Totally Catholic Youth Ministers Lounge

Are you in youth ministry and you've had it with crazed parents? Rollin' your eyes at the pastoral council? Tired of administration work? Love youth? Love the Church? Appalled at parish politics? Looking for some good games? For a creative ways to teach a lesson for Religious Ed? Just need a place to veg out and say "phew! Someone outside of the parish to talk to!"? Grab y'r Starbucks, turn the computer away from the staff's eyes, grab a seat on a donated dusty couch and let it all go.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Books List

I've finally gotten to the book list. If you have any favorites let me know. I'm also thinking about posting good authors and even publishers. I know that rates websites, I find it hard to judge some authors and publishers. Obviously books put out by Bill Dodds, George Weigel and Mary Beth Bonacci are going to be excellent, but there are books and publishers out there to avoid-and maybe some unknown writers who are excellent.

I purposely didn't put obvious books on the list yet. They'll get there, they'll get there!


Blogger Don said...

I doubt that many people have heard of "Kristin Lavransdatter". A shame, because this very Catholic and very historical novel is decidedly a story for our time. I have read both translations and recommend the Penguin edition by Tiina Nunnaly.

Kristin Lavransdatter
By Sigrid Undset (1882-1949)
The novel won Sigrid Undset the Nobel prize for literature in 1928
(it is a trilogy of around 1,100 pages)

1,The Wreath - 2,The Wife - 3,The Cross
Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics
Translation by Tiina Nunnaly – 1999/2000
These have received several translation prizes. They are the ones to buy. Notice the title differences from the Archer translations.

1,The Bridal Wreath - 2,The Mistress of Husaby - 3,The Cross
Translation by Charles Archer - 1923,1925,1927
This original translation used medieval archaistic language. Liked by purists, but slows the reading (and the comprehending) down.

Here are some comments when the novel was first translated from Norwegian to English.

"The finest historical novel our 20th century has yet produced; indeed it dwarfs most of the fiction of any kind that Europe has produced in the last twenty years." - Contemporary Movements in European Literature, edited by William Rose and J. Isaacs

"As a novel it must be ranked with the greatest the world knows today." - Montreal Star

"Sigrid Undset's trilogy embodies more of life, seen understandingly and seriously than any novel since Dostoyevsky's Brothers Karamazov. It is also very probably the noblest work of fiction ever to have been inspired by the Catholic art of life." - Commonweal

"We consider it the best book our judges have ever selected and it has been better received by our subscribers than any other book" - Book-of-the-Month Club
Below is a shortened review by Helen Alvare, the director of planning and information for the Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops.

About Last Night HELEN ALVARE
Copyright © 1999 Crisis Magazine

There are so few books today that “matter,” that talk about their subject, in light of the divine destiny of every human being. So I might be forgiven for my effusive enthusiasm on discovering what many have called the greatest Catholic novel ever written, Sigrid Undset's Kristin Lavransdatter.

Kristin gives you insight into virtue and makes you want to be more virtuous yourself. It makes another signal contribution; it demonstrates — no, that's not strong enough — it makes you feel the relationship between our sexual selves and the rest of our lives, powerfully, and that is exactly what's needed to challenge current prevailing attitudes, which can be summed as: “As long as it's consensual, what I do sexually is nobody's business.”

Any young woman under my influence will get a copy of Kristin to read the day she turns 16. And every young woman to whom I have recommended Kristin in the past year has reacted to it as if they had discovered a new world.

Several months ago, I received a postcard in the mail from our nation's chief mass purveyor of sexual consciousness, Planned Parenthood. On the front was a grainy photo of an unmade bed. The words on the front read: “ABOUT LAST NIGHT... You have 72 hours to erase last night.” On the back was information about what it euphemistically calls “morning-after contraception” (it's more often abortifacient, really).

Planned Parenthood's message is that sex is a purely physical manipulation of body parts that can have “some physical side effects.” One of its worst effects, a baby, can be “erased.” And then the sex is erased, too.

In a world where such messages can be given to young women, Kristin Lavransdatter must be given to them as well.


Alvare, Helen. “About Last Night.” Crisis 17, no. 2 (February 1999): 30-31.

You will find the full review at this outstanding site.

8:29 PM  

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