Welcome to The Catholic Reading Challenge -- a podcast to enrich your reading life that feels more like a book club! We’re your hosts, Mike and Jess Ptomey, and the only thing we like better than reading is talking about what we are reading with friends. In 2019 we’ll be reading a book from a new category each month; so listen in and read along! Be sure to share your picks for each month on social media with the hashtag #thecatholicreadingchallenge.
Mike and Jess discuss the neglected, yet brilliant, genre of the essay and why we should be reading more of them.
Books mentioned on this episode:
Mystery and Manners
God in the Dock
The Givenness of Things
What are we doing here?
In Defense of Sanity: The Best Essays of G. K. Chesterton
A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments
Consider the Lobster and Other Essays
Self-Reliance and Other Essays
Signposts in a Strange Land
The Message in the Bottle
Essays of Four Decades
Essays of a Catholic
Kierkegaard on Faith and the Self: Collected Essays
Disarming Beauty: Essays on Faith, Truth, and Freedom
The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays
Did you hate studying history in school? Maybe you weren't reading the right books. Mike and Jess talk about the value of reading histories and why perspective makes a difference. They also share what they are reading for Lent.
Books mentioned on this episode:
1776 by David McCullough
Blitzed: Drugs in the Third Reich by Norman Ohler
Midnight in Chernobyl by Adam HIgginbotham
The Great Heresies by Hilaire Belloc
The Crusades by Hilaire Belloc
The Civil War (series) by Shelby Foote
Above All by Elizabeth Foss (Take Up & Read)
Word in the Wilderness: A poem a day for Lent and Easter by Malcolm Guite
Purgatory by Dante (Anthony Esolen, trans.)
Mike and Jess discuss the books they read in February, and they find that their authors, and books, share some interesting things in common. Plus...Flannery O'Connor's thoughts on the author's view of reality spark an interesting discussion of the importance of a distinct metaphysic in the novel.
Books mentioned in this episode:
Mystery and Manners by Flannery O'Connor
The Second Coming by Walker Percy
Lost in the Cosmos by Walker Percy
The Women on the Porch by Caroline Gordon
Mike and Jess kick of the episode with a tip for your reading life: using "lead measures" to meet your reading goals. Then they dive into one of their favorite categories of this year's reading challenge: novels by Southern American authors!
Books, authors & resources mentioned on this episode:
Deep Work, by Cal Newport
Confederacy of Dunces, by John Kennedy Toole
The Women on the Porch, by Caroline Gordon
The Moviegoer, The Last Gentleman, The Second Coming, The Thanatos Syndrome, by Walker Percy
Wise Blood, by Flannery O'Conner
To Kill a Mocking Bird, by Harper Lee
The Road, by Cormac McCarthy
The Best Southern Novels of All Time
Mike and Jess discuss their book picks for January's category, "a faith memoir." Interestingly, we picked books/authors with a lot of similarities, though the books are quite distinct themselves. Have a listen as we talk about Tyler Blanski's An Immovable Feast and Sheldon Vanauken's A Severe Mercy. And don't forget to share picks with us on social media. #thecatholicreadingchallenge
Mike and Jess introduce the podcast and book categories for the year. We discuss some possible selections for our first category: "a faith memoir".
For a free printable of the 2019 reading categories visit Jessica's blog.
Book and authors mentioned on this episode:
Shelby Foote's The Civil War (3 volumes)
Robert Kaplan, Balkan Ghosts
Doctors of the church: Edith Stein, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Augustine, St. Therese
The Two Towers
A Severe Mercy
An Immovable Feast