Must-Have Literary Companions for 2013

man-reading-in-library-w350x232Who needs another resolution to add to the already-growing list of goals for next year?

I’ve got one for you… read more!

It’s an easy and fun one—at least, for some, compared to grueling exercise routines and the usual dieting that kicks off January 1.

I’ve compiled a list of some of my recommended literary companions for 2013. As an avid reader, it is a daunting task to limit this list to a reasonable length, so keep in mind that I chose just a few of the many fantastic options for you to add to your reading list this coming year.

For Daily Devotion

A Year with the Bible by Patrick Madrid

I couldn’t have been more excited to see my hubby’s brightened eyes when he unwrapped this book for Christmas. As a couple, we’re huge fans of Patrick Madrid. (My husband even cited how honored he was to flaunt a mustache this past November since his Catholic apologist hero, Patrick Madrid, makes it look so cool). In addition to the book’s beautiful binding and gold-trimmed pages, it makes a fantastic daily devotional for anybody who wants to spend the next year uncovering the riches of Scripture, accompanied by thoughtful and brief meditations that will linger in your heart and mind each day.

For Spiritual Growth

Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis

If you have already read this masterpiece, read it again this year. I don’t think it is possible to read this book too many times. The classic offers beautiful meditations on the spiritual life, and, if you’re like me, you will find that so many of these pages speak directly and powerfully—almost eerily so—to struggles you are dealing with in your life right now. Oh how many single sentences in this book have given me pause to drastically alter my attitude and the way I live and pray this past year…Praise God.

For the Year of Faith

Catholic Christianity by Peter Kreeft

The subtitle for the book says it all: A Complete Catechism of Catholic Beliefs based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church. If you aren’t reading the text of the Catechism during the Year of Faith, you should be! And, if the thought of reading that thick book seems a little daunting, this fantastic compendium is a must-have resource. Its summary style is readable and systematic. Every Catholic should have one on his bookshelf and be reading it during the Year of Faith in 2013.

For Marriage Enrichment

The Exceptional Seven Percent: Nine Secrets to the World’s Happiest Couples by Gregory Popcak

The book’s title sold this to my husband and me during our engagement last year. We were ravenous for good reads to help launch us into a happy, holy marriage right from the start. This book is perfect for married couples at any stage of marriage. (We even gave the book as a gift to each of our parents at our rehearsal dinner!) Do something fantastic for your marriage in 2013: Read this book.

For Education and Reflection

Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives by Pope Benedict XVI

I am a big believer in reading the works of our prolific Holy Fathers. In his third and final volume of the Jesus of Nazareth series, Pope Benedict XVI focuses on Jesus’ life as a child in the Gospels. The themes of hope, longing, service, trust, and joy are palpable and powerfully insightful. It’s a perfect read for anytime of year, but if you must, you can save this one for Advent 2013, as it is most certainly a new Advent classic.

For Inspiration or Gift-Giving

Catholics Come Home: God’s Extraordinary Plan for Your Life by Tom Peterson (to be released in February)

What kind of proud daughter would I be if I didn’t shamelessly plug my father’s first book, Catholics Come Home? It has been a truly indescribable blessing to watch God’s plan unfold in my father’s life over the years. Some days it seems incomprehensible to me to think that my ordinary dad is an instrument that God is using to help invite hundreds of thousands of fallen-away Catholics (and even non-Catholics) home to our beautiful Catholic Church. In his new book, he recounts stories—crazy stories—from his own personal faith journey and offers encouragement and inspiration to those who haven’t made that important leap of faith, as well as to those who need courage to evangelize. It’s a quick, enjoyable, humble, and motivating read and would make a perfect gift for the less-than-excitedly-active Catholic in your life.

Other Great Reads for 2013

Ready, set, go! Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and pleasant reading.

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About the Author

Check out Katie Warner’s exciting book, Head and Heart: Becoming Spiritual Leaders for Your Family (Emmaus Road Publishing, August 2015).

Here’s what some other Catholic authors and leaders are saying about Head & Heart: Becoming Spiritual Leaders for Your Family, foreword by Bishop James Conley (Emmaus Road Publishing):

"Read this book now and your children will thank you later." (Steve Ray)

"Warner has drawn up a map we can read and follow, so that we all arrive at the goal [heaven], together with our families." (Dr. Scott Hahn)

"Head & Heart will help you take small steps toward building a vibrant Catholic identity in your home." (Dr. Edward Sri)

Katie Warner

Katie Warner is a Catholic wife, stay-at-home mother, speaker, writer, and evangelist who is passionate about taking small steps toward a more meaningful and spiritual life, and helping others do the same.

Katie writes and speaks about a variety of spiritual and practical topics, and has presented in venues like the National Catholic Bible Conference and numerous Legatus chapters, the Eucharistic Congress of Atlanta, EWTN radio, and on EWTN television. She is also a presenter for the Symbolon RCIA and Opening the Word programs produced by the Augustine Institute. Katie is one of the original contributing writers for The Integrated Catholic Life and a correspondent for the National Catholic Register.

Katie works very part-time (usually during toddler naps and late at night) as the Manager of Communication and Evangelization for Catholics Come Home, a national Catholic evangelism apostolate working to invite fallen-away Catholics and non-Catholics home to the Catholic Church. She holds a graduate degree in Catholic Theology, specializing in Evangelization and Catechesis, from the Augustine Institute in Denver, Colorado. Her favorite ministry work—and day-job—is family life, and she enjoys homemaking and mothering in sunny Southern California, where she lives with her husband and son.

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