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Flunking Sainthood

Flunking Sainthood

Book reviews Archives

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 […]

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Why Do We Do Spiritual Practices?

posted by Jana Riess

I’ve been editing a superb book recently by Lynne Baab on spiritual practices. (Called Joy Together, it’ll be out in the fall.) After exploring what congregations and churches can do to grow with God together by trying contemplative prayer, Sabbath-keeping, […]

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Authors Behaving Badly

posted by Jana Riess

I caught an interesting episode of the Diane Rehm show today featuring Lori Andrews, author of I Know Who You Are and I Saw What You Did,a new book releasing today about social networks and the rapid erosion of privacy. […]

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“Flunking Sainthood” on NPR This Morning

posted by Jana Riess

Just a quick note to say that I’ll be interviewed live today on Michel Martin’s NPR show “Tell Me More” at 11:20 a.m. This is all thanks to Kelly Hughes, the best book publicist ever. (She even flies around in […]

Mormon Conversions, in History and in the Heart

posted by Jana Riess

I was 23 and in divinity school when I converted to Mormonism. You can imagine that it was an unexpected choice for someone studying to become a pastor. I was perhaps the most surprised of all; God does crazy stuff […]

Thoughts on sainthood with a Lower-Case S

posted by Jana Riess

No grand cohesive post today, just a couple of musings on what it means to be a saint. What I’ve found through researching (read: screwing up) and writing Flunking Sainthood is that many people (read: my friends and I) have […]

For Fans of Children’s Fantasy: “The Flint Heart”

posted by Jana Riess

Do you have a 4th-7th grader who enjoys fantasy fiction? For fun this month I listened to The Flint Heart, a middle-grade fantasy novel by Katherine Paterson (Bridge to Terabithia) and her husband John. They “freely adapted” this from an […]

“Still Alice” and the Specter of Early-Onset Alzheimer’s

posted by Jana Riess

This month my book club read Still Alice, neuroscientist Lisa Genova’s haunting novel about a Harvard cognitive science professor who discovers, at age 50 and the height of her career, that she is succumbing to early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. My take […]

Cincinnati Booksigning Tomorrow

posted by Jana Riess

Just a quick post at the end of an incredibly busy day. Whew! I will be signing copies of Flunking Sainthood tomorrow afternoon from 2:00 to 3:30 at the Bookshelf shop on Camargo Road. It’s in the Madeira neighborhood of […]

25 Books Every Christian Should Read. Plus A Few More They Forgot.

posted by Jana Riess

I have a soft spot for guides like 25 Books Every Christian Should Read, which has been reviewed by multiple bloggers recently as part of the Patheos Book Club Roundtable. I tend to like books that direct me to other […]

“Flunking Sainthood” on Sale for $2 for 2 Days

posted by Jana Riess

Attention Bookmart shoppers. Just wanted to let you know that the Kindle and Nook editions of Flunking Sainthood are on sale right now for $1.99! This expires on Wednesday, so act soon if you’ve been interested in purchasing a copy […]

15 Holiday Reading Suggestions

posted by Jana Riess

Last week at a book conference, I attended an intimate dinner to celebrate the forthcoming publication of my friend Lauren Winner’s memoir Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis. At the table, we all introduced ourselves by telling about some of […]

Book Giveaway of “Flunking Sainthood”

posted by Jana Riess

This week on Margaret Feinberg’s blog, she will be giving away three copies of Flunking Sainthood! Her question: How do you relate to being a “flunky” of sainthood? Her three favorite responses will win a free copy of the book. […]

Masada’s Women: A Review of Alice Hoffman’s “The Dovekeepers”

posted by Jana Riess

When I was nineteen years old I traveled for a month in Israel as part of a college Wintersession experience. Israel is always a contentious place, but especially at that time during the height of the intifada; any naïve idealism […]

Uncovering Joseph Smith’s Journals: A Conversation with Two LDS Church Historians

posted by Jana Riess

A couple of weeks ago when I was in Salt Lake City I had the privilege of sitting down with two historians who work with the Joseph Smith Papers project, an ambitious documentary history effort that’s seeing another volume in […]

