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Some Good Books

Guillaume Larrue. The Studious schoolboy.
(Guillaume Larrue. The Studious schoolboy. [Source])

1) Table of contents

2) Introduction
3) "Baptized" Level
4) "Good Catholic Family" Level

4.1) Spirituality Books
4.2) Official teachings of the Church
4.3) Science books

5) "Avid Seminarian" Level

5.1) Official teachings of the Church

5.1.1) Reference Books
5.1.2) Conciliar documents
5.1.3) Encyclicals
5.1.4) Apostolic Letters, etc.
5.1.5) Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
5.1.6) Documents from other congregations

5.2) Spirituality, defense of the Faith

5.2.1) Spirituality Books
5.2.2) Apologetics
5.2.3) Polemics
5.2.4) Other books that can be useful

Books I Might Get Around To Reading
Some Bad Books


2) Introduction

Here is a list of some good books. For an overview of my selection criteria, see How To Choose A Good Book. Also, if you know of better books, please tell me!


3) "Baptized" Level

The books that all Catholics should have:

Holy Bible. Text
Catechism of the Catholic Church. Text
The Imitation of Christ. Text
In Conversation with God. Fernandez, Francis. London, Scepter, 2003.
Introduction to the Devout Life. St. François de Sales. Text.
Le Curé d'Ars; Sa pensée, son coeur Saint Jean-Baptiste Vianney. présentés par l'abbé Bernard Nodet, Paris, Desclée de Brouwer, 2000.
Confessions. St. Augustine. Text.


4) "Good Catholic Family" Level

What should be found in the bookcase of a good Catholic family. All of the books for the "Baptized" level, plus:

4.1) Spirituality Books

Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church Text
The Liturgy of the Hours (Breviary)
Story of a Soul. St. Teresa of Lisieux.
The Way of Perfection. St. Teresa of Avila. Text.
Meditations on the Passion of Jesus Christ. St. Alphonsus Liguori.
The Way. Escriva, Saint Josémaria. Scepter, 1985.
Theology and Sanity. SHEED, F. J. Ignatius Press 1993.
The Three Ages of the Interior Life GARRIGOU-LAGRANGE, Réginald. translated by Timothea Doyle, Tan Books and Publishers, 1999.
Soul of the Apostolate. CHAUTARD, Jean-Baptiste. Tan Books and Publishers, 1992 (reprint).
Love is Life; A Catholic Marriage Handbook. DANTEC, François. Notre Dame IN, University of Notre Dame Press, 1963.
Jésus-Chist; Sa vie - Sa Passion - Son triomphe. BERTHE, R. P. Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, Librairie Alphonsienne, 1943.

4.2) Official Teachings of the Church

Christifideles laici
Dei verbum
Ecclesia de Eucharistia
Evangelium vitae
Familiaris consortio
Homosexualitatis problema
Humanae Vitae
Immortale Dei
Lumen gentium
Marialis cultus
Mulieris dignitatem
Pacem in terris
Reconciliatio et paenitentia
Rerum novarum
Salvifici doloris
Summorum pontificum
Syllabus errores
Veritatis splendor

4.3) Science Books

4.3.1) Philosophy (the general science)

THONNARD, F.-J. Précis de philosophie, Paris, Desclée, 1950.
THONNARD, F.-J. Précis d'histoire de philosophie, Paris, Desclée, 1937.
SERTILLANGES, A.-D. La vie intellectuelle, Paris, Éd. Revue des jeunes, 1921. (English translations exist, like The Intellectual Life: Its Spirit, Conditions, Methods, Catholic University of America Press, 1987.)

4.3.2) The particular sciences

Petite encyclopédie des mathématiques, 2e Ed., Paris, Pagoulatos, 1980.
KREYSZIG, Erwin. Advanced Engineering Mathematics, 8th Ed, New-York, Wiley, 1999.
FINNEY, WEIR, GIORDANO. Thomas' Calculus, 10th Ed. Updated, Reading, MA, Addison-Wesley, 2003.
HALLIDAY, RESNICK, WALKER. Fundamentals of Physics, 7th Ed. Extended, New-York, Wiley, 2005.
ATKINS, Peter. Physical Chemistry, 6th Ed., New-York, Freeman, 1997.
CAMPBELL, Neil A., REECE, Jane B. Biology, 7th Ed, San Francisco, Benjamin Cummings, 2005.
LONGO, Dan L., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 18th Ed., New-York, McGraw-Hill, 2012.
GAUCH, Hugh G. Scientific Method in Practice, London, Cambridge University Press, 2003.
POLYA, G. How To Solve It; A New Aspect of Mathematical Method, 2nd Ed, Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press, 1988.
KORNHAUSER, Arthur W. How To Study; Suggestions for High School and College Students, 3rd Ed., Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1993.
EYMIEU, Antonin. Le Gouvernement de soi-même; essai de psychologie pratique, 1re série, Paris, Perrin et Cie, 1920.

