I too would name "My Father Left Me Ireland." Dougherty nails the difficulties of trying to embrace Irish culture and history as an Irish-American in the 90s when so many Irish themselves were running away from their past. and their American cousins were falling into superficial half-remembered fantasy.
Dougherty talks candidly about the struggles and misunderstandings of growing up with an absent father. The sacrifices of his parents are sometimes not clear until decades later.
Matt Hadro, Senior DC Correspondent:
"The passion and death of Our Lord Jesus Christ," Archbishop Alban Goodier.
Best Lenten reading I've had.
Mary Farrow, features writer:
"Somehow I Manage" by Michael G. Scott. Unpublished working manuscript. Taught me how to manage an office.
My favorites were both classics and novels, so lots of people have probably read them, but:
"The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde. A haunting look at what happens when we let sin rule our lives and pride get in the way of doing anything about it.
Also "Death Comes for the Archbishop" by Willa Cather. A historical fiction based on real priests/bishops including Colorado's Bishop Machebeuf about the grit and guts and sacrifice it took to found Catholicism in the west.
I would also put in a plug for "The Day the World Came to Town" by Jim DeFede.
DeFede, a journalist, documents what happened to Gander, Newfoundland and the surrounding small communities when 38 planes were rerouted there on 9/11 and passengers were stranded for a week while U.S. airspace remained closed. It's a testament to the goodness of people and a small-town community in dark times and a fascinating, lesser-known part of the story of 9/11.
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Courtney Mares, Rome Correspondent:
"Three to Get Married," by Fulton Sheen. This book was a blessing to my husband and I as we prepared for the sacrament of marriage this year. Sheen's writing beautifully reveals the mystery of life-giving love and its origin in eternity.
Peter Zelasko, social media manager:
"Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI" by David Grann.
I don't normally read true crime, but this was a fascinating look at the history of both the Osage Nation and the FBI during this strange time period. It's a stark reminder of how sin can corrupt and the struggle against evil is ongoing.
I'm also intrigued by "Theology of Home: Finding the Eternal in the Everyday" by Carrie Gress, Megan Schrieber, and Noelle Mering. "Haven't flipped through this new coffee table book, but I like the idea of finding and bringing joy into our homes and families. It's on my wife's Christmas list this year."