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Books for and about Catholics

Catholicism for Dummies (Paperback) by John Trigilio , Kenneth Brighenti
The Myth of Hitler's Pope: How Pope Pius XII Rescued Jews from the Nazis by David G. Dalin
The Da Vinci Hoax: Exposing the Errors in The Da Vinci Code by Carl E. Olson, Sandra Miesel (Paperback - July 2004)
Inside Islam: A Guide for Catholics by Robert Spencer, Daniel Ali (Paperback - September 2003)
Mother Angelica : The Remarkable Story of a Nun, Her Nerve, and a Network of Miracles by Raymond Arroyo  (Hardcover, 2005)
John Paul the Great : Remembering a Spiritual Father by Peggy Noonan

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The descriptions of these books are adapted mostly from reviews by readers at

Catholicism for Dummies (Paperback)
by John Trigilio , Kenneth Brighenti

This enjoyable book is a rare find from a secular publishing house. It fairly presents the rich tapestry and history of the Catholic Church.
Get the scoop on the Church's stand on social issues, the deadly sins, the cardinal virtues, who's who in the Church, and much, much more.

A great book for those who are curious about the Catholic faith. I found the book easy to read and even fun. The book answered most all of my questions and gave me answers to questions I hadn't even thought to ask. I would think even life long Catholics could learn a lot from this book.

This is a trustworthy book written by Catholic clergy who understand tradition, dogma and doctrine, believe it, and can present it truthfully. It's great for just about anyone, whether cradle Catholic looking to learn a little more or non-Catholic unfamiliar with the faith.  A great summary of Catholic beliefs!

This 400+ page book has a retail price of $21.99   Order  Catholicism for Dummies from for $14.95

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The Myth of Hitler's Pope: How Pope Pius XII Rescued Jews from the Nazis
by David G. Dalin (Hardcover - July, 2005)

The author explodes the newly resurrected, widely accepted, yet utterly bankrupt smearing of Pope Pius XII, whom Jewish survivors of the
Holocaust considered a righteous gentile.

Rabbi Dalin is a credible source both because of his Jewish identity and because of his academic credentials. He refutes in page after page of
documented facts the great and repeated lie that Pope Pius XII was sympathetic to the Nazis. The truth that emerges again and again from each
documented fact is that Pius XII spoke out against Nazi racism both before and after he became pope, that Pius XII instructed papal diplomats to
aid persecuted Jews in the occupied nations of Europe, that he contributed money to aid desperate Jews, that he opened Catholic facilities in
the Vatican and in other parts of Rome and Italy to shelter thousands of Jews from the Nazis, and that he gave direct face-to-face orders to
protect Jews from the Nazis. This book is so well documented that Pius's detractors have to either put up or shut up. In fact, the detractors should
apologize and formally retract their slanders. The book reads quickly, gets to the point, and has copious footnotes and a convenient index. Rabbi
Dalin has performed a righteous deed.

Rabbi David Dalin has given us a book that makes at least three important contributions. First, it provides information that refutes the popular
notion of the past several years that Pope Pius XII was an anti-Semite and complicit with the Nazi Regime. He demonstrates it to be not only
false, but a deliberate misrepresentation of the truth. He wrote encyclicals, gave Jews asylum even to the point of decloistering a nunnery so it
could shelter Jewish boys. The author also points out the use by these authors of bad translations of texts and then carefully trimming these to
twist the meaning to their purposes. Rabbi Dalin also demonstrates the good relations that Pope Pius and the Church had with Jewish leaders
and how those leaders even asked the Pope to not be more provocative in his public statements and actions.

Second, the author demonstrates how these authors have as part of their agenda an attack on the Catholic Church and are using political means
to try and foist their liberal agenda on the Church in all sorts of ways: changes in doctrine, changes in Church governance, changes in policy and
all to the purpose of bending others to their views. We see their double standards in purporting anti-Semitism onto Pope Pius XII while ignoring
the very real and very great anti-Semitism in the Muslim world from WWII to the present. Some of these authors have even supported the political
motives of Yassir Arafat and denied his self-proclaimed anti-Semitism and acts of violence against Jews.

