Thursday, June 25, 2009

Seeking Non Fiction Book Recommendations

Working on the assumption that one can never have too many books, I'm looking to expand my 'wish list' of non-fiction books. I'm going to list what I own, broken down into rough categories, and then, feel free to tell me what books you absolutely think I *must* have, on any subject. You can even list fiction, if you like, but my fiction collection is massive, so, no list for you on that.

*This is grouped roughly, and I'm just making the categories alphabetical*


- 1962 Roman Missal
- Aquinas's Shorter Summa: Saint Thomas's Own Concise Version of His Summa Theologica - St. Thomas Aquinas
- Begone Satan - Carl Vogl
- Catechism of the Catholic Church - U.S. Catholic Church
- St. Joseph Catholic Manual - Thomas J. Donaghy
- Catholic Women's Devotional Bible
- Catholicism for Dummies - Fr. John Trigilio
- Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church - Card. Joseph Ratzinger
- The Dark Sacrament: True Stories of Modern-Day Demon Possession and Exorcism - David Kiely
- Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul - St. Maria Faustina Kowalska
- An Exorcist Tells His Story - Fr. Gabriele Amorth
- An Exorcist: More Stories - Fr. Gabriele Amorth
- From the Angel's Blackboard: The Best of Fulton J. Sheen - Bishop Fulton J. Sheen
- God Is Near Us: The Eucharist, the Heart of Life - Card. Joseph Ratzinger
- Hail, Holy Queen: The Mother of God in the Word of God - Scott Hahn
- Hostage to the Devil: The Possession and Exorcism of Five Contemporary Americans - Malachi Martin
- Interview with an Exorcist - Fr. Jose Antonio Fortea
- Jesus of Nazareth - Pope Benedict XVI
- The New Catholic Answer Bible
- Pray the Rosary - J.M. Lelen
- Rome Sweet Home - Scott Hahn
- Theology of the Body: Human Love in the Divine Plan - Pope John Paul II
- What Paul Meant - Gary Wills


- Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew - Bart D. Ehrman
- The Lost Gospel of Judas Iscariot: A New Look at Betrayer and Betrayed - Bart D. Ehrman
- Lost Scriptures: Books that Did Not Make It into the New Testament - Bart D. Ehrman
- Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why - Bart D. Ehrman


- The Orthodox Church - Kallistos Ware
- The Orthodox Study Bible
- The Orthodox Way - Kallistos Ware


- 1776 - David McCullough
- Anything Goes - John Barrowman
- Back to the Batcave - Adam West
- Close to Shore - Michael Capuzzo
- Dracula, Prince of Many Faces: His Life and Times - Radu R. Florescu
- Ewan McGregor - Brian Pendreigh
- Heart Full of Lies: A True Story of Desire and Death - Ann Rule
- In Search of Dracula: The History of Dracula and Vampires - Radu Florescu
- John Adams - David McCullough
- The Lost Daughters of China - Karin Evans
- A Mind of Its Own: A Cultural History of the Penis - David M. Friedman
- Murder By Family - Kent Whitaker
- On Writing - Stephen King
- Plagues and Peoples - William H. McNeill
- What If? The World's Foremost Military Historians Imagine What Might Have Been - Various
- What If 2? Eminent Historians Imagine What Might Have Been - Various


