Some words are delightful in their own right.

Hieroglyphics is a particular favorite of mine. It looks good written down, rolls off the tongue and then rattles the teeth as it’s pronounced. Hieroglyphics conjures up the same images for everyone: squiggles, rectangles with bits jutting out, and Egyptian stick figures in triangular skirts. (Or is that their legs bent in a dance routine?)

The word is apt in its way for this issue of Summer Books: hieros, “sacred,” glyphics, “to carve out” (as in to write down in stone). In what follows, more than a dozen reviewers have glyphicked their entertaining opinions of Catholic and secular books by the dozen.

Entertaining reviewing does not imply lightweight. There’s inspiration and material for deep thought in the life and views of the Rev. Ludmila Javorova, the Czech woman ordained a Catholic priest (pages 36-39). The reviewer, the Rev. Moni McIntyre, a former Catholic woman religious ordained into the Episcopal church, quietly opens up the book for the reader. The excerpt from it does the rest.

For tragedy that produces inspiration, pages 32 and 33 are impressive. Few mothers have faced what Katherine Norgard and Antoinette Bosco deal with. The one, the mother of a son who has murdered, reviews the book by a mother whose son (and his wife) were murdered.

On page 40, the tone switches from the serious and sacred to the secular: Joe Feuerherd on Ronald Reagan.

This Summer Books is devised with something else in mind. If you haven’t the time to pluck a fresh hardback or paperback from the store shelf or library before heading off, stick this special section in your backpack. To paraphrase something John Lennon glyphicked, there’s some fine reading in its own write.