Recommended Books — Fr. John McCloskey’s List

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A Catholic Lifetime Reading Plan

by Fr. John McCloskey

This list of books is more up-to-date than Fr. John Hardon’s list, and it is grouped thematically, rather than chronologically.

Many of the following books can be found for free on the internet, in electronic versions, no longer bound by copyright. Just search and you will probably find many different sites that host these texts as free downloads (in different formats, for example, as text, PDF, mobi, epub, AZW, etc).

If you prefer a paper copy, trying searching an online bookseller, such as Amazon. Older, more obscure works might be available at Loome Theological Booksellers.

Newer books, still bound by copyright, can probably only be found in paper versions at an online bookseller.

Theology and Catholicism explained

Catechism of the Catholic Church

Karl Adams, The Spirit of Catholicism

Louis Bouyer, Spirit and Forms of Protestantism

Romano Guardini, End of the Modern World

Romano Guardini, The Lord

Scott & Kimberly Hahn, Rome Sweet Home

Peter Kreeft, Christianity for Modern Pagans

Bl John Henry Newman, Essay on Development of Christian Doctrine

Bl John Henry Newman, Parochial and Plain Sermons

Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma

Josef Pieper, The Four Cardinal Virtues

History and Culture

Hilaire Belloc, The Great Heresies

Hilaire Belloc, How The Reformation Happened

Hilaire Belloc, Survivals and New Arrivals

Warren Carroll, History of Christendom (four volumes)

H.W. Crocker III, Triumph : the power and the glory of the Catholic Church

Christopher Dawson, Christianity and European Culture

Ronald Knox, Enthusiasm

Jean Leclercq, Love of Learning and the Desire for God

William Walsh, Our Lady of Fatima

Holy Men and Women

G.K. Chesterton, St Francis of Assisi

G.K. Chesterton, St Thomas Aquinas: the dumb ox

Georges Chevrot, Simon Peter

Dorothy Day, The Long Loneliness

Joseph Holzner, Paul of Tarsus

St John XXIII, Journal of a Soul

Malcolm Muggeridge, Something Beautiful for God

Thomas Merton, Seven Storey Mountain

Bl John Henry Newman, Apologia Pro Vita Sua

Federico Suarez, Mary of Nazareth

Francis Trochu, The Curé of Ars: St Jean-Marie Baptiste Vianney

Gerard B Wegemer, Thomas More: a portrait of courage

George Weigel, Witness to Hope: the biography of Pope John Paul II

Literary Classics

Robert Hugh Benson, Lord of the World

George Bernanos, The Diary of a Country Priest

Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote

T.S. Eliot, Christianity and Culture

Shusaku Endo, Silence

George Manley Hopkins, Poetry and Prose

Bl John Henry Newman, The Idea of a University

Flannery O’Connor, Complete Stories

Walker Percy, Lost in the Cosmos

Walker Percy, Love in the Ruins

Henryk Sienkiewicz, Quo Vadis

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

Sigrid Undset, Kristin Lavransdatter

Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited

Spiritual Classics

St Thomas Aquinas, My Way of Life/Summa Theologiae

St Augustine, City of God

St Augustine, Confessions

St Catherine of Siena, Little Talks with God (modernized version of The Dialogue)

G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

G.K. Chesterton, The Everlasting Man

St John of the Cross, Dark Night of the Soul

Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ

C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

Fulton Oursler, The Greatest Story Ever Told

Bl Teresa of Calcutta, Meditations from a Simple Path

St Teresa of Avila, Interior Castle

St Teresa of Avila, The Way of Perfection

St Thérèse of Lisieux, Story of a Soul

Spiritual Reading

Jordan Aumann, Spiritual Theology

Benedict Baur, Frequent Confession

Benedict Baur, In Silence with God

Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth (three volumes)

Eugene Boylan, Difficulties in Mental Prayer

Eugene Boylan, This Tremendous Lover

Cormac Burke, Covenanted Happiness

Jean-Pierre de Caussade, Abandonment to Divine Providence

Jean-Baptiste Chautard, The Soul of the Apostolate

Walter Ciszek, He Leadeth Me

St Josemaría Escrivá, Christ is Passing By

St Josemaría Escrivá, The Way, Furrow, The Forge

St Josemaría Escrivá, Way of the Cross

Frederick William Faber, All for Jesus

Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, Three Ages of Interior Life

Dietrich von Hildebrand, Transformation in Christ

St Alphonsus Liguori, The Way of Salvation and Perfection

St Alphonsus Liguori, Uniformity with God’s Will

Ven Louis of Grenada, Sinner’s Guide

Lawrence G. Lovasik, The Hidden Power of Kindness

Luis M. Martinez, True Devotion to the Holy Spirit

Alessandro Manzoni, The Betrothed

St Louis-Marie de Montfort, True Devotion to Mary

St Thomas More, The Sadness of Christ

Bonaventure Perquin, Abba Father

Peter T. Rohrbach, Conversation with Christ

St Francis de Sales, Introduction to Devout Life

St Francis de Sales, Treatise on the Love of God

Lorenzo Scupoli, Spiritual Combat

Frank Sheed, Theology and Sanity

Frank Sheed, Theology for Beginners

Frank Sheed, To Know Christ Jesus

Ven. Fulton Sheen, Life of Christ

Ven. Fulton Sheen, Three to Get Married

Adolphe Alfred Tanqueray, The Spiritual Life: a treatise on ascetical and mystical theology

Gerald Vann, The Divine Pity


Benedict XVI, Opera Omnia

Benedict XVI, Day by Day with the Pope

Art & Laraine Bennett, The Emotions God gave you

Art & Laraine Bennett, The Temperament God gave you

Alice von Hildebrand, The Privilege of Being a Woman

St John Paul II, Crossing the Threshold of Hope

Georgina Masson, Companion Guide to Rome

James Monti, The King’s Good Servant but God’s First

Charles Rice, 50 Questions on the Natural Law

A.G. Sertillanges, The Intellectual Life

St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein), Essays on Woman

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