It’s that time of year again! Here are the fifteen best books I read this past year along with a brief summary of the book (see 2013 and 2014‘s recommendations as well). Please comment below to share what books you enjoyed reading this year.
15. Kisses from Katie: A Story of Relentless Love and Redemption by Katie Davis
The true story of a high school-graduate’s decision to become a full-time missionary in Uganda.
14. Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
A novel centered on a school-shooting written in the gripping Picoult-style.
13. Come Rack! Come Rope! by R.H. Benson
A historical novel depicting the life of a persecuted priest in 16th-century England.
12. The Lord of the Rings I, II, and III by. J.R.R. Tolkien
A classic set of novels with a surprisingly high amount of Catholic symbolism.
11. Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom by Ryan Anderson
A logical and concise analysis of the Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court case from the perspective of a defender of the traditional understanding of marriage.
10. Lord of the World by R.H. Benson
A novel that predicts what the end times will look like for the world with a special emphasis on what it will look like for the Catholic Church.
9. The Joy of the Gospel by Pope Francis
The apostolic exhortation written by Pope Francis a few years ago that encourages us to encounter our Lord and share the Good News with all those we encounter.
8. The World’s First Love: Mary, the Mother of God by Fulton J. Sheen
A beautiful set of reflections on our Blessed Mother written by one of the twentieth century’s best spiritual writers.
7. Happy are You Poor: The Simple Life and Spiritual Freedom by Thomas Dubay
A book that helps explain the kind poverty we are all called to by observing Scripture quotes, stories from the lives of the saints, and recent scientific research.
6. Behold Your Mother: A Biblical and Historical Defense of the Marian Doctrines by Tim Staples
A well-written defense for our modern world on the Marian doctrines.
5. Discernment of Spirits: An Ignatian Guide for Everyday Living by Fr. Timothy Gallagher
An insightful analysis into St. Ignatius of Loyola’s teachings on the discernment of spirits.
4. Time for God by Jacques Phillipe
A brief but well thought-out book to help people “get more” out of their prayer life.
3. Love and Responsibility by Karol Wojtyla
The classic piece by Pope St. John Paul II (then Cardinal Karol Wojtyla) that explains the philosophy behind most of the Catholic Church’s teachings on marriage and sex.
2. The Fulfillment of All Desire by Ralph Martin
An essential “handbook” for all those striving for sainthood.
1. The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming by Henri Nouwen
A book that contains reflections on both the parable from Scripture and the Rembrandt painting of The Return of the Prodigal Son.