- Coast to Coast Ghosts - Leslie Rule
- Florida's Ghostly Legends and Haunted Folklore: South and Central Florida - Greg Jenkins
- Floridaland Ghosts - Dyuan Clearfield
- Ghost Hunting: True Stories of Unexplained Phenomena from The Atlantic Paranormal Society - Jason Hawes
- Ghost in the Mirror - Leslie Rule
- Ghost Stories of Sarasota - Kim Cool
- Ghosts Among Us - Leslie Rule
- Ghosts of St. Augustine - Dave Lapham
- The Ghosts of 87th Lane - M.L. Woelm
- Ghosts: True Encounters with the World Beyond - Hans Holzer
- Grave's End - Elaine Mercado
- Hans Holzer's Travel Guide to Haunted Places - Hans Holzer
- Haunt Hunter's Guide to Florida - Joyce Elson Moore
- The Haunted South: Where Ghosts Still Roam - Nancy Roberts
- Haunting Sunshine - Jack Powell
- Hidden Files: Law Enforcement's True Case Stories of the Unexplained and Paranormal - Sue Kovach
- House of Spirits and Whispers - Annie Wilder
- I Never Believed in Ghosts Until... - Various
- Phantom Army of the Civil War and Other Southern Ghost Stories - Various
- Philadelphia Ghost Stories - Charles J. Adams, III
- Possessed Possessions - Ed Okonowicz
- Possessed Possessions 2 - Ed Okonowicz
- Psychic Pets and Spirit Animals - Various
- True Ghost Stories - Hans Holzer
- When the Ghost Screams - Leslie Rule


- The Blood of Lambs - Kamal Saleem
- The Caged Virgin - Ayaan Hirsi Ali
- The Exorcist Tradition in Islam - Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips
- The Face Behind the Veil - Donna Gehrke-White
- The Fundamentals of Tawheed: Islamic Monotheism - Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips
- A Hand Through the Door for My New Sister
- In the Land of Invisible Women - Qanta A. Ahmed
- Infidel - Ayaan Hirsi Ali
- Islam - Karen Armstrong
- Living Islam Out Loud - Saleemah Abdul-Ghafur
- Muhammed - Karen Armstrong
- No God But God - Reza Aslan
- Princess - Jean Sasson (I am aware of the *issues* with this book, but I own it, so I list)
- Qur'an and Woman - Amina Wadud
- Qur'an Translation
- Reading Lolita in Tehran - Azar Nafisi
- Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy and the West - Benazir Bhutto
- Standing Alone in Mecca - Asra Nomani
- Voices Behind the Veil - Ergun Mehmet Caner (again, *issues* are involved with the book, I know)


- 1 Enoch
- Abraham's Children - Jon Entine
- How to Run a Traditional Jewish Household - Blu Greenberg
- On Women & Judaism - Blu Greenberg
- Women & Jewish Law - Rachel Biale
- The Year of Living Biblically - A.J. Jacobs


- The Battle for God - Karen Armstrong
- Dictionary of Angels - Gustav Davidson
- God Is Not Great - Christopher Hitchens
- The Great Transformation - Karen Armstrong
- A History of God - Karen Armstrong
- Holy War - Karen Armstrong
- Jezebel - Lesley Hazelton
- The World's Religions - Huston Smith


  1. Wow, that is a major list!!! If your fiction list is massive and this one isn't... well wow! I have so few books *blush*. I want to add to it, but I'm slow at that. You sending me the Twilight book made my husband buy me the next two. To me, it's like.. NO! There are so many other books I want and you buy me these two that I want to read, but am not *that* attached to. When I think about how Twilight is like half the fiction books I own! Ahh, lol. But seriously, I enjoyed them! :) My friend is reading the one you sent me and there are 2 more after her that want to read it.

  2. Candice,

    I currently own 1,496 books. This doesn't include comic books. That's about half of what I had at the 'peak' of my collection. I was forced to downsize. :)

    I guess, practically, that it's best to be slow to add to your collection. Only pick up books that you really want to read. But I *really* want to read a lot of stuff. :) And I didn't used to get rid of any book, even if I wasn't fond of it. I've gotten better now, and I've even got a little pile of books that are going to be given away when I can be bothered.

    I'm glad you enjoyed Twilight, despite my deep and abiding loathing for it. :) And that it's getting well-used.

  3. hummm over 1000 books eh... then I am cordilly inviting you to join

    (I only joined because R.Arthur has his book group there and because its a great place to log my thoughts on the books I read with our local Library Reading Group)....


    you never know we could probably even start our own 'book group'.... how about 'Blue Stockings' for a title?

