Recommended Reading

Vicky Wolak Features

Three books have been suggested as resources that may interest newsletter readers. These selections reflect the varied and colorful interests of the ministries of the Province.

HNP Today occasionally provides recommendations of publications that are being discussed by friars as well as by their partners-in-ministry. Below are brief descriptions of the books, whose sources are people associated with the Province.

Bottom of the 33rd: Hope, Redemption and Baseball’s Longest Game by Dan Barry (Harper/HarperCollins Publishers, 2011) is the latest book by the Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalist — and St. Bonaventure University alumnus. A novel based on actual events, the book analyzes the 33-inning, two-day minor league game between the Rochester Red Wings and the Pawtucket Red Sox, played April 18 to 19, 1981. In his May 20 review, Marc Tracy, a New York Times book critic, compared Barry’s storytelling to “an uncle spinning a story by the fire, halting each time a new character enters the narrative to offer a biographical sketch or telling anecdote.” Barry, also a writer for the Times, recently published a feature article about brothers Adrian Riester, OFM, and Julian Riester, OFM, in his column, “This Land.”

The Confession by John Grisham (St. Martin’s Press, 2010) is the July selection of the St. Francis of Assisi Parish Book Club on Long Beach Island, N.J. The novel provided fertile ground for the club members “as Catholics and as members of a Franciscan parish to reflect upon our values in today’s world. where racism still exists as well as capital punishment,” said Margaret Hawke, the club’s coordinator. “We found strong threads of faith, too, in the forgiving attitude of the innocent man’s mother. As a group, we were struck by the fact that the book was set in 1998 and that such gross racial injustice still occurs in the legal system.”

Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin’s Press, 2010) is the July selection of “A Novel Idea,” the fiction discussion group at St. Patrick-St. Anthony Parish in Hartford, Conn. After a long period of separation, two sisters—serious, responsible Meredith, and adventurous, worldly Nina — return to their hometown in the Pacific Northwest to care for their cold, Russian-born mother. Resentful at first, the sisters gain invaluable insight into their mother’s true nature through her telling of both fairy tales and the horror stories of World War II Leningrad. In a New York Times interview, Hannah explained her thought process behind the story: “I wanted to write a story about women triumphing over insurmountable odds. I wanted a time in history when women were challenged that we haven’t already read about … I’m drawn to the power of women, to the power of motherhood.”

reading-rThe HNP Communications Office welcomes emails from readers who would like to suggest a book or periodical. The staff requests that a short description of the material be provided.

Themes of these recommendations often are — in addition to spirituality and news of the Catholic Church — topics affiliated with Holy Name Province committees and directorates: evangelization, justice and peace, African-American and Hispanic ministries, communications and wellness.

— Compiled by Vicky Wolak