The third benefit flows from the first two. We get a better sense of where some of the battle lines are drawn in our present culture wars, the tactics
being used, and in the service of what strategy. It is fascinating to see the inversion of values in our modern culture where what was called good is
now called false and deviant and what never was good or an ideal is now held up as a virtue worth fighting for. Rabbi Dalin does us all a service
by telling the truth in this concise and informative book.

List price $27.95.  Buy The Myth of Hitler's Pope from for $18.45

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The Da Vinci Hoax: Exposing the Errors in The Da Vinci Code
by Carl E. Olson, Sandra Miesel (Paperback - July 2004)

Olson and Miesel utterly obliterate The Da Vinci Code in every way, fully exposing it as the sham that it is. They've done a great service to truth.

The Da Vinci Hoax is extremely well researched with wonderful explanations and thorough discussion that leaves the reader wanting little more. It
is superb as a persuasive "essay" and as a literary critique. Anyone who has been even the slightest bit troubled by the Code or the effects the
Code has had on others needs to read this book. It is most definitely "the definitive dubunking" of the Code. To top it all off, the book is interesting
and a joy to read!

It extensively quotes not only the main characters in Brown's book as they relate their version of "history," it also has quotes from the author
himself from various interviews. These quotes are then examined for accuracy in relation to a wide variety of expert opinion. In every case, the
quotes Brown has his characters utter, as well as his own quotes, are shown to be either simply false or the opinions of a tiny minority of authors
whose views have been found wanting at the bar of history and scholarship. Topics addressed include Holy Grail myths, the real Templars, and
errors in interpreting not only Leonardo's Last Supper but his take on art, the occult, and Christianity in general. It also exposes the hoax of the
Priory of Sion, a supposedly ancient organization that is the central feature of the "Da Vinci Code", but was created in the 1950's by P. Plantard.

If you think The Da Vinci Code accurately depicts what really went on in Western history, then you will not like any of the books debunking Dan
Brown's ridiculous book, least of all this one. But if you want to find out what really happened, this gives as complete an accounting as you'll find

This book is important because it is one of the few books on the subject written by a historian. Many of the people debunking the Da Vinci Code
are theologians defending their faith. Now, I am sure those books have a lot of the same information as The Da Vinci Hoax, but that the author is
an actual historian herself is important to me. Another thing I loved about this book is how its sources are well documented and how those
sources are always experts in various fields. I finished this book with the intention of reading some of the books they cite as sources for various
bits of information. It is truly a great rebuttal to the pseudo-history that is Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code.

In sum, this critique is extensive, even exhaustive, and in the end entirely persuasive.

List $15.95  Buy The DaVinci Hoax from Amazon for $10.85

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Inside Islam: A Guide for Catholics
by Robert Spencer, Daniel Ali (Paperback - September 2003)

Islam. For some, the word is frightening; for others, mysterious. For all, it is a religious force that cannot be ignored. Now here’s a question-and-answer book on Islam written specifically for Catholics. Inside Islam addresses Islam’s controversial teachings on God, jihad, the role of women, and more.

About the Authors
Robert Spencer is the author of two previous books on Islam, "Islam Unveiled: Disturbing Questions About the World's Fastest Growing Faith" (Encounter Books, 2002), and an in-depth study of jihad, "Onward Muslim Soldiers: How Jihad Still Threatens America and the West (Regnery Publishing, 2003).
Daniel Ali converted to Catholicism from Islam in 1998. He has gained national recognition as the founder of the Christian-Islamic Forum. He is also the co-host of the video series "Islam and Christianity" with Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J. on the Eternal World Television Network.

