Katie Warner interviews Catholic readers and writers about their reading habits and asks for their book recommendations in various categories.
First, who are you?
Author, Marketing and Relations Strategist at Our Sunday Visitor by day; wife and mom, book lover and coffee addict, farm girl and Catholicphile by night. I’m online at SnoringScholar.com, on Goodreads, and I’ve lately been keeping track of my reading through a dedicated Instagram account @booksandsarah.
When and how do you read?
It depends on the time of year and what my other duties demand of me. If the preschooler has been celebrating too much in the mud outside, I may be reading in the bathroom while he’s in the tub; if the older kids are playing basketball tournaments (yes, even in the spring, because that’s how we roll), then I may be reading in bleachers. I read a fair bit for work — all of Our Sunday Visitor’s upcoming releases (how great is my life?), and I also review books for The Liguorian. I keep my Kindle stocked in my purse, because you never know when you’ll need something to read (and oh, yes, I have the app on my phones).
I read a mix: physical books, printed manuscripts, eBooks, and always an audiobook for laundry/housework/driving/workouts.
Share a reading tip or hack that you’ve found helpful in your own reading life.
About 18 months ago, I stopped listening to podcasts. It was a test, but I have been loving how many audiobooks I can now listen to! I always have a book at hand, and it’s what I do when I have a few minutes here or there. It’s my entertainment of choice.
Recommend one of your favorite books in the following categories and include a brief description of why you chose it:
A spiritual classic: Introduction to the Devout Life by Saint Francis de Sales
I picked this up during Lent this year because it’s been a while since I first read it. I’m reminded, once again, that de Sales is approachable and that the things we struggle with today aren’t so very different than they were 300 years ago.
Modern Catholic book: One Beautiful Dream by Jennifer Fulwiler
Short chapters mean it’s easy to pick up and put back down (not that I did). Humor means it gets inside of you before you realize that there’s a deeper meaning to it. I share this book as what I recommend when someone asks me if they should read Girl, Wash Your Face.
Non-Catholic book: The Rosie Project, by Graehme Simsion (and the subsequent sequels)
This is one of the few current novels I’ve reread. It’s easy, and hilarious, and insightful. There’s some Don Tillman in all of us.
An author you love:
Neal Schustermann, because he’s challenging to read and his stories are crafted beautifully.
Corinna Turner, who’s written some captivating stories that transcend the YA label they’ve gotten.
G.K. Chesterton and C.S. Lewis, because they are heavyweights who take it easy on those of us who have to read their writing.
An article or short-form piece: “Triple Take,” my weekly newsletter, which is a Catholic take on the day. You can subscribe here.
Church document: Christus Vivit
It is on my to-be-read list.
Something for the kids: The Unwind Series (YA)
I’ve purchased this in Kindle format AND in hard copy. Worth every cent.
Something you’ve written or are currently writing:
You can check out my books here.
Summer listening (a podcast episode, talk, etc.): The complete Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery; I started them thanks to the first one being on the CraftLit podcast, and I kept going. There are some recent releases (not by Montgomery, but in keeping with her style and storylines) that just fed my desire to go to PE Island someday. Her descriptions of nature, too, fed my imagination and my own love of the outdoors.