One Hundred Great Catholic Books: From the Early Centuries to the Present

Donald Brophy, Author . BlueBridge $16 (222p) ISBN 978-1-933346-08-3

Brophy, who assembles short, 300-word reviews of the best books ever written by Catholics, asserts that “people are Catholic, books are not.” As a longtime editor at the Catholic book publisher Paulist Press and author of The Story of Catholics in America , he is eminently qualified for the job and carries it out beautifully. In the introduction, Brophy spells out what qualifies a book for his list. First, it must have “nourished Catholic Christians and many other seekers over the centuries.” Second, the book must be of interest to general readers, meaning that professional theologians like Karl Rahner were disqualified. Reviews are arranged chronologically, beginning with the Sayings and Stories of the Desert Fathers and ending with Paul Elie's contemporary classic, The Life You Save May Be Your Own . Brophy acknowledges the arbitrariness of his endeavor, but it's a judicious collection. Some choices will be familiar to readers while others will be unexpected; for example, some readers may not know that Black Elk (the Sioux spiritual leader) was a Catholic convert. Brophy approaches his reviews as a believer, so that in the end any person of faith who is passionate about books will find a kind of spiritual catechism. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 07/23/2007
Release date: 09/01/2007
Genre: Nonfiction
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