The Catholic Baby Name Book is another book in the CatholicMom.com series, which are available from Ave Maria Press. Other books in this series include, Imitating Mary, A Catholic Mother's Companion to Pregnancy, Small Steps for Catholic Moms, A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms, and The Handbook for Catholic Moms. Lisa Hendey has authored two of these books and written the foreword for the remainder, so you know that each book has merit, if she stuck her name to them.
This 500+ page book is divided into two sections - Boys' Names and Girls' Names. Each section is alphabetical and contains a GLUT of names. Some of the names are expected, like Benedict or Dominic. Other names leave you scratching your head, like Dioscorus or Numidicus, and make you wonder if anyone would ever burden their child with that name. (Apologies to anyone who gave their kid either of those names.) I appreciate that Mrs. MacArthur included Old Testament names, like Aaron and Elijah, in her book. Even though they are not technically "Saints," they are important Biblical figures we believe to be in Heaven.
The book touts more than 10,000 names, which it does. However, it includes a lot of variations of what I will refer to as "main names." For example the entries Ambrosi, Ambrosius, Ambross, Ambrossye, Ambrotos, Ambroz, Ambrus, and Amby are all variations that said, "see Ambrose." For "main names," I greatly appreciate that the author provides name meaning, language of origin, and some background on the saint. At the end of the book are a few appendices which include name popularity, and my personal favorite - recently canonized Saints. Overall, this was a good book that fell short of great. I believe condensing the number of pages would help dramatically. I see the value in this book, especially for first-time expectant parents. However, it is a book that I would recommend borrowing over buying.
This book was provided to me for free from a friend. If you found this review helpful, please click here and hit Yes!