I read a book yesterday.
This is kind of a big deal, because I don’t read books. I try. I have about a dozen books that I’ve started reading, only to become distracted, bored, tired, disinterested. I haven’t actually finished a book in at least three years.
The last books I remember reading cover to cover were “Life on the Line” by acclaimed chef Grant Achatz, the Harry Potter books and a romance/mystery series called “The Flower Shop Mysteries” by local (Valparaiso, IN) author Kate Collins. With Potter and The Flower Shop Mysteries in particular, I always looked forward to the release dates of these books, so excited about the next adventure of the main characters. I’d purchase the books within a day or two of their release, tell Marathon Man that he had the kids for the weekend, hole myself up in our bedroom and dive into the adventures of characters I had come to know and love. I read the books cover to cover in a weekend, sometimes in as little as a day.
Since then, nothing has really captured my attention. Until “Something Other Than God”.
Marathon Man and I follow a Catholic blogger named Jennifer Fulwiler. She’s a regular on Marathon Man’s blog read list. He’s a particular fan of her “7 Quick Takes” blog posts on Fridays. I don’t read as much as he does, but I do see her tweets every now and then. I admit, when he told me at Christmas that he pre-ordered her book for me, it was met with a rather “meh” response. It’s not that I don’t like her tweets, it’s that it was a “book”…another gift I probably wouldn’t read.
It was released on Tuesday and came in the mail on Friday.
Yesterday morning, I picked up the book with the intention of reading for about 20 minutes over my Sunday morning coffee. Immediately, I was captivated. I won’t spoil anything here, but it’s the story of her conversion from staunch pro-choice atheist to faithful Catholic. And I couldn’t put it down. In fact, I started reading the book around 9:30 in the morning and finished it at 8:00 in the evening, only stopping for meals with the family and Mass.
There are lots of reasons why I like this book:
- Well-written, accessible and easy to read
- She skillfully defends the faith as she recounts researching it. I actually learned some things that I plan to use in my next youth group meeting.
- It’s just a darn good story!
Plus, there are a couple of aspects of her story that are similar to my own. Almost six years ago, I had my epiphany, realizing that I was living for making money and that I was being called for something bigger. I traded in a successful, well-paying career for a much more “minimalist” lifestyle to become a better mother, friend and Christian. Have I turned out to be any of those things? In some ways, yes; in some ways, no; and in some ways, time will tell. I can tell you that my life is much more rich in the sense of community, spirit and love. I was running in the red of all of those before I let God change the course of my direction. Like Jennifer- like all of us – I’m a work in progress.
I totally recommend that you read this book. Whether you are a well-read cradle Catholic like Marathon Man, a convert with lots to learn like me, someone who falls somewhere else on the Christian spectrum, or someone who just likes a great, fast-paced, engaging story, you’ll find something of value in this book.
You can purchase it at lots of online retailers. Click here to get it at Amazon.
Live. Laugh. Love.