Charity Never Faileth . . . Especially When Mormons Tell Official Versions of Relief Society History

posted by Jana Riess

By Sarah Hogan The history of the Relief Society is riveting stuff–seriously–and a book that recounts what Mormon women have accomplished should be both fascinating and inspiring. Daughters in My Kingdom duly provides some of each. Readers are cautioned in […]

“Flunking Sainthood” News and Video

posted by Jana Riess

I’m feeling very humbled and grateful today and wanted to express that on the blog. Thanks to everyone who has helped to make these last two weeks so special in my life as a writer, either by dropping me a […]

Jacob Black, Pedophile?

posted by Jana Riess

With the Breaking Dawn movie coming out in a couple of weeks, hundreds of thousands of Twi-hards will be revisiting Part 1 of the conclusion to Stephenie Meyer’s saga of romance and the undead boy next door. Most of them […]

Our Monsters, Ourselves: Great Halloween Reading

posted by Jana Riess

I’m not much of a horror film aficionado, but of course I enjoy some of the darker sci fi, like the feminist fairy tale that was Buffy the Vampire Slayer. So I was intrigued to pick up the new book […]

Signing Today at Books by the Banks

posted by Jana Riess

Hey Cincinnati! If you love to read, stop by the Books by the Banks celebration today from 10 to 4 in the Duke Energy Center downtown. (Which is not technically by the banks, but we’ll work with it.) Here’s a […]

Ragamuffin Brennan Manning Teaches That “All Is Grace”

posted by Jana Riess

Everyone loves a reformed sinner, and Brennan Manning provides that in spades in his new memoir All Is Grace: A Ragamuffin Memoir. On second thought, I think the Irish-American Catholic writer might borrow from Protestant reformer John Calvin in adopting […]

Flunking Contemplative Prayer . . . Where Was Richard Foster When I Needed Him?

posted by Jana Riess

I got an F in Centering Prayer. I truly thought I would love that particular spiritual practice. I enjoy—even crave—silence as a part of every day. Also, I liked the notion of a deep prayer that would transcend the checklists […]

“Flunking Sainthood” Now Available

posted by Jana Riess

I never thought I would write a memoir, and still maintain that no one ever should. There are far too many memoirs published already. But … well, there it is. I wrote one, and it’s out this week. I hope […]

“One Thousand White Women” and Religious Stereotypes

posted by Jana Riess

Last month, the Cincinnati library system (which is outstanding, in case you’re not lucky enough to live here) chose One Thousand White Women as the book for the city to read. By happenstance, one of my book clubs chose it […]

If You Love Books, Take This Survey (You Might Win a Kindle Touch!)

posted by Jana Riess

A couple of scholars are doing a national study on reading habits, and specifically on why people read. Is it for escape? For education? For social reasons/book club participation? And how does religious belief and practice affect what people read […]

A Muslim Wedding and an American Life

posted by Jana Riess

In July, I attended my first Muslim wedding, and it was an unforgettable occasion. The bride has been a good friend of mine for almost a decade, and in that time I’ve heard about the ups and downs of halal […]

New Podcast: NT Scholar NT Wright on Revelation

posted by Jana Riess

So it turns out that N.T. Wright gets almost as irritated as I do when people say “Revelations” and not “Revelation” to refer to the final book of the New Testament. I’m always delighted to be joined in my pedantry, […]

Sesame Streetwalkers: Peggy Orenstein on the Sexualization of the American Tween Girl

posted by Jana Riess

My daughter is not a pink-princess kind of girl, but we’ve had enough glimpses of fairy wings and pixie dust to make me interested in reading Cinderella Ate My Daughter, Peggy Orenstein’s incisive and funny exploration of the “new girlie-girl […]

Please Read: In the Garden of Beasts

posted by Jana Riess

Over the weekend I finished Erik Larson’s In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin, which still ranks in Amazon’s top twenty after almost three months in release. I predict a long (and well-deserved) […]

If the World’s Getting Better, Why Do Americans Need Xanax?: Bradley Wright Falls Short with “Upside”

posted by Jana Riess

With riots in London, a nosedive in the stock market, and Michelle Bachmann dominating the airwaves, it’s hard to believe that the world is actually getting better. In fact, declension seems all but assured. Yet continuous improvement is the thesis […]

