Review of Killers of the Flower Moon, by David Grann

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Killers of the Flower Moon

The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI

by David Grann
read by Ann Marie Lee, Will Patton, and Danny Campbell

Random House Audio, 2017. 9 hours, 5 minutes.
Review written May 10, 2024, from a library eaudiobook
Starred Review

Once again I’m late to the party, but I’m enjoying listening to books that are hugely popular at Fairfax County Library. Obviously, this one got a second wind from the movie, but both the adult version and the young adult version still have long holds lists.

This book is a true crime historical murder mystery. Or rather killing spree mystery. There are three parts to this book, and the first section is about an Osage woman named Molly Burkhart in the 1920s. Like many of her Osage neighbors, Molly was incredibly wealthy because their tribe had retained rights to the oil under their land — the land the nation was given because the white folks thought it was worthless.

But there was an oil boom in the 20s, and enrolled members of the Osage nation received monthly checks that were enormous in those years. However, the government had a hard time believing Indians were competent to handle that much money, and Molly, like many others, was appointed a guardian who had to give permission for her to spend any of her own money.

But that’s not the worst of it. Beginning with her sister, one by one the people in Molly’s family began to die. Her sister from a bullet through her head. Another apparently poisoned. Another sister and her husband had their entire house blown up. And Molly’s family weren’t the only Osage people being killed. Dozens, maybe hundreds of people were murdered, with many of those murders covered up.

And that brings us to the second part of the book. At the time, there wasn’t a reliable police force. They could and did hire private eyes, but those weren’t always reliable either. But that was the time that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was being formed, and the next part of the book features Tom White, a federal agent trying to get to the bottom of the murders and bring the perpetrators to justice.

It turned out that finding out who was responsible was much easier than bringing anyone to justice. The white man responsible for killing Molly’s family had plenty of connections with people in power, and had killed so many that everyone was afraid to testify against him.

The third part of the book is about the author doing some investigation almost a hundred years later and finding about even more deaths in the Osage nation. All of these murders were about greed — people wanting a piece of that enormous oil wealth, and not valuing Indian life, and taking advantage of prejudice against the Osage people.

This book tells a tremendously sad story of great injustice and harm. As well as highlighting how badly our government treated people of the Osage nation. But the story is dramatic and riveting. May the light it sheds on that darkness help us all to change our ways.

davidgrann.com

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Review of The Gift, by Edith Eger

The Gift

12 Lessons to Save Your Life

by Dr. Edith Eger
with Esmé Schwall Weigand

Scribner, 2020. 195 pages.
Review written July 15, 2021, from a library book
Starred Review

Edith Eger is a doctor of psychology and a Holocaust survivor. So when she fills a book with life lessons, she can use examples from her own life and from her patients’ lives. And you know the lessons will be helpful, even in extreme situations.

The subtitles of the twelve chapters tell you what major life issues each lesson deals with: Victimhood, Avoidance, Self-Neglect, Secrets, Guilt and Shame, Unresolved Grief, Rigidity, Resentment, Paralyzing Fear, Judgment, Hopelessness, and Not Forgiving. Her lessons and stories are practical and pointed. For example, the chapter about Judgment is titled “The Nazi In You,” and she talks about meeting an American teen in the 1980s who was wearing a brown shirt and brown boots and ranting about killing Jews and others and making America white again. She took a deep breath and said, “Tell me more.”

It was a tiny gesture of acceptance – not of his ideology, but of his personhood. And it was enough for him to speak a little of his lonely childhood, absentee parents, and severe neglect. Hearing his story reminded me that he hadn’t joined an extremist group because he was born with hate. He was seeking what we all want: acceptance, attention, affection. It’s not an excuse. But attacking him would only nourish the seeds of worthlessness his upbringing had sown. I had the choice to alienate him further, or give him another version of refuge and belonging.

Another bit I like is her tip in the chapter on hopelessness: “Don’t cover garlic with chocolate.”

It’s tempting to confuse hope with idealism, but idealism is just another form of denial, a way of evading a true confrontation with suffering. Resiliency and freedom don’t come from pretending away our pain. Listen to the way you talk about a hard or hurtful situation. It’s okay. It’s not that bad. Others have it so much worse. I don’t have anything to complain about. Everything will work out in the end. No pain, no glory! The next time you hear yourself using the language of minimization, delusion, or denial, try replacing the words with “It hurts. And it’s temporary.” Remind yourself, “I’ve survived pain before.”

