There are 2 new features in the sidebar now.
First, I added a 32-book collection in Library Thing. For now, at least, it is a collection of books that may be of interest to people who are thinking about becoming Catholic. The books in the list are also good reading for Catholics, including several by Pope Benedict XVI and Louis Bouyer, among other authors. The list was compiled from a combination of sources, including Pontifications' lists of books for people exploring Catholicism and for Episcopalian priests who are becoming Catholic priests, some suggestions from comments on Pontifications that were from authors I respect, the list previously compiled by our Church of the Nativity's Disciples in Mission facilitators for Catholic parishioners who want to broaden their knowledge of their faith, and a few recommendations of my own.
In the Library Thing page, if you click on a book, you will see several options. If you want to buy the book, select "amazon", and you will be taken to the amazon.com page offering the book. If you want to find the book at a library or shop for a used copy, select "social info", and then look at the options in blue at the top left of the page that opens. You can click on "OCLC find at a library" and enter your zip code, and the site will let you know if there is a copy in a library near you. You can also click on "abebooks" or "alibris" to search more sites than amazon for a used copy. Additionally, if you click on the number of members who have listed the same book in their Library things lists, you will see a list of other books similarly tagged.
The other new feature here is an Events Calendar primarily for southern California events of interest to Catholics. In the next week or so, I will also add some events of national and international interest, such as the upcoming papal journey to Spain, perhaps with links to the EWTN page with TV broadcast times. The "Upcoming Events from Blog's Calendar" feature is at the very bottom of the sidebar. The events include such things as retreats at the Mission San Luis Rey, the Coronation Mass at the Mainly Mozart Festival, a Getty Museum exhibit about the Cult of the Saints, a Gregorian Chant Ladymass, and such wholesome family activities as Family Day at the County Fair. You can e-mail me if you have an event that you would like to have me add, or if you see any errors in the calendar (e-mail link in sidebar).
To keep the main column as long as the sidebar, I have increased the number of recent posts that will show up on the main page to 15.