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Something Other than God: How I Passionately Sought Happiness and Accidentally Found It
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Something Other than God: How I Passionately Sought Happiness and Accidentally Found It

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  2,548 ratings  ·  353 reviews
Jennifer Fulwiler told herself she was happy. Why wouldn't she be? She made good money as a programmer at a hot tech start-up, had just married a guy with a stack of Ivy League degrees, and lived in a twenty-first-floor condo where she could sip sauvignon blanc while watching the sun set behind the hills of Austin. Raised in a happy, atheist home, Jennifer had the freedom ...more
Hardcover, 248 pages
Published April 29th 2014 by Ignatius Press
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Florita Some of the anecdotes from the author's early exposure to Christianity are described negatively (namely, church camp and time at Texas A&M). Also,…moreSome of the anecdotes from the author's early exposure to Christianity are described negatively (namely, church camp and time at Texas A&M). Also, her point-of-view is decidedly Roman Catholic and she makes some blanket statements regarding non-Roman Catholics that are simply not true. I wouldn't say she "mocks" Christians, but if you are not Roman Catholic you might find some parts irritating. (less)
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4.31  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,548 ratings  ·  353 reviews


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Julie Davis
May 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
SHORT VERSION:
I can think of an awful lot of people who I'd give this book to:

Christians trying to understand atheists (like a pal of mine who said, "I just don't know how those people don't believe in God." I almost shoved my copy into her hands. Almost.)

Atheists trying to understand Christians.

Protestants trying to understand Catholic teachings.

Catholics trying to understand Church teachings.

Catholics who understand but struggle with following Church teachings.

Anyone wanting an inspirational
...more
Robyn Rae
While I was very moved by Ms. Fulwiler's story, and often found myself evaluating my own faith while reading (raised Catholic all my life, but in a very liberal church community), I was occasionally distraught by the author's logical "leaps" along the way. She starts her journey with a strong desire to use reason as her guide, and ends up abandoning that reason whenever it suits her. I was particularly struck by the fact that she only seemed to look at a few very extreme and violent court cases ...more
Jason Mccool
Jun 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jason by: Virginiaginger Mitchell
Shelves: owned
Some people have amazing life stories, but no skills in conveying that story to others. Some people have great storytelling skills, but no fascinating stories of their own to tell. Fulwiler has that wonderful gift of being able to not only tell her own very interesting story in an engaging way, but also to convey the humor in the more mundane moments in everyday life that typically fall into that “guess you just had to be there” category for the rest of us. I found myself chuckling at quite a fe ...more
amanda
Jun 22, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
There has been much chatter about Something Other Than God so I caved and purchased a copy. Having never read her blog I wasn't sure what to expect from her book. It came across as a bit of spoiled girl whining -- giving up all the first class travel, moving out of the luxury condo, and in with her mother while her husband gets his law firm off the ground -- and immediately turned me off so know, this book and I started off on the wrong foot. And of course there is the fact that every single quo ...more
Emily
Apr 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is sort of the perfect conversion story, because Jennifer shows the messy underpinnings of it. She comes to belief slowly, almost dragged into it by her husband, but then she realizes--wait. Jesus Christ is REAL. Once this is realized, it leads her to a Catholic church, while at the same time, she's being told she has to use contraception in order to prevent life threatening pregnancy complications. Jennifer's story is real, and that's what I like the best about it. It's not a neat little " ...more
Leigh Kramer
Jan 15, 2015 rated it it was ok
I very sporadically read Fulwiler's blog and didn't know much of her story beyond the fact that she grew up atheist and converted to Catholicism as an adult. Unfortunately, her conversion story is told with a honeymoon glow and her reasoning suffers for it. I had a hard time believing she did such an about face on her most stout non-religious opinions, especially when she based her new beliefs on spurious research. I also struggled with the book's tone. This was a disappointing read.
Belinda
Apr 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
This was a hard read for me.

