EWTN Catholic Q&A
Nicholas Sparks and Secular Books
Question from Sarah on 07-05-2013:

Dear Judie,

I amd dealing with the question of morality and pursuit of chastity in current books. I own "A Walk to Remember," by Nicholas Sparks-being it was the only novel so far that does not have any references to premaritial sex. I am young college student, who marvels the idea of a Catholic author writing stories of the present time, within Catholic moral teaching. I was browsing once again through Nicholas Sparks books today at my local bookstore, and disappointedly returned three books back on to the shelf. I feel so disappointed that a Catholic author who openly professes himself as a practicing Catholic, could write such stories with note to premaritial sex and in one case, adultery. I think to myself, "How could he write such things?" I can expect it from a secular author. I could understand the case of someone making a mistake in their past, and recognizing God's forgiveness, But to ultimately promote and encourage characters, even though they aren't real, I feel is dangerous and can influence those who read these stories, Especially Catholic teenagers and adults who read these books. I read alot of classical literature and (ewtn/usccb) approved religious books, but I have trouble finding good, wholesome, current books. I do enjoy Christian fiction-but in some cases have had to be careful there as well. Any thoughts on this would be most appreciated!

Answer by Judie Brown on 07-06-2013:


My advice to you is that you stick to recommended reading from sources like Ignatius Press and others.

Further if you search the internet for "recommended reading for Catholics" you will come up with links like this one:

http://www.ncregister.com/blog/jennifer-fulwiler/catholic-bloggers-share-their-top-book- recommendations

Judie Brown