Grace for Amateurs: Field Notes on a Journey Back to Faith
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Grace for Amateurs: Field Notes on a Journey Back to Faith

Thomas Nelson / 2017 / Hardcover

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Product Description

In this collection of linked essays that chronicle Lily Burana's spiritual recovery, she explores what it means to embrace "a faith of surprisingly Jesus-y shape." Lily navigates her own unique path toward a trusting relationship with God as she addresses topics as diverse as coming out as Christian to your non-Christian friends, the intersection of faith and motherhood, and what it means to confront your history of mental illness and trauma. Hardcover.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 272
Vendor: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2017
ISBN: 0718095987
ISBN-13: 9780718095987

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Publisher's Description

I had tried everything: therapy, medication, meditation. Everything except God. 

Lily Burana was in crisis. Desperate for rescue from her depression and anxiety, the punk-rock-girl-turned-writer feared she would die. She was down to her remedy of last resort: faith. 

A lapsed believer who had drifted away from the church and into a life on the margins during her young adult years, Lily had long believed that Christianity had nothing to offer her. Then an unmistakable sign from above led to her unexpected decision to let God in—just a little bit. But how could she come to terms with a religion she had dismissed as hostile and intolerant?  

In this collection of linked essays that chronicle her spiritual recovery, Lily explores what it means to embrace "a faith of surprisingly Jesus-y shape." Lily navigates her own unique path toward a trusting relationship with God as she addresses topics as diverse as coming out as Christian to your non-Christian friends, the intersection of faith and motherhood, and what it means to confront your history of mental illness and trauma. 

Whether recounting her history as a "baby Goth," extolling the healing power of glitter, or wrestling with God for control over her life, Lily proves that you don’t need to have a flawless faith in order to experience God’s grace in action. 

 "Grace for Amateurs is that rare Christian book packed with humor, depth, kindness, intelligence, and inclusion. If you yearn to return to the heart of faith—boundless, agenda-less love—sit down with Burana. She’ll make you laugh and restore your hope." 

—Glennon Doyle, New York Times bestselling author of Love Warrior and Carry On, Warrior

 

Author Bio

Lily Burana is a punk rocker turned writer and editor.  She the author of three books: Strip City: A Stripper's Farewell Journey Across America (Miramax Books, 2001), Try (St. Martins Press, 2006), and I Love a Man in Uniform: A Memoir of Love, War, and Other Battles (Weinstein Books, 2009). Her recent interest in religious and spiritual issues has broadened her audience, with pieces about faith published in The New York Times Sunday Edition, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, and syndicated by the Religion News Service. She has had numerous other articles published in The Washington Post, GQ, Self, Glamour, Entertainment Weekly, Details, The Village Voice, Slate, Salon, and The New York Observer.

 

Product Reviews

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  1. Victoria
    Canada
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    2 Stars Out Of 5
    Couldn't Finish
    December 29, 2017
    Victoria
    Canada
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 1
    I was so excited to read this book. It honestly checked a lot of my interests: mental health, people in fringe communities, faith. . . this should have been a no-brainer must read for me. That said, Grace for Amateurs holds the place as the only book in 2017 I did not finish despite my best efforts and I do not see that changing in the near future.

    Let me say, I love memoirs. I love the strength people show in allowing us to come alongside and peek into their stories. I also enjoy books that make me think and grow by presenting information to be processed and tested. Grace for Amateurs, though a memoir by genre, felt more like an agenda wrapped in a story. Rather than entering into a dialogue of sorts with the author, as I plowed through the pages I felt sure I'd be reprimanded for having a question or ideal that is more in line with my more cautious fact gathering over the author's seemingly passionate left leaning ideology.

    Now admittedly this may change in the second half of the book but I had hit the point where I dreaded picking up this book.

    I am, most likely, not the author's target audience. Again, while this is a personal memoir the material came across as attempting to be informative but without the non-bias or at least bias aware tone I prefer in my reading. Because of this lack of tone awareness the material felt confrontational at times, angry at others. The material is definitely more focused on Burana's emotional skepticism in the sections I read than on her experiences, which helped support her position without needing to acknowledge her personal biases

    I know others have enjoyed Burana's work and this was my first introduction to her writing, that said I doubt I'll be back again.

    2 out of 5 stars

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 : Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
  2. ldesherl
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    Candid But Not What I Expected
    November 20, 2017
    ldesherl
    Quality: 0
    Value: 0
    Meets Expectations: 0
    This is a memoir. The title indicates that the writer has discovered the grace of God at work in her life. Lily Burana is the author of several books. They include I LOVE A MAN IN UNIFORM, A MEMOIR OF LOVE, and WAR AND OTHER BATTLES. She has also written STRIP CITY: A STRIPPER'S FAREWELL JOURNEY ACROSS AMERICA. The last was a Best Book of the Year selection. Her writings on faith have appeared in the NEW YORK TIMES, the WASHINGTON POST, the LOS ANGELES TIMES, and syndicated through the Religion News Service. In this book, Lily Burana spreads her content across eight chapters. She ends with a prayer, Acknowledgements, and Notes for sources consulted.

    This book was not what I expected. I was counting on a memoir of an author discussing her difficult, sad, even heartbreaking past. And against the backdrop of that, she discovers God's love, grace, and peace, and her life is changed. Lily Burana's book is a memoir about her life experiences. Though she mentions God in her book, it focuses mostly on Burana's feelings, thoughts, and experiences. Her book is not just light on theology. Because of her writing about females in the pulpit, and LGBTQ rights, it can safely be said that she leans "religious left." It is unclear what her understanding of the Gospel, as laid out in Scripture, is. For some reason, this book failed to hold my interest. And I found it hard to follow because what comes off as a thinking-aloud writing style.

    I recommend this book mostly for those who enjoy light, wholesome reading. I recommend the book also for pastors and Christian leaders, so they can gain an understanding of the way many in their congregations see the "religious right." Women who like "girl talk" may enjoy this book.

    I received a complimentary copy of this book through BOOKLOOKBLIGGERS, in exchange for my honest review. I wasn't required to give a positive review of this book.

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