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50 Books for Life

50 Books for Life

A Concise Guide to Catholic Literature

By Roy Peachey

134 pp

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About the Book

The trouble with new books is that they prevent us from reading old ones. That was the view of Joseph Joubert writing at the turn of the nineteenth century, and the problem is even more acute today. With fifty chapters on fifty books by fifty different authors, 50 Books for Life is a new book that reveals the riches of older ones, providing an accessible introduction to Catholic novels, plays, poetry, and non-fiction from every corner of the globe. Taking us from twenty-first century Korea to the Bible via the work of Waugh, Dryden, and Dante, 50 Books for Life is a guide that can be read from cover to cover or dipped into at spare moments. It is a book that points beyond itself to books that can engage us for a lifetime.


“Faithful Catholics today are professional salvagers, collecting and conserving elements of the high culture of the Catholic tradition to pass on to their children and grandchildren. This work is an important contribution to this salvage operation. It not only introduces the reader to the classical works of Catholic literature but is itself a literary treasure. It deserves a place on the bookshelf in the living room of every Catholic family.”


author of Portraits of Spiritual Nobility

“Roy Peachey’s 50 Books for Life assembles a dazzlingly diverse and enriching corpus of Catholic writings from across the centuries and the continents. From Chesterton to Claudel, from Wu Li to Dante, from Bede to the Bible, Peachey guides us through a delightful smorgasbord of novels, poems, essays, plays, sacred texts, and ancient reflections. Newcomers to the field will discover in Peachey’s book a sure set of reference points for their journey of discovery; experienced readers will find a provocative and intriguing path across a landscape they might have thought they already knew. This book is an indispensable guide for frustrated readers bored with trite literary fluff, and, perhaps most especially, those seeking paths towards the half-forgotten springs of life.”


Aston University

“Roy Peachey has assembled a unique reading guide for thoughtful readers looking for deeper insight into the Catholic imagination, for literature that truly ‘points beyond itself.’ His obvious love of the texts draws the reader beyond himself towards eternity. With this guide, any apprehensions you may have regarding tackling those ‘tough reads’ you always wanted to try will be assuaged with the brief but engaging synopses and analyses of each book.”


Regina Caeli Academy  

“This book is a real gem. Succinct yet full of depth and sound literary judgment, it is a wonderfully accessible guide to many of the finest works of Christendom.”


author of Literature: What Every Catholic Should Know

About the Author

Roy Peachy was Educated at the Universities of Oxford, London, and Lancaster, and has degrees in History, English, and Chinese Studies, as well as a postgraduate diploma in Lake District Studies. He is currently working on a PhD in Theology, teaching in a school near London, and enjoying being a homeschooling father.

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