Brandon Vogt

My 2012 Reading List

Besides continuing my Year of C.S. Lewis, here are some books I’m planning to finish in 2012:

Confessions by St. Augustine (reading)
The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (reading)
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson (reading)
The Everlasting Man by G.K. Chesterton
Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales
The Iliad by Homer
The Seven Storey Mountain by Thomas Merton
Apologia Pro Vita Sua by Cardinal John Henry Newman
An Essay on the Development of Doctrine by  Cardinal John Henry Newman
Theology for Beginners by Frank Sheed
Life of Christ by Fulton Sheen
Witness to Hope by George Weigel

Have you read any of these?
Which books are you planning to read in 2012?

  • johnnyc

    Can anyone tell me whether Theology for Beginners by Frank Sheed is an altogether different book than Theology and Sanity? Or is it taken from that book? Thanks.

    • Two different books though I’ve heard great things about each. His “To Know Christ Jesus” is my favorite life of Christ.


    Yes, I have read, Confessions, The Brothers Karamazov, The Everlasting Man, Introduction to the Devout Life, The Iliad, The Seven Story Mountain, Apologia Pro Vita Sua, and Life of Christ.
    It has been decades since I’ve read most of them, so it wouldn’t hurt me to revisit some.

    For 2012: Catholicism by Barron, The Abbess of Andalusia by Lorraine Murray, He Leadeth Me by Ciszek, Toward God by Michael Casey, Essential Writings by Caryll Houselander, In Defense of Sanity by Chesterton, Everything is Grace by Joseph Schmidt.

    I am studying Spanish, so I’m also trying to read some Spanish works: Right now it’s El Llano en Llamas by Juan Rulfo.

  • Buddy

    This looks like an excellent list, although a daunting one. I’ve read Confessions, parts of Brothers K, Intro to Devout Life, Iliad and Life of Christ. My recommendation, for what it’s worth, is that you take your time and don’t worry if you only read a few on your list. Some of these need to be savored and chewed slowly rather than swallowed whole. Here are some I’m going to attempt in 2012. If I only have time to read three or four carefully, that will be great. I’ll just get to the others when I get to them. Here’s the list, in no particular order:
    Christ is Passing By – JoseMaria Escriva
    A Shorter Summa – Peter Kreeft
    Something Beautiful for God – Malcolm Muggeridge
    Catholicism – Robert Barron
    The Apostles – Pope Benedict XVI
    From Achilles to Christ – Louis Markos
    In Defense of Sanity – G. K. Chesterton
    I’m also going to continue with my lifetime reading plan, which is essentially my attempt to do with Fulton J. Sheen’s books what you are doing with C. S. Lewis’s, that is, read them all. I think I’ve read approximately one third of them, so that means I still have about 60 to go. Right now I’m half way through The World’s First Love, Sheen’s wonderful commentary on the life of the Mother of God. Here’s a brief excerpt dealing with Mary’s perpetual virginity that illustrate’s my thoughts about reading slowly and carefully: “Mary renounced maternity and yet found it in her virginity, as the closed garden through which no one should pass except the Light of the World, Who would break nothing in His coming–any more than light breaks the window by coming into the room.” This is profound stuff, and highly poetic. I had to read that line several times before I was able to move on to the next paragraph. I was happy to see that you have Sheen’s Life of Christ on your list. This is one of his best books, but it’s huge (my hardcover edition is 559 pages). If you don’t have time to get all of the way through this one, you might want to go for the shorter version, which was just recently reissued. Here’s the link to the Amazon page:
    I’ll stop now. I need to get back to The World’s First Love.

    • Thanks for the great comment! That’s awesome that you’re working your way through Sheen’s corpus. My closest priest-friend, who is 84 years old, is a self-described Sheen-fiend and he’s read every single one of Sheen’s books (some multiple times). He also gives parts of his collection to me from time to time, so I’m slowly building up my Sheen library, though with delicate, older editions.

      I’m curious, where have you been acquiring most of your Sheen books from? Amazon?

