Today I am joining with Carolyn Astfalk and CatholicMom.com for An Open Book. Here is what I’ve been reading and planning to read!
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Amazon Synopsis: Anna Karenina ( is a novel by the Russian writer Leo Tolstoy, published in serial installments from 1873 to 1877 in the periodical The Russian Messenger. Tolstoy clashed with editor Mikhail Katkov over political issues that arose in the final installment (Tolstoy’s negative views of Russian volunteers going to fight in Serbia); therefore, the novel’s first complete appearance was in book form in 1878. Widely regarded as a pinnacle in realist fiction, Tolstoy considered Anna Karenina his first true novel, after he came to consider War and Peace to be more than a novel. Fyodor Dostoyevsky declared it “flawless as a work of art.” His opinion was shared by Vladimir Nabokov, who especially admired “the flawless magic of Tolstoy’s style,” and by William Faulkner, who described the novel as “the best ever written.” The novel remains popular, as demonstrated by a 2007 Time poll of 125 contemporary authors in which Anna Karenina was voted the “greatest book ever written.”
My review: I just started reading this and I may be doing so for the next few months. Review to come.
The Power of Forgiveness by Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur
Amazon Synopsis: “The only way to peace is forgiveness.” -Pope Saint John Paul II
As Catholics, we know that God s forgiveness plants peace in our hearts. We also know that there s grace that flows from the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Even so, we often struggle to forgive those who have hurt us, so we don t experience the peace that forgiveness can bring.
The Power of Forgiveness includes reflections on the topic of forgiveness, inspirational stories of saints, simple prayers, and questions to help you meditate and pray. By opening ourselves to forgiving others, we participate in God’s mercy and begin the process of healing. Part of the Companion in Faith series.
My review: Forgiving those who hurt us is not easy. But when Jesus taught us the words to the Lord’s prayer, He said, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Jesus didn’t include any exceptions. Therefore, we are called to forgive others, no matter how much or how deeply they hurt us.
The Power of Forgiveness is a terrific booklet with reflections on forgiveness, inspirational stories of saints, prayers, and questions that help the reader to pray and meditate on forgiveness and opening our hearts to God’s mercy. It is only through opening our hearts to God’s mercy that we ourselves can begin to heal.
Highly recommend. 5/5 stars.
The Father’s Son by Jim Sano (now available from FQP)
Amazon Synopsis: Despite a traumatic and difficult childhood, 39-year-old Boston sales executive, David Kelly, seems to have it all. While building a life of achievement, material success, and professional respect, an unexpected friendship with Tom Fitzpatrick starts him on an emotional and courageous journey that allows him to confront the truth of his past and the impact it has had on the relationships in his life. The Father’s Son is a highly engaging and masterfully written story that will make you think about faith, family, friendship, forgiveness, redemption, love, and truth, and may prove to profoundly impact how you look at life itself.
My review: My review will be rather biased since I am publishing this book. But David Kelly’s story is a compelling one. Highly recommend.
For Eden’s Sake by T.M. Gaouette
Goodreads Synopsis: Barely out of college, Isaac trades the quiet of his family ranch for the excitement of the big city with his dream job at an up-and-coming advertising agency. Until his perfect new world is shattered by bad choices, a pretty girl, a moment’s temptation—and a late night walk that quickly spirals out of control. Reeling with the horror of a mistake that can’t be undone, Isaac struggles to get his soul in order. Can he forgive himself? Can he make things right with God? What about Rebecca?
With both their lives desperately upended, and life-changing consequences no matter what they choose, Isaac must face his painful past, finding strength from God to do the right thing . . . and somehow convince Rebecca to do the same.
My review: What starts out as a careless night of drinking turns into a life-and-death situation. Isaac can’t undo his carelessness but he can do all in his power to prevent a young woman from making another mistake. For Eden’s Sake is a well-written and compelling story about the consequences of sin and the grace of redemption. Thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend! 4.5 out of 5 stars.