Print Books Aren’t Worth Fighting For

posted by Jana Riess

In this morning’s Chicago Tribune, guest writer Aaron Gilbreath, a bookseller at the esteemed indy stalwart Powell’s Books in Oregon, tells publishers that we should “fight dirty” to save our industry from the onslaught of ebooks. “Why hasn’t America’s publishing […]

Quiverfull, the Duggars, and Reading Psalm 127

posted by Jana Riess

Ever heard of the Quiverfull movement? Chances are you have and just didn’t know it. If you’ve ever watched 17 18 19 Kids and Counting with the Duggar family, you’ll be familiar with the basic premise: don’t use birth control, […]

Hells Bells! Francis Chan Erases Hell, and Refutes Bell, in New Book

posted by Jana Riess

For someone who doesn’t actually believe in hell, I’ve spent a lot of time reading about it lately, a prurient pastime that I’ll leave others to psychoanalyze. In the last two years there have been some fascinating books on the […]

Gush, Gush . . . I Got to Interview Barbara Brown Taylor!

posted by Jana Riess

This month’s WJK Radio podcast has been posted, and I am all aflutter. Barbara Brown Taylor is one of my favorite spirituality writers, so it was a great honor to get to talk to her. You’ll be impressed with how […]

Amazon + Audible.com = Amazing: A Marketing Story

posted by Jana Riess

Last week I succumbed to the “lure of the free.” I saw on Twitter that Audible.com was offering Kindle users  a limited-time promotion, in which Samuel L. Jackson‘s 6-minute audio rendition of the new sensation “Go the F**k to Sleep” […]

YA Fiction Review: “Wicked Lovely”

posted by Jana Riess

Our summer of frothy fiction continues with Wicked Lovely, the first in a YA series about faeries and the high school girls who . . . don’t quite love them. The trivia: Grade: B+ Age group: Suitable for 14 and […]

Mormon Women, Twilight, and Internalized Sexism

posted by Jana Riess

A couple of years ago, I published a BYU Studies article about Mormon themes in Twilight that was picked up by Meridian, an LDS website. I received some feedback on the piece, mostly positive, though several readers took issue with […]

One Year Later, Bruce R. McConkie’s “Mormon Doctrine”: Buh. Bye.

posted by Jana Riess

Last week marked the one-year anniversary of the quiet removal of Bruce R. McConkie’s compendium Mormon Doctrine from Deseret booktores. All references to it had already been expunged from the Gospel Principles manual brought back into use for priesthood and […]

Is the Movie Ever as Good as the Book?

posted by Jana Riess

I have a short post up at The Thoughtful Christian this week about my dilemma about whether to see the movie Water for Elephants. I just read the book and was enthralled by it, but am wondering whether the book’s […]

Cover art for “Flunking Sainthood”

posted by Jana Riess

Got my cover art today! I am so pleased with what Paraclete came up with. Here is the second draft, with some more small tweaks on color & text to come. –JKR  

Pastor Brady Boyd on the Shootings at New Life Church and the Hope of Easter

posted by Jana Riess

On this, the anniversary of the Columbine high school shootings, I’m giving space to a book excerpt from Brady Boyd, a pastor in Colorado who has seen his own share of violent tragedy. In December 2007, a gunman opened fire […]

What Evangelicals Might Learn from Mormons … and Mormons Should Learn from Rob Bell

posted by Jana Riess

Rob Bell is my kind of heretic. His new book Love Wins: A Book about Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived has been loudly branded as heresy by fellow evangelicals Mark Driscoll and John Piper. […]

The Civil War and America as a Christian Nation

posted by Jana Riess

The Civil War began 150 years ago today, an anniversary marked by the rebroadcast of Ken Burns’s masterful PBS series and a kajillion re-enactments this year. As we pause at this sesquicentennial commemoration we would do well to think of […]

Half the Sky, Half the Church: Carolyn Custis James on Christian Women

posted by Jana Riess

If, like me, you were fascinated by Half the Sky, Sheryl WuDunn and Nicholas Kristof’s gripping account of women’s oppression and liberation around the world, you may be interested in Half the Church, Carolyn Custis James’s new book on a […]

