Sunday, January 19, 2014

Book Review and Giveaway of an Awesome Book: Pope Awesome and Other Stories

I use "Awesome" in the title of this post to describe the book, Pope Awesome and Other Stories by Cari Donaldson, because that pretty much sums up how I feel about it in the fewest words possible (and because I want to write like the author when I grow up.) 

But, why is it so awesome??!!?? I'm glad you asked!

1. I read it in 2 days! Yep, it was that good!  I can rarely finish a book these days or read half a page without dozing off so reading Cari's book quickly should tell you that it is worth reading (and staying awake for!)  I read Pope Awesome on my Kindle and I  found that hearing my baby's cries in the middle of the night meant two things:  ONE: she's hungry and TWO: I had another opportunity to read more of Cari's interesting and amazing story...even in the middle of the night!  During the two days that I read the book, I would tell my older children the baby was hungry again and I would sneak off for 10 minutes to nurse the baby read Cari's book. :-)

2. Cari is such a funny storyteller.  I laughed out loud in several parts of her conversion story from a New Age, childless feminist to pro-life Catholic mother of many children.  Her wittiness and great sense of humor not only made for an entertaining read (even during middle of the night nursing times), but laughing about mommy-hood made her story relevant and showed the joyful side of life.  Plus, I always need encouragement and inspiration to find the positives and the humor in raising a large family. 

3.  I loved all her birth stories.  Each of her children's birth stories brought back memories of how my own 5 children entered this world.  As mentioned above, Cari went from wanting no children to now having six.  Reading how her heart changed to be open to new life was inspiring.  Her "born-again" experience was refreshing as she grew to know, love, and serve God in ways she never imagined. 

4.  As a cradle Catholic (I was baptized Catholic as an infant), I LOVE hearing conversion stories because I learn so much about my beautiful faith that I sometimes take for granted.  I loved reading what Cari found intriguing about Catholicism to eventually accept God's calling to enter the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.  

5.  I loved the part of the book where she went out to lunch with a friend and the friend brought her baby.  At that point in Cari's life she didn't want to be bothered with children in her marriage, but it was after seeing how her friend and the baby lovingly interacted that pulled at Cari's heartstrings to
reconsider the possibility of opening her heart and love to children in her marriage.  So it wasn't necessarily what her friend said, but her actions that brought Cari to this realization.   

This incident, among many in Cari's story, brought to mind Saint Francis Assisi's quote, "Preach the gospel everywhere you go, and, if necessary, use words."  Cari's experience helped me realize that as a mother myself, I'm important in not only my children's lives, but I can also influence others in positive ways by fully embracing the vocation of motherhood.  I never know who is watching me as I raise my own family and what seeds God's grace is planting in people's hearts at any given time.  

6.  Last, but not least, awesome books need to be shared and that's why I bought 2 copies for 2 dear friends. They both loved the book as well!

Another way I can share this book is by contributing it to the Catholic Bloggers Birthday Giveaway!  Thank you Cari for donating an autographed copy with your signature and your 6 year old son's signature, "Pope Awesome" himself!

If you would like to participate in the giveaway (with over $250 in prizes) and possibly win Cari's book or one of the many other wonderful books, printables, and gifts, including an Amazon gift card, go to my blog post HERE!  

For read more reviews on Pope Awesome and Other Stories, you can go HERE.
Pope Awesome and Other Stories can also be purchased HERE.


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I'm Tracy. I love my faith, family and on most days, homeschooling my 5 blessings. When I'm not busy baking cakes for my family or making memories in real life or dreaming I had a housekeeper or professional chef, I enjoy documenting a slice of Smith life in blog land.

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