She gets points for her humor, and her appreciation for reason in approaching Christianity. As a Christian who studied philosophy, I can appreciate that. But like the other fewer-starred reviews I've read, what she thinks was reason and what actually is weren't quite the same. She gets suckered into what I can only describe as appeal to emotion. A pregnant woman reading about what happens during an abortion is definitely setting up for least rational conditions for th
...more
Nick Imrie
Like Jennifer Fulwiler, I was baptised in the Roman Catholic Church, but grew up without instruction and became a default atheist. I always thought that there were two ways that people found faith, and neither of them happened to me. The first way is to be reasoned into belief by logical arguments about Prime Movers, the nature of consciousness, and so on. The second way is to have a revelation - to feel God in your heart and know. A third way occurred to me recently: a church is a ready-made fr ...more
Elizabeth Schlatter
Feb 20, 2016 rated it did not like it
I'd thought this was going to be about a woman's spiritual searching, but it reads more like thinly veiled Catholic propaganda. I'm sure that the author's conversion to Catholicism was authentic for her and I absolutely respect the solace and joy that comes from faith regardless of the religion [and let me just add that as an art historian I'm endlessly grateful for the Catholic church!], but my problem is with the writing in this book. Each chapter, especially about one-third into the book, bas ...more
Anne
May 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like most of the internet, I got sucked in and didn't put this one down until I finished. I think I remember reading a blog post in which the author said she didn't just want to write a good "conversion story." She wanted to write a good STORY story. This is definitely a good story.

This book is vivid and engaging and fast paced. It isn't a typical conversion story in that she doesn't spend a lot of time explaining or defending the doctrines of the faith that she eventually embraces. She does we
...more
Kara
May 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I'm reading some pretty great books right now and all of them are on hold because this book is the only thing I've been reading since it arrived on my doorstep. Been looking forward to it for years, as a long time reader of Jennifer Fulwiler's blog, and so far it has been worth the wait.

Update 5/12/14 - I finished this and I was right: it was worth the wait. I related to some parts of this and other parts presented an experience completely new to me. I laughed at parts, I cried a few times, and
...more
Melissa Travis
Jul 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dramatic, brutally honest conversion story from a woman born to and raised by atheist parents. Ms. Fulwiler describes, in some detail, the role apologetics (including the work of J.P. Moreland and Lee Strobel) had in pointing her towards the ultimate truth of Christianity. In an account that reads like a well-written novel, she walks you though her personal journey from hostile atheism to Roman Catholicism. Her fascinating story, intelligent insights, and dry witt made the book a real page-turne ...more
Elizabeth
May 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 stars because she says offensive things about cilantro ;)

I was honestly very surprised how much I enjoyed this book. I know it's been a labor of love and through the editorial wringer multiple times for a few years, and I thought the result was a very well written, tightly edited spiritual memoir. What I appreciated most was Fulwiler's dogged persistence in grappling with the "problem of pain," as C.S. Lewis would put it, especially as the suffering within her own family's history seems to ser
...more
M Christopher
Oct 24, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: biography-memoir
Got to the half-way point but couldn't stick it. The author came across as self-centered and shallow and not nearly as bright as you'd expect. The husband wasn't much better. I just didn't want to spend any more time with those people. One man's meat is another man's poison...
Jasmine
Jun 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I've read my fair share of books about Catholic moms and add to that by listening to Podcasts about being a Catholic mom. After a while you start to hear the same things in a different voice. This book did not fit that mold. Something Other than God tells the conversion story of Jennifer Fulwiler. She is honest and funny in this book. She doesn't just preach of how she went from being a "sinner" to a great Catholic and how all the rest of us need to get on board. She honestly examines questions ...more
Erin Odom
Aug 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jennifer is a great, engaging writer, and I had a hard time putting this book down. I'm not a Catholic, but her story of how she went from a lifelong atheist to a believing Catholic Christian is absolutely beautiful. There are things I don't agree with theologically in this book, but that's not what this book is about. I enjoy reading about different belief systems, and this is a beautiful memoir of God's revealing Himself to someone who would have never pursued God on her own.
Caren
Nov 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: adult-nonfiction
I found this book while browsing the nonfiction titles at the public library. Since I now work in a (Presbyterian, not Catholic) seminary library, it caught my attention. It was published by Ignatius Press, which makes it no surprise that it is,at heart,a book of Catholic apologetics. The hook for this book is that the author was raised by parents who are agnostic and atheist. She opens the book with an experience from her childhood when she went to a summer church camp with friends and was brie ...more
Christy
Apr 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-2016
I can't remember now how this book came up on my radar, but it had been on my list ever since I heard about it. Though I was cautious about the author converting to Catholicism, cautious about her choice of Christian denomination not about the conversion itself, I found the jacket description to speak to me: Someone who didn't believe in God, then believed in God but was super afraid of Him, who then found herself on a path to clear and peaceful belief. Fulwiler seems to have reached a point of ...more
Christy
May 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautifully written story of how seeking truth takes you to surprising places. Reason brings Jennifer to faith, but her story is told so well that the reader is caught up in all the emotions of how such life changing decisions effect every part of out life.
Inspiring. Approachable. Relatable. A perfect book for those who haven't thought twice about faith or those of us who want to see the beauty of faith anew.
Kathleen
Jan 21, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Searchers, as well as cradle and lapsed Catholics
A wonderful conversion story, elegantly written, to which I could personally relate. I find it difficult to get through books quickly these days, but I couldn't put this down, even though I knew--from Ms. Fulwiler's blog, website, and radio show--how it would turn out. Definitely a book I'll be sharing with others.
Barb
May 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book. Full review is up at my blog. http://franciscanmom.com/2014/05/16/t...
Kelsey Low
Apr 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone
Kelsey Low
S. Phillips
Religion IV – 1st hour
23 April 2017
Something Other Than God: Review

