A French explorer discovers an ancient chamber buried in a Florida jungle. He realizes the site is connected to a sinister organization which has manipulated world events for ten thousand years. In an effort to stop them, the Frenchman enlists the help of five gifted boys, an ultra-wealthy businessman, the world’s brightest scientists, and a girl with a special genetic connection to the chamber.
Ancient Island by David Harp
A lovely romantic short story whose main character is Catholic. It begins:
"One person stood out. He'd been sitting by the fire for quite a while when he suddenly stood up, turned and began walking with purpose straight toward the window that my face was framed in..."
That Beautiful Hippie Girl by Robert Palmer
For those who need a quick read:
A collection of short stories from the foremost Catholic fiction writers at the beginning of the twentieth century.
The Senior lieutenant's wager, and other stories by Benziger Brothers (Printers to the Holy Apostolic See)
This free Catholic novel requires that you provide your email in order to have access to the link. But you're sure to enjoy this story of heaven touching earth. Here's the description:
Maria de Los Santos is a neophyte saint in heaven, a former grandmother and convert to Catholicism. On her introductory period as she discovers the nooks and crannies of Paradise, Our Lady assigns her a mission on earth. It involves her previous earthly experience, the wisdom of the saints, the assistance of angels and the future of her descendants.
Innocent idealist and devout Catholic Alana O'Keefe prayed three Hail Mary's everyday for her future husband since she was a six years old homeschooled girl in Honolulu, Hawaii. Heaven is about to answer her prayers in a most unexpected manner by sending her the wrong person, in the wrong place at exactly the wrong time.
Charming Atheist Lukas Swenson has never felt the need to pray for a future wife. He finds plenty of female groupies when he plays with his rock band in Barcelona, Spain, thank you very much. But heaven intervenes anyway and orchestrates a surprising meeting with a woman he cannot forget.
Written in the Sand and Stars by Annabelle Hazard
"A wayfarer's return from a far country to his wife and family may be a shining experience, a kind of second honeymoon. Or it may be so shadowed by Time's relentless tyranny that the changes which have occurred in his absence can lead only to tragedy and despair. This rarely discerning, warmly human story by a brilliant newcomer to the science fantasy field is told with no pulling of punches, and its adroit unfolding will astound you."
The Hoofer by Walter M. Miller Jr.
Way of a Rebel, first published in 1954, is another short but good read from Walter M. Miller.
Way of a Rebel by Walter M. Miller Jr.
Here is another great short read from Catholic science fiction writer, Walter M. Miller Jr., author of A Canticle for Leibowitz.
The Ties that Bind by Walter M. Miller Jr.
By the way, A Canticle for Leibowitz, the classic science fiction novel set in an American monastery after a nuclear war, can be borrowed from Open Library with a free account. There's always a waiting list for it, though!
A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr.
Walter M. Miller Jr., author of A Canticle for Leibowitz, wrote many great science fiction short stories before his death in 1996.
Check and Checkmate by Walter M. Miller Jr.
No account necessary.
Here is a 1966 play by the brilliant Muriel Spark.
Doctors of Philosophy by Muriel Spark
Another one from Open Library.
Have you ever seen Gregory Peck's excellent performance in The Keys of the Kingdom, the story of a Catholic priest in China? If so (and even, if not!) you'll enjoy A.J. Cronin's original novel. Bonus - Citadel, a shocking look at the medical system of the day, is included when you borrow The Keys of the Kingdom.
The Keys of the Kingdom by A.J. Cronin
Open Library has several of the excellent Taylor Caldwell's historical novels. Here is her one about Ghengis Khan. Click on her name for more.
It's quick and easy to get a free account with Open Library. You'll be reading your novel in minutes!
The Earth is the Lord's by Taylor Caldwell
There was a time when faith and fiction writing easily mixed. Nowadays, we segregate Christian fiction from the mainstream. But here is a novel from the days when novels written by Christian authors sold in the same bookstores as all the rest.
