A readable story of one woman’s reevaluation of faith and finding peace with God.



A woman’s account of her spiritual journey from unquestioning compliance with learned Christian practices and beliefs, to discovery of a more personal relationship with God.

What began as uneasiness about life became a full blown crisis of faith for Wooderson once she acknowledged that the religion she had been taught did not meet her needs. The daughter and granddaughter of men devoted to Pentecostal ministry, the author had absorbed their teachings and expectations. Their standards were unyielding–self-denial, scripture study, prayer and faith healing could take care of any problem. However, strict adherence to their rules did not yield either the happiness in life or the satisfying relationship with God for which Wooderson longed. For years, she tried first one tack and then another before successfully discovering a more meaningful faith. In Finding Joy, she weaves the retelling of biblical stories with accounts of events in her own life to illustrate how she found relevance in the age-old words. She was also inspired and supported by friends. Wooderson’s approach is not unique or revolutionary but it is systematic, and she provides thought-provoking questions to help others through the process. However, the author’s journey took so long and was so fraught with setbacks that it may discourage readers from even getting started. Her story, too, takes a long time to tell. She draws it out into a quasi-mystery and, though it is well written, the book could have reached its conclusion sooner. Wooderson’s hope in writing down her account is that those who take their Christian faith for granted will relate to her experience and reevaluate their relationship with God. Readers who question their Christian upbringings and want to pursue a similar quest may gain new insights and reassurance from Finding Joy.

A readable story of one woman’s reevaluation of faith and finding peace with God.

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2009

ISBN: 978-1-4392-5255-0

Page Count: -

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: April 17, 2011

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


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

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This a book of earlier, philosophical essays concerned with the essential "absurdity" of life and the concept that- to overcome the strong tendency to suicide in every thoughtful man-one must accept life on its own terms with its values of revolt, liberty and passion. A dreary thesis- derived from and distorting the beliefs of the founders of existentialism, Jaspers, Heldegger and Kierkegaard, etc., the point of view seems peculiarly outmoded. It is based on the experience of war and the resistance, liberally laced with Andre Gide's excessive intellectualism. The younger existentialists such as Sartre and Camus, with their gift for the terse novel or intense drama, seem to have omitted from their philosophy all the deep religiosity which permeates the work of the great existentialist thinkers. This contributes to a basic lack of vitality in themselves, in these essays, and ten years after the war Camus seems unaware that the life force has healed old wounds... Largely for avant garde aesthetes and his special coterie.

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 1955

ISBN: 0679733736

Page Count: 228

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1955

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