2020 Book Recommendations

At the end of each year I have had the custom of making book recommendations for the following year. This year, I would like to begin with some remarks about the importance of actually reading.

When we watch television, videos, and movies, we are, first of all, letting our imagination be passively formed by what we watch. When we listen to a speaker, whether in a live presentation or an audio recording, the words pass and are gone. If we get distracted for a moment, we easily lose the thread of the whole presentation. With an audio recording we might, perhaps, push the pause button and stop and reflect, but do people really do that? With a live speaker that is not a possibility.

When we read, our mind and imagination must engage in a much more active fashion, to reconstruct the scenes and arguments presented to us. For that reason, apart from the choice of reading, reading provides us with a unique exercise that builds up our mind and imagination.

Build up or destroy – actually, we should be careful about what we watch, listen to, and read, because we take the content into our soul and make it a part of ourselves. Nevertheless, reading has an advantage, because our ability to judge and evaluate and so also accept or reject is much more present.

With that introduction, now let me make some reading recommendations for the year:

  1. A Pathway Beneath the Gaze of Mary by the Carmel of Coimbra
  2. The Day is Now Far Spent by Robert Cardinal Sarah
  3. In Defense of Nature by Benjamin Wiker
  4. The Anti-Mary Hoax Exposed by Carrie Gress
  5. 111 Questions on Islam by Samir Khalil Samir, SJ
  6. When Harry Became Sally by Ryan Anderson
  7. Jean de Brebeuf: Saint Among the Hurons by Francis X. Talbot, SJ
  8. Saints and Sinners in the Cristero War: Stories of Martyrdom from Mexico by Msgr. James Murphy


Fr. Joseph Levine graduated from Thomas Aquinas College and after a long journey was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Baker, Oregon. He currently serves as pastor of St. Peter Catholic Church in The Dalles on the Columbia River.

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