So, What Books Are on Your Nightstand?

If you’re like me and you love to read books, when do you find the time?

Between the demands of my job, home responsibilities to my wife and four kids between the ages of 19 and 6, and watching the Red Sox go down the tubes yet again, the best time to crack open some brain food always seems to be between 11:30pm and 2am. Yes, that 7am alarm is often an uninvited guest.

Always perusing our bookshelves for the next piece of literature I can spend the next couple of weeks with, I embark on the new read, put that down (not because it’s not a good book but because you can pick it up again anytime, right?), grab another book, start it up, put it down for later, open another, and … before I know it, I’ve got the Tower of Terror looming over my bed; one slip and it’s curtains.

What follows is a sampling. Disclaimer: Prior to my reversion, I read a lot of science fiction and fantasy. I also read a lot of history of all eras. These days, my primary (though not exclusive) focus is Catholic non-fiction for their formative properties. There’s always a lot of catching up to do.

With varying degrees of progress, these books are occupying precious space on my nightstand (along with my Bible):

To Know Christ Jesus by Frank Sheed, which I read all the way through last Lent and plan on reading again. I’m still feeling the beautiful repercussions of that one. Status: second read-through.

Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters by Meg Meeker. I’ve got three daughters on earth. I need all the help I can get. Status: started.

By What Authority: An Evangelical Discovers Catholic Tradition by Register blogger Mark Shea. I read it previously, and was prompted to pick it up again after a memorable road trip with Shea from Philadelphia to Boston. Status: second read-through.

Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose. This stirring adventure through the untouched American wilderness with the Lewis and Clark Expedition satisfies my hankering for history in a big way. Status: second read-through. (I say second because I count listening to the unabridged CD series as the first.)

Supremacy and Survival: How Catholics Endured the English Reformation by Stephanie A. Mann. I was doing some preparation for the Holy Father’s upcoming visit to Great Britain, and I was fascinated by the lives of the martyrs who endured that difficult period.  Status: almost finished.
Hideaway by Dean Koontz. I admit it: I’m a sucker for his stuff. Status: second read-through.

The Public Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ by Archbishop Alban Goodier, S.J. Recommended to me by a colleague who knew I enjoyed the Sheed book. It looks really promising so far. Status: started.

So what books are on your nightstand? And when do you find time to read? And lastly, bring on the recommendations. It’s about time I started something new.