Children's Literature, Classic Literature, Fiction, Kat's Reading List

What I Read: Halfway Through 2020

Please note: I have intentionally decided not to include Amazon links (unless something is available exclusively on Amazon). Instead, if you are interested in reading any of the books I mention, I encourage you to check out your local library or independent bookstore. These places (and the communities around them) need your support, and they are generally quite willing to order any book if they don’t currently have it in stock. However, if Amazon is still the more practical choice for you, it is easy enough to search and find any of the titles that I mention.

I stopped writing monthly reviews of what I’m reading because, honestly, I have just been reading too much, and trying to keep with writing reviews was getting overwhelming and it was taking away from my other work. However, I did want to share what I’ve been going through lately, as I’ve read nearly 50 books since the beginning of the year. Some have been fairly short, but some have definitely been substantial. Some have been re-reads, and I listened to a few on audio during road trips. Yes, reading is part of my regular workday activities, but I also read a lot in the evening rather than watching television and I’m not on social media so I have more down time freed from mindless scrolling. And, you know, the public shut downs put something of a damper on the meager social life that I had, so there’s that, too. It’s definitely a year for books.


I really enjoyed the Gregor the Overlander books by Suzanne Collins, who also wrote The Hunger Games. The Gregor books are more for Middle School age, but wonderfully well-written and I would easily put them on a level with the Narnia books. I don’t think it took me more than a day or two to get through each book, and it was a relief when I finished because I had been staying up until 1 or 2am because I couldn’t put them down. Some of the other books I’ve been reading were either part of book club assignments or simply classics that I wanted to check out. The ones that took me by surprise at how much I loved them were The Moviegoer, Gaudy Night, and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.

The Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (Audio)
Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll (Audio)
The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton
Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins
Gregor and the Prophesy of Bane by Suzanne Collins
Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods by Suzanne Collins
Gregor and the Marks of Secret by Suzanne Collins
Gregor and the Code of Claw by Suzanne Collins
Notes from the Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Coraline by Neil Gaiman (Audio)
The Iliad by Homer
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
The Light Princess by George MacDonald
The Princess and Curdie by George MacDonald
The Source by James Michner
Wise Blood by Flannery O’Connor
Bridge to Terebithia by Katherine Paterson
The Moviegoer by Walker Percy
Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksander Solzhenitsyn


I love to read on a wide variety of subjects, because I feel like it just gives me a more complete picture of the world and what it means to be human. I’ve been trying to read books on the male perspective, and especially how boys are being raised these days, because the novel I am working on has a male protagonist and I want to make sure I can do him justice. I’ve also been focusing a lot on books about relationships and self-knowledge, as I am now in a serious dating relationship and want to make sure I’m bringing my best self to it. As to the rest, I just go where the Holy Spirit takes me.

Aristotle for Everyone by Mortimore J. Adler
The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine Aron
Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
Heretics by G.K. Chesterton
Leaving Boyhood Behind by Jason M. Craig
The World Beyond Your Head by Matthew B. Crawford
Defending Boyhood by Anthony Esolen
Fat Girl Walking by Brittany Gibbons
Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus by John Gray
The Privilege of Being a Woman by Alice von Hildebrand
The Science of Monsters by Matt Kaplan
On Writing by Stephen King
Born Standing Up by Steve Martin
Touching by Ashley Montagu
Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book by Walker Percy
Eat, Fast, Feast by Jay W. Richards
The Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz
Beyond Soap by Sandy Skotnicki
Men, Women, and the Mystery of Love by Edward Sri
Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes


I loved and benefited from every one of these books, but I have particularly fallen in love with the writing of Fulton Sheen. His Life of Christ was not only highly readable, but also profound with images and perspective that I hadn’t come across before.

The Book of Genesis
The Gospel of Matthew
Consecration to St. Joseph by Dr. Gregory Bottaro and Jen Settle
Our Lady of Kibeho by Immaculee Ilibagiza
Revelations of Divine Love by Julian of Norwich
The Mystery of Joseph by Fr. Marie-Dominique Phillipe, OP
Treasure in Clay by Fulton J. Sheen
Life of Christ by Fulton J. Sheen

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