Archives For Memoir

 

Humor and Theology
at the Chemo Pump

 
A Review of 

Cancer is Funny: Keeping Faith in Stage-Serious Chemo
Jason Micheli

Hardback: Fortress Press, 2016
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
 
Reviewed by Alex Joyner
 
 
 
Most of what Jason Micheli has to tell you about cancer, you don’t want to know.  The title of his new book, Cancer is Funny: Keeping Faith in Stage-Serious Cancer, may hint at optimistic self-help with some humorous anecdotes laced throughout, but cancer is not ‘ha-ha’ funny.  Micheli is glad to tell you, in harrowing detail, that “cancer f@#$ing sucks.” (ix)  This book is as raw as the sores running down his esophagus in mid-stage chemo.  Yeah, there’s a lot here you don’t want to know, but it’s a story told by one of the most honest and profane pastors you’ll ever meet and along the way he spins out the heart of a battle-tested theology that is clear-eyed, unsentimental, and fully alive.  Plus, too, he’s funny.
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Story and Experience 

A Feature Review of 

Why I Left / Why I Stayed: Conversations on Christianity Between an Evangelical Father and His Humanist Son

Bart Campolo / Tony Campolo

Hardback: HarperOne, 2017
Buy Now:  [ Amazon ]   [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Jeff Nelson.
 

Early in this book, Bart Campolo shares the story of what led to his leaving the Christian faith. During a ride on his bike, he crashed head-first into a tree that led to weeks of recovering his memory followed by fresh realizations related to identity and belief. Among such realizations came one of the biggest: he, the son of a nationally renowned evangelical leader and speaker and with his own long career as a pastor, speaker, and missionary himself, no longer believed in God.

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You are More…
 
 
A Feature Review of 
 

Ruined: A Memoir
Ruth Everhart

Paperback: Tyndale House, 2016
Buy Now:  [  Amazon ]   [  Kindle ]
 
 
Reviewed by Jasmine Smart
 
 
What I love most about this memoir is that it is a gift, primarily for her daughters, but by extension to other young women and ultimately Christian culture in general.  Purity-culture theology has real-world, damaging  consequences, and Ruth Everhart has an insightful lens in which she explores those consequences: through her personal journey wrestling with the traumatic events that happened to her,  and the way her theology held up to those events and community responded.

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Here are a few new book releases from this week that are worth checking out:

(Where possible, we have also tried to include a review/interview related to the book…)

  

Dangerous Territory: My Misguided Quest to Save the World

Amy Peterson

Read the starred review from Publishers Weekly… 

NEXT BOOK >>>>>

 

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One of this week’s best new book releases is…

My Life, My Love, My Legacy
Coretta Scott King

Hardback: Holt, 2017
Buy Now:  [ Amazon ]   [  Kindle ]
 

*** Read ERB Editor
Chris Smith’s review of this book

 

Here is a great video intro to the book from Good Morning, America,that features a brief interview with King’s daughter, Bernice…

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Trading in our Comfortable Lives
for Kingdom-oriented Ones
 
A Feature Review of 

Falling Free:
Rescued from the Life I Always Wanted
Shannan Martin 

Paperback: Thomas Nelson, 2016.
Buy Now:  [ Amazon ]   [ Kindle ]
 
Reviewed by Tiffany Malloy
 
 
Sometimes I doubt if Jesus knew what he was talking about.

The season of Advent is upon us, and as I settle into this season of waiting and pondering, I quickly find myself living in the tension of believing Jesus’ words and walking through the aisles of Target.

I find myself wanting another scarf more than I want to give to someone else. Is it really better to give than to receive?

Every time I push my red cart to my empty trunk, feeling the thrill of new things, I struggle to accept Jesus’ words. Does not our quality of life consist in our abundance of possessions?

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In and Through the Chaos
 
A Feature Review of

How to Survive a Shipwreck:
Help is on the Way and Love is Already Here
Jonathan Martin

Paperback: Zondervan, 2016
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]   [ Kindle  ] 
 
 
Reviewed by Douglas Graves
 
 
There are a great deal of “how to” resources for Christians these days. We hope for easy answers and are drawn to step-by-step instructions on how to live a healthy, happy, pleasant Christian life. Yet despite what seems like a recent rise in conversation around deconstruction–especially in regards to faith–there isn’t much writing on how to deconstruct gracefully. Jonathan Martin, however, has written an exceptionally moving book that does just that, and so much more. Despite the title, to classify How to Survive a Shipwreck as another “how to live the Christian life” book would be like calling Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath one of his best works; it most certainly is, but it ignores and belittles the heartache and pain found in the pages of that great American novel. Likewise, Martin’s attempt at “how to” delves into the deepest parts of the soul and comes out not only alive, but hopeful.

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A Vulnerable Call

 
A Feature Review of 

The Broken Way: A Daring Path Into the Abundant Life
Ann Voskamp

Hardback: Zondervan, 2016
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]   [ Kindle ]

 

Reviewed by Zena Neds-Fox

 

I took Ann Voskamp’s new book down to the water.  It was a perfect morning.  A fish actually jumped in the lake and geese flew overhead in a September blue sky.  I came anticipating the beauty I knew Ann’s words would hold.  A beautiful place for a beautiful book.  But the truth is that Ann Voskamp’s greatest power has always been to knock the wind out of her readers.  To take them out at the knees.  The Broken Way is no exception.  We come to her wanting comfort and she’s glad to give it – at a price.

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The Whole Cacophony
of Human Experience

 
A Review of 

Living with a Dead Language:
My Romance with Latin

Ann Patty

Hardback: Viking, 2016.
Buy now:  [ AmazonKindle
 
 
Reviewed by Sam Chamelin
 
 
It seems unlikely that anyone would pick up a book about learning Latin, unless you have already had the pleasure of diving into this dusty corner of academia.  That’s precisely how I came to this book.  Like Ann Patty, I am a Latinist, and her descriptions of small, dark, and somewhat awkward undergraduate Latin students returned me to my own studies at Ursinus College.  I remember that my professor, John Wickersham, once brought an impression made from a ring of Julius Caesar as a “Show and Tell” piece, and he encouraged us to take a look.  We obliged, and yet somehow failed to match his excitement over the piece.  When we had finished our staid examination of his child-like exuberance, he chastised us with surprising fervor, saying that we hadn’t properly paid respect to our proximity to history.  “You are touching something that touched something that touched Julius Caesar,” he bellowed.  “I want you to touch it, get your fingers into it.  LOOK at it.”  With that, we passed it around again, paying more fervid attention to this historic item to the third degree.

While Ann Patty lacks the characteristic eccentricity of professional Latinists, she seems just as eager as Dr. Wickersham to connect the lives of readers to this far-from-dead language.  In this surprising and engaging memoir, Living with a Dead Language:  My Romance with Latin, Patty leads us to put our minds, our fingers, and indeed even our lives into the study of this language.  In doing so, she introduces us to a world where languages aren’t dead; rather, the continue to be a primary means by which we make sense of the world and our own lives.  Patty is happy to allow her life to serve as a template for this journey.

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One of the best new book releases of this week is:

Finding God in the Waves:
How I Lost My Faith and Found It Again Through Science

Mike McHargue

Hardback: Convergent Books, 2016
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
 

Watch a book trailer video
for this great new book:

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