Chatting with Brian McLaren, Part 2

posted by Jana Riess

Brian McLaren talks about the 12 spiritual practices that can change your life, the future of Protestant denominations, and how he brings his books to life.   Today we continue the Q&A we started yesterday with Brian McLaren, one of […]

Satan Sues Rob Bell for Defamation; Seeks $18B in Damages Over “Love Wins”

posted by Jana Riess

April 1, 2011 Satan announced today that Hell has filed for civil damages against HarperOne author Rob Bell, whose new book Love Wins hit shelves in March and has raised, well, hell. In the book, Bell asserts a universalist theology, […]

Good Reads: Thrift Store Saints

posted by Jana Riess

Have you ever preferred to simply write a check to charity rather than get involved in people’s messy, desperate lives? I confess that I have. Thankfully, some people are more courageous and compassionate than I am. One of them is […]

Sex & Young Adults: Thoughts from Guest Blogger Michael F. Duffy

posted by Jana Riess

College and young adulthood: an exciting time, a confusing time. One of the most exciting and confusing aspects is sex. How far is too far? What is “moral” behavior — and how do we define what we mean by morality? […]

Unbroken: New Book from “Seabiscuit” Author Laura Hillenbrand

posted by Jana Riess

Everybody loves an underdog story, which is why readers thrilled to Seabiscuit, Laura Hillenbrand‘s unexpected megaseller about a prizewinning horse in the Depression. But while she was researching that book, Hillenbrand kept coming across references to another underdog: Olympic runner […]

If You Agree with Rob Bell, Check Out Greg Garrett’s New Book

posted by Jana Riess

If, like me, you’ve been following the brouhaha over Rob Bell’s alleged universalism in the last week — and if, like me, you wonder why it is such a big deal that a pastor might choose to emphasize a theology […]

How Do You Like That Kindle?

posted by Jana Riess

It’s been almost three months now since my husband bought me a Kindle for my birthday. I had asked for one because I thought it would be fun to see what all the fuss was about, even if I wasn’t […]

What’s the Least I Can Believe and Still Be a Christian?

posted by Jana Riess

Recently on WJK Radio, I had the pleasure of co-interviewing Martin Thielen, author of the new book What’s the Least I Can Believe and Still Be a Christian? The book is taking off as a group study guide for churches. […]

Were America’s First Presidents Christian?

posted by Jana Riess

Today is Presidents’ Day, and while we’re debating key points like where to put the apostrophe in Presidents’ Day (I vote for the plural form, as we are celebrating many presidents), we can also take a moment to think about […]

Religion and Bob Dylan

posted by Jana Riess

The Gospel According to Bob Dylan? Well, why not? Author Michael J. Gilmour sits down to explain why “Bobheads” continue to find spiritual meaning in Bob Dylan’s music almost 50 years after Dylan’s debut album was released. –JKR So, why […]

The Best Christian Books of 2010

posted by Jana Riess

Christianity Today has come out with its annual book awards for the best Christian books of last year. There are serious theological books by the likes of Alister McGrath, new religious fiction by Anne Rice, and a book I hadn’t […]

Dealing with Chronic Pain: Melanie Thernstrom’s “The Pain Chronicles”

posted by Jana Riess

I’ve never had an experience of chronic pain, the kind where you want to die most of the time because your suffering is so terrible. I have had brief experiences with pain like that, like the time I decided to […]

Christians Should Be Slaves: Guest Blogger John MacArthur

posted by Jana Riess

All your childhood, when people asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up, I’m guessing you didn’t say “slave.” But according to evangelical writer and pastor John F. MacArthur, that’s what every Christian should aspire to. It’s […]

Homosexual Acceptance = Spiritual But Not Religious? “American Grace” and the Rise of the Nones

posted by Jana Riess

There’s an interesting Q&A over at the Faith and Leadership Network today with Robert Putnam, co-author of the book American Grace, which I and others have blogged about recently. One of the book’s most surprising findings is the dramatic increase […]

