Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Just Curious: What are you reading now, and what book changed your life?


So as I attempt to excavate myself from the mess surrounding my desk, I thought I would throw out a "Just Curious" post, because it's quick and I can get back to work (if I stay motivated!). It's actually two questions, and I am so interested to read your answers!

1) What book are you reading now?

2) Is there a book (besides the Bible) that changed your life?

My answers:

1) I am reading Unplanned, by Abby Johnson. (Isn't everyone?) It's definitely a page-turner, and I am surprised at how generous she is to those on the "pro-choice" side. It has given me pause, and I am grateful for the reminder that no matter how evil abortion is, we cannot know the hearts of those who support it. And boy, that first chapter is hard to read. So much sadness, and for what? Sigh. When will we realize that life is always good, love is the highest law, and that killing is not loving?

2) The book that changed my life... well, I already wrote about one here, but there is another one that came earlier. It was the book my mother handed me sixteen years ago, a week or two after I told her I was thinking of leaving the Church. It was Catholicism and Fundamentalism, by Karl Keating. I opened the book ready to be a Protestant, and I closed it knowing I could never be anything but a Catholic. The historical, biblical and logical truths were so clear -- I knew my life would never, ever be the same. And it hasn't been. 

Okay, how about you?

41 comments:

  1. I'm reading George W. Bush's book Decision Points right now, and recently finished (and loved) Laura Hillenbrand's Unbroken. As for a book that changed my life... I'll have to think longer on that.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am reading "Thy Will Be Done - Letters to Persons in the World" by St. Francis De Sales. Awesome, awesome, awesome!!!!! 2 books that have changed my life have been: "Archbishop Fulton Sheen's St. Therese - A Treasured Love Story" - it is a series of talks Arch Fulton Sheen gave on St. Therese for the 100th anniversary of her birth - back in the 1970s. The other book - "Searching for and Maintaining Peace" by Jacques Phillippe. I have written about all 3 of these books on my blog, so it probably is no surprise to anyone, but I still think about them often and I loved them so very much. (Oh, and I tried to italicize the titles, but can't figure out how to do that in the combox, my regular ctrl+I isn't working!) I am interested to read all the other comments. I was telling someone the other day that I think this year will be the "Year of the Book" for me...there are so many great ones I want to read.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Life changing books - Crazy Love by Francis Chan and Radical by David Platt.
    Both Protestant but totally applicable to Catholics (except for chapter 7 of Radical, just skip his Calvinistic analysis of Paul's epistle to the Romans).

    My friend went out and adopted 3 children from Ethiopia after reading Crazy Love. I am discerning a call to adopting a disabled child as a result of reading both and spending the last several months devoted to prayer and sacrifice to know God's will.

    My DH does not know yet, the word "crazy" will probably be thrown around since our oldest will be starting college next year and I am still nursing the 1 year old, praying for the best time/way to bring up the subject ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. 1. Definitely not reading anything right now
    2. Heart of the World by Balthazar

    ReplyDelete
  5. I just started Unplanned too! Literally just last night! I'm also into Reasons to Believe by Scott Hahn. (I'm guilty of reading multiple books at once and taking FOR-EVER to finish them!)

    Book that changed my life: Immaculee Ilibagiza's Left to Tell. I have no words for how powerful that book is.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm reading St. Therese's Story of a Soul. The book that recently changed my life was The Diary of Sister Faustina Divine Mercy...
    I want to read Unplanned so that's on my list of to get books. I think it's good she's explaining the mentality of the other side. I was on the other side and I know it's starts off out of good intentions like it did for her. We have to win the hearts and minds of those that really think they're doing the right thing. I realize how horribly wrong I was but it was out of gentleness and logic of the Catholic argument for life that made me rethink things.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I just started reading UNplanned too! That first chapter was gut wrenching. So very sad!