4.3.3) A bit of Engineering (because it's fun!)

Mark's Standard Handbook for Mechanical Engineers, 10th Ed., New-York, McGraw-Hill, 1996.
RAYMER, Daniel P., Aircraft Design, A Conceptual Approach, 3rd Ed., Reston, VA, AIAA, 1999.
Some Good Software Engineering Books


5) "Avid Seminarian" Level

All of the books for the "Good Catholic Family" level, plus:

5.1) Official teachings of the Church

5.1.1) Reference Books

Code of Canon Law. Text
Summa Theologica. St. Thomas Aquinas. Latin, English
Symbols and Definitions of the Catholic Faith. Denzinger, H.
Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma. Ott, Ludwig. Tan Books, 1992.
General Instruction Of The Roman Missal. Text
Précis de patrologie et d'histoire de la théologie, 2e édition. Cayré, Fulgence. Paris, Desclée, 1931.
Manual of Indulgences
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church. Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. Text (comments)
General Directory for Catechesis. Congregation for the Clergy. Rome, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1997. (comments)

5.1.2) Conciliar documents

Note: I would like here to include all official documents for all councils, since Vatican II is far from being the most important council of the history of the Catholic Church! But I haven't yet found time to find them, and I'm not even sure they are all on the Internet. Many are here: www.papalencyclicals.net
Vatican II documents are easier to find:

Ad Gentes. Text (the missionnary activity of the Church)
Apostolicam Actuositatem. Text (the apostolate of the laypersons)
Christus Dominus. Text (the pastoral task of the Bishops)
Dei Verbum. Text (the Divine Revelation)
Dignitatis Humanae. Text (religious freedom)
Gaudium et Spes. Text (the Church in today's world)
Gravissimum Educationis. Text (Christian education)
Inter Mirifica. Text (the Media)
Lumen Gentium. Text (the Church)
Nostra Aetate. Text (the Church and non-Christian religions)
Optatam Totius. Text (the education of priests)
Orientalium Ecclesiarum. Text (the oriental Catholic churches)
Perfectae Caritatis. Text (religious life)
Presbyterorum Ordinis. Text (the ministry and life of priests)
Sacrosanctum Concilium. Text (liturgy)
Unitatis Redintegratio. Text (oecumenism)

