Mini-Reviews: Recent Nonfiction Reads

Bad Feminist: EssaysBad Feminist by Roxane Gay
Published by Harper Perennial

I wish I had the energy or motivation to write an entire post about this incredibly smart, challenging, and at times witty book of essays but I’m struggling to find the right words to gush about it. I loved Gay’s style of writing – it’s intensely personal but in a way that made me feel like I was chatting with a girlfriend (a highly intelligent girlfriend who motivated me to think more deeply about things). The essays here are about all sorts of things, almost all relating in some way to feminism, but some more loosely than others, and many having to do with racism and sexism and how the two intersect in ways that most people don’t realize or even care to consider. My favorite essay in the book, hands down, is one where Gay lists rules for how women should be while in friendships with other women. It’s brilliant and so true that I want to share it with every woman I know. If you’re at all interested in feminism, read this book. If you think feminism is not necessary, read this book. If you think racism and sexism are not things that happen anymore, read this book. Or if you just happen to be interested in good writing, read this book. Bad Feminist is great and I’m looking forward to more from Roxane Gay.

Unchristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks about Christianity...and Why It MattersUnchristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks about Christianity … and Why It Matters by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons
Published by Baker Books

The authors of this book did an extensive study on young people’s attitudes and beliefs about Christians. Not about Christianity itself, but Christians as people. The implications for what they learned – mainly that young people perceive Christians to be judgmental, hypocritical, homophobic, obsessed with politics and politicians that reflect their conservative beliefs – can have huge implications for the future of Christianity. IF the right people read this book, learn from it, and make changes. I agree with a lot of what Kinnaman and Lyons said here, and although I am a Christian I personally see a lot of what was reflected in the book and it doesn’t always make me feel good about calling myself a Christian. While I enjoyed reading this book, mostly because it confirmed for me a lot of things I already felt, I don’t see how it will make a difference because I just don’t anticipate that the people who need to read the book will actually read it. Church leaders who want to actively change the way Christians are perceived in the world should be reading Unchristian and doing something with the knowledge gleaned from it, but I just don’t see that happening. That being said, I think it’s a valuable read for those of us who try to represent Christ in the world while holding tight to a church that isn’t perceived to consistently do a great job of being Christ-like in its actions.

I Suck at Relationships So You Don't Have To: 10 Rules for Not Screwing Up Your Happily Ever AfterI Suck at Relationships So You Don’t Have To: 10 Rules for Not Screwing Up Your Happily Ever After by Bethenny Frankel
Published by Touchstone

The ONLY reason I read this book is because Bethenny Frankel wrote it. I have a slight obsession with her – I think she’s hilarious and smart, witty and incredibly tough, a person who doesn’t take shit from anyone but isn’t afraid to be vulnerable and have her heart broken (on TV, no less), and ultimately is the most genuinely real reality TV star out there (and I watch too much reality TV, so I have formed quite an opinion). Honestly this book was really silly and nothing that I could ever use or need in real life. But I appreciated her snark throughout and her attitude always puts a smile on my face. I can’t imagine anyone that would actually use this advice, but she’s sold tons of copies already so obviously those people are out there. I can’t say I really liked this one, but if you are a fan of Bethenny you’ll probably want to pick it up.

9 thoughts on “Mini-Reviews: Recent Nonfiction Reads”

  1. I know that I want to read the first book and the second sounds very interesting but the third – don’t know the name nor recognize the author. And I *used to be* more with it! Sigh. It’s really bad for my social who’s who knowledge that I don’t seem to watch any TV anymore (I assume she is a TV star?)

    1. LOL yes Care she’s a reality TV star. Have you heard of the Bravo TV franchise “The Real Housewives of…”? It’s a reality TV franchise that takes place in lots of different cities. This particular person was in the NY series for a few seasons, got her own spin-off, and has found success in her healthy drink brand, Skinnygirl.

  2. Unchristian sounds really interesting! It’s a shame to me that this is the perception of Christians that everyone sees. I know there are plenty of thoughtful, intelligent, kind Christians in America, but they’re just not the ones shouting the loudest and getting all the screen time. What a pity.

    1. I know and I feel the exact same way. This book was good for that reason, but also kind of frustrating because as I said, I don’t see the people that SHOULD read this book actually doing so.

  3. I have Bad Feminist and can’t read it. Unchristian sounds like one of those books that will only infuriate me because of what you said, the people who need to read that book will be the ones to avoid it at all costs.

  4. I was raised Christian (Sunday school every week, choir through high school, vacation bible school…the whole nine yards) and still call myself one. But I have spent the past 30 years searching for a church where I didn’t feel that the members were judgmental and hypercritical. I can’t blame young people for feeling that way and have often heard them say that if Christians actions reflected more on the teachings of Christ, they’d feel very differently about organized religion.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s