it once out of the fairy tale and back at school. There are a few more twists in this story that in the other volumes we have read together. 

My daughters thought: the plot twist when the prince turned back blew my mind. Realizing that things are not as they appear. And we need to figure out why people are doing what they are doing. Especially if it seems weird, rude or strange. And to make sure that our own reactions are not worse than what is being done to us. 

The story is an excellent take on a familiar tale. And the fact that Jonah is infused with Maryrose’s memories. And that those memories help them to figure out why they went through the mirror this time. And to determine who the villain really is. Every time we read an adventure of Abby and Sarah we learn something.  

The writings in these stories is excellent. My daughter and I love reading them together. And the retelling of the story of the Frog Prince was full of surprise. It really is one of the best in the series that we have read so far. It is an excellent book in a great series.






Books by Sarah Mlynowski:
Magic in Manhattan Series:

Bras & Broomsticks
Frogs & French Kisses
Spells & Sleeping Bags
Parties & Potions

Whatever After Series:

Fairest of All
If the Shoe Fits
Sink or Swim
Dream On
Bad Hair Day
Cold As Ice
Beauty Queen
Once Upon a Frog
Genie in a Bottle

Sugar and Spice
Two Peas in a Pod
Seeing Red
Spill the Beans


Whatever After Special Editions:
Abby in Wonderland
Abby in Oz



Upside-Down Magic Series:
Upside-Down Magic #1
Sticks and Stones #2
Showing Off #3

Other Books by Sarah:
Milkrun
Fishbowl
Monkey Business
As Seen on TV
Me Vs. Me
Gimme a Call
Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have)
Don't Even Think About It
Think Twice
Know It All
A Nice Fling is Hard to Find
A Little Bit Broken
Cruisin'
Party Girls
The Two-Month Itch

Books Coauthored:
See Jane Write (with Farrin Jacobs)
How to Be Bad (with E. Lockhart and Lauren Myracle)

Books Contributed To:
Girls' Night In
Girls Night Out
American Girls About Town
Fireworks
Vacations from Hell


Tuesday, 23 June 2020

A New Companion to Lent - The Catholic Truth Society - CTS Companions Series

New Companion to Lent
CTS Companions
Fr Jerome Bertram
Fr Tim Finigan
Amette Ley
Fr Richard Ruff
Fr Richard Whinder
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781860823619 
CTS Booklet Do740


Over the last few years I have read over 150 volumes from the CTS. And currently have over 150 in my to be read pile or on my Wishlist. I have read several of the books in the original CTS Companions series, and this is the first of the New Companions I have read. And to be honest this was the first book from the CTS that I was not impressed with. While reading it I oscillated between men, being underwhelmed, and actual disappointment. I have read many great books from the Catholic Truth Society, but this is not one. There where a few times while reading this volume I almost put it down and put it in my ‘did not finish pile’. The description on the back of the volume is:

“Taking ‘personal and heartfelt conversion’ as its central theme, this booklet unfolds the Lenten practices of prayer, fasting and almsgiving, particularly as part of preparing for Easter. Full of spiritual insight culled from centuries of Christian experience, and astutely balanced with practical advice for people of today, this companion also offers advice on making a retreat, a good confession, and understanding some of the key themes of the scriptures and liturgy during Lent and Holy Week.

Contributors: Fr Jerome Betram, Fr Tim Finigan; Amette Ley, Fr Richard Rutt, and Fr Richard Whinder.”

The chapters in the volume are:

Conversion
Fasting
Almsgiving
Prayer
How to make a good retreat
Making a Good Confession
The Sunday Gospels During Lent
Holy Week – Liturgy and Word
Steps to Daily Prayer in Lent
Understanding the Stations of the Cross

None of the chapters are attributed. There is no way to know which of the contributors wrote what. Most of the contributors have written other books, for the Catholic Truth Society. 

The book started off well:

“Conversion is never a once and for all experience: conversion is something fresh every morning, renewed every evening. Our whole Christian life is a process of turning towards God, meeting Him as He comes towards us. No day should pass without refreshing our desire to break with sin, to break away from the values of this world, and to unite ourselves ever more closely to God.”

But there were a number of things I read in this book that I just shook my head about. For example, cutting down on gambling, or playing the lottery as a Lenten fast.

“Some will find it best to cut down on gambling, refraining from playing the lottery during the weeks of Lent, or betting only on horses with Catholic owners…”

And though written tongue in cheek I found this ridiculous:

“If we begin by trying to think charitable thoughts about Osama bin Laden or Robert Mugabe, we can work up gradually to charity towards the mother-in-law.”

There was some good in the book, but not enough that I would recommend it. CTS has many other great Lenten resources. I really struggled with rating it, I settles on 3 but would really give it 2.5 stars if possible. But it will not stop me from trying other books in the New Companions series.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Link to other Lent Resources.

Other books in the CTS Companions Series:

Companion to St. Joseph – J.B. Midgley
Companion to the Feasts of Mary – J.B. Midgley
Companion to Saint Peter – J.B. Midgley
Companion to Saint Paul – J.B. Midgley
Companion to the Angels – J.B. Midgley
Companion to the Feasts of Our Lord
Companion to the Passion of Our Lord – J.B. Midgley
Companion to the Order of the Mass - Mgr Bruce Harbert
Companion to Reading the Old Testament – Adrian Graffy
Companion to Reading the New Testament – Adrian Graffy
Companion to Praying with the Bible – Z. Mattam
New Companion to Advent & Christmastide - CTS
New Companion to Prayer - Celia Wolf-Devine
New Companion to Lent - CTS
...










