Taste is subjective. Keep that in mind as I share with you the 10 books that most touched me this past year. That isn’t necessarily a recommendation that you read them. They may leave you cold, or angry at me that I praised them. Be your own critic here – and one who isn’t afraid to be critical of my taste. Nobody buys everything that’s advertised in a store.

So, which were the 10 books that most touched me? First, I single out some wonderful religious biographies:

✣ Kate Hennessey, Dorothy Day, The World Will be Saved by Beauty. To my mind, this book is a treasure. As Dorothy Day’s granddaughter, Kate Hennessey had a privileged, intimate relationship with Dorothy, but that relationship also had its headaches and heartaches. Dorothy was a complex person who when called a saint reacted by saying: “I don’t want to be dismissed that lightly!” This book captures both the saint and the woman resistant to that label.

✣ Jim Forest, At Play in the Lion’s Den: A Biography and Memoir of Daniel Berrigan. A great insight as to who Daniel Berrigan was as a man, as a Jesuit, as a friend and as a prophet. There will be numerous biographies written on Berrigan, but none, I venture to say, will surpass this one. Forest knows his subject well.

✣ Suzanne M Wolfe, The Confessions of X: A Novel. This is fictional biography, a story of St Augustine’s mistress, Augustine’s love for her, their child and St Monica’s role in breaking up that relationship. Not historical, but researched well enough to make it credible.

Next, some religious autobiographies:

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