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Our Favorite Books of 2013

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Daniel McInerny - published on 12/26/13 - updated on 06/07/17

Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, and Visiting Professor, Harvard Law School:

Yuval Levin, The Great Debate: Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, and the Birth of Right and Left (Basic Books, 2013).

Russell Shaw, author and journalist:

James Hitchcock, History of the Catholic Church(Ignatius Press, 2013). While researching my book American Church, I was frequently reminded that the history of the Catholic Church in the United States has for years been written mostly by Americanist historians attempting to celebrate and continue the process of cultural assimilation of American Catholics. If this assimilationist bias exists in the historical writing about Catholicism in the United States, how much more so in the many recent histories of the Church generally written from a modernist point of view.

From this perspective (as well as many others), James Hitchcock's History of the Catholic Church is a most welcome gift. Comprehensive, reliable, and clearly written, the book performs the enormous service of telling the story straight, and doing so in little more than five hundred pages. One can only hope it finds the place it richly deserves in school libraries and on the shelves of serious readers. It should be a standard work for a long time to come.

Hugh Sales, assistant professor of business, Belmont Abbey College:

Justin Litke, Twilight of the Republic(University Press of Kentucky, 2013). Offers an historical and comprehensive look at what makes America….America. It asks the ultimate secular question of day for the American "experiment" – are we at the dusk or new-day dawn of what our country is all about?

Bill Thierfelder, Less Than a Minute to Go (Saint Benedict Press, 2013). More than a typical self-help book, Dr. Thierfelder presents a plan that can put the whole you–body, mind, and spirit–ever more frequently into the "zone" of peak performance: acting in the right way at the right time and in the right place.

David Clayton, artist-in-residence and lecturer in the liberal arts at Thomas More College of the Liberal Arts:

Harry C. Veryser, It Didn't Have to Be This Way, Why Boom and Bust is Unnecessary–and How the Austrian School of Economics Breaks the Cycle (ISI Books, 2013). A brilliant description of how Catholic social teaching can be reconciled with free market economics and how such a system is consistent with the promotion of a Catholic culture of beauty.

Michael Connolly, The Gods of Guilt (Little Brown, 2013). Connolly is a great storyteller; all his books are courtroom dramas and detective novels set in modern day LA. His are the best books I know for entertainment and relaxation during long hours spent in airport lounges and in the cramped conditions of economy class up in the air. He manages to write in such a way that is gripping and stimulating while still being easy to read.

Jean Corbon, The Wellspring of Worship (Ignatius Press, 2005). A book that describes how our worship of God in the sacred liturgy is what transforms us so that we can be agents of the New Evangelisation, and, I say, enabling us to fulfill the call from Pope Francis to charity that shines with the light of Christ.

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