I perused the books I’ve read this year and have come up with ten that would make excellent Christmas gifts!
Six are fiction, and four are nonfiction, because fiction is my favorite (and I make no apology for that).
I noted whether a book would be best for a particular age or gender. The novels, written by Catholic authors, would appeal to most anyone – whether of strong or little faith, Catholic or otherwise. The nonfiction books would appeal most to Catholics who practice their faith, at least to some degree.
Turning In Circles by Michelle Buckman
Beautifully-written story in the style of classic Southern U.S. fiction. Michelle Buckman weaves an alluring tale of a young woman’s attempts to save her sister from self-destruction. (Teens and up.)
Fatima: The Apparition That Changed the World by Jean M. Heimann
Perfect for the centennial of the famed Marian apparitions, this beautiful book is perfect for display and easily accessible. It places the apparitions in historical and ecclesiastical context accompanied by beautiful photographs. (All ages.)
The Other Side of Freedom by Cynthia T. Toney
A suspenseful and entertaining tale set in the South in the early 20th century. A unique setting with diverse characters. (Middle grade readers, boys and girls, and teen and adult fans of historical fiction.)
St. Faustina Prayer Book for the Conversion of Sinners by Susan Tassone
A prayer companion that will re-invigorate your devotion to prayer and fasting for your loved ones, living and deceased, with simple and beautiful prayers to help adapt this devotion to your life. (For Catholics of all ages.)
The Grace Crasher by Mara Faro
A wonderfully-written, laugh-out loud funny novel with depth where it counts. A young woman fakes her faith in order to rent a room from a Christian woman. She doesn’t bargain on the woman’s attractive son, who alternately wants to date her and convert her. (Suitable for adult women of any or no faith, but Catholics and evangelical Christians will “get” this book better than others.)
Walk in Her Sandals: Experiencing Christ’s Passion through the Eyes of Women edited by Kelly M. Wahlquist
Experience Lent and the Passion of Christ like never before with this unique blend of nonfiction and fiction (by the talented Stephanie Landsem). Will draw you more intimately into the events of Holy Week. (For Catholic women, teens and up.)
Julia’s Gifts by Ellen Gable
Be entertained by this sweet romance set primarily in France during World War I. You’ll see both the bitterness of warfare and the beauty of love in this story built on miracles, little and big. (For teens and up, especially fans of clean romance and/or historical fiction.)
The Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion: A Book of Daily Reflections edited by Lisa M. Hendey
Bring focus to each day with simple reflections and prayers based on the secular and liturgical calendar. Easily digestible with food for thought. Varied authors and perspectives fill each day with fresh insights. (Best for Catholic women, especially mothers.)
Dying for Compassion by Barbara Golder
Barbara Golder’s second installment in the Lady Doc Murders can be read as a standalone. (But if you haven’t read the first, you’ll probably want to grab that one too!) An intricate story with masterful character development. (Great for adult mystery lovers, male or female.)
Divine Mercy for Moms: Sharing the Lessons of St. Faustina by Michele Faehnle and Emily Jaminet
Simple, practical and relatable suggestions for living the Divine Mercy devotion amidst the craziness of raising a family. Great for groups, but suitable for reading alone as well. (For Catholic women.)
A Single Bead by Stephanie Engelman
A captivating story of the power of prayer. Discover (or re-discover) the magnificent ways God works in and through us with our cooperation and prayers. A realistic story free of sappiness or cheap plot devices. (Written for teens, but enjoyed by adults as well.)
(Whoops! That’s eleven.)
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