5.1.3) Encyclicals

Aeterni Patris. Text (restoration of Christian Philosophy; LeoXIII, 1879)
Affari vos. Text (Manitoba schools; LeoXIII, 1897)
Arcanum divinae Sapientiae. Text (Christian marriage; LeoXIII, 1886)
Caritas in veritate. Text (BenXVI, 2009)
Casti Connubii. Text (Christian marriage; PiusXI, 1930)
Centesimus Annus. Text (100 year anniversary of Rerum Novarum; JPII, 1981)
Deus caritas est. Text (Christian love; BenXVI, 2005)
Diuturnum. Text (the origin of civil power; LeoXIII, 1881)
Dives in Misericordia. Text (on divine mercy; JPII, 1980)
Divini illius Magistri. Text (Christian education; Pius XI, 1929)
Divino Afflante Spiritu. Text (the promotion of biblical studies; PiusXII, 1943)
Dominum et Vivificantem. Text (the Holy Spirit in the life of the Church; JPII, 1986)
Ecclesia de Eucharistia. Text (the Eucharist in the life of the Church; JPII, 2003)
Ecclesiam Suam. Text (PaulVI, 1964)
Editae Saepe. Text (St. Charles Borromeo and the struggle against heretics; PiusX, 1910)
Evangelium Vitae. Text (the dignity of human life from conception to natural death; JPII, 1995)
Fides et Ratio. Text (the relation between faith and reason; JPII, 1998)
Humanae Vitae. Text (against contraception; PaulVI, 1968)
Humani Generis. Text (condemnation of certain errors; PiusXII, 1950)
Immortale Dei. Text (Christian constitution of States; LeoXIII, 1885)
Laborem Exercens. Text (90th anniversary of Rerum Novarum; JPII, 1981)
Libertas praestantissimum. Text (Human freedom; LeoXIII, 1888)
Mystici Corporis Christi. Text (The Mystical Body of Christ; PiusXII, 1943)
Mater et Magistra. Text (Christianity and social progress; JohnXXIII, 1961)
Mediator Dei. Text (The Liturgy; PiusXII, 1947)
Mortalium animos. Text (True unity of the Church; PiusXI, 1928)
Mysterium Fidei. Text (Doctrine and Worship of the Eucharist; PaulVI, 1965)
Pacem in Terris. Text (God, foundation of peace on Earth; JohnXXIII, 1963)
Pascendi Dominici Gregis. Text (condemnation of modernist errors; PiusX, 1907)
Populorum Progressio. Text (the development of peoples; PaulVI, 1967)
Providentissimus Deus. Text (the study of Holy Scripture; LeoXIII, 1893)
Quadragesimo anno. Text (reconstruction of the social order. Pius XI; 1931)
Quanta cura. Text (Socialism, Naturalism; PiusIX; 1864)
Quas primas. Text (Institution of Feast of Christ the King; PiusXI; 1925)
Redemptor Hominis. Text (first encyclical of Pope John-Paul II; JPII, 1979)
Redemptoris Mater. Text (the Virgin Mary in the life of the Church; JPII, 1987)
Redemptoris Missio. Text (the permanent validity of the Church's missionary mandate; JPII, 1990)
Rerum Novarum. Text (condemnation of the excesses of communism and capitalism; LeoXIII, 1891)
Sacerdotalis Caelibatus. Text (Paul VI, priestly celibacy; PaulVI, 1967)
Sapientiae Christianae. Text (Christians as citizens; LeoXIII, 1890)
Satis cognitum. Text (Unity of the Church; LeoXIII, 1896)
Slavorum Apostoli. Text (the evangelizing work of saints Cyril and Methodius; JPII, 1985)
Sollicitudo Rei Socialis. Text (20th anniversary of Populorum Progressio; JPII, 1987)
Spe salvi. Text (Hope; BenXVI, 2007)
Studiorum ducem. Text (Italian), English on EWTN (Saint Thomas Aquinas; Pius XI, 1923)
Supremi apostolatus officio. Text (Power of the Rosary; Leo XIII, 1883)
Ut Unum Sint. Text (oecumenism; JPII, 1995)
Vehementer Nos. Text (the French law separating the Church and the State; PiusX, 1906)
Veritatis Splendor. Text (condemnation of certain errors in Moral Philosophy; JPII, 1993)

5.1.4) Apostolic Letters, Motu Proprio, etc.