I also appreciated the insight in the chapter, “There’s No Forgiveness Without Rage.” I’ve seen that in other books, with explanations of how you need to admit there’s pain and wrongdoing before you can forgive it. You need to feel the hurt rather than dismiss it. This idea There’s no forgiveness without rage. is even simpler.

Those are just a few examples of the hard-won wisdom found in this book, told with warmth and love.

dreditheger.com
SimonandSchuster.com

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Review of The 1619 Project, created by Nikole Hannah-Jones

The 1619 Project

A New Origin Story

created by Nikole Hannah-Jones
edited by Caitlin Roper, Ilena Silverman, and Jake Silverstein
read by a full cast

One World/Ballantine, 2021. 18 hours, 57 minutes.
Review written 2/4/24 from a library eaudiobook.
Starred Review

I have intended to read this book since the day it came out. Putting it in my eaudiobook queue was the key to it finally happening.

And it was so much more than I expected. Instead of one continuous book of history, this is a collection that includes eighteen essays about the significance of slavery to every part of American life combined with thirty-six poems and works of fiction highlighting key moments in our history.

This audiobook is the work of multiple authors and multiple narrators, all coming together in one epic tale.

Because of the multiple authors, the book turned out to be a little repetitive, but I learned a lot as I listened, and repetition probably helped me to retain what I heard. 1619 is the date that the first slave ship came to Virginia. This book talks about how slavery shaped our nation from the beginning, and continues to affect us from Reconstruction to the present. The essays, stories and poems help the reader understand that’s not at all a far-fetched claim.

I can see why white supremacists would want to erase this work of history with its conclusions. My own eyes were opened to historical events I was never taught about in school.

You don’t have to agree with everything you’ll find here, but surely this powerful voice should be heard. Surely this side of our joint history, too, should be illuminated. This book isn’t about silencing white voices. But it is about acknowledging the impact of Black people who were brought to our shores against their will and became uniquely American.

1619 Project Website

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Review of Nearing a Far God, by Leslie Leyland Fields

Nearing a Far God

Praying the Psalms with Our Whole Selves

by Leslie Leyland Fields

NavPress, 2024. 195 pages.
Review written April 18, 2024, from my own copy, purchased via amazon.com
Starred Review

Okay, confession up front: I purchased this book in a bit of a panic after a writer friend alerted me that she had heard about its publication. You see, I am currently trying to find a publisher for my book, Praying with the Psalmists: Open your Heart in Prayer Using Patterns from Psalms — and the descriptions of the books sound remarkably similar. (While I’m doing blatant self-promotion, you can learn a bit more about my book on my Sonderjourneys blog.)

But friends talked me down. Of course our books aren’t going to be exactly the same, they will find different audiences, and by the time I find a publisher and get my book published, this book won’t be brand-new anymore. Instead of panicking, I shifted my thinking to realize it’s a wonderful thing that I’m not the only one encouraging Christians to use the Psalms in their own prayers. What’s more, now I have a comparable title for my Book Proposal that’s much closer than anything else I’ve found. Both of us want people to know he richness of emotion found in the Psalms, and are encouraging people to use Psalms as a way to get closer to God.

My one quibble is that I don’t like the subtitle, because I think the Psalms show God is not far off. But this book is all about drawing near to God through Psalms, and I feel like we are fellow workers in this endeavor, and I’m happy this message is getting out there!

The books are truly similar, but Psalms are personal, and each of us tells our own story along with talking about the types of Psalms. Leslie Fields tells about coming to Christ, studying in grad school, starting a family. I talk about when my world fell apart when my husband left me and all that followed as I put my life back together. But in any life, there are so many places where the Psalms show us how to cry out to God, and that’s what we have in common.

We both approach the topic by type of Psalm. Leslie Fields covers seven types of Psalms, looking at a few examples of the type covered by each chapter. My book is a little more in-depth, dividing all 150 Psalms into ten types, and presenting a Reading Plan so you can read all the Psalms in a twelve-week study, reading each type along with a matching chapter.

Both of us want our readers to soak in Psalms to get them into their hearts. As exercises after each chapter, Leslie Fields suggests writing out the Psalm you’re going over, with the act of writing helping the words sink in. She also has suggestions for embodying the Psalm by reading aloud with gestures. On my part, I’ve got a chapter about memorizing Scripture, having memorized the entire book of Psalms myself. But both of us are after the same thing — putting those words in the readers’ hearts beyond casual reading.