    I'd have to say The Lamb's Supper by Scott Hahn probably changed my life. I first heard his cd of one of his talks that is based on the boom and then had to read the book. That book is probably what helped seal the deal for me as far as becomin Catholic.

    Oh...and on Jan 29th dh and I have tickets to see him! Can't wait!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I can answer this question because I'm actually reading for fun right now! This never happens!

    I'm reading Omnivore's Dilemma right now and I already HIGHLY recommend it. Seriously. Its super interesting and easy to read.

    A book that changed my life was Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. I read it at a time in my life I wouldn't have considered myself Christian and it led me to look into many other books and pursue my faith journey. Huge!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm reading Unplanned too!!! I love it! She is very kind...

    I do not read enough to say a book changed my life, but I'm going to agree with you Fundamentalism and Catholicism got my attention...It is so packed with truth I can't read it all at once. Only in bits and pieces. :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I just finished "Unplanned" last week, and have started reading a book on Padre Pio's life (blanking on the title, but it's a good one!).

    Life-changers? Wow, so many:

    Okay, this may be dorky, but Bud MacFarlane's novel "Pierced by a Sword." Twin and I read that the same summer (as evangelicals) and by the time we were done we looked at each other and said, "Well, we may as well just admit it. Mary is a our spiritual mother. And we're Catholic."

    "A Father Who Keeps His Promises" by Scott Hahn - I was not yet confirmed Catholic, sort of straddling evangelical Protestantism and Catholicism, and struggling big time with belief in the Eucharist (yes, Mary came easier to me than the Eucharist!). This book eradicated any doubt about the truth (and funny, I totally didn't see it coming until the last chapter).

    St. Therese's "Story of a Soul." Uh, wow. Have read it twice now (and now realize "my" choice of her as a patron Saint for Confirmation was really her doing).

    "Boy Meets Girl" by Joshua Harris. I was 19 and this was one of the first times I was introduced to Christian dating/courtship. I truly, *truly* was clueless about things like chastity and male/female complementarity.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I am reading "Broke" by Glenn Beck- VERY good read, but pretty slow as you have to take it all in.
    A book that changed my life is "Radical" by David Platt- it's about examining your Christian walk and whether or not you are really doing all that Jesus is leading you to do. Essentially, are you living radically for Christ or just trying to live the 'American dream'? Wish everyone could read this book!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm currently reading a secular young adult book series starting with The Hunger Games. It's awesome! Disturbing on some levels, but I can't stop reading them! I'm on the third and final book, Mockingjay, right now.

    Life changing book for me was "The Apostolate of Holy Motherhood". It has no author because it's about a woman who receives constant messages from Our Lady while staying home to raise her children and she wishes to remain anonymous. It's fascinating! All moms or moms to be need to read it. It does have the Nihil Obstat so no concerns there. Go get it!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I love this post Leila because my wonderful husband got me a kindle for Christmas and I've been LOVING it and reading like I used to - constantly!

    I have "Unplanned" on my kindle list and also a book called "Fatherless" all about birth control and the church. Supposed to be AMAZING!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh oh! I'm reading the Hunger Games series too! I have to start the second book but holding off because I know once I start I won't be able to put it down.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Second Chances: My husband read Fatherless! He highly recommends it! He said it was a bit hard to get into but once he did it was AMAZING! It's on my list too.

    ReplyDelete
  16. 1) Jesus in the Gospels

    2) IT'S SO GOOD! I had many thoughts on Jesus and his life but this books makes him more real than ever. It is a truly beautiful depiction of his life. READ IT and you will love it:):):) This is the book that is changing me as we speak. Oh how I just love him!!!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I'm currently reading Notorious Royal Marriages and the Chronicles of Narnia. :) I love, love, love history, so I cannot put Notorious Royal Marriages down!

    A book that changed my life is Story of a Soul. I feel like St. Therese and I are kindred spirits (although I'm obviously not even close to being as holy as she is) and she's like a sister to me. I love her so much!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Suburban mom: I have to alot times to reading the series otherwise I neglect my work as a mom because I CAN'T STOP READING! They're awesome.

