Maybe not everybody gets excited by 500+ pages of articles concerning Catholic doctrine and history, but I do. When I received Catholic Controversies: Understanding Church Teachings and Events in History I was quite thrilled to dive right in.
This book contains the best articles culled from solid sources and written by the best of the Catholic writers. The book is divide up in multiple sections with one or more articles per section along with a couple page introduction to the articles in that section. These introductions form a nice summary of the information with bulleted information that both prepares you and is useful to reference later.
Catholic Controversies is a very good reference in that if there is some subject you want to brush up on or have further questions on you can likely find a related article or you can look at the further reading suggested. Whether the subject is the Church and science, history such as the Inquisition, Natural Law, Doctrine, or the fine points of embryonic stem cells I found the articles to really be best in class. Where these articles were originally published is also referenced and I think that you can find many of the articles referenced available on the web which is quite useful in passing on information to others.
The information presented is totally faithful to the magisterium of the Church and have not quibbles at all about the information presented. Though a couple of the articles were shorter than I might want and in the case of the history of the Protestant “reformation” I would like to have seen more than one article on the subject, but still the suggested reading is there.
So whether you are like me and want fat books containing good articles concerning the faith or want a collection of articles to refer to as you need, I would highly recommend Catholic Controversies.