Her approach to praying through Psalms is a little simpler than mine — she suggests writing out the Psalm, but adding your reactions and prayers after each verse. My approach is to start off by talking about Hebrew poetry and parallelism and encouraging the reader to try that. And with each type of Psalm, I show that specific type’s form or key concepts. So you can write your own (small letter p) psalm, matching each different type.

So it’s a slightly different approach, but both of us are urging the reader to try it themselves. Read the Psalms, yes! Pray the Psalms, yes! Let the Psalms soak into your heart, yes! But also use them as a pattern of crying out to God when in trouble, of thanking God after deliverance, and of praising God’s glory.

And I can only be happy that this message is getting out!

leslieleylandfields.com
navpress.com

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Review of A Firehose of Falsehood, by Teri Kanefield, art by Pat Dorian

A Firehose of Falsehood

The Story of Disinformation

by Teri Kanefield
art by Pat Dorian

World Citizen Comics, First Second, 2023. 236 pages.
Review written March 15, 2024, from a library book.
Starred Review

Hooray! My favorite internet legal scholar has joined forces with World Citizen Comics, the makers of Unrig: How to Fix Our Broken Democracy, by Daniel G. Newman — another graphic novel laying out in clear, accessible language what’s going on behind the scenes in our political system. (I like both these books so much, I’m going to place a hold on the other books from this series that our library has.)

In A Firehose of Falsehood, Teri Kanefield gives us the long history of disinformation, going back to Darius I of Persia and Chandragupta Maurya of ancient India. And she shows us how disinformation — deliberate use of incorrect information — has been used in politics ever since.

Of course Stalin, Mussolini, and Hitler are given as examples and how they deliberately used falsehoods to gain power. But we also have examples in America of how disinformation was used to support enslaving people. I had no idea about the “Great Moon Hoax” of 1935, where an influential American newspaper reported that reputable scientists had found unicorns and humanlike flying creatures living on the moon.

Then we get to Max Weber, an early twentieth century German philosopher, and his ideas about government. There was “traditional” (monarchies and feudalism), “rule of law” (what democracies were going for), and “charismatic leadership” (fascism). Teri Kanefield explains, helped by Pat Dorian’s art, how they all work, and the way a charismatic leader can use false information in his favor to gain power.

In discussing Hitler, she talks about his embrace of “The Big Lie.” Since normal folks may tell small lies, it’s hard for them to believe that a leader would tell an enormous lie. So the “masses” believe it. Hitler’s main Big Lie was that all Germany’s problems came from the Jews.

Next she talks about the Soviet Union’s “Active Measures” against Americans during the Cold War. The Soviets were better at disinformation than we were, and she tells about some conspiracy theories they actually got the majority of Americans to believe, using planted (fake) news stories.

An important goal of active measures is to get people in western democracies to lose confidence in their democratic systems and their democratically elected officials.

And the book continues on to modern times, yes, using examples from people such as Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump. She also talks about Russian continued efforts to disrupt United States politics, which is now much simpler than planting newspaper articles, as they can reach Americans with fake accounts on Facebook and other social media.

In talking about Putin, she explains the principle of the Firehose of Falsehoods:

The Firehose of Falsehood is a rapid and continuous stream of lies that overwhelms the listener. The liar exhibits a shameless willingness to tell contradictory and outrageous lies. It’s a way of undermining truth by making it impossible for anyone to focus on facts.

Liars have an advantage. The truth is often mundane, boring, nuanced, and too complex to fit into a sound bite. The liar, on the other hand, is free to invent. Invented stories can be designed to suit the needs of the moment, and can be catchy and easy to grasp.

But I appreciate that Teri Kanefield never leaves us in despair. She finishes up with a chapter about how to put on raincoats against the Firehose of Falsehood. Lots of ways to protect yourself from falling for the lies, as well as ideas to strengthen our democracy to stand against them.

After all, she reminds us that democracy will always be a challenge.

There will always be antidemocratic forces working to undermine truth, rule of law, and democracy. The fight for democracy and the corresponding fight for truth must be fought in each generation.

