Catholic Company / Magazine

Catholic Books: More Than Meets the Eye

Jun 20, 2012 by

I grew up with a terribly inaccurate stereotype about Catholic books.  Growing up I always thought that a “Catholic book” was simply an apologetic book: books about why Catholics believe this or that, or 20 commonly asked questions about the Catholic faith.  These were the only Catholic books that I came in contact with, so naturally I thought that if you wrote Catholic books, then that’s what you wrote.  Luckily I have grown out of that stereotype and into the wealth of what a Catholic book can be about.

I have come to find out that a Catholic book can be about almost anything.  Catholic books are written about saints, church history, encouragement, Mary, theology, and even fiction.  Catholic fiction books were the first to break my old stereotype about what Catholic books were.  When I was in high school my uncle bought me the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and The Hobbit by R. R. Tolkien.  I had never heard about Catholic fiction and I had never heard of J. R. R. Tolkien. These books fascinated me and I could not get over how unique the stories and characters were.  After reading the Lord of The Rings  I wanted to read more Catholic fiction and other Catholic books.  After J. R. R. Tolkien I picked up G. K. Chesterton, Matthew Kelly, Flannery O’Connor, and Walker Percy.  Quickly I realized that there is much more to Catholic books than simply apologetics.

After reading all of these Catholic authors I began to wonder, what do catholic authors and books have to offer that other non-Catholic authors don’t have?  And the answer was clear, their Catholic faith!  One reading the Chronicles of Narnia or the Lord of the Rings Trilogy can easily see the influence of Christianity through allegory.  Even in reading Flannery O’Connor and Walker Percy, in which they don't tend to use allegory, the influence of their faith can be seen.  Catholic writers bring their faith to the table in unique ways that everyone can benefit from.  Who is your favorite Catholic author?  What Catholic books do you enjoy?