This one was published in 1914.
The Fruit of the Tree by Mabel Farnum
Another audiobook for the whole family. Here's the description:
When tragedy hits his family, in the form of a sudden illness to his father, young Teddy Thornton is forced to leave school and find work to help support his family. Without his realization he is thrown into a world of crime and counterfeiting. Will he do the right thing, or will he unwittingly be drawn down the wrong path? And will the mystery of Heron Hall be solved?
Captain Ted by Mary T. Waggaman
Another novel for those who prefer their fiction read aloud to them. Here's a fun science fiction novel to share with the whole family.
Countdown by Rev. Kurt Becker S.J.
French author, Paul Bourget, left the Catholic Church as a young man only to return to it later on. He said, "For many years I, like most young men in modern cities, was content to drift along in agnosticism, but I was brought to my senses at last by the growing realization that...the life of a man who simply said 'I don't know, and not knowing I do the thing that pleases me,' was not only empty in itself and full of disappointment and suffering, but was a positive influence for evil upon the lives of others." On the other hand, "those men and women who follow the teachings of the church are in a great measure protected from the moral disasters which...almost invariably follow when men and women allow themselves to be guided and swayed by their senses, passions and weaknesses." [from Wikipedia entry on Paul Bourget]
One of the topics he wrote about is as relevant today as it was then:
The Divorced Mother and her Son by Paul Bourget
If you prefer your fiction read aloud to you, here are 43 free books from Catholic Audio Books. No account required.
Fiction @ Catholic Audio Books
Free to read, no account necessary.
This one is from 1922 but it's still a good one. A well-written adventure story with humour.
Cobra Island: A Catholic Scout's Adventures by Neil Boyton S.J.
For those of us who love historical fiction, Open Library lends several of Louis De Wohl's novels. Set up a free account and enjoy all of them. Here's Citadel of God to get you started:
Citadel of God by Louis De Wohl
A thriller novel from Open Library. Set up a quick and easy account (free!) and be reading from their library within minutes. The Color of Blood is set in the Soviet-era and opens with a Catholic Cardinal on the run from the Secret Police.
The Color of Blood by Brian Moore
Have you discovered Ellis Peters' Brother Cadfael series? Wonderful mysteries set in a monastery in medieval England. Available to borrow from the Open Library. All you need is a free account.
A Morbid Taste for Bones by Ellis Peters
An elegant story written by the author of Lord of the Rings, 'Leaf by Niggle.' Available to borrow from the Open Library. All you need is a free account.
Tree and Leaf by J.R.R. Tolkien
The amazing short stories of Flannery O'Connor are free to borrow with an account at Open Library.
Here is Everything that Rises must Converge, stories set in the Deep South in the volatile 1960's.
Everything that Rises must Converge (collection) by Flannery O'Connor
Open Library is an online lending library that offers many contemporary books that aren't in the public domain. A wonderful way to read online or with your e-reader! All you need is a free account to access thousands of great reads.
Here is Graham Greene's The Third Man, a thriller set in Vienna right after World War 2.
The Third Man by Graham Greene
From Open Library.
Here is Graham Greene's Monsignor Quixote, the story of a parish priest who says he's descended from the original Don Quixote.
Monsignor Quixote by Graham Greene
Today's feature is a collection of stories, some of them true, others fictitious, all of them edifying in some way.
Stories collected by Father Tommy Lane
A quick visit to the world of fire and longing.
Purgatory by Jennifer L. Armstrong
This charming allegory will bring to the heart of the child a deep love for Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament and an understanding of the graces received in Holy Communion. We follow with delight the little Dilecta in her meetings with The King; her struggles against the evil influence of Malignus, in which she is so ably helped by the Prince Guardian; from the hut in which she lived and where The King so often and so graciously visited her — right into His Golden City.
An audio book.
