Every month in 2024 Pope Francis has a monthly prayer intention. Every month we will release a book list that will draw your heart and soul deeper into prayer on these topics.

Dear brothers and sisters, this month I would like us to pray for people fleeing their own countries.

The feeling of uprootedness or not knowing where they belong often accompanies the trauma experienced by people who are forced to flee their homeland because of war or poverty.

What is more, in some destination countries, migrants are viewed as threats, with fear.

Then the spectre of walls appears – walls on the earth separating families, and walls in hearts.

Christians cannot share this vision. Whoever welcomes a migrant welcomes Christ.

We must promote a social and political culture that protects the rights and dignity of migrants, a culture that promotes the possibility that they can achieve their full potential, and integrates them.

A migrant needs to be accompanied, promoted, and integrated.

Let us pray that migrants fleeing from war or hunger, forced to undertake journeys fraught with danger and violence, may find welcome and new living opportunities.

Pope Francis

For Those Fleeing Their Country

Our advice to book clubs & individuals:

  1. Pick just one of these books to read this month
  2. Pray this short prayer before or after each time you read, and at the start of your book club meetings.
  3. During the meetings, make use of the topical discussion guides & videos on the Pope’s website.
  4. Watch how story transforms your empathy, your prayer life, and your capacity to imagine God with you in any situation.

Historical Fiction

The Wistful and The Good by G.M. Baker

A Distant Prospect by Annette Young

In 1928 Sydney, Australia, an Irish school girl finds new hope, after polio and personal tragedy, while playing cello in a string quartet. “The author’s … love for and extensive knowledge of music, fine arts and literature shines through” … “The landscapes are vast and vivid, the seasons sensory and real, and the emotional journey heart-wrenching.” … “some of the most profound considerations on the meaning of suffering and understanding others, making allowances for their faults” – GoodReadingGuide.com Publisher description: Australia promised a fresh start for Lucy Straughan and her father when they fled war-torn Ireland. Instead, Lucy was stricken by polio. Having mastered the cello during her prolonged confinement, Lucy is now fifteen, lonely and full of questions. Suddenly she is thrust into a string quartet and meets quixotic Della Sotheby, hot-headed Pim Connolly and precocious Phoebe Raye. The experience transforms each of their lives as they forge friendships and share not a few family secrets. Set against the vivid background of 1920s Sydney, A Distant Prospect is an intimate, hilarious and ultimately deeply moving coming-of-age adventure told with a touch of poetry by a quintessentially Irish narrator.

The Wind that Shakes the Corn by Kaye Park Hinckley


FIRST RUNNER-UP: Josiah W. Bancroft Award, Florida First Coast Writer’s Festival

FINALIST: Pirates Alley Society Faulkner/Wisdom Competition

FINALIST: Tuscany Prize for Catholic Fiction

Beginning in eighteenth century Ireland and then set against the background of a burgeoning America, The Wind That Shakes the Corn tells the story of the feistiness of Scots Irish immigrants, and the heart-held faith and courage that led their struggle toward individualism in America. Nell Dugan’s hatred, but also her love and determination, spotlights the Irish, both Protestant and Catholic, who bring to Revolutionary America age-old grudges against longtime English rule.

On Nell’s wedding night in Ireland, English soldiers abduct her from the arms of her Scottish Lord and throw her on a ship, slave-fodder for a West Indies sugar plantation. But Nell uses her beauty and cunning to seduce the plantation owner’s son who sneaks her away to pre-revolutionary Philadelphia where she agrees to marry him, keeping secret her marriage to the Scottish lord she truly loves, and swearing to pay back the English not only for her own kidnapping but also for her mother’s hanging two decades earlier. A story of love, hate, revenge, and the ever-hovering choice to forgive.

“Kaye Hinckley writes deeply textured stories with a distinctive voice. Characters caught up in complex relationships, seeking yet often rejecting redemption.” –Arthur Powers, A Hero for the People

“A talented and sensitive Catholic writer whose complex stories are gripping, memorable, and abounding in nourishment for readers hungry for substantial Christian fiction. –The Catholic World Report

“The reader is delighted by beautiful prose, then challenged to examine the longings of the soul. In the process he learns about faith. –Dr. Ron O’Gorman, MD,”Fatal Rhythm

Saint Magnus: The Last Viking by Susan Peek

Come back in time 900 years, to the fierce and desolate Northern lands, where Norsemen ruled with ax and sword. A dying king, a shocking death-wish, his heirs divided with an oath of blood . . .

