Virginia Barton

Bookery Nook: Wide awake and forward-looking


Catholic Herald, 1 March 1991


booksAs ready as the next person to castigate supermarkets that sell hot-cross buns on Boxing Day, I nonetheless make no excuse for talking of Easter in the middle of Lent. In order that readers may receive the hooks of their choice in time for the great feast, it is necessary to advertise them well in advance.

Bookery Nook is nothing if not wide-awake and forward-looking. Cardinal Ratzinger’s Journey towards Easter is seasonally suitable and will be offered here only this month.

To complement the video in the high-tech department a double cassette with booklet makes its debut. The recording is of David Suchet reading St John’s Gospel: a powerful performance by this popular actor.

Last month I ordered four copies of the New Jerusalem Bible, one for each grandchild. This compact little version (6 x 4 inches) is the most unintimidating bible I have ever handled, just the right introduction to the good book for children. Yes the print is small, but perfectly legible for Gran with her “beginners” specs.

It is good in see an old favorite again. Ronnie Knox’s Life of Saint Thérѐse of Lisieux, and on St David’s Day it is timely to mention the paperback version of Believing Bishops.


Rachel Billington, The First Easter (Collins Fount, £2. 95)
Popular novelist and children’s writer tells the story of Easter in simple but moving terms for younger readers. With colour illustrations by Elisa Trimby.

Enid Blyton, A Story Book of Jesus (Marshall Pickering, £2.99)
A new version of the book the creator of Noddy wrote for “mothers and young children” in 1956, retelling in simple, straightforward language the gospel tales, with line illustrations.

Sheila Cassidy, Good Friday People (Darton, Longman and Todd, £5.95)
Hospice director and former prisoner of conscience in Chile in the 1970s reflects on the struggle for saints and sinners to be with Christ in his suffering. By recounting the courage of others, she leads us to a more acute realisation of what the preparation for Easter means in a book that is the basis of the Catholic Herald’s own Lenten series of meditations.

John FX Harriott, Empire of the Heart (Fowler Wright, £5.95)
Popular Tablet columnist, whose death at Christmas will have robbed many of his regular readers of. a friend whose wisdom and insight were always challenging and often unorthodox, is recalled in a collection of his Periscope columns. “John Harriott manages with incredible consistency to be both funny and profound” – John Newton (Methodist Recorder).

Fr Gerard Hughes SJ, Walk to Jerusalem (Darton, Longman and Todd, £7.95)
An account of two journeys by a gifted spiritual writer, the outer one from Scotland to Jerusalem, and the inner an examination of the nature of peace. “To read this book is to meet a man with a passion for· justice, peace and unity; a man with a lively and well-stored mind and a deep spiritual life” – Lord Coggan.

Ronald Knox, Autobiography of St. Thérѐse of Lisieux (Collins Fount, £1. 95)
A timeless classic, Ronald Knox’s translation of the inspiring life of the “Little Flower”.

Simon Lee and Peter Stanford, Believing Bishops (Faber, £4.99)
An examination of the political, social and spiritual role of bishops in modern society, based around discussions with leading Catholic and Anglican prelates. Revised paperback edition with a new foreword containing an interview with the Archbishop-elect of Canterbury, Dr George Carey. “Bright and clearly well-informed” – John Mortimer (Sunday Times).

Cardinal Ratzinger, Journey Towards Easter (St Paul’s, £5.95)
Lenten mediation by the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith which takes the aspects of a journey, suggested by the liturgy, from the temptation of Jesus to his resurrection.

Fr Ronald Rolheiser OMI, Forgotten Among the Lilies (Hodder and Stoughton, £5.99)
Collection of writing by popular Herald columnist.

Fr Ronald Rolheiser OMI, The Restless Heart (Hodder and Stoughton, £4.95)
Winner of the Winifred Mary Stanford Prize for religious books in 1990, an exploration of our loneliness.

David Suchet Reads St John’s Gospel (Hodder and Stoughton, £9.95)
The star of Poirot brings his professional skills to bear on John’s gospel in this two tape plus booklet set. Based on the New International Version, Suchet’s reading is in aid of Friends of the Earth and the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.

New Jerusalem Bible (Darton, Longman and Todd, £6.95)
Hardback, pocket-sized edition of the 1985 revised version of this classic translation.


PLUS our video selection:


The Song of Bernadette (£9.99, 115 minutes, black and white). 1940s film version of Franz Werfel’s tribute to Lourdes and Our Lady. Winner of four Academy Awards and starring the young Jennifer Jones.



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