With his history-making visit to Baltimore at the top of the minds not only of Roman Catholics but of everyone else in the region with even remote interest in this remarkable Pope, three books rank high among many that could be considered pertinent. They are:
"Crossing the Threshold of Hope," by His Holiness John Paul II. New York: Knopf. 229 pages $20. Also available in a Spanish language edition, on CD ($45), and in large print ($22); a special Deluxe Edition is priced at $50. A huge best seller since first coming out last year, this personal declaration of faith already has sold 1.6 million copies in America alone.
"Papal Wisdom: Words of Hope and Inspiration from John Paul II," compiled by Matthew E. Bunson. New York: Dutton, 193 pages. $14.95. A collection of short, focused observations from a lifetime of writings.
"Pope John Paul II, the Biography," by Tad Szulc. New York: Scribner. 542 pages. $27.50. At present the definitive biography, by an American writer of immense experience and insight.