In this fast-paced new novel by the highly popular Susan Peek, the conflict unfolds between Magnus Erlendson, a heroic young prince aflame with the love of God, and his outlawed cousin Hakon, who blames Magnus for his banishment from their kingdom. What follows is a tale of betrayal and revenge, bravery and forgiveness, as Magnus seeks to restore his father’s vanquished kingdom to its rightful hands.

Entertaining and inspiring from start to finish, a must-read for all those who thrill to learn the life of a saint we never knew existed!

By Violence Unavenged by Annette Young

Australian violinist Phoebe Raye sees her dreams of romance and revenge dashed when Nazi Germany annexes Austria in 1938. Engaging first person account of Sydney and Vienna between the wars. Extras include book club discussion topics, recommended films, and further reading. BACK COVER Passionate young violinist Phoebe Raye pursues a deadly vendetta despite her father’s warnings and her yearning for love and fulfilment. Leaving Sydney, Australia, Phoebe travels via Istanbul to Vienna, Austria and enters a cultured and complex society fraught with political tension and besieged by a malignant foreign aggressor. Witness to the unbridled hatred unleashed by the Anschluss as her own situation turns perilous, how will Phoebe resolve her mother’s death by violence unavenged? A poignant account of individual predicament amidst social turmoil, By Violence Unavenged is the first volume of In the Hearts of Kings, an epic trilogy exploring the perennial themes of justice and mercy, revenge and forgiveness.

Young Adult

Brothers by Corinna Turner


I blinked rapidly, the intense white of the explosion still hovering, ghost-like, in my vision. It all seemed unreal.
Whoever was in that car was dead. Right before my eyes…

Clearly I had no monopoly on death, this evening.

Joe Whitelow is 13. ‘K’ is 18.
Joe’s small for his age. K’s tall and strong.
Joe’s almost blond. K’s hair is dark.
He’s a Believer. Joe’s a bit vague about what that even means.

But they do have one thing in common.
They both need to get out of the EuroBloc.
Or die.

N.B. All novels in the I AM MARGARET series are now 100% Clean Language (excludes old copies with the word cloud border cover design).

All the I AM MARGARET novels have been awarded the Seal of Approval from the Catholic Writers Guild, guaranteeing their moral, doctrinal and editorial quality.

N.B. Limited number of signed copies of the original version currently available on Amazon Marketplace (Seller: UnSeen books).

“Great style … like The Hunger Games.”
EOIN COLFER, author of Artemis Fowl and former Children’s Laureate of Ireland

The King's Prey by Susan Peek

An insane king. His fleeing daughter. Estranged brothers, with a scarred past, risking everything to save her from a fate worse than death. Toss in a holy priest and a lovable wolfhound, and get ready for a wild race across Ireland.

For the first time ever, the legend of Saint Dymphna, a 15-year old Irish princess who lived in the 7th century, is brought to life in this contemporary novel for teens. When Dymphna’s mother dies, her insane father believes Dymphna is his wife. With three friends, Dymphna manages to escape, but is pursued by the king’s soldiers across Ireland.

Although the story is centered around the princess’s plight, the main character is actually not Dymphna, but Turlough, one of the soldiers hunting them. His motives, however, are different from the others. His younger brother, Brioc, is one of the three helping Dymphna escape! As Turlough races against time to save his brother from certain death, misunderstanding after misunderstanding occurs, making Brioc believe Turlough is trying to kill them all.

Action-packed and with twist after twist, this is not your normal religious biography. Written in fast-paced, contemporary style to appeal to modern teens, this is a historical adventure that doesn’t let up.

The Light by Jaqueline Brown

A blinding flash … then darkness.

No Phones.
No Cars.
No Electricity.

Four college students are stranded on a country highway, the modern world has been returned to a time no one alive remembers and a brutal blizzard is fast approaching.

Hundreds of miles from home, Bria Ford and her three closest friends must put their lives in the hands of the handsome Jonah Page and his flinty sister, East—strangers who somehow know the secrets of Bria’s past.

Secrets that not even she knows, but that offer them the hope of surviving the extremes of Mother Nature and the even more frightening extremes of human nature.

