I'm only 2/3 in (just starting the third part, on Ratzinger and his vision), but The Rise of Benedict XVI is a simply exceptional and stirring account of what Ed Egan poetically referred to as "The Events of April." Go buy it. Now.
It may seem that I'm hard on Allen sometimes, but this is solely because he has become the commentator of record on what (anti-)Catholics for a Free Choice are confused enough to call "The Vatican and the Holy See." And when John flubs, or misses a story, whatever, I go bonkers because he's usually so on his game that I forget that he's human.
What Magister called "epistemological humility" is something I am, admittedly, in great need of.
Lastly, I want to plug a site that truly reflects the best of the church. I received an e.mail earlier today from Stephen Hand at Traditional Catholic Reflections & Reports. Allen introduced me to Stephen by way of his book about an hour beforehand, so it was really a miracle of timing.
Hand and his team have put together an outlet which is, like all the best of Catholicism, impossible to classify by secular standards and enriching precisely because of its lack of bias. (Phil Lawler, be attentive!) TCR's coverage is balanced, betrays no axes and manifests the Christian spirit -- a priceless example for screaming cons who need one.
Check the site -- it's great news for rational Catholics of all stripes.