US Catholic Faith in Real Life

USC Book Club: A Dangerous Dozen

Liz Lefebvre |

February 2012:

A Dangerous Dozen: 12 Christians who Threatened the Status Quo But Taught Us to Live Like Jesus

By the Rev. Canon C.K. Robertson, PhD
Foreward by Archbishop Desmond Tutu


Read: Journey to the Common Good

By A. Regina Schulte |
Journey to the Common Good
By Walter Brueggemann (Westminster John Knox, 2010)

In this compact study, biblical theologian Walter Brueggemann traces a remarkably similar pattern of cause and effect between the crises in today’s world—chronic war-making, ecological destruction, economic injustices—and the defining events in Jewish tradition.

Read: Party of One

By Alice Camille |
Party of One
By Beth M. Knobbe (St. Anthony Messenger, 2011)

If you are single, this book needs no justification. Though the majority of us inhabit that category innocently for the first two decades of life, if a third decade waxes and wanes, you find you have some explaining to do. And if you manage to close a fourth decade without a partner, the range of responses often moves from pity to suspicion. What’s wrong with you that no one’s popped the question?

Listen: Undun by the Roots

By Danny Duncan Collum |
The Roots (Def Jam, 2011)

The Roots are famous now as the house band on The Jimmy Fallon Show, but they’ve been legend among America’s better-informed music lovers for a couple of decades. They emerged in the early ’90s as something of a novelty—a rap music act that was really a band, playing real musical instruments and playing them with skill and sophistication.

Read: How to Go From a Good Evangelical to a Committed Catholic in 95 Difficult Steps

By J. Peter Nixon |
How to Go From a Good Evangelical to a Committed Catholic in 95 Difficult Steps
By Christian Smith (Cascade Books, 2011)

Thomas Kuhn’s 1962 book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions argued that scientific inquiry depended on frameworks of assumptions that he called “paradigms.” Periodically, the process of inquiry uncovers “anomalies” in those frameworks that lead to their being overturned.

Read: Comfort

By Heather Grennan Gary |
By Brett C. Hoover (Riverhead Books, 2011)

Don’t let the fuzzy slippers on the cover fool you: Brett C. Hoover’s book Comfort: An Atlas for the Body and Soul is less spa-getaway and more philosophical inquiry that delves into a pervasive, little-critiqued cultural value.

USC Book Club: Seeking the Truth of Things

Online Editor |

December 2011:

Seeking the Truth of Things: confessions of a (catholic) philosopher

By Al Gini

Review: While certainly not a textbook, Seeking the Truth of Things introduces some of the world’s greatest thinkers and philosophical concepts. Telling stories on the ground rather than from the fabled ivory tower, Al Gini invites the reader to explore deep questions of meaning without the Philosophy 101 prerequisite.

Book review: At the Supper of the Lamb

By Alice Camille |
By Paul Turner (Liturgy Training Publications, 2011)

One thing we can pretty much count on: The changes in the liturgy this Advent will be tough. But the process doesn’t have to be all blood, sweat, and tears. The more folks know about what’s ahead and why the changes are being made, the better off we’ll all be. Which makes resources like Father Paul Turner’s book, subtitled A Pastoral and Theological Commentary on the Mass, indispensible.

USC Book Club: Focolare


November 2011:

Focolare: Living a Spirituality of Unity in the United States

By Thomas Masters and Amy Uelmen

Book Review: Handbook of Saints for Catholic Moms

By Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur |
A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms
by Lisa M. Hendey
(Ave Maria, 2011)

Lisa Hendey has put together a very inspiring, practical guide to the saints designed especially for Catholic mothers.