Favorite Books

For years now I’ve been planning a page professing my favorite books, including links to posts I’ve written about them over the years. The challenge has always been that I like different books for different reasons, so I struggled to come up with an approach I liked.

But now it’s April of 2020, and much of the country is quarantined, with time to read and a desire to grow intellectually and spiritually. It feels as though I’ve let the perfect become the enemy of the good. It feels like it’s time I share something, even if it’s incomplete, unranked and occasionally irrational.

So be it. Here are several favorite books of mine, in a few different categories. If I’ve linked to a post, consider reading it; occasionally I admit that a favorite book of mine will not resonate with all audiences.

Favorite Fiction

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky

A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr.

The Earthsea Trilogy by Ursula LeGuin

East of Eden by John Steinbeck

The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis

The Kirstin Lavransdattar Trilogy by Sigrid Undset

Leaf by Niggle by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

Lord of the World by Robert Hugh Benson

Manalive by G.K. Chesterton

Mr. Blue by Myles Connolly

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

Tobit’s Dog by Michael N. Richards

Favorite Religious

God’s Doorkeepers: Padre Pio, Solanus Casey & Andre Bessette by Joel Schorn

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

Soul of the Apostolate by Jean-Baptiste Chautard

Story of a Soul by St. Therese of Liseux

Favorite Non-Fiction

The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell

Small Is Beautiful: Economics As If People Mattered by E.F. Schumacher

What We Can’t Not Know by J. Budziszewski

Favorite Biography

American Cicero: The Life of Charles Carroll by Bradley J. Birzer

The Long Loneliness by Dorothy Day

The Man Who Fed the World: Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Norman Borlaug and His Battle to End World Hunger by Leon Hesser

The Seven Storey Mountain by Thomas Merton

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

The Unmasking of Oscar Wilde by Joseph Pearce

Valerian Pączek: Priest, Soldier, Quiet Hero by William C. Sherman and John Guerrero