Recommended Reads: Suggestions for What You Should Pick Up Next

Register staff and writers discuss their favorite spiritual books.

Looking for Lenten reading recommendations?
Looking for Lenten reading recommendations? (photo: Courtesy photos / Ignatius/Sophia/EWTN)

Hannah Cote, freelance writer

Into Your Hands, Father: Abandoning Ourselves to the God Who Loves Us, by Wilfred Stinissen 

No book — besides Scripture — has impacted my spiritual life as much as this one. Into Your Hands, Father taught me what true surrender to the Lord should look like and how abandonment to his will is flooded with joy and freedom.

The Place Within: The Poetry of Pope John Paul II  

The Place Within is an awe-inspiring collection of Catholic poetry from St. John Paul II. This beloved saint explores themes of Eucharistic love, motherhood, suffering and more — all with a profound simplicity and rawness to his art.


Joan Frawley Desmond, senior editor

Dominum et Vivificantem, by Pope St. John Paul II

Those who yearn to go deeper into one of the most challenging mysteries of the faith should consider Pope St. John Paul II’s Dominum et Vivificantem. You will be captivated by his gift for linking Old Testament prophecies with the New Testament’s unfolding drama of Christ’s revelation as the Son of the Father.

John M. Grondelski, freelance writer

Love and Responsibility, by Karol Wojtyla/Pope St. John Paul II

A serious study of human love as decision, taking account of its counterfeits, its attacks on chastity as a value of the person, and parenthood: 60-plus years old and still strong.


Elaine Gunthorpe, recent EWTN News intern

Bernadette Speaks: A Life of St. Bernadette Soubirous in Her Own Words, by René Laurentin

This book is from the perspective of the saint herself, which gives the reader an inside look into her life and how she became a saint.

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Charles Lewis, freelance writer

The Power of Silence, by Cardinal Robert Sarah

Elijah heard God on Mount Horeb in the “still, small voice.” God was in the silence; was the silence. Cardinal Robert Sarah writes in his masterful book The Power of Silence that to find God is to find silence: not the mere closing of the mouth, but something so deep that it reaches the divine.


Emily Malloy, freelance columnist

Poustinia, by Catherine Doherty

One feels as if she is sitting down to coffee and talking with a trusted spiritual mother. Hers is a wisdom and insight into the needs of the soul that beckons the reader to heed her words, instructing how to become recollected in this noisy world with immense foresight.


Noelle Mering, freelance columnist

The Fulfillment of All Desire, by Ralph Martin 

This book walks readers through the stages of the spiritual life: purgative, illuminative and unitive. Woven throughout are the stories and writing of seven doctors of the Church, bringing wisdom and light to bear. It can be read in bits and pieces to feed meditation; a deeply enriching and engaging read.


Shannon Mullen, editor-in-chief

Consecration to St. Joseph: The Wonders of Our Spiritual Father, by Marian Father Donald Calloway

St. Joseph is scarcely mentioned and never speaks a single word in any of the Gospels. In this edifying book, Father Calloway draws on Catholic tradition and the writings of saints and popes to present a fuller picture of the universal patron of the Church, whose humility, trust and steadfastness serve as a powerful antidote to the anxieties we experience as spouses, parents, workers and providers for our families.


Alyssa Murphy, managing editor of digital assets

His Angels at Our Side, by Father John Horgan 

Take a ride through the celestial skies and ponder the existence of angels, those that fully understand the will of God, exploring ways they can assist us in our desire to imitate Christ. Learn to befriend and grow with your guardian angel.

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Classic and new books are endorsed by staff and freelancers alike.(Photo: Register illustration/

Mary Frances Myler, freelance writer

The Genesis of Gender, by Abigail Favale

Part memoir, part scriptural exegesis, part apologetic, Favale’s book offers unparalleled analysis of gender ideology in light of Catholic teaching. Drawing on her expertise in critical theory, Favale explains the history behind today’s gender wars, debunks the false narratives of feminism, and charitably presents God’s plan for human sexuality.


Bridget McCartney Nohara, freelance writer

The Way of Trust and Love: A Retreat Guided by St. Thérèse of Lisieux, by Jacques Philippe

Steeped in the writings of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, and spoken through Father Jacques Philippe’s signature clear, honest and gently evocative tone, this book reminds the reader of how essential trust is and offers careful reflections and practical wisdom on how to increase our own.


Joseph Pronechen, staff writer

The Bible

Topping the list: the Bible. The New Testament is a never-ending source of inspiration and instruction on God’s love for us and how to follow the right path to our ultimate goal. Old Testament foundations in the Psalms, Proverbs, Sirach and Isaiah are guideposts, and Tobit makes us aware of angelic help.

Fulton Sheen and Father Calloway

Besides anything by Fulton Sheen, Marian Father Donald Calloway’s books on Mary and St. Joseph, especially Champions of the Rosary and Consecration to St. Joseph, stand as super gems that sparkle with inspiration through a treasure trove of examples and insights.

Amy Smith, senior editor

Story of a Soul, by St. Thérèse

Reading St. Thérèse’s autobiography, I felt an immediate connection with the Little Flower, as she wrote of striving to understand God’s will and discovered “Oh! How sweet is the way of Love!” Thérèse reminds me to always trust Jesus, while striving to do everything, including little things, with great love.

Susanna Spencer, freelance columnist

An Introduction to the Devout Life, by St. Francis de Sales 

An Introduction to the Devout Life guides the layperson in holiness in a practical and spiritually deep way. St. Francis de Sales focuses on the practice of the presence of God and goes through virtues and practical situations. After 15 years, I implement his ideas daily.


Solène Tadié, Europe correspondent

St. Thomas Aquinas, by G.K. Chesterton 

The book the famous Thomist philosopher Etienne Gilson considered to be the best ever written on the “Angelic Doctor” illuminates, in pages as profound as they are accessible and entertaining, the complexity of the character of this groundbreaker of Christian thought.


K.V. Turley, U.K. correspondent

Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust, by Immaculée Ilibagiza

In addition to being a spiritual classic, Left to Tell reads like a thriller. The last thing Immaculée’s father gave her while fleeing genocide in Rwanda was a rosary, which she prayed nonstop while captive, hiding in a bathroom. There, as her killers roamed outside, she became a mystic. An unforgettable read; related content available at


Katie Warner, freelance writer

Mother Love: A Manual for Christian Mothers

This is an invaluable guide to prayer in motherhood, rife with poetic morning and evening prayers, indulgenced prayers and aspirations, as well as specific prayers for one’s marriage, children’s vocations, the Mass and more. Every modern mother needs a copy of this book that’s more classic than old-fashioned and filled with timeless wisdom.


Tom Wehner, managing editor

The Imitation of Christ, by Thomas à Kempis

My perennial devotional book for renewal; I was introduced to this thin volume later in life after my reversion to the Catholic faith. The Imitation of Christ (along with Frank Sheed’s To Know Christ Jesus) has never failed to refocus my attention on Christ when the things of this world get in the way — or to reinforce the virtues when my will is assaulted by earthly pursuits.


Father John Paul Mary Zeller, of the Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word, EWTN employee chaplain

The Light of His Eyes, by Mother Iliana

My favorite book of 2023 was The Light of His Eyes: Journeying From Self-Contempt to the Father’s Delight, by Mother Iliana, a nun of Christ the Bridegroom Monastery. Mother takes the reader on a journey through her own story of human brokenness and vulnerability. She touches on areas of weakness and even sin that will touch each reader in a way that they will be able to relate to and have hope of healing and becoming the Father’s delight.