      • And by the way, with Barron, Kreeft, Sheen, Chesterton, Benedict, and Escriva on your list, I feel like you’re a man after my own heart!

      • Buddy

        About 10 or 12 years ago I “rediscovered” Sheen and that’s when I started buying and reading his books. I’ve gotten them from a wide range of sites – Amazon, Ebay, ABEbooks, second-hand bookstores, Goodwill Industries, library book sales, you name it. Ebay is an especially good place. Sometimes you can even find books signed by Sheen (that’s a real treat!). Let me know if you are looking for a particular one and can’t find it. I may have an extra copy or know of someone who does.

  • johnnyc

    Some great suggestions Brandon and Mike. Thanks. I’ll just list some selections that are on my Kindle wish list…

    Jesus of Nazareth by Pope Benedict XVI

    The Apostles: The Origin of the Church and Their Co-Workers by Pope Benedict XVI

    The Fathers Know Best by Jimmy Akin

    In This House of Brede by Rumer Godden

    How to Listen When God Is Speaking: A Guide for Modern-day Catholics by Mitch Pacwa

    The Red Horse by Eugene Conti

    And I will continue with Product Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture series. Happy reading in 2012!

  • Aimee

    Great reading list! Thanks, Brandon. Mike, the last third of Seven Story Mountain is by far the best, and I’d say the last few pages are worth the effort, so try one more time. I read Intro to the Devout Life for Lent last year. Currently I’m reading the biography of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, and Henryk’s Sienkiewicz’s With Fire and Sword. And after reading the post of your 2011 list, I’ve added the Man of the Beatitudes, Shirt of Flame and If Protestantism is True to my list.

  • Mike Buckler

    I LOVED the Brothers K. Introduction to the Devout Life is one of my wife’s favorites. Confessions is certainly one to love for anyone who enjoys both spirituality and Church history. The Seven Storey Mountain I tried reading twice, as I love Merton. However, while very good, it is very dense, and I gave up both times somewhere about two-thirds of the way through.

    I had a JP2 Lent (which turned into a JP2 Easter as well), cultivating my relationship with him leading up to his beatification last April. Besides praying through his intercession, watching a few of the movies, and reading much of his prayers and poetry, I also read Witness to Hope. It is truly remarkable. A slow read, but a great one, filled with everything you and I enjoy – philosophy, theology, Church history, spiritual writing, and inspiring example after inspiring example of witness to Christ.

    I just finished “Tolkien and Lewis: The Gift of Friendship” by Colin Duriez. Excellent book; makes one want to write his own fiction adventure novel. On my list for this year:

    “The Life You Save May Be Your Own” – Paul Elie
    “Inheritance” – Christopher Paolini
    “Covenant and Communion: The Biblical Theology of Benedict XVI” – Scott Hahn
    “My Life With the Saints” – James Martin
    “Saint Peter” – Michael Grant
    “The End and the Beginning” – George Weigel (part 2 of Witness to Hope)

    Happy reading!

    • Wow! Great book commentary and a fantastic reading list.

      I just picked up “The Life You Save May Be Your Own”, which is like a feast for literary Catholics.

      What’d you think of the Tolkien and Lewis book? I’ve seen it in our used bookstore but haven’t bit yet. Should I?

      • Mike Buckler

        The Tolkien and Lewis book was excellent. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and have purchased a copy for a friend. While the historical facts are fascinating, it was the insight into the literary criticism and worldview of the two that was most fascinating. Their reasons for writing what they wrote are just as interesting as the writings themselves. Further, the book definitely increases every desire in one’s soul for reading and discussion with good friends over a pint and a pipe. Definitely pick it up.

        As for Seven Story Mountain, I admit it was my own impatience that led me to give up on it; I’ll have to work on that virtue some more… what I read was very good, but other books were calling and I just never came back. Maybe I’ll pick it up from the two-thirds mark…

  • LeahLibresco

    I’ve got the Brothers K on my list, too. Let me know when you’re starting it, and I’ll join in.

    • I’ve actually already started my Kindle version. It says I’m about 5% through, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but for this monstrous tome it is.

© 2019 Brandon Vogt