United Kingdom and Ireland

Book Recommendations

October 4, 2022

The Egyptian Guide – From Jihad to Joy

by Evelyn Oliver, Regina Press.

Order: Amazon, LMS

In this deeply Catholic novel, a sentimental encounter in Cairo leads to conversion and heroism. While
Islamists and liberals connive to oppress Christians, Catholic beliefs and practices prove vital for protection and spiritual survival.

The Egyptian Guide is a beautiful story of a woman’s faith journey. It contains a wide range of comparisons between life experiences and the realities of faith. The author uses rich descriptive language to explore the depths of conversion, love, forgiveness, and their interactions expressed through geopolitical events, terrorism, radical conversion, and consecrated life. The chapters are short. The plot is fast-paced, and it covers a full range of emotions. Reading this novel was at times exhilarating, at other times heartbreaking, but wonderfully satisfying.

Mitre and Crook

by Fr Bryan Houghton (a reprint from the 1970s prophetic original).

Order: lms.org.uk/product/mitre-and-crook

Bishop Edmund Forester, looking out over his little diocese of Stamford, was distressed at what he saw. In the early 1970s, a pragmatic bishop decides to allow the traditional Mass to go on.

A novel unique in the annals of Catholic literature. It takes the form of letters from the bishop himself: a tough infighter—and a saint; a man of humility and charity—with a nose for humbug and an eye for the absurd. What emerges from these remarkable letters is a bishop for the ages. But along with this extraordinary man we are treated to what may be the most incisive analyses of the crisis in the Catholic Church ever to see print. What duller writers take chapters and books to say, Bishop Forester declaims in a few pages. And unforgettably.

Loss and Gain: The Story of a Convert

a novel by St John-Henry Newman. Ignatius Press

Mostly autobiographical: a pleasant opportunity to become familiar with the spiritual journey of the great 19th century convert.

This novel about a young man’s intellectual and spiritual development was the first work John Henry Newman wrote after entering the Roman Catholic Church in 1845. The story describes the perplexing questions and doubts Charles Reding experiences while attending Oxford. Though intending to avoid the religious controversies that are being heatedly debated at the university, Reding ends up leaving the Church of England and becoming a Catholic. A former Anglican clergyman who was later named a Catholic cardinal, Newman wrote this autobiographical novel to illustrate his own reasons for embracing Catholicism.

The Soul of The Apostolate

by Dom Jean-Baptiste Chautard

A classic on the primacy of the interior life. Against the temptation of activism, or against helplessness when one is prevented from actively serving God, this book reminds clergy and laity that personal prayer is the key. The interior life seeks God in everything. It is a life of prayer, teaching us to live in the presence of God. It teaches us that God grants fruit to our initiatives in proportion with their root in mental prayer.

Book Recommendation: A Saint in Hyde Park

by E. S. Siderman

Anecdotal account of the life and words of Fr Vincent McNabb, the Dominican who preached to the crowds on Hyde Park Corner, never failing to make them stop and think about the deeper questions. Out of print, but second hand copies available on various sites.