My Top Books for 2015

Ronald Rolheiser
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
December 23, 2015.
Reproduced with Permission

Taste, as St. Augustine said some 1700 years ago, is subjective. That should be acknowledged upfront whenever someone recommends a reading list. In my case, I need to state too that I'm not a full-time critic. It's not like I've read 200 books this past year and these rose to the top. I read when I can, follow book reviews, am fortunate enough to live with academic colleagues who tip each other off on good books, and I have friends who will occasionally tell me that a certain book "has to be read". From out of that, comes this list. These are the books that most touched me this past year:

Among books on spirituality, I single out these:

In terms of novels, I particularly Iiked these:

Finally, a special category: Each year I write a column on suicide. I don't claim any special insight into that singular sadness that surrounds a suicide, both in society at large and in church circles. I write on this issue simply because there's just too little out there to help anyone understand and cope with the loss of a loved one through suicide. During the past year, I received three separate books, all written by a mother who had lost a child to suicide. The stories, while stunningly unique in that each person is his or her own mystery, bear an eerie resemblance to each other, not because they are each written by a mother trying to come to grips with a tragic loss of her own child, but that in each case a grieving mother is describing a very similar kind of person, namely, a beautiful, over-sensitive young person who, in effect, is too-bruised to cope with ordinary life. All three of these books are worth the read and, read together, will scar your heart.

Happy reading!