May we fight on!

terikanefield.com
worldcitizencomics.com
firstsecondbooks.com

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Review of Holy Hell, by Derek Ryan Kubilus

Holy Hell

A Case Against Eternal Damnation

by Derek Ryan Kubilus

William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2024. 189 pages.
Review written March 27, 2024, from my own copy, purchased via amazon.com
Starred Review

For many years now, I’ve been collecting and reading books about Universalism. It started from reading the sermons of George MacDonald, not realizing he was a Universalist. Then I checked what he was saying against Scripture, especially noting the “all” verses, and became convinced that yes, the Bible teaches God will save everyone. And then I started reading modern writers on the same topic. It is not possible to overstate the amount of joy this change in views has given me. Every time I read another book showing why universal salvation is biblical, I give myself renewed permission to believe this wonderful, joyful teaching.

Holy Hell is the first time I found one of these books so close to publication date, though. I was actually researching Christian publishers when trying to find a home for my own book, Praying with the Psalmists, when this then-upcoming book caught my eye.

And this book, like so many others on Universalism, made my heart happy. Derek Kubilus’s approach is not horribly academic, but he does base his arguments on what the Bible says, including the information about misleading ways we translate the Greek text of the New Testament into English. I’d heard that in other books, but I do like the way he puts it, taking a pastoral tone. He’s a United Methodist pastor, which also made me happy, because since 2019, I’ve been a member of a United Methodist church.

This book has all the basics for a universalist book, explained in a way a layperson can understand. I think my favorite part was his treatment of the parable of the sheep and the goats, because that was still a niggling point I wondered about. He points out that a God who praises people for visiting other people in human prisons is not the same God who would put people into an unending prison. Here’s how he puts it:

Notice that the King does not say, “I was innocent and you came to prison to visit me.” He does not seem to care about the particular guilt or the innocence of the one who is incarcerated. He simply identifies himself with whoever might be in prison, saying, “I was in prison and you visited me.” As the last detail mentioned in a series, the fact that sheep go to visit prisoners carries the most emphasis in the text. Caring for those who are imprisoned actually epitomizes what it means to be a sheep. Yet, some will argue that we are to understand this passage to be saying that God imprisons souls in a torture dungeon and withdraws God’s presence from them for all eternity! Are we to believe that God is praising the sheep for their enduring presence with those who are in prison, and at the same time, God withdraws God’s own eternal presence from those whom God sends to prison? If that were true, then Christianity would simply be a terrible religion worthy of our rejection, because the Christian God would be the biggest hypocrite of all.

Another thing I liked about this book was his chapter about expanding our circles. Becoming a universalist has challenged me to be more loving and more inclusive to those I’d like to dismiss. Here’s a bit from that chapter:

Exclusion is easy. Walking around thinking that we are the special ones, that we are justified simply by virtue of who we are or what we believe, some identity or another, is comforting. Cutting more and more people out of that circle isn’t a problem as long as we stay nestled safely inside of it.

Expanding the circle, however, is a “hard teaching.” Expand it too far and we start to wonder if there’s anything special about us at all.

By that measure, universalism might just be the hardest teaching because it expands the circle all the way.

I marked many quotations in this book, so it’s going to be showing up on my Sonderquotes blog. Check out those to get more of an idea.

But if you’re wondering at all, if you think universalism might possibly be true, I highly recommend this book along with all the others on my Exploring Universalism page. This one is a great place to start!

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eerdmans.com

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Review of Jane Austen: A Life, by Claire Tomalin

Jane Austen

A Life

by Claire Tomalin

Vintage Books, 1999. First published in 1997.
Review written July 6, 2021, from a library book

Okay, I’ve been posting back reviews without a page on my main website, but this one gets a page, because it needs to go on my Austenalia page.

In June 2021, I got to attend a virtual symposium on Jane Austen, sponsored by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Jane Austen Summer Program. This book was the assigned reading for this year’s program, along with a volume of Jane Austen’s letters.

I wish I had finished the assigned reading before the symposium! I would have done better in the trivia game. It’s been a long time since I was in college, and I’ve gotten out of the habit of worrying about deadlines.

This book is a thorough look at Jane Austen’s life and her world. It’s fascinating – at least if you’re a Jane Austen fan. I think I actually enjoyed it more because of having first read The Jane Austen Project where time travelers go back in time and insinuate themselves into Jane’s life in order to try to get copies of the letters her sister destroyed and the finished copy of The Watsons. The details of her life from that fictionalized version stuck in my head more completely, but this helped fill in details.

