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Preview — Does This Church Make Me Look Fat? by Rhoda Janzen
Does This Church Make Me Look Fat?: A Mennonite Finds Faith, Meets Mr. Right, and Solves Her Lady Problems
Rhoda doesn't sli ...more
In this book, as she chronicles her journ ...more
A spiritual journey from Mennonite (preacher's daughter) to humanist (scholar with PhD) to Pentecostal (with a bit of skepticism). An unlikely journey but nevertheless that's what this book is about. The switch to Pentecostalism coincided with a new romantic relationship and a bout with cancer. The author admits her spiritual transformation was sufficiently bizarre to cause her friends to ask, "Has the cancer affected your frontal lobe?" The cancer probably did concentrate her mind while she pon ...more
(To wit, she was actually raised Mennonite Brethren, a separate denomination; most modern American Mennos don't grow up speaking German; I was not forced to eat beets growing up. That said, my grandmother was raised Russian MB.)
I picked this book up expecting similar musings, sped through it in an evening, and came away quite surprised.
Memoirist Rhoda Janzen says, “What a relief it is that we don’t have to be good at religion in order to seek God! We don’t even have to have a strong sense of belief. All we need is the desire to believe.”
In her second memoir, Does This Church Make Me Look Fat, Janzen displays her desire to believe with marvelously funny stories about a topic that shouldn’t be funny, i.e. seriously dangerous breast cancer. Janzen is an En ...more
Rhoda Janzen has become a Pentecostal, and so her outlook and approach to life has changed quite a bit ...more
I have mixed feelings about this book. The mix between personal and all-mighty religion just seemed confusing, and when I read the acknowledgements at the end ...more
I did really want to understand the new relationship Jansen plunges into in this memoir, but I confess Mr. Right was culturally so far afield from the narrator that the attraction didn't make sense to me. Same with her immersion in a Pentecostal church, which clearly happens only because Mr. Right is firmly planted there. Just odd.
But of course we cheer for her fight against breast cancer (a thread that gets dropped, unfortunately--I wanted to ...more
I was thrilled to learn that she was putting out a new book, and it did not disappoint. Rhoda takes us on her journey thro ...more
Alas, Does This Church Make Me Look Fat? does not offer the same amount of laughter or education. It is a much more serious book, not surprisingly, because it deals with cancer and a reawakening to deep religious belief. For those who are interested in following another person's path to religion, Ms. Janzen offers some interesting discus ...more
However, if you thought her previous book was written in a stream of consciousness, then watch out! This one seemed even harder to follow at times. Sometimes I found myself saying "Get to the point!" Or "Where did this come from? Oh yeah, this was the whole point of this chapter but it wasn't until the end that I r ...more
The title ...more
My only issue with the book as a whole was that there wasn't a beginning, middle and end. It was much like spending the day talking to a stranger. You'll hear some of the important snippets of their life story but never see how the rest plays out.
It does however give excellent insights, in a non-preachy way, as to what it's like to actually commit different areas of y ...more
Rhoda Janzen holds a PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she was the University of California Poet Laureate in 1994 and 1997. She is the author of Babel's Stair,...more