Joan of Arc: A Life Transfigured 

NEW YORK - Along the way to completing her new biography of St. Joan of Arc, Kathryn Harrison renewed her Catholic faith in a way that surprised her: She discovered the Latin Mass.

Book explores Franciscan connections of famed Trappist writer 

"The Franciscan Heart of Thomas Merton: A New Look at the Spiritual Inspiration of His Life, Thought and Writing" by Daniel P. Horan, OFM. Ave Maria Press (Notre Dame, Indiana, 2014). 288 pp., $16.95. You're probably thinking, "Merton wasn't a Franciscan; he was a Trappist." And you're right.

Book will thrill readers with unique plot, spiritual message 

"The Rising" by Robert Ovies. Ignatius Press (San Francisco, 2014). 307 pp., $19.95. "The Rising" has all the makings of a fast-paced novel that will thrill readers with its relatable characters, unique plot, spiritual message and nicely crafted ending.

Books explain church's past in China, look to future challenges 

"The Visitor: Andre Palmeiro and the Jesuits in Asia" by Liam Matthew Brockey. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press (Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2014). 528 pp., $39.95. "Evangelization in China: Challenges and Prospects" by Kin Sheung Chiaretto Yan. Orbis Books (Maryknoll, New York, 2014). 178 pp., $30.