Tiber River Review: Something Other Than God

As a cradle Catholic, I’ve grown up accepting many things about the Faith without doing a lot of questioning. While my faith has deepened through the years, it never occurred to me to think about proving or exploring the truths behind what we believe.

something-other-than-god-95799lgJennifer Fulwiler, by contrast, came to the Church after growing up atheist. Her memoir Something Other Than God chronicles her intense journey of faith. She used resources that are readily available to us in this technological age, printing out pages of blogs and other religious websites, purchasing a vast library of Catholic books, and participating in online discussions. Fulwiler’s memoir shows–sometimes in very humorous ways–the great lengths she went to in order to satisfy her own intellectual and spiritual curiosity.

Fulwiler does not divorce her quest for faith from the rest of her life. This quest affected, and was affected by, her professional pursuits, her marriage, and even where she and her family chose to live. So many of the experiences she describes are easy for the reader to relate to, and her use of humor in the book does not serve to cut down the Church or the Faith in any way, but instead draws the reader in. The reader does not have to grow up atheist to “get” what Fulwiler is feeling, and her depiction of her health crises and others’ responses to those crises spark a geniune concern for the author. Fulwiler’s tone is that of a friend talking to a friend. It is not meant to convince the reader of the truth that Fulwiler has accepted. Instead, this book challenges the reader, whether a cradle Catholic, a new convert, or someone thinking about the Faith, to go deeper in their exploration–both on an intellectual and spiritual level.

Highly recommended.

The fine print:  I wrote this review of Something Other Than God for the Tiber River Book Review program, created by Aquinas & More Catholic Goods. I receive free product samples but no other compensation for my honest review. All opinions expressed here are mine alone.

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Book Review: First-Communion Gift Idea

As you choose a gift for the First Communicant in your life, think beyond the standard greeting card with a check enclosed. Instead, consider a gift that will help a young Catholic child learn more about faith, prayer and the Blessed Mother.

mother-mary20223lgMother Mary…God’s Gift to You is a combination storybook, activity book, and journal. Children can use it along with their parents (or grandparents or godparents) to grow in their understanding of, and devotion to, Mother Mary. It is a companion volume to The Parable of Willy Wheat and is designed for children who have already read and enjoyed that story.

Author Kathy Bleichrodt blends cute illustrations with easy-to-understand (but not insulting) language to explain tough concepts to children between the ages of 5 and 8. The book is not meant to be read all at once, but over a period of time; it would be an excellent way to extend your child’s religious education over the summer, when school, homeschool and parish faith-formation classes take a break.

Topics covered in this book include:

  • prayer
  • mysteries of the Rosary
  • consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
  • the scapular

This book is packed with information and hands-on activities.

mother mary bookMother Mary…God’s Gift to You comes with a Rosary, Miraculous Medal, scapular, and wheat berries. You need only a few simple household items to complete all the activities in this book.

Both books in the series have a Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, signifying that they are free of errors regarding the Faith and that nothing within the books are contrary to Catholic faith and morals.

This review was originally published at CatholicMom.com. You can find this book and many other First Communion gifts at Aquinas and More.

I wrote this review of Mother Mary for the free Tiber River Catholic book review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.

Aquinas and More is the largest on-line Catholic bookstore.

I received a review copy of this book for the purposes of this post. Opinions expressed are mine alone.