The main Christmas gift I received was that of the written word. The topic which I am most interested in these days is the Catholic Church. Not the "Da Vinci Code" version but the actual version. In addition to the Bible there are some very good and accurate books which clearly define the Church's doctrine. One author which I discovered in particular is Scott Hahn. http://www.scotthahn.com/. I think that his writing and treatment of the Church most truly grabs me because he is also an adult convert who was at one time a Presbyterian minister. You don't have to be a "convert" like me to take something from these books. There is much misunderstanding and frankly prejudice against the Church these days so if one wants to know why "Catholics do that" then I think these books would be a good place to find the answer to some of those questions.
Ordinary Work, Extraordinary Grace: I've just read the first couple of chapters so far but this is all about "Opus Dei"...which was very dishonestly portrayed in Dan Brown's novel "The DaVinci Code"
Hail Holy Queen: This is all about Mary who is the Mother of all Christians. This was the first Scoot Hahn book I read and really it was so interesting that I read it in one sitting. Do Catholics worship Mary? Why do they say "Hail Mary Mother of God blessed art thou among women"? Hahn walks the reader through the Bible both Old and New Testament and really shows us who Mary is and why she is important to even us Modern Christians.
First Comes Love: This is about love in the Family and leading your family in love...at least that is what the back says as I haven't been able to read any yet.
Rome Sweet Home: This is really the conversion story of Scott and Kimberly Hahn. Why would somebody become Catholic? This is really a history of their journey towards the Catholic Church.
Swear to God: This is about the sacraments in the Christian faith...all seven of them. Each is drawn out biblically, theologically and historically. Hahn also emphasizes their importance in our lives.
The Lambs Supper: This is all about Mass. Why do Catholics have mass every Sunday (some even every day). How is the mass different that "communion" at other churches. Where is the mass in scripture Old Testament and New? Why do Catholics believe in the "real presence" of the Lord in the host and wine? All those questions are faithfully answered in this logical and easy to read primer.
Catholic Christianity: Peter Kreeft. This is a handbook companion meant to explain the Catholic Catechism.
The Rosary: Kelly really gives the reason for the rosary as well as the history and beginnings.
As I said before...these books aren't just for Catholics. They can be read by anybody who simply wants to know "why Catholics do that".