    Karen: That's good to know because then I won't give up if it's a slow start. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi Leila - I have to say the book Rome Sweet Home by Scott Hahn is the one that changed my life. I was attending the same college he went to at the time I read it and was struggling to be Catholic in a Protestant environment. While I never left the church, it definitely brought me back and to a more complete understanding of our Faith. Of course... I'm still learning! :) BTW, I'm a new blogger and am really enjoying reading yours!

    ReplyDelete
  20. 1. I'm reading Jane Eyre-my all-time favorite novel and A Mother's Rule of Life by Holly Pierlot.

    2. Book(s) that changed my life: Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic, The Screwtape Letters and Swimming with Scapulars

    ReplyDelete
  21. 1. I just started Unplanned as well.

    2. It's an article, not a book, but Serrin Foster's The Feminist Case Against Abortion changed my life. So did Evangelium Vitae, and Mere Christianity.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Just finished Unplanned. Fabulous!!!! Ill think abouthe second half of the question. Off the top of my head Theology of the Body for Beginners and Life Giving Love.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Currently: Jesuit Guide to almost Everything, James Martin ~ decent so far

    Changed my life: Cloister Walk, Kathleen Norris and Pierced by the Sword, Bud McFarlane

    ReplyDelete
  24. Unplanned is on my to-read list! Currently I am reading the Hidden Power of Kindness by Fr. Lovasik and Holiness for Housewives by Hubert van Zeller.

    Book that changed my life - I have 2: What Catholics Really Believe by Karl Keating and the Holy Rule of St. Benedict. The Karl Keating book was given to me by my Confirmation sponsor when I was discerning whether or not to convert. After I read it, I knew I was in. :D

    ReplyDelete
  25. I'm not currently reading anything, but I just ordered "Unplanned" and the new version of "Fertility, Cycles, and Nutrition" from Amazon. Can't wait to get them and start reading!

    A book that changed my life: "Taking Charge of Your Fertility" by Toni Weschler. I go into it in more detail in this post, but it was the book that first introduced me to the concept of charting my cycles, which led to learning NFP, and using NFP has changed my life incredibly for the better.

    An honorable mention goes to "Rome Sweet Home" by Scott & Kimberly Hahn. It did a lot for convincing me of the truth about Catholicism.

    ReplyDelete
  26. An addendum to my post above - I'm listening to the audiobook "C is for Corpse" by Sue Grafton; does that count? :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. 1) The Sinner's Guide by Venerable Louis of Grenada. I'm actually reading Introduction to the Devout Life by Saint Francis de Sales, but he tells the reader to stop and read Grenada's book before moving on!!! Hey! I do what I'm told!!!

    I finished unPlanned in 24 hours. It was AMAZING. What a compelling story!!!!!

    2) Like SARAH- cheesey though it sounds, Pierced by a Sword changed my life! I'm glad you admitted that, Sarah, b/c I'm a bit embarrassed to with all the controversy regarding Mr. Macfarlane. But that book opened my eyes that people can be excited about their Catholic faith- and that there's a lot to be excited about!!! These books were quickly followed by Rome Sweet Home and Theology for Beginners. I think of the trio as life changers!!!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Lauren - I know, I was so sad with what happened to the Macfarlane clan! :(

    ReplyDelete
  29. Several books had profound impact on the way I think. Here are three: St. Therese's Story of a Soul, the Screwtape Letters, and The Good News about Sex and Marriage by Christopher West.

    ReplyDelete
  30. 'Star Wars. The Tales From the New Repubplic'
    LOL
    My all time fav. is 'Getting the Message. A Plan for Interpreting and Applying the Bible' by Daniel M. Doriani. Absolutely love it!