As I read the novel Jennifer Fulwiler told herself she was happy. She made good money as a programmer at a tech start-up, had just married a guy with a stack of Ivy League degrees, and lived in a twenty-first-floor condo where she could sip sauvignon blanc while watching the sun set behind the hills of Austin. Mortified by a turn of events, she hid her quest from everyone except her husband, concealing religi
...more
Carolyn
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I couldn't be more different than Jennifer Fulwiler. She was raised atheist; I was raised Catholic; She traveled the country with her boyfriend; I stayed home alone. She studied the sciences; I studied the arts. She's tall; I'm . . . not. Jennifer's journey to God and her home in the Catholic Church is vastly different than mine. The remarkable thing is this beautiful memoir that reads more like a novel demonstrates the universality of God and his love for each of us. It is just one example - al ...more
Mai
Nov 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
So, I've got about 10 million other books that I've sworn I'll read and I also swore that I would stop buying books during November and Advent, BUT conversion stories are like crack to me and Jennifer Fulwiler is a really funny, engaging writer, so yes, I bought this on Kindle the other day and, in a very Fulwiler-esque move, stayed up until 2 am to read it (having sworn at 11pm that I was only going to read for 10 minutes before bed!).

It was definitely worth the sleep deprivation. For one thing
...more
Grace Mosley
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. It was fascinating to read about how her perspective towards God and Christianity gradually changed as she searched for answers to the meaning of life. She writes about how she struggled with coming to grips with mortality and the meaninglessness of life as an atheist. Her entire conversion was pushed forward by her search for meaning and answers. The second half of the book focuses more on her and her husband's financial, health, and career struggles, and was a bit l ...more
Pam Soine
Apr 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
I've listened to Jen's radio show a few times over the years and always found her to be smart, funny and down to earth so I thought I'd check out her book. Her writing was just as I expected - honest, smart, and funny. Being a liberal Texan, and someone who also went through RCIA and converted to Catholicism as an adult, I could relate to many of her struggles and experiences. I only wish she had spent more time on her acceptance of the Church's beliefs on abortion and birth control. She had suc ...more
Kathleen
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this. It was compelling, funny, and so moving. I wasn't sure how much I would get out of it since I've never been an atheist, but it reminded me of all the reasons I'm a Christian. It was also so interesting to read about how many of her issues with Christianity were resolved after she considered the Catholic teaching.
Jessika Santulli
I thought this book was awesome! Through the conversion roller coaster that Jennifer went through, I was able to feel every emotion that she poured out on the page. She truly has a gift for writing, and I rarely cry or tear up at books. Her story is a testament to the power of God, which is what we can all only hope our lives to be. People both weak and strong in their faith, and those who have no faith at all will glean a message of hope from this book.
Camilo Navarrete
Con un lenguaje fluido y con constantes comentarios con un deje sarcástico encantador, Jennifer Fulwiler relata su conversión del ateismo al cristianismo; es de destacar sus referencias a otras obras, con argumentos interesantes, que ella analiza a conciencia.
Linda M.
Very good conversion story.
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114 followers
Jennifer Fulwiler is a programmer-turned-writer who chronicles her experiences of faith, motherhood, and a never-ending scorpion infestation on her popular blog, ConversionDiary.com. She's been a guest on national television shows, including Fox and Friends, Life on the Rock, and The Journey Home, and she was also the subject of the reality show Minor Revisions (which is now available on Youtube). ...more
“The Catechism explained that praying for the souls of the dead is a tradition going back to the first Christians and to the Jews before them. On the walls of the catacombs, where the earliest Christians worshipped, there were scrawled prayers for friends who’d died during persecutions. The living sent their love for the deceased into the spiritual world, like adding water to a stream that would eventually float their lost friends home.” 1 likes
“«Casi todo lo que llamamos historia humana… [es] la larga y terrible historia del hombre intentando encontrar otra cosa fuera de Dios que lo haga feliz».” 0 likes
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