Christian Faith Reignited . . . At a Mosque? Leanna Tankersley’s Story

posted by Jana Riess

I’m always looking for interfaith stories, and this one is beautiful. Healing words like Leanna’s are especially needed nowadays, when many of her fellow evangelical Christians are deeply suspicious of Islam. –JKR “A Borrowed Abaya and a Middle Eastern Mosque” […]

Epiphany with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Week 6

posted by Jana Riess

Happy New Year! And, perhaps more importantly, Happy Epiphany. In the Christian tradition, Epiphany is a time of “showing” (epiphany means “appearance”); it celebrates the arrival of the Magi, who traveled from afar to bring Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense, […]

Attention Publicists, Authors, and Bloggers: Opportunities to Guest Post

posted by Jana Riess

Friends, as many of you know, I am going to be teaching part-time during the spring semester at Miami University of Ohio. I’m excited about this opportunity, but since this is in addition to my regular job as an acquisitions […]

Ingalls Gone Wilder: Tania Rands Lyon on Three “Little House” Tell-All Memoirs

posted by Jana Riess

For Christmas this year, my daughter received a two-episode DVD of Little House on the Prairie Christmas shows. We watched one yesterday, and I was all a-blubber. Thanks to guest blogger Tania Lyon for reminding me of why I loved […]

Christmas with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Week 5

posted by Jana Riess

Merry Christmas! Our devotions from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas have passed through the waiting and mystery of Advent to the joy of Christmas. Much of that joy, at least for me, comes […]

Ira Craddock, Victorian Sex Therapist and Spiritual Seeker: A Q&A with Biographer Leigh Schmidt

posted by Jana Riess

When I was a graduate student in American religious history, I had the privilege of taking a couple of classes with Leigh Schmidt at Princeton University. Now at Harvard Divinity School, Leigh has continued his stellar career with several more […]

Advent and Christmas with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Week 4

posted by Jana Riess

God becomes human. How weird is that? We are so accustomed to the sweet baby in the manger, the innocent and non-threatening infant. But according to Dietrich Bonhoeffer and others, there’s more going on here. Frederick Buechner once wrote that […]

The Secret of Happiness: Dan Buettner’s Research Sheds Light on How to Thrive

posted by Jana Riess

Dan Buettner made headlines with his book The Blue Zones, which looked at the longest-lived cultures in the world and the kind of life that contributes to living past 100. He noticed during that research that many of the world’s […]

From Holy Day to Holiday: A Q&A with Donald Heinz about Christmas

posted by Jana Riess

In his new book Christmas: Festival of Incarnation, Donald Heinz argues that for all its commercialism, Christmas is still best understood as Christianity’s key holy day. I’m so pleased to welcome him here for a Q&A. You can also watch […]

Advent and Christmas with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Week 3

posted by Jana Riess

Redemption is not a theme we normally associate with Christmas, but with the heaviness of repentance and Lent. The cross is where Christians believe our sins were forgiven, so the Lenten and Easter seasons are the times we reflect on […]

Advent and Christmas with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Week 2

posted by Jana Riess

I hope you’re having a quietly joyous Advent. Last week on Flunking Sainthood, our Bonhoeffer theme was waiting, a condition that Bonhoeffer knew all too well — waiting for the war to end, waiting to be released from prison, waiting […]

Saved by Depression: Guest Blogger Eric Wilson on How Darkness Saved His Soul

posted by Jana Riess

If you’re unlucky enough to be depressed, our society tells you to pop a pill and put on a happy face — anything to avoid wallowing in sadness. But today’s guest blogger, Eric G. Wilson, suggests in his new memoir […]

Advent and Christmas with Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Week 1

posted by Jana Riess

I recently had the pleasure of editing a devotional of Dietrich Bonhoeffer‘s writings for Advent and Christmas. Culling together Bonhoeffer’s Christmas sermons, letters, and other writings for God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas helped me to […]

The (HIV) Positive Pastor: A Q&A with Memoirist Shane Stanford

posted by Jana Riess

AIDS isn’t much on people’s radars anymore, at least not in the United States. Combination-therapy drugs have made what was once a death sentence–an HIV positive diagnosis–into a manageable, if debilitating, condition. But what’s it like to live with the […]