    ReplyDelete
  31. 1. I'm in the middle of three books right now--"Perfectly Yourself" by Matthew Kelly, "The Love of the Last Tycoon" by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and I'm trying desperately for the third time to make it through "Brideshead Revisited" which I admit i'm finding to be insufferably dull.

    2. Nerdy but true--"Tender is the Night" by F. Scott Fitzgerald. This opened my eyes to the literary wonder that is the late Mr. Fitzgerald and began a lifelong love affair with his works. I even wrote my undergraduate thesis on him.

    And, this is what you get when you ask an English major about books--other works that defined my childhood, adolescence, and adult life--the "Anne of Green Gables" series, all "Little House on the Prairie" books, anything and everything by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and the "Lord of the Rings" series. I'll also throw a nod to "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "Jane Eyre."

    ReplyDelete
  32. I just did a post on all my fav books! I am reading Atonement by Ian McEwan right now. A book that changed my life... hmmmm.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I'm in the middle of two books, GK Chesterton's "The Man Who Knew Too Much" and Lewis Carroll's "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland".

    I don't know if I can say it changed my life, but "Rome Sweet Home" by Scott & Kimberly Hahn did inspire me to take my faith much more seriously.

    ReplyDelete
  34. "Spiritual Diary, Selected Sayings and Examples of Saints" --- no author, just many saints. I so highly recommend it that I am giving everyone the ISBN, 0819868248. It's available on Amazon. In fact, I'll make it even easier for any of you who would like to read the most humble sayings of the 10 or so saints quoted on 12 concepts, one each month. Concepts include Humility, Meekness, Union, Obedience. Here is the link. As of now there are 15 used at reasonable prices:
    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=0819868248

    It changing my life. It's a re-read over and over.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Right now I'm reading "I Believe in Love" by Fr. Jean C. J. de Elbee. It is amazing!

    There are two books that changed my life: "You Can Become a Saint" by Mary Ann Budnik and "For Better, Forever: A Catholic Guide to Lifelong Marriage" by Dr. Gregory Popcak.

    They are both amazing! :)

    ReplyDelete
  36. Current read is "My Name is Anne, Anne Frank, She Said", which is the memoirs of Anne Frank's childhood best friend. Book that changed my life is "How to Live Nobly and Well."

    ReplyDelete
  37. Wow, it's cool to see so many Scott Hahn mentions! I didn't know who he was until a month ago when I registered for a Synoptic Gospels class and listening to the Gospel of Mark CD set is required.

    I read "Anna Karenina" a year ago and it was kind of life-changing as I saw a lot of relevancy to today in cultural attitudes towards marriage and children, and God.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I am reading Love is a Choice right now and finding it is soooo good... totally describes my situation. As for a book that has changed my life... probably the Catholic Catechism. I read it when I was considering joining the Church, and thought that I would find things that would keep me away. Instead, I found myself agreeing with everything I found. I also love Scott Hahn's books, and we have the Keating book that you mentioned so I really should read it. :)

    ReplyDelete
  39. I've started House Rules by Jodi Picoult. Literally just finished My Sister's Keeper.

    Book that changed my life- The Shack. I know it's fiction, but I really liked it!

    ReplyDelete
  40. I'm reading "Linchpin: Are You Indispensible?" by Seth Godin. An amazing book by an insightful man.

    Books that have changed my life: "Dangerous Grains" by Braly and Hoggan and "Financial Peace" by Dave Ramsey. That was the book that started my husband and me on the path to agreement about money.

    ReplyDelete
  41. "The Shadow of His Wings" by Fr. Gereon Goldmann.

    A truly AMAZING story (his story) and a must read! Pick this one up asap! Amazing!

    ReplyDelete

PLEASE, when commenting, do not hit "reply" (which is the thread option). Instead, please put your comment at the bottom of the others.

To ensure that you don't miss any comments, click the "subscribe by email" link, above. If you do not subscribe and a post exceeds 200 comments, you must hit "load more" to get to the rest. We often have meaty and long discussions -- trust me, they're worth following!