Books affect us enormously, especially the books we read as children.
Think back to yourself as a kid: What books were your favorites?
It’s likely that these books influenced everything from your personality and the way you saw the world to your adult career choices and interests.
For example, I have a friend who became a lawyer after reading To Kill A Mockingbird in middle school. Another friend traces her lifelong passion for history to reading Little House in the Big Woods as a young girl.
As a mom of four, I’m always looking for good book recommendations for my kids. I started to wonder what books would both capture their interest and have a positive influence.
Who better to ask than people I admire? So I reached out to Fr. Mike Schmitz, host of the two most successful Catholic podcasts, Bible in a Year and Catechism in a Year.
He graciously shared his favorite books as a child, and the childhood books that most influenced his future vocation.
What were your favorite books as a child?
At one point in my early adolescence, I got into the Tarzan novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs, and read all of them (I think that there are 26 of them?) multiple times. They were defining novels for me.
I also read the Sherlock Holmes short stories and novels many times.
Tarzan and Sherlock Holmes are well known characters, familiar from many movies, but we might not be aware that they originated in book series. These classic stories would be fun reads!
What books had the most influence on you as a child, especially regarding your faith life and future vocation as a priest?
There are a series of books by Louis de Wohl that are novels on the lives of the saints. I was very moved by those books. He took the saints and brought them to life in those novels.
You can find this book collection over at Ignatius Press in case you want to add a few to your home library. They would also make great gifts for a young person in your life, perhaps your godchild or grandchild.
Thank you, Fr. Mike, for sharing your favorite books with us! I look forward to sharing these books with my kids and their friends.