For the aspiring saint:
Treasury of Women Saints: A Devotional Companion, by Ronda Chervin
If you want to be a saint, follow the saints who have come before! This book collects the histories of over 200 holy women, including life lessons and prayers for intercession. Discover the saintly lives of mothers, martyrs, prophets, and more.
Also try: The Franciscan Saints, by Robert Ellsberg
Sparkling accounts of 101 saints, blesseds, venerables, and more, all embodying the Franciscan spirit.
For the future priest or theology scholar:
Prayer in the Catholic Tradition: A Handbook of Practical Approaches, edited by Robert J. Wicks
Wicks collects over 40 essential modern Catholic voices into one volume offering the most comprehensive view of Catholic prayer ever published. Includes thoughtful reflections on many different types of prayer, praying through different situations, and much more. A must for the reference shelf.
Also try: Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps, by Richard Rohr
A perennial bestseller, this spiritual approach to addiction is an essential read for anyone with a career or calling that includes counseling.
For the budding world traveler:
101 Places to Pray Before You Die: A Roamin' Catholic's Guide, by Thomas J. Craughwell
Sacred sites are everywhere, and this breezy visitors' guide to holy locations throughout the United States can turn any road trip into a pilgrimage. Organized by state, this guide is designed for the reader to discover nearby sports to pray and reflect, wherever they may be.
Also try: Saint Junipero Serra's Camino: A Pilgrimage Guide to the California Missions, by Stephen J. Binz
Binz offers details about each of the 21 Spanish missions of California, with visitor information, photos, and prayers.
For devotees of Saint Francis:
Peace and Good: Through the Year with Francis of Assisi, by Pat McCloskey, OFM
This wonderful introduction to the life and teachings of St. Francis offers daily inspiration. Each day features a quote from Francis’s teachings, a suggestion for living as Francis did, and a challenge for growing in faith and practice.
Also try: Live Like Francis: Reflections on Franciscan Life in the World, by Jovian Weigel, OFM and David Foley, OFM (edited by Diane M. Houdek, OFS)
Fifty-two chapters of stories, scripture passages, and questions for reflection offer a yearlong course in Franciscan spirituality.
For the home cook:
Saints at the Dinner Table, by Amy Heyd
More than just a cookbook! Heyd looks to the saints as her inspiration for planning a delicious dinner, complete with prayers, conversation prompts, and reflections to consider while the food cooks. Each chapter includes facts and stories about the saint that inspired the meal.
Also try: Table of Plenty: Good Food for Body and Spirit, by Susan Muto
Perfectly paired with soul-nourishing stories and reflections, the recipes in this book describe not just how to prepare food, but how to do so with grace and mindfulness.
Eight Whopping Lies and Other Stories of Bruised Grace, by Brian Doyle
We mentioned this book in our guide for teens, but this collection of essays will also delight adults of any faith. Doyle writes with a meandering, lyrical style about love, family, and the profundity of life's little moments, with a perspective informed (but never overwhelmed) by his Catholic faith.
Also try: Wendell Berry and the Given Life, by Ragan Sutterfield
All Christians and all fans of Wendell Berry will enjoy Sutterfield's poetic exploration of the Christian themes in the work of the prolific writer and activist.