The Unlikely Disciple

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Today's book was suggested by Kara. Thanks for the suggestion Kara.

Today was an incredibly busy day - so I had to try to fit reading this book, which was over 300 pages, into my day between the 17 things that were on my to-do list (oh how I wish I was exaggerating about the 17 things). When I started this project I thought, getting to read a book every day, that sounds relaxing. And it is, on the days when I have nothing else to do, but on days when I have other things going on it becomes a huge challenge.

I had several errands to take care of today, and couldn't figure out how to fit that in while reading a book, so I convinced my sister to come along so she could drive and I could read on the way there. Our first stop: the craft store, which as anyone who has read my blog from the beginning knows is a place I should never ever be allowed to go into. For those of you who are new and have no idea what I'm talking about, here's the entry in question:
I knew that entering a craft store would mean I would be standing on very shaky ground, but I figured that since I was going with someone else, it would be safe. I figured I'd come up with an idea for some hair brained project and she would talk me out of it. But, as it turns out, Alissa is not the best person to go into a craft store with. Instead of talking me out of stuff the conversation went a little bit like this:

Me: Ooh, a kit for building a wooden dinosaur, that could be fun.
Alissa: I'm not saying that it wouldn't be fun.
Me: You're supposed to be talking me out of stupid ideas like that.
Alissa: All I'm saying is that it could be fun. . . ooh, look at that terrarium.

I was strong, I resisted temptation. And writing about that makes it clear to me the depths of my problem - now that I'm not standing in a craft store I realize the absurdity of buying a dinosaur kit since I'm not particularly fond of: dinosaurs, building things, or having to do anything that requires following directions. But while standing in the store it just seemed like such a good idea. What I need is a sponsor, someone I can call from the store, who can talk me off the ledge and remind me why I don't need a dinosaur kit, a cake decorating set, a make-your-own-wreath kit, or supplies to make a tie-dyed shirt. That last one baffles even me since I consider tie-dyed shirts one of the most heinous forms of clothing in existence.

Today's book; "In what could be described as religious gonzo journalism, Roose documents his experiences as a student for a semester at Liberty University, the largest Christian fundamentalist university in the United States. Coming from progressive Brown University, the author admits that the transition to Liberty, with its iron-clad attempts at controlling student behavior, came with much anxiety. He trains himself to control his foul language and even begins to pray and study the Bible regularly, much to the bewilderment of his liberal Quaker parents. He suffers his way through a course debunking evolution, but finds enjoyment in a Scripture class. Roose may be young—he's a 19-year-old college sophomore—but he writes like a seasoned veteran and obviously enjoys his work."

Today's book was good. And I do realize that last sentence fell somewhere between a sentence in a third grade essay and one found in a Danielle Steel novel, but I'm tired and my brain feels fried. But I will attempt to summon up some shallow thoughts just for you dear readers:

  • If you like A.J. Jacobs' writing (who just happens to be the author's boss), then you'll definitely enjoy this book. The writing style is very similar. In fact, there were moments when I felt like I was back at Disney World, which is the place where I originally read The Know-It-All. Between the book and the Fabulous Forties CD, which always reminds me of MGM, playing in Alissa's car (I mean roadster) I could almost smell the oranges and that wonderful scent that I'm convinced they pumped into the air.

  • I was glad to see that the author didn't sink to the level of mocking the people of Liberty University - which in my opinion, and the authors as well, would have been taking the easy way out.

  • My favorite passage of the book; "I made it clear that in order to come along, they would have to make themselves passable as evangelical parents. Which they took to mean, "Please dress like the Cleavers." - I love a book the mentions one of my shows. Although it did lead to me wasting ten minutes wondering Why don't I have a June Cleaver dress? Or at least an apron? I have a Jackie Kennedy dress, and a Marcia Brady skirt (something about Fall just makes me want to wear a plaid skirt and go buy school supplies - don't worry dear readers, I'm not totally insane, I don't actually keep the school supplies, I donate them) but I don't have a sitcom-mom-from-the-50's outfit. I need to remedy that situation ASAP.

Please join me tomorrow, when A Book a Day goes on location. Do you feel the excitement dear readers?