Gary's Book Recommendations

If you’re looking for something special to read (and who isn’t?), check out these books I’ve personally read and found to be compelling and recommendable—and I’m usually very cautious when recommending something.

The pope is dead. Behind the locked doors of the Sistine Chapel, one hundred and eighteen cardinals from all over the globe will cast their votes in the world’s most secretive election. They are holy men. But they have ambition. And they have rivals. Over the next seventy-two hours one of them will become the most powerful spiritual figure on Earth.

Conclave has one of the best twists I’ve read in some time, right there at the end, where a good, suspenseful story twist makes for a thrilling impact.

I really wasn’t prepared for such a deeply moving book as The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris. A vivid, harrowing, and ultimately hopeful re-creation of Lale Sokolov’s experiences as the man who tattooed the arms of thousands of prisoners with what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust.

Rob Samborn’s The Prisoner of Paradise has it all: Venice, a great Italian master painter, an ancient religious order, a dual-time love story . . . and did I mention Venice? One of my favorite books this past year and one I think you’ll enjoy as well.

I read Holy Blood, Holy Grail decades ago but its impact on me has lasted through all these years. You’ll experience shock after shock as the authors peel back layers of history (and dashes of speculation) to reveal mountains of credible challenges to faith and dogma. Not for the faint of heart.

One of the most powerful books I’ve read in years, Beneath a Scarlet Sky moved me to tears in places. And a side bonus for me was discovering the narrator who would read all my audiobooks, Will Damron, who—since I listened to this novel’s audio edition—has now narrated ten of my own books. Heart-wrenchingly good would be an understatement.

In God’s Name is one of the most powerful and convincing books on the death of Pope John Paul I, pope for just 33 days until his controversial and highly suspicious death, possibly by poison… Esteemed investigative journalist David Yallop makes one gripping and persuasive argument after another on the matter. You be the judge.