Twilight Is Bad News for Girls and Women

posted by Jana Riess

Over at Patheos today, WJK author Elaine Heath has posted a persuasive essay on the troubling messages that Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight novels send to girls and women. Issues Heath raises in her 2011 book The Gospel According to Twilight are: […]

The Best New Intro to World Religions: Stephen Prothero’s “God Is Not One”

posted by Jana Riess

Stephen Prothero was everywhere last month as one of the principal talking heads on PBS’s interesting and balanced series God in America.  Hearing his comments and reading his newest book as part of a blogger roundtable for the Patheos book […]

What Good Is God, Anyway? A Q&A with Philip Yancey (Part One)

posted by Jana Riess

Last week I was privileged to have a long phone conversation with one of my favorite contemporary writers, Philip Yancey. Interviewing authors each Wednesday is easily my favorite part of blogging, and this opportunity was a real highlight. Philip Yancey’s […]

“What Was Lost: A Christian Journey through Miscarriage”

posted by Jana Riess

I am kvelling today, flush with pleasure at the happy news that one of the books I edited has just been nominated for a 2011 Christianity Today book award in the Christian Living category. The book is called What Was […]

How Much Can We Know About God?: Blog Tour Review of Ken Howard’s New Book “Paradoxy”

posted by Jana Riess

Earlier this week on Flunking Sainthood, a fellow Mormon was offended by an offhand remark I had made about some General Authorities not appearing to read widely. I was not surprised by someone taking offense, which is a regular occurrence […]

How to Get Catholic Teens to Read the Bible, Step One: Make It Worth Reading

posted by Jana Riess

I’ve blogged before on the new sociological research about teen spirituality, the main crux of it being that many Protestant and Catholic teens have very little idea what they believe. According to research by Kenda Creasy Dean and Christian Smith, […]

Secrets, Lies, & Porn in the Church: A Q&A with “Permission to Speak Freely” Author Anne Jackson

posted by Jana Riess

Christian women might be addicted to porn? Pastors can be sexual predators? Evangelical teens are cutting themselves? Such are the revelations in Anne Jackson’s newest book, Permission to Speak Freely: Essays and Art on Fear, Confession, and Grace. It’s a […]

Why Are Jews Funnier Than Christians?

posted by Jana Riess

I’ve been reading The Big Jewish Book for Jews: Everything You Need to Know to Be a Really Jewish Jew. Written by Ellis Weiner and Barbara Davilman, who brought us the equally hilarious Yiddish with Dick and Jane, the book […]

What Will Happen in The Hunger Games? Spoilers & Speculations About Suzanne Collins’s “Mockingjay”

posted by Jana Riess

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears! I’m counting the days until Tuesday’s release of Mockingjay, the final installment in Suzanne Collins‘s Hunger Games series. Apparently I’m not the only one, because the book is listed as the #1 bestselling […]

Mormon Teens, Protestant Teens: A Review of Kenda Creasy Dean’s “Almost Christian”

posted by Jana Riess

Did you see this article in USA Today yesterday? The upshot is that Protestant teens are skipping church in record numbers. They rarely even come for the pizza anymore. This development didn’t come out of nowhere. Throughout the last decade, […]

New Testament Scholar Marcus Borg Tries His Hand at Fiction: A Review of “Putting Away Childish Things”

posted by Jana Riess

Marcus Borg opens his first novel, Putting Away Childish Things, with an admission: it’s going to be didactic. He sees it as a teaching novel, “the only kind of novel [he] can imagine writing.” He goes on to disarm the […]

To Kill a Mockingbird: Guest Blogger Matt Litton on Religion & Women in Harper Lee’s Classic

posted by Jana Riess

Here at Flunking Sainthood we’re happy to give some time to author Matt Litton, a teacher here in my adopted hometown of Cincinnati. Matt looks at Harper Lee‘s modern classic To Kill a Mockingbird — celebrating its 50th anniversary this […]

Bonhoeffer for Today: A Q&A with Biographer Eric Metaxas

posted by Jana Riess

Flunking Sainthood is delighted to talk today with author Eric Metaxas, whose study of theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer sets a new standard for popular biography. It’s well-written! It’s fascinating! And it’s large enough to insulate your home! Eric, when Thomas Nelson […]

