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Waiting: A Nonbeliever's Higher Power

3.75  ·  Rating Details ·  185 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
For those who don't believe in God, feel disconnected from the ideas of God presented in organized religion, or are simply struggling to determine their own spiritual path, Marya Hornbacher, author of the New York Times best sellers Madness and Wasted, offers a down-to-earth exploration of the concept of faith.

Many of us have been trained to think of spirituality as the so
Paperback, 168 pages
Published April 21st 2011 by Hazelden
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Jul 25, 2012 Laura rated it really liked it
Horbacher reveals herself as a philosopher within these finely written pages. As an atheist myself, I've often wondered about how to find some sort of satisfying spirituality even with the absence of a god. Waiting helped me put into words some of the things I'd been feeling.

Though I am not familiar with AA or in need of its services, Waiting made the introduction for me in a friendly, straight-forward manner. For anyone who is a part of AA, Waiting would be a great book to take a look at.
Mary Johnson
Oct 14, 2011 Mary Johnson rated it it was amazing
Marya Hornbacher has found words for things I thought but didn't know how to say. Her interpretation of the powerful 12 Steps of AA challenges and encourages nonbelievers to approach the steps in a way in which they can be comfortable. I would have preferred a few more details about Hornbacher's own journey, but am grateful for the insight she shares so unstintingly and with such a ring of honesty.
Dec 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An Atheist/Agnostic or free thinker's guide

This is told from the perspective of an agnostic or atheist's perspective on traversing the 12 steps. The only part I was ambivalent about was the author's meandering at the beginning of each chapter, some I liked, some seemed like aimless filler. I loved it the rest of it. I felt a lot of similarities between her journey and my own. I agree that a path to emotional sobriety and a higher power is love and service to other beings on the planet. This doe
Jan Pliler
Sep 11, 2011 Jan Pliler rated it it was amazing
One of the most profoundly written books I've read containing pure truth. It is scripture like in its message to humanity. It will be purchased and find a permanent home in my library of resources to go to in time of need. This woman's turmoil with addiction and other experiences in her life has fortunately resulted in an understanding of our responsibility as human beings in proximity to the world we live.

Her experience and message, in my opinion, is a gift from God to the nonbeliever and beli
A really interesting look into spirituality for atheists. Written for alcoholics, I think this book is relevant for those without substance abuse issues who are interested in the idea of a godless spirituality.
Adam Wahlberg
Nov 03, 2012 Adam Wahlberg rated it it was amazing
Marya's brain on a big topic -- what bigger topic is there than God? -- and it still ain't a fair fight.
Jul 08, 2014 Erin rated it liked it
This is a technically well-written book, but I found it a chore to get through. It seemed to lack in narrative voice (a primary strength of Hornbachers other three nonfiction books). There was also a vagueness that caused me to keep drifting off into other thoughts as I read ("To whom should we be of service? Anyone. The world's need is very great. How? In any way we can."). So really, reading this book was sort of like meditation. My mind would wander and I had to tell myself to keep coming bac ...more
Oct 07, 2012 J.P. rated it liked it
I picked this up in an effort to combat the AA's Big Book's over-religiosity and general poor writing. It is a very dense book. I enjoyed Hornbacher's introductions to each chapter - for example, when she talks about a friend who writes her from the desert trying to lure her out there and begin recovery - more than the bulk of each chapter in which she discusses each Step. I found a lot here to mull over and for such a small book, it is packed.

I had an AA friend said that he didn't like the book
Aug 06, 2013 Gregg rated it it was amazing
To say this book is life-changing is the absolute truth. I felt like she wrote this TO me; I identified with everything she wrote about and observed. Marya has an amazing mindfulness with what she's experiencing and feeling that is very impressive. This is the kind of reading experience I will most likely never duplicate! I've never been compelled to meet an author but this time I am. I want to let her know what an impact this book has had on my life :)
Elizabeth Martin
I'm not sure if I'll finish this or not -- when I read it was about an atheist's take on AA, I didn't expect it to feel quite so New Age-y spiritual. Hornbacher is a weak or negative atheist, who would probably feel more comfortable with the term "agnostic" -- at least as that term has been appropriated by non-philosophers. I'll give it another go tomorrow before I make a final decision.
May 18, 2013 Joe rated it really liked it
a good read. it's very personal, not analytical. I like the writing style. she has a point of view that although doesn't come across as authoritative, is credible and enriching. I prefer the "my experience has been ... " books over "this is how it should be ... " books and Waiting is a 21st century sounding discussion about recovery, both heartfelt and practical.
Apr 02, 2013 Colin rated it really liked it
This book contains 12 chapters that coincide with the 12 months and 12 Steps. An excellent book on spiritual development and mediation for the atheist, agnostic, and believer alike (with a touch of memoir and beautiful language). I will definitely return to this one!
Mar 11, 2011 Meagan rated it liked it
It's difficult for anything regarding religion, atheist, or spirituality to capture my attention. Of course Marya Hornbacher would be the one to do it?
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Marya Hornbacher published her first book, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia (HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.), in 1998, when she was twenty-three. What started as a crazy idea suggested by a writer friend became the classic book that has been published in fourteen languages, is taught in universities and writing programs all over the world, and has, according to the thousands of letters Mar ...more
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“At the lip of a cliff, I look out over Lake Superior, through the bare branches of birches and the snow-covered branches of aspens and pines. A hard wind blows snow up out of a cavern and over my face. I know this place, I know its seasons - I have hiked these mountains in the summer and walked these winding pathways in the explosion of colour that is a northern fall. And now, the temperature drops well below zero and the deadly cold lake rages below, I feel the stirrings of faith that here, in this place, in my heart, spring will come again.
But first the winter must be waited out. And that waiting has worth.”
“There are a lot of times the heart burrows deeper, goes tunnelling into itself for reasons only the heart itself seems to know.They are times of isolation, of hibernation, sometimes of desolation. There is a bareness that spreads out over the interior landscape of the self, a bareness like tundra, with no sign of life in any direction, no sign of anything beneath the frozen crust of ground, no sign that spring ever intends to come again.” 9 likes
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