Summer Reading List

What is it about summertime that inspires us to do more reading? Is it the longer daylight hours, the more relaxed vibe or do the sun’s rays make us feel more energetic? Regardless of the reasons, I’m awfully glad for the added incentive because there’s a pile of books I’ve been itching to get at.

The vision of the Beloved DiscipleThe first book on my list is one that my spiritual director assigned: The Vision of the Beloved Disciple: Meeting Jesus in the Gospel of John by Fr. George T. Montague, SM. At only 85 pages, it’s short but loaded with thought-provoking information and insights. The gospel is divided into six parts and these make up the chapters. Each chapter is further divided into sections and at the end of each of these are questions for private reflection. The book is very easy to read and in my opinion, is a must for all Christians seeking to deepen their faith.

The second book on my list, and the one I’m packing in my suitcase when we go on vacation in August, is Young in the Spirit: Spiritual Strengthening for Seniors and Caregivers. Written by author, freelance writer and blogger, Mary K Doyle,(who blogs at and, this one is for anyone who is a senior citizen, knows a senior citizen, provides care for them or is thinking ahead to the day when they will be a senior citizen.

Young in the spiritJust as it is important to think about and plan for our physical well-being in retirement and old age, it is even more important to be spiritually prepared. For anyone who is a care provider, either personally or professionally, being aware of how to support our loved ones or patients in their spiritual growth is important. As a nurse whose main focus of practice is in the senior population, having a strong spiritual aspect to my professional practice helps me and my patients.

I’ve only skimmed through random pages but I like what I see. I’m planning on writing a more comprehensive review once I’ve finished reading the book and at 120 pages (not including the bibliography) of useful information, I’m excited about this one.

The Crucifixion of JesusThe third book is going to take a little longer. The Crucifixion of Jesus: A Forensic Inquiry has been added to my list because of an idea I pitched to my editors at Catholic Insight Magazine. It’s for a 2014 Lenten article in the print magazine.

For many years I’ve wondered about the pathophysiology of Jesus’ crucifixion: how did being beaten, carrying a heavy cross and being nailed and hung on it affect Him physically and psychologically. He was fully human after all, so He would be affected like any other man. Dr. Frederick T. Zugibe, M.D., Ph.D., performed extensive experiments on himself and on volunteers to re-enact Jesus’ ordeal and some interesting pictures of the experiments are included. The book sometimes reads like a basic pathology textbook but Dr. Zugibe’s conclusions based on the scientific evidence are easy to understand. At 338 pages (minus the bibliography) this one is going to take me a while to finish. Good thing the magazine deadline is not for a few months.

So these are the books that are going to keep me occupied, motivated, and reflective during the dog days of a short Canadian summer.

What are you reading this summer?


Doyle, M.K. (2013). Young in the Spirit: Spiritual Strengthening for Seniors and Caregivers. Chicago, Il: 3E Press.

Montague, G.T.,SM.  (2000). The Vision of the Beloved Disciple: Meeting Jesus in the Gospel of John. New York: Society of St. Paul.

Zugibe, F.T. (2005). The Crucifixion of Jesus: A Forensic Inquiry. New York: M. Evans and Company, Inc.

Deo Gratias

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21 Responses to Summer Reading List

  1. Pauline says:

    I just finished reading “How the Catholic Church Created Western Civilization” by Thomas E. Woods, Jr. I found it a fairly easy read and very informative. It’s unfortunate how little I knew about the history of the Catholic Church and this book helped fill in some gaps and correct certain misconceptions I had; an excellent recommendation from my pastor, Rev. Fr. Marco Testa. God bless.

  2. Thank you so much for the review, Terry!

  3. ahotcrossbun says:

    I have been looking for some additions to my summer reading, the first seems like a good fit for where I am spiritually in my journey. The article you plan on writing on the pathophysiology of Jesus’s crucifixion sounds fascinating. Good luck with it!

  4. I havenb’t been able to do nearly as much reading as I would like but I am intruiged by your first book as well and will definitely have to check that out! And although Lent is still a ways off, I look forward to readig your post…I am sure it will be informative and sprititually enlightening as always 🙂

  5. reinkat says:

    I’m always fascinated with book reviews and suggestions. I love to read, and am blessed to work in a library . . . Right now I am reading (slowly) some essays by Thomas Merton called Thoughts in Solitude, which I really enjoy. I have just begun a classic that I have wanted to read for years now: Dostoevsky’s The Idiot. So far, so good. It will probably be the entire summer’s project!

  6. genericmum says:

    Thanks, Terry, I’ll put “Young in Spirit” on our pro-life website as a resource for seniors.

  7. Ah, I love to read, but just cannot get to it like I used to. The books that I do read are the same ones that I use for meditation concepts – I can sit on a few pages for months that way. (So much for getting a lot of reading done.) Your last pick looks particularly interesting and I would love to hear more about it. Happy reading Terry!

  8. vftmom247 says:

    Re-reading The Return of the Prodigal Son, by Henri Nouwen, and Therése and Maurice – letters between St. Therese and a missionary priest she was mentoring.

  9. Terry, These books look great…especially the Vision of the beloved disciple. I’m going to check that one out!

  10. Biltrix says:

    Hello, Terry. Speaking of great reads, you’ve been nominated for the Most Influential Blogger Award. Please, check here for details:

  11. lilyboat says:

    great list! Thank you! The first book sounds really intriguing.. and I don’t think I have the strength to read the suffering of Jesus in such detail without feeling His pain mentally, and physically… but maybe that’s why I should read that book!

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