The King of the Golden City by Mother Mary Loyola
The Scarlet Archer of Agincourt is claimed by the Erkenwold’s as their family ghost. Tradition held that the death of an important Erkenwold was always heralded by the apparition of the Scarlet Archer. Now in the early years of WWII, the archer has made an appearance on the family estate on the US coast. Is it a ghost or something more sinister, and what does he or she want?
An audio book.
Red Arrows in the Night by Daniel A. Lord
A sacristan is found murdered in the sacristy and the safe robbed of valuable jewels. All clues seem to point to the priest as the murderer. But is the priest the guilty party - or is it the communist - the nazi - the Senator's wife - or someone else?
An audio book.
Murder in the Sacristy by Daniel A. Lord
On an American college campus, in the early years of World War II, a professor from Germany is murdered and the plans for a new bomb sight he had invented are missing. Who murdered the professor and stole the plans? And are the accidents happening with alarming frequency to young student aviators from the campus really accidents -- or is some unknown conspiracy afoot?
This mystery novel was written by Daniel A Lord, S.J., a priest and popular American Catholic writer. The subjects of the works in his bibliography range from religion, humor, plays, songs, mysteries and even politics. His most influential work was possibly in drafting the 1930 Production Code for motion pictures.
An audio book.
Clouds Cover the Campus by Daniel A. Lord
County Prosecutor Wally Brighton was found shot to death one evening, a broken rosary in one hand and a .32 automatic inches away from the other. Was it murder or suicide? It takes two sharp-eyed reporters, who combine romance with amateur sleuthing, to find the surprising solution to this baffling and thrilling murder mystery.
An audio book.
The Broken Rosary by Grace and Harold Johnson
A shot penetrates the still night air and one of Galton's leading citizens is a victim of a desperate killer's gun. Murder becomes entangled with politics and it takes a parish priest to discover "whodunit" in this thriller by a husband and wife novelist team.
An audio book.
Roman Collar Detective by Grace and Harold Johnson
A cunning killer prowls the winding corridors of an old hospital in this thriller by the author of "Murder Takes the Veil."
An audio book.
Murder at St. Dennis by Margaret Ann Hubbard
Set in the picturesque wilds of a Midwestern resort town at the height of the tourist season, Sister Simon’s Murder case begins with the murder of a terrified elderly lady, Dannie Grear. But what was she so afraid of? And who is the killer who keeps attacking anyone he thinks may know too much?
An audio book.
Sister Simon's Murder Case by Margaret Ann Hubbard
Set in the Louisiana bayou country, here is a drama rich with suspense...the story of lovely Trillium Pierce powerless at the mercy of a murderer who believes that he has no power over himself - that his determination to kill is written in the stars. The frightened girl is helpless, as her friends at Aurelian College are victimized by the menace who stalks the swampland in a nun's habit.
An audio book.
Murder Takes the Veil by Margaret Ann Hubbard
Dr. Dante Petrocchi-Bianchi spends his days treating Alzheimer’s patients and studying God, but he whiles away his nights in Roman nightclubs, picking up different beautiful women. When he discovers that one of his conquests is his big game hunter boss’s new trophy wife, Dante’s wild lifestyle becomes dangerous. Will his treacherous games end in his murder, or can he stop playing sexual roulette?
Communion is a Kiss by TK Kenyon
Oncologist Dr. Jakob Farkas offers dying Abigail Andrews a cure to die for.
Dr. Farkas by JT Therrien
A short story.
Ray's neighbors, Suze and Danny-Boy, experience a calamitous series of events.
The Neighbor by JT Therrien
A bomb suddenly detonates on a Kolkata street. Veronica and her friends scramble for safety, arriving unexpectedly at the Missionaries of Charity hospital. When Mother Teresa invites them into her garden the children are in for quite a mystical afternoon!
Teresa's Garden by JT Therrien
A delightful series of "Auntie" books - as the author describes it, "That is very short books for aunties ...we can drop in and visit our nieces, nephews, kids of friends....whip out the smart phone and read an entire book while the attention span lasts." Enjoy these stories whether you're young or old!