The Light is Book One in this fast-paced, Christian series that will leave you wondering who would I become if the world fell away?

book cover

I Am Margaret by Corinna Turner

In Margo’s world, the ‘imperfect’ are recycled. Literally.

Margaret Verrall dreams of marrying the boy she loves and spending her life with him. But she’s part of the underground network of Believers – and that carries the death penalty. But before she can be unmasked as a Believer, she fails her Sorting and is reassigned as spare parts. Bane swears to rescue her before she can be dismantled, but a chance to take on the system ups the stakes beyond mere survival. Now she has to break out of the Facility—or face the worst punishment of all: Conscious Dismantlement.

If you enjoy books like THE HUNGER GAMES, UNWIND, or NEVER LET ME GO but wish they had that inspirational/Catholic edge, I AM MARGARET is the book you’ve been waiting for! This page-turner combines adventure and suspense with a touch of romance, and delves into the real emotional cost of martyrdom and standing up for what you believe.

Buy the book to enter Margo’s story today!

“Great style – very good characters and pace. Definitely a book worth reading, like The Hunger Games.”
EOIN COLFER, author of ‘Artemis Fowl’.

“An intelligent, well-written and enjoyable debut from a young writer with a bright future.”
STEWART ROSS, author of ‘The Soterion Mission’.

I AM MARGARET was a finalist in the CALA Awards 2016.

LIBERATION, Book 3 in the I AM MARGARET series, has been nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal Award 2016.

All the I AM MARGARET novels have been awarded the SOA by the Catholic Writers Guild.


A Printer's Choice by W.L. Patenaude

Our Lady of the Artilects by Andrew Gillsmith

For fans of Dan Simmons, Gene Wolfe, Neal Stephenson, A Canticle for Leibowitz and other classic metaphysical sci-fi…this near future technothriller dives deep into questions of consciousness, faith, and artificial intelligence.
World leaders are already on edge as Artilects (next generation androids) begin reporting a strange apocalyptic vision that only they can see.

But when an Artilect belonging to the wealthiest man in Africa shows up at the Basilica of Our Lady of Nigeria claiming to be possessed, the stakes are raised. The Vatican sends Fr. Gabriel Serafian, an exorcist and former neuroscientist, to investigate. Serafian quickly finds himself swept up in a conspiracy of global–and possibly supernatural–dimensions.

The timing couldn’t be worse. Rome is on the verge of reconciliation with the Chinese Economic Interest Zone after a 50 year cold war, and the Chinese are particularly sensitive about the so-called Apparition.

To discover the truth and save not only humanity but the artilects themselves, Serafian enlists the aid of a tough-as-nails Imperial Praetor named Namono Mbambu.

Our Lady of the Artilects is a mind-bending supernatural science fiction novel where The Exorcist meets Westworld, with a light dusting of Snow Crash.

Science Fiction

Heaven's Hunter by Marie C. Keiser

Randall Yung, born into one of the galaxy’s elite families, could have had anything he wanted, but he decided to become a detective for the Galactic Fleet. And he’s good at his job–so good at it that he’s getting bored.
Everything suddenly changes when Randall is assigned to track down the perpetrator of a daring attack on a Fleet warship. This case is dangerously personal.
The closer he comes to his target the more he finds himself trapped by old grudges, an outlawed organization, and a war his grandparents fought. Can he escape from his enemies without betraying everything he cares about?

Sunrise on the IceWolf by Colleen Drippé

Young Helen Kley of El Colony, a world dominated by women, doesn’t know what to make of the two young men who suddenly come bursting into her life, rescuing her from a humiliating kidnap attempt. That they are offworlders, she has no doubt, that they are corporate agents of some sort, she suspects. Otherwise why do they withhold their names, giving her only the number of a safe line to contact them? In the end, she becomes friends with the one she dubs “Pro” (the other she call “Con” because of their differing attitudes) and simply learns to think of them as her guardians. Only when she comes of age, two years later, and is by custom given her father’s name and an invitation to visit heretofore unknown relatives on his homeworld, does she learn the truth about her adopted guardians. In fact she learns truth after truth as she and Pro, whose real name she finally learns, must battle their way through one adventure after another as they seek her missing father while avoiding his enemies. In the end, she faces not only threats from the outside, but also the need to come to terms with her own values and background — to choose and to choose rightly. Everything she has learned to care about depends on her choice — her own happiness and the welfare of those who have become dear to her.