We are four readers who got fed up with how hard is to find good Catholic fiction that features authentic Church teaching, themes and characters. When we did manage to find a good story it was usually something written fifty years ago or in a genre that wasn’t always our favorite.
But we love books and we love reading. So we kept searching.
And we found dozens of hidden worlds, indie authors, small presses and magazines. Despite the lack of advertising, imagination and art are alive and well in our parishes. We started Catholic Reads with the aim of putting authentic Catholic fiction into people’s hands. We want our nation and our world to have the chance to see what the Church’s imagination has to offer.
I know that for myself, I was inspired by my childhood church’s little library. I am, A.R.K. Watson, Editor Chief and one of the four founders of Catholic Reads. I grew up in the amazing worlds of Francine Rivers, Randy Alcorn, and Ted Dekker. Even now I still see in my mind’s eye the exact shelf where I first found Mister God this is Anna by Fynn.
When I converted to Catholicism in 2010 I was eager to find stories that explored my newfound faith. Unfortunately, while nonfiction and apologetics are alive and well in the American Catholic publishing world, it was difficult for me to find Catholic works of fiction, especially genre fiction. So I began writing my own science fiction series to fix all that. As an author I entered a new world of books and met dozens of other Catholic authors like me who wanted to see what happens when you put a bunch of nuns on a spaceship, or when you consider the price of loving thy neighbor when trapped with them in an haunted IKEA store.
Four of us, M.S. Ocampo, T.S. Sloan, Lori Wilson, and myself, decided we could do more to change things than just write and advertise our own stories. We started writing because we loved reading and we wanted to put some of the amazing books we found into the hands of hungry readers. Together we started Catholic Reads.
Catholic Reads seeks to become the sort of place that my childhood church library was for me. We will help both Catholic authors and readers by:
1. Our Library of Reviews
Each week we will publish a review of a book that written by a Catholic or that explores themes in common with Catholicism. We will clearly list the themes explored and whether or not the author is openly Catholic. This way readers looking for books exploring specific themes will be able to find them using our tag cloud in the right hand side bar. Because we are independent we will be able to review books from multiple Catholic presses and vet independently published books for quality. You can find new books under the Reviews tab, sorted according to genre.
2. Our Email Blast of Books on Sale
Subscribers will receive a monthly email alerting them to sales on the books we review. This will let readers on a budget grow their own Catholic library and help give Catholic authors a chance to find new readers.
We are providing these services for free so please be sure to share, subscribe and follow, as our only form of advertising at this time is word of mouth. Anyone interested in helping fund us can contact us through our Contact Us page.
If you are a reader with a book recommendation for us please send it to us through our “Contact Us” page.
Authors interested in finding out how to get their books reviewed or on the email list can find our submission guidelines on the “Submit a Book” page.
I cannot wait to help you find your next adventure and see where Catholic Reads will take us all. I hope that together, authors and readers can turn the page on the current state of religious publishing, and usher in a new Golden Age of Catholic fiction.
Your Editor in Chief,