First Holy Communions in Cork series by Avril O'Reilly
Set in Colonial Africa, The Heart of the Matter is considered one of the 100-best novels of the 20th century.
The Heart of the Matter by Graham Greene
Something strange lurks in a vacuum-sealed bell jar in a wealthy eccentric's parlor, feeding on the unearthly sounds his musical mercenaries create. When suicide attempt survivor Aerie Walker passes his audition, her life takes a major turn for the weird.
Sonant by A. Sparrow
Mugged fresh off a plane in Liberia, Archie Parsons is lucky to limit the damage to a scalp contusion and a stolen passport. Turns out, these weren’t ordinary thugs. They work for a powerful and shadowy industrial consortium that specializes in political assassination. Through a series of mishaps, Archie's identity becomes confused with that of their lead assassin - a man named Black.
Vultures in the Playground by A. Sparrow
A short read with an inspiring message.
Tommy is a little boy living in a world with big beliefs. This kids book focuses on questions that Tommy asks his mother while going grocery shopping. While encouraging curiosity, the mother provides answers that are related to religion and beliefs that people value. She teaches that even though people are different than you, you can still show them love and respect.
Little Tommy: Big Beliefs by Katie Mackrory
Insulated from the world, a precocious girl believes that all she needs lies within the boundaries of her street and just barely beyond the property lines of her parents' home.
When the racism snakes itself into her neighborhood, the little girl struggles to reconcile the illogic of this intruder with everything she knows and loves.
Dear Aunt Myrna by Kit Duncan
(Sequel to Xenolith). Frank Bowen braves three portals and a parallel world at war to find the wife he lost years ago in Belize, but the reunion inexplicably bombs. The Liz he finds is much evolved from the woman he married. Can Frank rekindle what they once shared, survive the coming purge and convince her to return with him to the land of their birth?
Peregrin by A. Sparrow
Lassoed, knocked down, face planted in the dirt -- best thing to happen to Frank Bowen in years. When wife Liz went missing in the wilds of Belize, the constables of San Ignacio could find no trace. Years later, on a pilgrimage to her remote 'grave,' Frank is abducted and whisked away to a place he can't identify, by people whose motives and origins baffle him. Could this be what happened to Liz?
Xenolith by A. Sparrow
"...The story depicts a technological century where thoroughfares, telecommunications and air travel are common, though with a Victorian flavor, for the highways are paved with rubber, people have telegraphs at home and fly on airships.
But it also has other almost prophetic descriptions of the society of the 21st century, where euthanasia is the morally acceptable way to assist victims of accidents and is widely provided by a state healthcare system. Countries are mere entities in larger blocks of countries, like "West", "East" and "Americas". Religion is barely tolerated and the only surviving religions are Catholicism in the West and in the Americas and Islam in the East; all other religions deflated and Mason secularism is the official religion..."
by Augustine (reader review)
Lord of the World by Robert Hugh Benson
In A Nose for St. Patrick's Day, Tooten has a sudden dislike to another service dog. The ensuring trouble brings to light a crime that they solve in this free, delightful novella.
A Nose for St. Patrick's Day by Chris McCloskey
A novel for teenage girls who are Roman Catholic. Coerced by her mother, Stacy attends a religious conference and has a mystical experience which starts her on the road to conversion. She will find herself swept up in a romance with the wrong guy, but her new-found faith will eventually guide her in choosing the right partner.
Anastasia's Grail by Mary Pearson
Seven siblings are transported back in time when they put their hands on the Bible that sits on the altar in their church and experience amazing historical events alongside Jesus. This is a fun, exciting, and educational adventure story for young Christians.
There are four books in the Gonkers series. All free. All found here:
The Gonkers Time Travel by Mary Pearson
Gonkers Visit the Saints by Mary Pearson
Gonkers 3: The Apostles by Mary Pearson
Gonkers 4: Sofia and the Hall of Apparitions by Mary Pearson