Book Review · Books

Shunned

Shunned will break you. This memoir of faith, struggle and rebirth will have you on the edge of your seat. The author, Linda A. Curtis, was raised a JehovahWitness. She was the good girl, a Pioneer putting in many hrs of door to door evangelism. She never envisioned herself going down the road of doubt until one such door to door encounter had her hearing her message from the viewpoint of the receiver. Linda knows doubting is dangerous, but are worldly people that bad? Is what she’s been taught something her conscious can live with? Shunned is Linda’s journey to find out what happens when you step out of your assigned religious box.

If you are questioning the religion you were brought up in then Shunned just might be the book for you. Linda is honestly raw in her account of her journey. This book had me laughing, crying and cringing. There were times I just wanted to sit and weep along with Linda. I, myself, was not raised Jehovah Witness, but I know what it’s like to have your set beliefs ingrained in your brain and to step outside that belief is scary.

I did study with a Pioneer a few years ago for a few months. It was fascinating and intriguing. I felt challenged to explain why I believe what I do, which I think is good. The Pioneer I studied with thought for sure I was a Jehovah Witness because of my Bible knowledge, but I reassured her I was raised Protestant. Their study materials are impressive and they are highly organized. When I came out I pulled away from my studies because I know their view on homosexuality. I had hoped said Pioneer would still be my friend. A real friend. Sadly nope. As soon as I backed away it was like she never contacted me. When I reached out to check in I was advised I knew where I could find her. The Kingdom Hall. As long as I showed interest then you’d think she viewed me as a close friend, but as soon as that opportunity went away then I got black listed. Did she truly care about my spiritual walk and soul? Honestly I don’t think so. It came across as a numbers game. Glad I stepped back.

I received my free ARC of Shunned from NetGalley care of She Writes Press. This book has to be my number one 2018 book. It’s brilliant, respectful, insightful and most of all hopeful. Thank you Linda for sharing your heart.

Book Review · Books

Holy Rascals

img_2241.jpgHoly Rascals is a short little book that makes the hamsters in your brain get a workout. This book talks about learning to look at your religion through the lense of humor. Not in a mocking, but thought provoking way. I am alright with some spiritual snarkiness. For some reason this brand of humor was lost on me throughout most of this book.

This book talks about the major religions of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, etc. It takes the traditional views and shows you different ways to view them in non literal ways. This book was a lot to take in, mentally and spiritually within one day. The thing I do agree with is that God is bigger than the Holy books that have become idols in a way.

I was raised a Christian and do believe, but don’t go to church. I’ve read up on other belief systems like Buddhism. I’ve even read a few on atheism. I wouldn’t recommend this book for the sensitive doubter. If you have a similar humor to Rami Shapiro you might also, enjoy books by David Hayward.

I received an ebook of Holy Rascals by Rami Shapiro for free from NetGalley and also, complimentary hardcopy from Sounds True in exchange for my review. If you want a book that will challenge what you believe in and get you to think outside the box this book will do just that.