I’m building on Erin McCole-Cupp’s challenge to Catholic media types to spend at least half the time they spend telling people why they shouldn’t go see That Movie (or read That Book) recommending positive, worthwhile entertainment in its place.
(Not that I fancy myself a Catholic media type. But I know how to tag people on Twitter, and tag I shall.)
It’s like that bit at the end of Alice’s Restaurant.
Or you may be in a similar situation, and if you’re in a situation like that, there’s only one thing you can do:
Walk into the shrink wherever you are, just walk in, say, “Shrink, . . . you can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant”, and walk out.
You know, if one person, just one person, does it, they may think he’s really sick and they won’t take him.
And if two people do it, in harmony, they may think they’re both ******* and they won’t take either of them.
And if three people do it! Can you imagine three people walkin’ in, singin’ a bar of “Alice’s Restaurant” and walkin’ out? They may think it’s an Organization!
And can you imagine fifty people a day? I said FIFTY people a day . . .
Walkin’ in, singin’ a bar of “Alice’s Restaurant” and walkin’ out? Friends, they may think it’s a MOVEMENT, and that’s what it is: THE ALICE’S RESTAURANT ANTI-MASSACREE MOVEMENT! . . . and all you gotta do to join is to sing it the next time it comes around on the guitar.
In the hopes that this becomes a Movement, I’ve gone through my Goodreads list and found you a whole bunch of Really GOOD Fiction. Quality fiction. Well-written fiction. Fiction you wouldn’t be ashamed to leave around your living room, read in a public place, or have your teenager pick up and read.
I’ve met the authors of some of these books. I’ve been a beta reader for some of them. I know the care they take in crafting novels that are well-written, with interesting characters and fascinating plots–and novels that show respect for both the character AND the reader. Some of these are YA, but I’ve got nothing against reading good YA stuff. This list does reflect my taste (almost no no time travel, sci-fi or dystopian stuff, although I’m sure there’s plenty of those novels out there that are of good quality.)
Not all of these authors are Catholic authors. Not all of them are indie authors. But many of them are. I have read ALL of these books and am happy to recommend them far and wide. Also, this list is limited to novels. Because it’s my list, so I’m setting the parameters.
In no particular order of preference, except for #1. I sorted my Goodreads list by author. If you want to see what I liked about these books, you can read my reviews at Goodreads.
Here are 50 WAY Better Novels:
- A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith. My all-time favorite book EVER.
- Cracks in the Sidewalk by Bette Lee Crosby
- The Twelfth Child by Bette Lee Crosby
- Spare Change by Bette Lee Crosby
- Jubilee’s Journey by Bette Lee Crosby
- Previously Loved Treasures by Bette Lee Crosby
- What Matters Most by Bette Lee Crosby
- Passing Through Perfect by Bette Lee Crosby
- Wishing for Wonderful by Bette Lee Crosby
- Don’t You Forget About Me by Erin McCole-Cupp
- Jane_E., Friendless Orphan by Erin McCole-Cupp
- Nest by Esther Ehrlich. YA.
- Greater Treasures: A DragonEye Novella by Karina Fabian
- Georgios by A.K. Frailey
- The Scent of Lilacs by Ann Gabhart
- In Name Only by Ellen Gable
- A Subtle Grace by Ellen Gable
- Emily’s Hope by Ellen Gable
- Stealing Jenny by Ellen Gable
- The Truth About the Sky by Katharine Grubb
- Falling for Your Madness by Katharine Grubb
- Genius Under Construction by Marilee Haynes. YA.
- Past Suspicion by Therese Heckencamp
- Casting the First Stone by Lisa Hess
- A Hunger in the Heart by Kaye Park Hinckley
- The Lion’s Heart by Dena Hunt
- The Opposite of Hallelujah by Anna Jarzab. YA.
- Julia’s Hope by Leisha Kelly
- Cracks in the Ice by Deanna Klingel
- The Paper Cowboy by Kristin Levine. YA.
- Hijacked by Leslie Lynch
- Unholy Bonds by Leslie Lynch
- Opal’s Jubilee by Leslie Lynch
- A Christmas Hope by Leslie Lynch
- When Mike Kissed Emma by Christine Marciniak, YA.
- Reality Ali by Christine Marciniak, YA.
- Lights, Camera, Ali by Christine Marciniak, YA.
- Honestly, Ali! by Christine Marciniak. YA.
- Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
- Fatal Rhythm by R. B. O’Gorman
- Finding Grace by Laura Pearl
- Erin’s Ring by Laura Pearl. YA.
- Hush Hush by Michelle Quigley
- O Little Town by Don Reid
- The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
- Best Wishes, Sister B by Fran Smith
- Bird Face by Cynthia T. Toney. YA.
- Digital Me by J.M. Varner. YA.
- Mister Teacher Person by J.M. Varner. YA.
- Breathing On Her Own by Rebecca Williams Waters