The Jane Austen Summer Program also helped me understand nuances of her life. Even virtual, they sent goodies to those who ordered the extra package. So I learned how to make a fashionable Regency turban and learned how to write with a quill pen with authentic ink. There were also context corners about things like celebrities of Jane Austen’s day, attitudes toward motherhood at the time, the art she would have seen at the Exhibition, and other kinds of amazing details. I got to be in a discussion group led by an English professor who’s written a book on the Regency.

Again, I wish I had finished this book before the program, because I would have had more to bring to the discussion. But I did finish it soon after, and have a much deeper understanding of how amazing her accomplishments were for a woman of her time.
Oh, and I’m slowly reading her letters as well. I think those would be almost incomprehensible without reading this book as well – because I now know whom she’s talking about and what situations she was in. I can more thoroughly appreciate her wit and eye for story.

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Review of Across That Bridge, by John Lewis

Across That Bridge

Life Lessons and a Vision for Change

by John Lewis

Hyperion, 2012. 180 pages.
Review written May 14, 2021, from a library book
Starred Review

I checked out this book after my pastor referred to it in a sermon. Racial issues are still front and center – maybe even more so than when the book was written in 2012, and John Lewis talks about dealing with them in a compassionate, nonviolent, and inspirational way.

The chapter titles give you a clue that this book is taking the high road: “Faith,” “Patience,” “Study,” “Truth,” “Peace,” “Love,” “Reconciliation.”

He starts the Introduction by telling who this book is for:

I have written these lessons on freedom and meditations on change for the generations who will take us into the future, for the dreamers young and ever young who should never get lost in a sea of despair, but are faithfully readying themselves for the next push for change. It is for the parents who want to inspire their sons and daughters to build a more just society. And, it’s for the sons and daughters who hear the call of a new age.

This book is for the people. It is for the grassroots leaders who will emerge not for the sake of fame or fortune, but with a burning desire to do good. It is for all those willing to join in the human spirit’s age-old struggle to break free from the bondage of concepts and structures that have lost their use. It is for the masses of people who with each new day have the chance to peel the scales from their eyes and remember it is they alone who are the most powerful agents of change. It is for anyone who wants to reform his or her existence or to fashion a better life for the children. It’s for those who want to improve their community or make their mark in history. This book is a collection of a few of the truths that I have learned as one who dreamed, worked, and struggled in America’s last revolution.

Most of this book is about the work Congressman Lewis did during the Civil Rights Movement. They were committed to nonviolent protest, even though their lives were very much at risk. And because of that commitment, he learned about lofty principles reflected in the chapter titles. Here’s a paragraph from the “Truth” chapter:

Even though we had been rejected by society, we believed that all people had the capacity to be good. We believed not only we, but the perpetrators of violence, were victims as well, who began their lives in innocence but were taught to hate, abuse, and draw distinctions between themselves and others. We held no malice toward them and believed in the power of the truth to penetrate that negative conditioning and remind people of their innocence once again. We focused on the end we hoped to see and kept our eyes on that prize. We could not waste time harboring bitterness or resentment. We knew that our focus had to be on what we hoped to create, not the indignities we were pressing to leave behind. Hating our aggressors was like looking back when we wanted to move forward. We had to use our energy to manifest our dreams, and entertaining animosity would have given more power to the status quo.

Although the issues were different in 2012 – He mentions the Occupy movement frequently – his words apply well to any social change that we want to bring about. Here is his encouragement to any protestor from any time period, in the final paragraph of the final chapter, called “Reconciliation”:

You are a light. You are the light. Never let anyone – any person or any force – dampen, dim, or diminish your light. Study the path of others to make your way easier and more abundant. Lean toward the whispers of your own heart, discover the universal truth, and follow its dictates. Know that the truth always leads to love and the perpetuation of peace. Its products are never bitterness and strife. Clothe yourself in the work of love, in the revolutionary work of nonviolent resistance against evil. Anchor the eternity of love in your own soul and embed this planet with its goodness. Release the need to hate, to harbor division, and the enticement of revenge. Release all bitterness. Hold only love, only peace in your heart, knowing that the battle of good to overcome evil is already won. Choose confrontation wisely, but when it is your time don’t be afraid to stand up, speak up, and speak out against injustice. And if you follow your truth down the road to peace and the affirmation of love, if you shine like a beacon for all to see, then the poetry of all the great dreamers and philosophers is yours to manifest in a nation, a world community, and a Beloved Community that is finally at peace with itself.