Ad tuendam fidem. Texte (Small changes to the Code of Canon Law; JPII, 1998, Motu proprio)
Catechesi Tradendae. Text (catechesis; JPII, 1979, Ap. Exhor.)
Christifideles Laici. Text (vocation and mission of the laypersons; JPII, 1988, Ap. Exhor.)
Dies Domini. Text (respect of the Lord's day; JPII, 1998, Ap. Letter)
Divinus Perfectionis Magister. Text (Overview of the process of canonization; JPII, 1983, Ap. Cons.)
Ecclesia Dei. Text (Excommunication of Mons. Lefevbre; JPII, 1988, Motu proprio)
Evangelii Nuntiandi. Text (evangelization; PaulIV, 1975, Ap. Exhor.)
Ex corde ecclesia. Text (Catholic universities; JPII, 1990, Ap. Cons.)
Familiaris Consortio. Text (the Christian family in the modern world; JPII, 1981, Ap. Exhor.)
Family, Marriage And "De Facto" Unions. Text (Pontifical Council for the Family, 2000)
Indulgentiarum Doctrina. Text (Indulgences, French only; PaulVI, 1967, Cons. Ap.)
Integrae Servandae. Text (Name change for the Holy Office, Latin only; PaulVI, 1965, Motu Proprio)
Letter to Artists. Text (JPII, 1999, Letter)
Laetamur magnopere Text (JPII, 1997, Ap. Letter)
Lumen ecclesiae Text (Latin), English version (not on www.vatican.va) (PaulVI, 1974, Ap. Letter)
Mane Nobiscum Domine. Text (Apostolic Letter for the Year of the Eucharist; JPII, 2004, Ap. Letter)
Marialis Cultus. Text (marial devotion; PaulVI, 1974, Ap. Exhor.)
Misericordia Dei. Text (against collective absolution; JPII, 2002, Motu Proprio)
Mulieris Dignitatem. Text (dignity and vocation of women; JPII, 1988, Ap. Letter)
Octogesima adveniens. Text (PaulVI, 1971, Ap. Letter)
New Laws for the Causes of Saints. Text (Overview of the inquiry process of Bishops; Congregation for the Cause of Saints, 1983)
Novo Millennio Ineunte. Text (for the end of the Year 2000 jubilee; JPII, 2001, Ap. Letter)
Ordinatio Sacerdotalis. Text (Women's ordination; JPII, 1984, Ap. Letter)
Paenitemini. Text (penance and fasting; PaulVI, 1966, Ap. Constitution)
Pastor Dabo Vobis. Text (priests; JPII, 1992, Ap. Exhor.)
Pastores Gregis. Text (the pastoral task of the Bishops; JPII, 2003, Ap. Exhor.)
Rapid Development. Text (Catholics must get more involved in the Mass Media; JPII, 2005, Ap. Letter)
Reconciliatio et Paenitentia. Text (Confession; JPII, 1984, Ap. Exhor.)
Redemptoris Custos. Text (St. Joseph; JPII, 1989, Ap. Exhor.)
Redemptionis Sacramentum. Text (some rules concerning the Eucharist; Congregation For Divine Worship And The Discipline Of The Sacraments, 2004)
Rosarium Virginis Mariae. Text (the Rosary; JPII, 2002, Ap. Letter)
Sacramentum caritatis. Text (The Eucharist; Benedict XVI, 2007, Ap. Exhor.)
Salvifici Doloris. Text (the saving power of suffering; JPII, 1984, Ap. Letter)
Solemni hac liturgia. Text (Credo of the People of God, Latin; Paul VI, 1968)
Summorum pontificum. Text (Confirmation that the "Old Mass" was never illegal; Benedict XVI, 2007, Motu proprio)
Letter on the occasion of the publication of Summorum pontificum Text (2007)
Tertio Millennio Adveniente. Text (the jubilee of the year 2000; JPII, 1994, Ap. Letter; strangely unavailable on the Vatican web site as of 2015-August-24)
Syllabus of errors. Text (PiusIX, 1864)
Tra le sollecitudini. Text (Spanish) (On sacred music; PiusX, 1903, Motu proprio)
Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality. Text (Pontifical Council for the Family, 1995)
Vita Consecrata. Text (religious life; JPII, 1996, Ap. Exhor.)
Veterum Sapientia. Text (promotion of Latin; John XXIII, 1962, Apost. Const.)

5.1.5) Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

Doctrinal Note On Some Aspects Of Evangelization. Text (2007)
Letter To The Bishops Of The Catholic Church On The Collaboration Of Men And Women In The Church And In The World. Text (2004)
Considerations Regarding Proposals To Give Legal Recognition To Unions Between Homosexual Persons. Text (2003)
Doctrinal Note on some questions regarding the participation of Catholics in political life. Text (2003)
Dominus Iesus. Text (The unicity and absolute truth of Jesus Christ and His Church; 2000)
Instruction on some aspects of the use of the instruments of social communication in promoting the doctrine of the faith Text (1992)
Dignitas personae - Instruction on some bioethical questions. Text (2008)
Donum veritatis - Instruction on the ecclesial vocation of the theologian. Text (1990)
Orationis formas - On Some Aspects Of Christian Meditation. Text (1989)
Donum Vitae - Instruction on respect for human life in its origin and on the dignity of procreation. Text (1987)
Homosexualitatis problema - Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons. Text (1986)
Libertatis conscientia -- Instruction On Christian Freedom And Liberation. Text (1986)
Libertatis nuntius -- Instruction On Certain Aspects Of The "Theology Of Liberation". Text (1984)
Iura et bona - Declaration on Euthanasia. Text (1980)
Persona humana - declaration on certain questions concerning sexual ethics. Text (1975)
Quaesitum Est Text (1983, Declaration on Masonic Associations)
Quaestio de abortu - Declaration on procured abortion. Text (1974)
"The Third Secret of Fatima". Text
Notification on the works of Father Jon SOBRINO, SJ. Text

5.1.6) Documents from other congregations

The Church and Internet. Text (2002, Pontifical Council for Social Communications)
Liturgiam authenticam. Text (2001; On the use of vernacular languages in the publication of the books of the roman liturgy)
Instruction Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocations with regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in view of their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders. Text (2005)
The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church. Text (Italian), English version (Pontifical Biblical Commission, 1993.)
Directives On Formation In Religious Institutes. Text (1990)
Fraternal Life In Community. Text (1994)
Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy. Text (2001)
Jesus Christ The Bearer Of The Water Of Life; A Christian reflection on the "New Age". Text (2003)
Decree On The Reform Of Ecclesiastical Studies Of Philosophy. Text (2011)

