Flunking Sainthood

Flunking Sainthood


Thank You, Flunking Sainthood Readers!

posted by Jana Riess

OK, I admit it. I have a Google Alert on the title Flunking Sainthood, so that the search engine lets me know when there are new reviews or discussions about the book. In the last few weeks it has been exciting — and humbling — to see the many different kinds of people who are reading and talking about the memoir and about spiritual practice. What’s astonishing to me is that the book is finding its ways into churches and book groups I’ve never even heard of:

* In Cambridge, Massachusetts, a Baptist church is spending an entire year on the book, undertaking different spiritual practices each month according to the book’s schedule.

*  In Princeton, Indiana, a Methodist congregation is using the book for a short-term study group on spiritual practice.

*  The bishop of an Anglican diocese in England recommended the book to his flock a few weeks ago, and last weekend an Episcopal priest in Oregon preached a sermon that talked about it.

*  And then there are liberal Mormon women–my peeps!–who are thinking about what the book says about prayer.

Yeah, I’m aware that there’s an element of massive hubris to these Google alerts. In fact, I am giving them up for Lent, as well as reading book reviews, checking sales figures, etc. But until 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, February 21, I am going to enjoy all these updates! And I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart to the readers who are recommending FS to others and getting copies for their friends.

From the feedback I receive I can tell that it’s not the book itself that is winning people over — not the writing per se, or even the humor. It’s the honesty. And that’s something I never could have predicted when I was writing the darn thing.

 



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EllenB

posted February 21, 2012 at 7:15 pm


Heard of your book from the Wellesley Alm magazine. Bought it that day. A nonstop read.



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Beth Swaney

posted February 25, 2012 at 4:11 pm


And you’ve got a local church book club reading your book too! Nexus UCC in Hamilton.

Jana, I’m not sure if you remember me from Linden Grove, but I’d love to catch up and chat sometime.

Thanks for the great book!
Beth Swaney



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Larry

posted February 27, 2012 at 12:15 pm


I have been studying the “spiritual disciplines” and teachings of the “early church fathers,” etc., off and on over the past few years. In all my reading and study I have not found anyone who taught them with the humor, wit, satire and realistic insight as you did. I loved it. Maybe I loved it more than some would because of the previous study I did. But I would recommend this book to anyone interested in realistic spiritual growth or just a good laugh, or better yet, both. LDJ (Free Methodist Pastor in Florida)



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Susan

posted April 27, 2012 at 3:31 pm


I am reading your book and can’t put it down! I can relate to many of the issues that you have set out to accomplish in your spiritual journey and am finding new insight into my own faith journey. Thanks for the book!



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Mary

posted May 21, 2012 at 5:10 pm


Just finished (and LOVED) Flunking Sainthood, and SO related to all your struggles. I was probably initially drawn to the book because I feel as tho’ I AM “flunking sainthood” on a daily basis – whether by neglecting prayer or scripture reading, attempting to focus my mind as it whirs like a blender, or failing to quelch feelings of pride, covetousness or temptation. How wonderful not to be alone in feeling that I’m falling short, and even MORE wonderful to know that my feeble, continual efforts ARE working together toward meaningful growth. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed sharing your journey, and the farther I progressed through the book, the more I felt that we are kindred spirits – not only because we’re both drawn to pursue means of spritual betterment, but because we’re also monogamous purse-owners from Central Illinois who shop Goodwill and love libraries. (I’m a public librarian)I, too, am recommending the book far & wide. Your humor alone makes it worth the read, but the lessons and insight gained are invaluable! Hugs and gratitude to you – and continued blessings on your journey.



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Connie Paul

posted March 10, 2013 at 4:05 pm


Jana,
The Colts Neck NJ Reformed Church’s Thursday evening Bible study is using Flunking Sainthood as our springboard for Lenten study. This week we are discussing Chapter 8 on Thanksgiving, and I am grateful for your book and your way of looking at your faith and our world. Happy Easter!



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