The Catholic Reading Challenge

The Catholic Reading Challenge

By Mike and Jess Ptomey
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.
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Episode 7: A Collection of Essays
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
26:24
April 15, 2019
Episode 6: History Books About Wars
Mike and Jess share their picks for March...a little late...but there's a good reason. As it happens, they both picked war histories. 
27:17
April 7, 2019
Episode 5: Perspectives on History & Lenten Reading
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 Robert Kaplan The Civil War (series) by Shelby Foote Thomas Cahill 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.)
30:30
March 13, 2019
Episode 4: Southern Picks and the Author's Metaphysic
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
33:08
February 26, 2019
Episode 3: The Southern Greats
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 William Faulkner Mark Twain To Kill a Mocking Bird, by Harper Lee The Road, by Cormac McCarthy The Best Southern Novels of All Time
31:03
February 7, 2019
Episode 2: Conversion Stories & Poetic Authors
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
33:05
January 27, 2019
Episode 1: The Challenge Begins!
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) Thomas Cahill Christopher Dawson 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
33:59
January 10, 2019
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