5 Books to Read During Quarantine

“A good book is like a good friend. It will stay with you for the rest of your life.”

Looking for a good friend to help you keep a supernatural and positive perspective these days?  Fr. Javier del Castillo has five recommendations for you:


  1. “The Book of Job”:  The Book of Job, named after its protagonist (apparently not an Israelite; cf. Ez 14:14, 20), is an exquisite dramatic treatment of the problem of the suffering of the innocent. The contents of the book, together with its artistic structure and elegant style, place it among the literary masterpieces of all time. This is a literary composition, and not a transcript of historical events and conversations.” If you don’t own a Bible, you can find the Book of Job to read for free at: USCCB
  2. “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Victor Frankl:  “Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl’s memoir has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival… offering a universal tribute to coping with suffering and finding one’s purpose.” Book and ebook available on: Amazon
  3. “Spe Salvi” by Benedict XVI:  Given in Rome in 2007, Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical “Spe Salvi” reminds us that: “Redemption is offered to us in the sense that we have been given hope, trustworthy hope, by virtue of which we can face our present: the present, even if it is arduous, can be lived and accepted if it leads towards a goal, if we can be sure of this goal, and if this goal is great enough to justify the effort of the journey.”  Read and download for free at Vatican Official Website
  4. “Leisure, the Basis of Culture” by Josef Pieper:  “One of the most important philosophy titles published in the twentieth century, Josef Pieper’s Leisure, the Basis of Culture,” explains how: “Leisure is an attitude of the mind and a condition of the soul that fosters a capacity to perceive the reality of the world. Pieper shows that the Greeks and medieval Europeans, understood the great value and importance of leisure. He also points out that religion can be born only in leisure — a leisure that allows time for the contemplation of the nature of God. Leisure has been, and always will be, the first foundation of any culture. Pieper maintains that our bourgeois world of total labor has vanquished leisure, and issues a startling warning: Unless we regain the art of silence and insight, the ability for non-activity, unless we substitute true leisure for our hectic amusements, we will destroy our culture — and ourselves.” Book and ebook available on: Amazon
  5. “The Betrothed” by Alessandro Manzoni:  “A sweeping novel set in northern Italy in 1628 during the years of Spanish occupation, The Betrothed is centered around the relationship between Renzo and Lucia — the titular betrothed couple — and their struggle to return to each other and become married, as the world changes around. The Betrothed is also well-known for its remarkable account of the Italian Plague of 1629-1631, and the devastating impact the epidemic had on Milan.” Book and ebook available on: Amazon and Project Gutenberg (free)

I can’t leave my house, so where can I get these titles?

  • If you can, please help support small businesses and purchase your book(s) from a local, independent bookstore: IndieBound Bookstore Finder
  • If you don’t want to purchase books right now, many libraries around the world offer free e-books and audio books. Search for these titles and more in libraries near you: Worldcat
  • We’ve provided links to these titles on Amazon Smile–every purchase helps support the St. Josemaria Institute without an extra cost to you–thank you!

We’d love to hear from you!

What are your thoughts, favorite quotes from these titles?  Do you have any questions about the books we can help to answer?  Are you reading on your own, with your family, or online book club?  What other books would you add to this list?

Please use the comment section below to get in touch… Happy reading!

St. Josemaria Institute St. Josemaria Institute

The St. Josemaria Institute was founded in 2006 to promote the life, teachings, and devotion to St. Josemaria Escriva among all men and women who desire to find meaning and happiness in their daily lives by growing closer to God. The St. Josemaria Institute produces and distributes digital and print media as a means to spread Christian values around the world and to help people navigate and live well in the digital age.

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