Monday, 22 June 2020

The Mind of Cardinal Newman From His Own Writings - edited by Father Charles Stephen Dessain

The Mind of Cardinal Newman: From His Own Writings
Charles Stephen Dessain (Editor)

John Henry Newman
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 
9781860823527
eISBN 9781784694425
ASIN B073H2JCVP
CTS Booklet 



Over the last few years, I have read many books from the Catholic Truth Society. This is one of a few either by or about Saint John Henry Cardinal Newman that I have read from the CTS. With his canonization in 2019 there has been a resurgence of interest in the man and his works. There are new editions of older books, and new works being published frequently. This volume was originally published in the early 1970’s. It was revised in 1994, and the eBook was released in 2017. Many of the CTS books by and about Newman are back in print in new editions. But this one is currently only available as an electronically.

The description of the book is:

“John Henry Newman's writings are one of the greatest treasures of the Church in Britain, and deserve to be better known. These short passages from Cardinal Newman's writings are organized under twenty themes, and give a short introduction to the Christian message, as expressed by one of the Church's greatest minds. In his inimitable style he explains the Gospel and shows its relevance for today. In our world in which the truth is becoming ever more obscured, Newman's call for a clearer teaching and an informed laity is as relevant today as ever.”

The chapters in the book are:

Preface
Preface to the Second Edition
1. The Experience of Conscience
2. Conscience Leads to God
3. We are Made for a God Who Loves Us
4. Our Need of Clearer Teaching
5. The Way to Faith
6. The Purpose of Creeds and Dogmas
7. The Church Protects the Revealed Message
8. The Church, Visible and Invisible
9. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, One God
10. Our Lord and Saviour
11. The Gift of the Spirit
12. The Mass and the Sacraments
13. The Reality of sin
14. Detachment, Surrender and Joy
15. The Prayer of Christians
16. Purity and Influence
17. The Blessed Virgin Mary
18. Life in the World and Love for Others
19. The Two Cities
20. The Last Things

We are told in the introduction that:

“Father Stephen Dessain died unexpectedly on 31 May 1976. His death was a sad loss to students of Newman. Father Stephen was lavish in the amount of time he gave to assisting scholars with their books and theses. Newman scholars the world over also stand indebted to him for his editing of the Letters and Diaries of John Henry Newman. Twenty-one volumes covering the whole of the Catholic period of Newman’s life saw the light of day under his editorship.”

And concludes with:

“It is hoped that this little volume of Newman extracts selected by Fr Dessain will continue to help to guide men and women in the English-speaking world to a surer hold on their Faith - and be a Kindly Light in the encircling gloom.”

We are informed that all but one of the extracts in this volume come from the uniform edition of Newman’s works. The excepts are drawn from 24 different works. And most of the chapters contain excerpts from multiple sources. Some sample extracts are:

“To understand that we have souls, is to feel our separation from things visible, our independence of them, our distinct existence in ourselves, our individuality ... at first this outward world prevails. We look off from self to the things around us, and forget ourselves in them, Such is our state - a depending for support on the reeds which are no stay, and overlooking our real strength - at the time when God begins his process of reclaiming us to a true view of our place in his great system of providence ... and we begin, by degrees, to perceive that there are but two beings in the whole universe, our own soul, and the God who made it.
Ultimate realities. P.S. I. 19-20”

“ (In) the Catholic Church ... I recognized at once a reality which was quite a new thing with me. Then I was sensible that I was not making for myself a Church by an effort of thought; I needed not to make an act of faith in her; I had not painfully to force myself into a position, but my mind fell back upon itself in relaxation and in peace, and I gazed at her almost passively as a great objective fact. I looked at her; at her rites, her ceremonial, and her precepts; and I said, ‘This is a religion’.
Cardinal Newman’s reaction on becoming a Catholic. Apo. 339-40”

“It is a great action, the greatest action that can be on earth. It is, not the invocation merely, but, if I dare use the word, the evocation of the Eternal. He becomes present on the altar in flesh and blood, before whom angels bow and devils tremble.
In the Mass we offer the victim of Calvary, now glorified. L.G. 328”

I hope those few examples pulled from the many I highlighted while reading the book will whet your appetite for this wonderful little volume. If you pick this up I am sure it will be of benefit to your spiritual life. 

Another great volume in the canon of Newman works. And another excellent resource from the Catholic Truth Society.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.


Reviews of other books by John Henry Newman:
Stations of the Cross

Meditations on Mary, Our Mother 
Prayers Before The Eucharist
...

CTS books about Newman:
John Henry Newman: Lead Kindly Light -Dr. Raymond Edwards
Newman His Life and Legacy – Fr. Ian Ker
John Henry Newman Apostle to the Doubtful - Meriol Trevor and Leonie Caldecott
Newman Prayer Book - The Birmingham Oratory (ed)
The Mind of Cardinal Newman: From His Own Writings - Charles Stephen Dessain

Daily Christian Living with John Henry Newman

CTS Books by John Henry Newman:
Meditations on Stations of the Cross
Christ upon the Waters - CTS Onefifties Book 3


Reviews of other books about Newman:
Take Five: Meditations with John Henry Newman -  Mike Aquilina and Juan Velez