How Do You Unplug?: “Hamlet’s BlackBerry” and My Weekly Digital Sabbath

posted by Jana Riess

I heard a terrific NPR interview yesterday with William Powers, author of the new book Hamlet’s BlackBerry: A Practical Philosophy for Building a Good Life in the Digital Age. I can’t wait to read the book, because he’s diagnosing a […]

There Be Witches in YA! A Review of “Beautiful Creatures”

posted by Jana Riess

You’ve probably noticed that I love YA and  read far too much of it, but people find out about my passion and then they keep recommending novels. . . . Darn you, people! And darn you, Kevin Stanford, for recommending […]

Yes, Robert Pattinson, There Really Are Mormon Themes in “Twilight”

posted by Jana Riess

I hate to disagree with Robert Pattinson. He’s just so darn beautiful. But when His Hunkiness goes public with ignorant statements like the following, I have to beg to differ. And hope that he won’t crush my skull. “I think […]

The Eclipse-d First Filler Novella of Stephenie Meyer: A Review of Bree Tanner

posted by Jana Riess

You’ve got your work cut out for you when you’re Stephenie Meyer. When you dare to write an in-between novella, the same people who criticized your doorstopping tomes of old now complain that you’re holding out on them by penning […]

Good-Bye, Lisbeth Salander: A Review of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

posted by Jana Riess

Apparently in Sweden, everyone who works in counter-intelligence drives a neutral-colored Volvo. Even when you’re engaged in international espionage, it’s vital to stay safe. That’s one of a number of important lessons I learned from reading The Girl Who Kicked […]

Donna Freitas Dishes on Sex, Catholic Clergy Scandals, and Her Beautiful New Novel “This Gorgeous Game”

posted by Jana Riess

Donna Freitas (FRAY-tus) has carved out a career as a religion scholar focusing on young adults’ spirituality and sexuality (Sex and the Soul, Oxford). But in her other life, she’s also a YA novelist whose first book, The Possibilities of […]

Harry Potter, Patheos, and the One Book Christians Should Read This Summer

posted by Jana Riess

There’s a thought-provoking blog discussion going on today, where lots of Theobloggers have been asked the question: Apart from the Bible, what book has most deeply affected your faith life in the past ten years?  And, is there any book […]

Kate Gosselin Gets Religion: A New Book from “Kate Plus 8″ Star on Family and Faith

posted by Jana Riess

I blame my mother for introducing me to the Gosselin family. During one of her visits last year, TLC was running a marathon of Jon & Kate Plus 8, and Mom was glued to the screen. I watched several episodes […]

New Monasticism & The Emergent Church: FS Talks with Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove

posted by Jana Riess

What would it be like to really know your neighbors, and vow never to leave them? To commit to living in your same house, in your same neighborhood, for the rest of your life? That’s what Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, author of […]

Welcome to Flunking Sainthood

posted by Jana Riess

Welcome! If you’re here, I’m assuming it’s because you enjoy discovering the lighter side in the world of religion, or because you’re interested in reviews of new books and TV shows, or because my mother told you to come and […]

Previous Posts

Another blog to enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Flunking Sainthood. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here is another blog you may also enjoy: Fellowship of Saints and Sinners Happy Reading!!! ...

posted 3:12:01pm Jul. 05, 2012 | read full post »

Thank You, Flunking Sainthood Readers!
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 ...

posted 12:41:10pm Jan. 25, 2012 | read full post »

NYC Conference on Mormonism & American Politics, February 3-4
"First Mitt won Iowa, then he lost Iowa? That's a classic Romney flip-flop." --Stephen Colbert     Working with the theory that there hasn't been nearly enough attention to Mormonism and politics this year, what with it being ...

posted 11:09:19am Jan. 23, 2012 | read full post »

Writing Retreat
Friends, I will be offline until January 23 for a writing retreat. I'm bringing my computer, ...

posted 8:47:20pm Jan. 14, 2012 | read full post »

Fun with the Book of Lamentations
Actually, no. That title was just a ...

posted 11:33:13am Jan. 13, 2012 | read full post »

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