Archives For Memoir


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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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…)

Assimilate or Go Home: Notes from a Failed Missionary on Rediscovering Faith

D.L. Mayfield


Read a review from Christianity Today


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We Don’t Have to be Afraid

A Feature Review of 

Night Driving:
A Story of Faith in the Dark

Addie Zierman

Paperback: Convergent, 2016
Buy now: [ Amazon ]   [ Kindle ]
Reviewed by Anna Visser

In the darkness of an endless Minnesota winter, Addie Zierman packs her kids (ages two and four) into a minivan along with toys, games, DVDs, and an elaborate tote system for clothing, and she drives, away from the darkness and the death and the emptiness, to Florida. It’s a familiar enough story: an epic road trip to escape a winter both literal and metaphorical. A mom a little worn down by the typical routines of everyday life. An adult who’s not quite sure what to make of faith in a life that doesn’t look like the big, wide, passionate life promised by church groups and Christian rallies for kids in high school. Night Driving: A Story of Faith in the Dark isn’t all that different from a lot of the memoirs that line our shelves—Christian or non—it is, at its heart, a story about searching. But the thing that is different about this story and about Zierman, and the thing that makes this book refreshing and valuable is that she’s not angry.

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The Unforced Rhythms of Grace

A Review of 

Spiritual Sobriety:
Stumbling Back to Faith When Good Religion Goes Bad

Elizabeth Esther

Paperback: Convergent Books, 2016
Buy now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
Reviewed by Kristin Williams
I didn’t want to be moved by Elizabeth Esther’s new book, Spiritual Sobriety.  I started reading it with a little notebook beside me, thinking I could keep track of all the ways I disagreed with what Esther was saying.  I don’t have a story of what Esther calls “good religion gone bad” and I didn’t even think I believed a person could be addicted to religion.  It sounded a little hokey to me so I was prepared to find a lot to dismiss and nothing I could relate to in this new book.

Then I read the first chapter and kept seeing myself.  Elizabeth Esther spends the first chapter defining spiritual sobriety and, in large part, the definition revolves around what it is not.  She describes her first religious high, the first time she asked Jesus to live in her heart and how she wanted to keep experiencing that high and so she asked Him into her heart again the next day.  She kept seeking that high in many of the same ways I looked for spiritual highs: knowing all the answers, winning “sword drills” in youth group and surging forward at the decision time of conferences and concerts.  She, and I, used God for how He made us feel and also, perhaps, for the blessings we were sure He would pour out on us because of the displays of devotion that we offered God.

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Sensing Death So Close at Hand

A Review of

And It Was Beautiful: Celebrating Life in the Midst of the Long Good-Bye
Kara Tippetts

Paperback: David C. Cook, 2016
Buy now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Tiffany Malloy


When I first heard about Kara Tippetts, I was sitting in a circle of moms, talking and sipping hot tea while our kids were gleefully wreaking havoc on the playroom downstairs.

“Hey! Have you all heard about that woman in Colorado who is dying of cancer and blogging through it? This woman is amazing. You have to check out her blog, it’s called Mundane Faithfulness. But I’m warning you, you’ll definitely shed some tears….”

While the rest of the moms continued talking, I turned my attention to a toddler who had found an abandoned pile of goldfish crackers on the table.  As I watched him happily enjoying some other kid’s snack bounty, I tried to think about something, anything, other than that dying momma of 4 young children. Any parent knows it doesn’t take long before our imagination gets the best of us and suddenly WE’RE dying of cancer and how-in-the-world-are-our-kids-going-to-make-it-without-us and–oh no – we need to make an appointment with our lawyer to make sure our will is up-to-date.

It was too early in the morning for that kind of heartache.

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A Slow-unfolding, Meditative Walk

A Review of

Roots & Sky: A Journey Home in Four Seasons
Christie Purifoy

Paperback: Revell, 2016
Buy now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle


Reviewed by Shari Dragovich


I have spent the majority of my adult life journeying home. In 1997, I married my high-school sweetheart. Neither of us were finished with school. We lived in two different apartments by the time my husband graduated medical school in 2000 and was launched into active duty service with the U.S. Army. Over the next thirteen years we lived in five more houses across the country. With each move, I tried my best to thrive where God planted me. Yet, during all those years I held deep within the longing for arrival; the hope of a land I could call home. A place I might grow deep roots rather than the shallow ones easily pulled free. I wondered, though, as a Christian were my thoughts sinful? Hadn’t I been taught this world is not my home? Was it possible my longings were just that—my own—and never God’s intention for me this side of eternity?

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An excerpt from
this elegant new book…

And It Was Beautiful:
Celebrating Life in the Midst of the Long Good-Bye

Kara Tippetts

Paperback: David C. Cook, 2016
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]


Life without a Bucket List

I can confidently say that I don’t live with a long list of things I want to do, see, or complete before I’m done in this place. I carried a dream for years of having a farm. I was in love with all things Wendell Berry. I could picture it, the life of routine created by the land and its rhythms. But beyond that I’ve never longed for having a list and checking things off. I’m happy with my old cars, my simple wardrobe, my lack of fancy things and vacations. Don’t get me wrong, I do love a good concert, but I also love an organic dance party in my kitchen. I love great food, but I also love a hot dog over the fire pit in my backyard. I love a hike in the mountains, but I also love a walk around the block with my people.

Last week, when I heard I may have another long road to travel on this journey, I turned to Jason and cried. I told him how day after day this place is losing its grip on me. Driving down the street this place sometimes feels so slutty, so wanting my money without a care for my heart. Billboards blare at me what to buy, what to think, how to vote. But the tie that binds me here is relationships. Sickness makes those bonds more real, more important. It’s people who grip my heart.

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This compelling new book releases today:

Writing My Wrongs:
Life, Death and Redemption in an American Prison

Shaka Senghor

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

We are pleased to run this excerpt…



Detroit, Michigan
September 2015

Earlier this year, I was rummaging through the footlocker where I store my journals, letters, and legal documents—the same locker that I carried from prison to prison for 19 years. I was looking for my parole papers when I came across a letter I had gotten from the godmother of my victim, nearly six years into my incarceration. It stopped me in my tracks.
The letter, dated July 31, 1997, had arrived during the point of my incarceration when I was torn between old instincts and new possibilities. I wanted to change—but I didn’t want it enough. If you had asked the corrections officers around me that day if they held any hope for me, they would have at least hesitated. More likely, they would have laughed.
But not the woman whose family I had shattered by a bullet. She had hope. She believed that transformation could happen, even for me.
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“Ne’er so well expressed”
A Review of 

The Point of Vanishing:
A Memoir of
Two Years in Solitude

Howard Axelrod

Paperback:  Beacon Press, 2015
Buy now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
Reviewed by Emma Sleeth Davis
The Point of Vanishing may be a debut memoir, but author Howard Axelrod is far from an amateur writer.  He has honed his craft through years of elite study: at Harvard as an English major, in Italy on a Rockefeller Scholarship, at the University of Arizona with an MFA, as the recipient of over half a dozen writing residencies, as an occasional professor for several universities, and as a teacher for the creative writing center GrubStreet.  His prose is evocative, lyrical, and smooth, which keeps the partially nonlinear structure of the narrative moving despite the lack of conventional plot.

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Here are 5 essential ebooks on sale now that are worth checking out:
(Madeleine L’Engle, Frederick Buechner, Thomas Merton, MORE)

Via our sister website Thrifty Christian Reader
To keep up with all the latest ebook deals,
be sure to connect with TCR via email or on Facebook


Do I Dare Disturb the Universe?

Madeleine L’Engle

*** $1.99 ***



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