  4. ohhh I think I can help you grow your meagre selection of Judaic books.... go to

    take coffee and lots of biscuits.... :)

  5. ahh but you have to read THIS ONE FIRST...

    Sister Wendy on Prayer.... wonderful, wonderful...

  6. "The Crescent Through the Eyes of the Cross" by Nabeel's NOT your typical Christian-bashing-Islam book AT ALLLLLLLLLLLLL

    I liked these very much also...

    The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel -- Christianity

    Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson -- Afghanistan/Pakistan; current events

    Victory for Us Is to See You Suffer by Philip Winslow -- Israel/Palestinians

    The Lemon Tree by Sandy Tolan -- Israel/Palestinians

    Muslims, Christians, Jesus by Carl Medearis -- GREAT book

    In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson -- Christianity

    Wild Goose Chase by Mark Batterson -- Christianity

    These are all books I've read within the last year and a half. Some of these I've written extensive notes on my blog. You can read a bit about them if you want to see what they are about before you buy them. The first one mentioned really helped me understand Muslims and how they view me as a Christian from the West. An Arab Muslim friend verified it was true from the people he knows.

    Hope that helps!

  7. Hi Amber. I have a couple of reccomendations for you....

    Celebration of Discipline (The Path to Spiritual Growth) by Richard Foster.

    Ordinary Work, Extraordinary Grace by Scott Hahn

    The Rosary: A Path Into Prayer by Liz Kelly

    Crunchy Cons (The New Conservative Counterculture and Its Return to Roots) by Rod Dreher.

    They all were very powerful reads.

  8. Ha, I see that travel writing is conspiciously missing from this list dear. How about The Geography of Bliss and Sex Lives of Cannibals?

    And also politics! Maybe some Thomas Friedman books are the way to go...Loved, loved, loved your list. You have enough there for a lifetime of reading and re-reading! Love you lots.

  9. "The Hong Kong Connection" is a legal thriller about a gutsy female attorney who takes on high ranking International officials. It's a taut, rollercoaster of a ride from New York to Palm Beach to Washington D.C. to Hong Kong. The plot is expertly woven, the characters persuasive, and the dialogue snappy and spot on.

  10. One of my faves is "Under the Black Flag:The Romance and Reality of Life Among the Pirates" by David Cordingly.

  11. Ahavah,

    I've looked at Shelfari before, and I just don't like the way they make you upload the books. LibraryThing is so much more efficient.

    Though I like the idea of a book group, but I'm sincerely afraid that my tastes don't mesh with everybody elses here. :)

  12. Ahavah,

    Thanks for the recs and the website. I'll be going through it at my leisure. :)

  13. Susanne,

    Thanks! I know you do sort of reviews of the books you read over at your blog, and I wander over there every so often and glance through. :) They're very nice.

  14. Kelly,

    Thanks! *adds to list*

  15. Lisa,

    Why do I want to read about the sex lives of cannibals? *jk* :)

    Thanks for the recs.

  16. Willow,

    Ooohhh...pirates! Everybody loves pirates! Thanks!

  17. LOL, Amber! Yep, I loathe Twilight. Horrible, horrible book.

    I was going to recommend Bart Ehrman's books, but you already have them listed. Here's one I didn't see (maybe it wasn't out when you originally wrote this?):

    I like it because the guy writing it is a Muslim, but he's not one of those rigid "you must believe this" types. He actually admits that he sometimes doubts the existence of God, or what God is like. It's pretty refreshing to see someone like that from the Muslim community.

    You have well over 1,500 books now, right? Makes my 600 look paltry, lol!

  18. Twilight should - I can't say be banned, because I don't believe in censoring books. But there should be classes taught to kids about how wrong the relationship set up in those books is.

    Yeah, I love Ehrman, even though I don't agree with his theological conclusions.

    Oh, no. That wasn't out yet when I made this post. Thanks. I'll check it out.

    *cough* According to my LibraryThing, I have 1,868.


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