Book Recommendations

At the end of each year, I have had the custom of making book recommendations for the following year. This year, I am focusing on history and biography. History is important. Good history gives us vivid examples of human life and action on a big scale and is an important part of our cultural memory, which teaches us who we are and where we came from. This takes on a special importance today because the new wave of radical revolution sweeping the country wants to rewrite, reject, and falsify history.

Before I get to the history and biography, however, I want to recommend one devotional book: Consecration to St. Joseph: The Wonders of Our Spiritual Father by Fr. Donald H. Calloway.

Also, let me recommend a book that contains a bit of history and autobiography, but also personal reflection on the life of the Church in recent decades: Christus Vincit: Christ’s Triumph over the Darkness of the Age by Bishop Athanasius Schneider.

Then one book to prepare for what might be coming upon us: Do Not Live by Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents by Rod Dreher

Now for the rest:

  1. Jean de Brébeuf: Saint Among the Hurons by Francis X. Talbot, SJ (This is a repeat from last year’s list)
  2. Faith and Fury: The Rise of Catholicism During the Civil War by Fr. Charles P. Connor
  3. The Life of Father de Smet, S.J.: Apostle of the Rocky Mountains 1801-1873 by Fr. E. Laveille, S.J.
  4. The Bell and the River by St. Mary of the Blessed Sacrament McCrosson (This is a biography of Mother Joseph of the Sacred Heart, who founded the original Providence convents, hospitals, and schools in the Pacific Northwest during the last half of the 19th century)
  5. A World Undone: The Story of the Great War 1914 to 1918 by G. J. Meyer (I don’t think it would be too much to say that 100 years later we are still living in the aftermath of World War I)
  6. Blood Drenched Altars: A Catholic Commentary on the History of Mexico by Most Rev. Francis Clement Kelly
  7. Father Miguel Pro: A Modern Mexican Martyr by Gerald Muller, C.S.C.


One of these is available in Spanish: Christus Vincit: El triunfo de Cristo sobre la oscuridad de la Iglesia por Mons. Athanasius Schneider

“Live not by Lies” might soon be translated, but in the meantime a previous work by the same author might do: La opción benedictina: Una estrategia para los cristianos en una sociedad postcristiana by Rod Dreher

One that could be added in Spanish would be: La cristiada: La guerra de los cristeros por Jean Meyer)



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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