May those who work for justice and freedom heed these words for years to come.

HyperionBooks.com

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Source: This review is based on a library book from Fairfax County Public Library.

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*Note* To try to catch up on posting reviews, I’m posting the oldest reviews I’ve written on my blog without making a page on my main website. They’re still good books!

Review of Theologizin’ Bigger, by Trey Ferguson

Theologizin’ Bigger

Homilies on Living Freely and Loving Wholly

by Trey Ferguson

Lake Drive Books, 2024. 197 pages.
Review written March 5, 2024, from my own copy, purchased via Amazon.com
Starred Review

This book made my heart happy.

I’ve been following Pastor Trey on Twitter (@PastorTrey05) for some time now. He tweets about theology that I’d already found liberating, such as why the theory of Penal Substitutionary Atonement gives a harmful and unworthy view of God — along with joyful alternatives.

He starts off in the first chapter talking about how God is bigger than we can fathom. So sticking with what we know can be limiting. Here’s how Pastor Trey puts it:

But what if these constructs of knowing God are capable of preventing us from experiencing God? What if these things that we don’t know are invitations of the Almighty to catch glimpses beyond the blurry fragments and snapshots that we have compiled in this library we now recognize as the Bible? What if this limited, finite collection of writings is not even supposed to contain the fullness of the word of God? What might that demand of the thoughts we think about the Divine?

And then I love the title of the second chapter: “The Bible Ain’t No Car Manual.” Here’s the paragraph under that title:

The Bible is not a car manual. You not gon’ be able to search in the back for just any topic and find the chapter and verse to answer every question under the sun. Doing theology requires critical thinking skills.

So, yes, in his book Pastor Trey shows us how to do theology and learn about the living, dynamic love of God. The idea of theologizin’ bigger is to think big thoughts about our great big loving God.

The book takes us lots of places, including talking about the White Man’s Religion and the ways we use religion for harm. But the overall message is overwhelmingly positive, encouraging us to think big and think loving in our relationships with God and other people.

I love the last chapter, “The Rehumanization Project,” where he talks about using our God-given imaginations:

To be made in the image of God is to possess the power of imagination.

Imagination is an essential part of our humanity. It is our imagination that built cities and civilizations. Our imagination brought us countless genres of music. People have imagined timeless creations into reality through the culinary, visual, and dramatic arts. Literature born of our God-given imaginations has endured for millennia, across time, space, language, and culture. Imagination brought us the Flintstones and Super Soakers. It brought us more sports than we care to name. Nothing worthwhile came without someone first imagining it.

And that ties into our salvation like this:

Salvation is an act of reclamation and restoration. When Jesus saves us, he helps us reclaim the bits of humanity we’ve lost. Jesus gives us the ability to imagine good things and the power to realize them here and now. Community without exploitation. A sense of wealth that doesn’t demand scarcity. A love that doesn’t bleed us dry, but makes us whole. If only we imagine them, we can experience all these things. That’s what we were made to do. That’s what it means to be human.

If Jesus has the power to save, then we have the power to imagine again. We have the ability to theologize bigger. That is the image of God in us.

Reading a chapter a day of this book gave me a nice shot of inspiration and joy. I hope Pastor Trey will write many more books in the future.

Pastor Trey guarantees on his website that if you open up his book, you’ll find something worth talking about. That promise was fulfilled for this reader.

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Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but the views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

What did you think of this book?

Review of That Can Be Arranged, by Huda Fahmy

That Can Be Arranged

A Muslim Love Story

by Huda Fahmy

Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2020. 175 pages.
Review written August 10, 2020, from a library book

That Can Be Arranged is a sweet and funny graphic memoir about how the author found love – and an arranged marriage – at the ripe old age of 25.

She clears up several myths about Muslim culture and arranged marriages in general. She makes some funny observations about the men she encountered before she found her future husband, including some her father ruled out – which turned out to be a very good thing.

This is a quick read, and it has just the right dose of humor. We’ve got a universal quest – to find love – and it’s fun to see the things that were the same – and different – for a modern American girl from a Muslim community.

You can tell by the cover that things end happily for Huda, and the reader will cheer. Or perhaps perform zagharit.

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Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will earn a small percentage if you order a book on Amazon after clicking through from my site.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but the views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

*Note* To try to catch up on posting reviews, I’m posting the oldest reviews I’ve written on my blog without making a page on my main website. They’re still good books!