A generous and unflinchingly brave memoir about faith, feminism, and freedom.

THIS IS MY BODY

A MEMOIR OF RELIGIOUS AND ROMANTIC OBSESSION

A former megachurch worship leader comes to terms with her ailing marriage and a religious system that simultaneously elevated and marginalized her.

As a teen, Hammon, the writer-in-residence for Writers in the Schools in Houston, was a vocal major at the prestigious Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts in Manhattan. She was well on her way to carving out a career as a songwriter and performer when she became an Evangelical Christian in her mid-20s. It wasn’t exactly the path she’d originally imagined, but her newfound faith and her musical gifts seemingly aligned when she moved to Houston and eventually married her on-again, off-again boyfriend, Matt. The two often led congregations in worship as a team, though they also sometimes took jobs at separate churches. Whether she was fronting the duo or working solo, Hammon began to realize that her scope of influence was limited in the church because she was a woman. In this debut memoir, she chronicles her journey toward a “spiritual midlife,” where she dares to face questions and inconsistencies that are often at odds with conservative Evangelical doctrine. With a rare combination of candor and grace, the author exposes some of Evangelicalism’s frailties without disparaging or dismissing those who are still believers, making her narrative accessible to a wide audience. Hammon wisely focuses on storytelling and lets readers take away what they will. She also details her romantic obsession with another man; though she takes full responsibility for it, she illustrates how patriarchal religious systems and/or disengaged husbands can, among other things, leave women feeling abandoned and secretly longing for extramarital intimacy. Hammon’s story will resonate strongly with anyone who’s become disillusioned with conservative Christianity, especially women who are “trying to find a way to survive their unhappiness without dismantling their lives.”

A generous and unflinchingly brave memoir about faith, feminism, and freedom.

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-940596-32-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Lookout Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 4, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

Did you like this book?

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

Did you like this book?

more