Given Islam's rising popularity and rapid expansion into Western society, we cannot afford to ignore Islam's claim to be God's final revelation. Despite our best intentions of tolerance among all religions, we cannot be closed-minded to the possibility that a religion might proclaim untruth -- or even injustice. "Inside Islam," which contrasts Islam's claims with those of Christianity, is a must-read for all Christians, and Catholics in particular.

Utilizing a highly readable question-and-answer format, the authors draw from a huge base of knowledge of Islamic theology, scholarship and tradition to demonstrate that Islam cannot be what it claims to be. Extensive endnotes provide the reader with the opportunity to cross-examine sources.

You will read how Mohammad's exposure to Christian heresies distorted his view of Christianity and how these misinterpretations have been incorporated into the Koran -- and how they still inform Muslim views of Christians as idolators to this day. You will read how fundamentalist Muslims can appeal to the Koran and the Hadith to support their ideas about the inferiority of women, the inferiority of Christians and Jews (who are called "apes and swine" in the Koran), and the imperative to fight unbelievers. You will learn how the conceptions of God, humanity, salvation, and the afterlife radically differ in Islam and Christianity. (I thought these theological contrasts were alone worth the entire price of the book!)

"Inside Islam" is a profoundly important book. I would recommend it to Catholics, Christians, and even Muslims. To avoid it, assuming that Islam is a "religion of peace" since it is a religion, would be myopic. This book's only agenda is the pursuit of truth. Give it a shot -- you'll be surprised by what you find.

Buy Inside Islam from Amazon for $10.19

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Mother Angelica : The Remarkable Story of a Nun, Her Nerve, and a Network of Miracles
by Raymond Arroyo  (Hardcover, 2005)

This is a superb, well-written book about Mother Angelica, founder of the Eternal Word Television Network. It's an inspiring story about a feisty and holy woman of tremendous faith. Raymond Arroyo has done a splendid job of telling the story of her inspiring life, elucidating her struggles and triumphs with frankness and sensitivity.  He really "fleshes out" the television personality of Mother Angelica and presents an honest portrait of a woman who has been driven her entire life to try to understand God's will in her life, and then to *DO IT.* So much is written about prominent religious people that comes across as "too good to be true." which  threatens to undermine a reader's spiritual journey because one's "model" appears impossible to emulate. In this book, Mother Angelica is presented "warts and all." And the good news? You'll learn (as she did) from her struggles and setbacks. The best news? This book will make you love her more.

This book was absolutely inspiring. It was not difficult to read or follow, you may even call it "easy reading". You will obtain a deeper understanding of Mother Angelica and ordinary people who are called to do great things in Jesus' honor. It is a love story, comedy, tragedy and suspense story all in one. The best part was that it was all true and glorifies God completely. The life story of Mother Angelica gives me a whole new compassion for her, a much deeper interest in my Catholic faith, and a greater appreciation for the work of EWTN.

List price $23.95  buy this  Mother Angelica biography from Amazon for $16.29

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John Paul the Great : Remembering a Spiritual Father
by Peggy Noonan

Peggy Noonan has penned a poignant tribute to our beloved Holy Father, the late John Paul II. Noonan gives us anecdotes and quotes from prelates, priests and leading Catholics and draws heavily from another scholarly source on the life of John Paul II, George Weigel, author of Witness to Hope. Her affection for John Paul is evident from the very beginning but not in a superficial or cursory sort of way. She explores his past, his priesthood in Poland and his ultimate rise to the papacy from near obscurity, giving us moving glimpses of his soul and the love that motivated him each day of his life. Peggy Noonan presents the reasons for John Paul's greatness and then tells us of his personal importance to her. She shares her observations, faith and belief beautifully. She's a great writer and makes the reader believe and feel what she is saying and feeling.   With her customary, grace, and respect she writes with love, affection, and candor about John Paul II and the faith he inspired in Catholics, in Christians, and most especially, in her.

List price $24.95  Buy John Paul the Great from Amazon for $16.47

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