5.2) Spirituality, defense of the Faith

5.2.1) Spirituality Books

The Spiritual Exercises. St. Ignatius of Loyola. Text.
The Dialogue. St. Catherine of Siena. Text.
Précis de théologie ascétique et mystique, TANQUEREY, Adolphe. Paris, Société de S. Jean l'Évangéliste, 1924.
Les sept colonnes de l'héroïsme, D'Arnoux, Jacques. Paris, Plon, 1938.
Traité de vie spirituelle; à l'école de saint Augustin, THONNARD, François-Joseph, A.A., Paris, Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1959, 821 pages.
Judas est en Enfer! Réponses à Hans Urs von Balthasar et à Hans-Joseph Klauck, PAGÈS, abbé Guy. Éditions F.-X. de Guibert, Paris, 2007, 220 pages. (comments)
They died for their Faith; Persecution of Christians in the 20th century, RICCARDI, Andrea. Plon/Mame, 2002.
The Hidden Power of Kindness, LOVASIK, Lawrence G. Manchester NH, Sophia Institute Press, 1999.
Sainte Jeanne D'Arc, seconde patronne de la France, DELARB, Raphael, O.F.M. Québec, Imprimerie Franciscaine Missionnaire, 1937.

5.2.2) Apologetics

Apologetics: The positive reasons to believe that God exists, that Jesus is God, and that Jesus founded the Catholic Church. Polemics is somewhat "negative": for each religion other than Catholicism, the reasons why that religion is false, and the rebuttal of the usual attacks of that religion against Catholicism.

Handbook of Christian Apologetics: Hundreds of Answers to Crucial Questions, KREEFT, Peter and TACELLI, Ronald K. Intervarsity Press, 1993.
Summa Contra Gentiles AQUINAS, Saint Thomas.
Les pensées. PASCAL, Blaise. Text.
Mere Christianity. LEWIS, C. S.
Apologetics, GLENN, Paul J. Rockford, IL, Tan Books, 1980.
Search and Rescue: How to Bring Your Family and Friends Into--Or Back Into--The Catholic Church, MADRID, Patrick. Manchester, NH, Sophia Institute Press, 2001.

5.2.3) Polemics

See Apologetics here above.

Interroger l'Islam - 1501 questions à poser aux musulmans!, PAGÈS, Abbé Guy. DMM (Dominique Martin Morin Editions), 2015.
The Complete Infidel's Guide to the Koran, SPENCER, Robert, Washington DC, Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2009.
Catholicism and Fundamentalism: The Attack on "Romanism", KEATING, Karl. Ignatius Press, 1988.
Galileo in Rome; the Rise and Fall of a Troublesome Genius, SHEA, William R., ARTIGAS, Mariano. New-York, Oxford University Press, 2003.
The Da Vinci Hoax; Exposing the errors in the Da Vinci Code, OLSON, Carl E., MIESEL, Sandra. San Francisco, CA, Ignatius Press, 2004.
The Concise History of the Crusades MADDEN, Thomas F., Rowman and Littlefield, 2013.

5.2.4) Other books that can be useful

The Decline and Fall of the Catholic Church in America, CARLIN, David. Manchester, NH, Sophia Institute Press, 2003.
Goodbye, Good Men, ROSE, Micheal S. Regnery Publishing, 2002.
The Truth About Homosexuality; The Cry of the Faithful. HARVEY, John F. San Francisco, Ignatius Press, 1996.
ProLife Answers to ProChoice Arguments. ALCORN, Randy. Sisters, OR, Multnomah Publishers, 2000.
Three Approaches to Abortion; A thoughtful and compassionate guide to today's most controversial issue. KREEFT, Peter. San Francisco, CA, Ignatius Press, 2002.
Architects of the Culture of Death. DE MARCO, Donald. WIKER, Benjamin. San Francisco, CA, Ignatius Press, 2004.
The Abolition of Man. LEWIS, C.S.
SGRECCIA, Elio. Manuel de bioéthique; les fondements et l'éthique biomédicale, Paris, Mame-Edifa, 2004, 868 pages.
Sexual Wisdom. WETZEL, Richard. Ann Arbour, MI, Proctor Publications, 2000. Partial Text

 

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