{SQT} All the Books, Written by Better People

My brain is still on Christmas / Epiphany vacation but my fingers are typing their way into Friday and another episode of Seven Quick Takes. It’s official: we’re back into the swing of things and if you can’t get your act together to link up, it’s not because of the holidays, you’re just too dang busy.

seven quick takes friday 2

I’ve gone the random route with Quick Takes for a few weeks now, when historically, I’ve frequently used a theme to tie together all my takes. (A theme besides, ” My life is chaotic, unpredictable and slowly smothering me with mismatched socks and Ziploc bags I will eventually get around to washing out and reusing!”) Today I’m unifying! and reminding everyone why lots of reading doesn’t necessarily equal book reviews of quality or substance. (And I’m responsable for teaching my kids how to write a narration. Lord, hear our prayer.)

When I’m not over-sharing on social media and la blog, I read. Here’s some favorite books from the last year WITH LOTS OF AMAZON AFFILIATE LINKS THROWN IN. IF YOU DON’T WANT TO ACCIDENTALLY GIVE ME A TEENSY TINY PERCENTAGE OF YOUR AMAZON PURCHASE, THEN FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE DON’T CLICK ON ANYTHING! (If you want to know what I’m reading all the time you can follow me on Goodreads, although in preparing this post I realized I was saving my books in all the wrong categories. Clearly I should add a title on being technologically savy to my ‘To Read’ list.)


I mentioned the The Power of Habit before, but besides making me reexamine my whole life and sulk, I found it a fascinating book. Coupled with reading The Talent Code: Greatness Isn’t Born. It’s Grown. Here’s How., I’m pretty sure I’m going to start going all tiger mom on my kids to help form them into the perfect adults I’m too old to become.



Two of my favorite women, wildly different books, but both spoke to me and are encouraging me to be a better writer. Jen Fulwiler’s ‘Something Other Than God’ is engrossing, entertaining and appeals to people regardless of faith. Flannery O’Connor’s ‘Mystery and Manners’ reveals her wit, genius use of language and ability to weave The Truth into a story without beating morality and the Papacy over a reader’s head. I don’t need literary fame or a Ignatius Publishing deal, but I would love the ability to convey my thoughts in a way as captivating as these two.




I’m going to read as many 20th century Catholic fiction books as I can this year because I just can’t get enough. To read the raw pain of O’Connor, the engaging narrative of Godden and the hilarity of Percy and yet come away with a feeling of something so much bigger than myself is intoxicating. I’m moving onto Waugh,  Greene and more Percy and I don’t even know where else. Hit me up with your favorite authors and titles because I’m getting my unofficial PhD in this stuff.


I never read Ethan Frome in high school, picked it up for free on a whim this year and couldn’t put it down. I have a soft spot for books that show the consequences of bad decisions rather that celebrating them as some liberation from an antiquated belief system. I also finally read The Scarlet Pimpernel, enjoyed it, and thus completed my 9th grade English Literature credit.

What were you favorite reads of 2014? How are they influencing your reading choices for 2015? Do tell in the comments then link up and find out what the rest of the blogosphere has been up to this week.

Remember to use the url to your Quick Takes post and not your blogs url. Also remember to link back to this post. 


  1. I’m kinda laughing because I make a revelation today on my difficulty with book lists 🙂 BUT I do like the idea of picking up that Rumer Godden book…I know people love it and I’ve read some others by her.

  2. Oh, man…like I needed any more books to put on my list! You reminded me of Five For Sorrow Ten For JOy, though. I was floored by that book and this reminded me that I should read it again.

  3. My sister-in-law keeps telling me to read Ethan Frome. I need to add it to my list. Have you read any Willa Cather yet? If not, you should add her to your list.

  4. If you are looking for more 20th century Catholic fiction, read Alice Thomas Ellis … specifically her novel The 27th Kingdom. SO GOOD. If you like Flannery and Percy you will love her.

  5. I heart Rumer Godden, but I’m glad I wasn’t around to be her friend (not that I would have met her, but still) because she is MERCILESS on her characters and can you imagine reading along and suddenly going, “Wait, I think that horrible mother who is so terrible to her children is…ME!” Of course, I can still do that, I just know that it wasn’t officially based on me. (Thursday’s Children — the mother was horrible.) Have you read her book, In This House of Brede? LOVE LOVE LOVE! I started a book club just to force my friends to read it. They all loved it, too. And now we have a book club, and we’re reading other books, too, so it was a win all around. Oh, and Rumer Godden has kids’ books, too!

    Nonfiction 20th century Catholic writer who is excellent: Ronald Knox. The Creed In Slow Motion and several of his others are SO GOOD. Hmm. I should pull them out again.

    1. Yes! Brede was going to be my suggestion – so so good. In fact, I’m probably due for a reread. And Monica, now I’m curious what else your book club has been reading. Do tell!

  6. I love O’Connor and Percy so much. Love in the Ruins is so good and it’s high time for a re-read. I’m really glad you liked it! What’s Godden like? I’ve never read any. I’m intrigued by the Power of Habit book!

  7. Loved Jen’s book and have yet to read any O’Conner (I know! she’s pretty popular!). I’m presently reading The Hobbit and loving it. Other than that, I’m looking around our bookshelf to see which books need to be read/re-read. It’s been awhile since I linked up, so excited to be back 🙂

  8. O’Connor and Percy are fantastic! I did better reading O’Connor’s works after/while reading her letters. For the longest time, I just didn’t “get” her. But now! Now we are BFFs! I mean – you and I are BFFs because I’m commenting on your blog. But O’Connor was my BFF first.

    I’ve only read one of Godden’s books. It was the sparrows one…you know. That one. I enjoyed it, though. In This House of Brede is sitting, waiting for me to pick it up.

    I haven’t read Ethan Frome yet. I just keep reading The Awakening over and over and over. I must be tired! LOL

  9. I love book posts! And, “engrossing, entertaining and appeals to people regardless of faith”- Jennifer’s book to a tee. 🙂

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