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Angry Conversations with God: A Snarky But Authentic Spiritual Memoir

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Disillusioned, disenfranchised, and disinterested in anything churchy, Susan Isaacs knew of only one thing to do when she hit spiritual rock bottom at age 40. . . . She took God to couples counseling. In this cuttingly poignant memoir, Susan Isaacs chronicles her rocky relationship with the Almighty - from early childhood to midlife crisis - and all the churches where she Disillusioned, disenfranchised, and disinterested in anything churchy, Susan Isaacs knew of only one thing to do when she hit spiritual rock bottom at age 40. . . . She took God to couples counseling. In this cuttingly poignant memoir, Susan Isaacs chronicles her rocky relationship with the Almighty - from early childhood to midlife crisis - and all the churches where she and God tried to make a home: Pentecostals, Slackers for Jesus, and the über-intellectuals who turned everything, including the weekly church announcements, into a three-point sermon. Casting herself as the neglected spouse, Susan faces her inner nag and the ridiculous expectations she put on God - some her own, and some from her "crazy in-laws" at church. Originally staged as a solo show in New York and Los Angeles, Angry Conversations with God is a cheeky, heartfelt memoir that, even at its most scandalous, is still an affirmation of faith.


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Disillusioned, disenfranchised, and disinterested in anything churchy, Susan Isaacs knew of only one thing to do when she hit spiritual rock bottom at age 40. . . . She took God to couples counseling. In this cuttingly poignant memoir, Susan Isaacs chronicles her rocky relationship with the Almighty - from early childhood to midlife crisis - and all the churches where she Disillusioned, disenfranchised, and disinterested in anything churchy, Susan Isaacs knew of only one thing to do when she hit spiritual rock bottom at age 40. . . . She took God to couples counseling. In this cuttingly poignant memoir, Susan Isaacs chronicles her rocky relationship with the Almighty - from early childhood to midlife crisis - and all the churches where she and God tried to make a home: Pentecostals, Slackers for Jesus, and the über-intellectuals who turned everything, including the weekly church announcements, into a three-point sermon. Casting herself as the neglected spouse, Susan faces her inner nag and the ridiculous expectations she put on God - some her own, and some from her "crazy in-laws" at church. Originally staged as a solo show in New York and Los Angeles, Angry Conversations with God is a cheeky, heartfelt memoir that, even at its most scandalous, is still an affirmation of faith.

30 review for Angry Conversations with God: A Snarky But Authentic Spiritual Memoir

  1. 4 out of 5

    Susan Isaacs

    Totally awesome. Since I wrote it.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jess the Shelf-Declared Bibliophile

    I was honestly surprised how much I loved, and even more, how much I RELATED to this memoir. The author truly strips down to nothing and bares her soul so bravely in order to share her experiences and learnings with others. I have felt just like her at so many points in my life. Maybe I need a Rudy! I'm so glad I happened upon this and decided to read it, and I could see myself reading it again years down the road to see how my perceptions and relations may have changed by then. I completely rel I was honestly surprised how much I loved, and even more, how much I RELATED to this memoir. The author truly strips down to nothing and bares her soul so bravely in order to share her experiences and learnings with others. I have felt just like her at so many points in my life. Maybe I need a Rudy! I'm so glad I happened upon this and decided to read it, and I could see myself reading it again years down the road to see how my perceptions and relations may have changed by then. I completely relate to her feelings about church. I too have never found a church that truly works for me, and I don't know if I ever will. I'm at the point in my life where I've long ago stopped trying, and have been content with my own personal church. I definitely feel my relationship with God has become more intimate.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Emily Timbol

    I was seriously freaked out when I read this book. Never before had I felt like the words on the page could have, and should have, been written by myself. The thing I love about Susan, and this book, is that she is always true to herself. She doesn't try to fit into any mold or stereotype in regards to what her faith should look like. This book was hilarious, and made me laugh out loud almost as often as I teared up, because I could completley relate to every heart breaking thing that happened t I was seriously freaked out when I read this book. Never before had I felt like the words on the page could have, and should have, been written by myself. The thing I love about Susan, and this book, is that she is always true to herself. She doesn't try to fit into any mold or stereotype in regards to what her faith should look like. This book was hilarious, and made me laugh out loud almost as often as I teared up, because I could completley relate to every heart breaking thing that happened to her. The transparency and rawness with which she writes, and of course the humor, makes this a must read for anyone who might be frustrated with God because their life doesn't look like they think it should. The best parts of this book are the excerpts from the actual conversations Susan has with God at her counselors office. I won't ruin anything, but my favorite exchange was this; Susan- "What the ___ God, are you trying to kill me?" God- "Shut the ____ up, or maybe I will!" Amazing. Read it. Now.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Shana

    Just sped through Susan Isaacs’ Angry Conversations with God, a memoir of the author’s relationship with Christianity and God. The book flap suggested that this would be a fun read, but honestly, I found it quite depressing. Isaacs is constantly struggling to find meaning in her life and looks into various churches, some kookier than others, so that someone will tell her how the heck to live. She always seems to disappoint herself, and by extension, God. The book is set up in a way that you are Just sped through Susan Isaacs’ Angry Conversations with God, a memoir of the author’s relationship with Christianity and God. The book flap suggested that this would be a fun read, but honestly, I found it quite depressing. Isaacs is constantly struggling to find meaning in her life and looks into various churches, some kookier than others, so that someone will tell her how the heck to live. She always seems to disappoint herself, and by extension, God. The book is set up in a way that you are listening to her counseling sessions with God, which is more like a conversation between her former pastor therapist, Rudy, herself, and the God/Jesus figure in her head. Although Isaacs tries to make light of her past, it’s not a very uplifting story. It includes eating disorders, loves lost, and alcoholism. Throughout most of the book, she comes off as pathetic and not in an endearing way. Maybe I’m just cruel, but mostly I read this and felt like her need for approval from the idea of God, which she admittedly formed in her mind, actually stunted her growth as a person. She is indecisive and seems like the kind of person who needs someone to make all the decisions for her. She made major life decisions based on dreams she had, which is interpreted as God’s way of telling her she should or should not do something. There are just so many places in this book where I wanted to scream, “Forget God! What do you want to do? What’s important to you? How does this make you feel,” except this wouldn’t have helped, because Isaacs’ needs and desires were inextricably linked with her religion. It was hard for me to empathize with Isaacs. Perhaps someone kinder than me should read this book and tell me what they get out of it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mehrsa

    I think this is supposed to be an uplifting book about finding God, but it is more like a handbook in how to go insane and invent voices in your head to keep yourself trapped. I am not one of those people who thinks that religion is bad. I think religion can be very good for people, but it is not good for Susan Isaacs. She should just stop having conversations with her made up God in her head.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Marie

    I discovered Susan Isaacs when I googled her name, expecting to find the web site of the novelist Susan Isaacs (not the same one). Instead I stumbled upon Isaacs' great blog (Gray Matter). She is one funny and snarky Christian. At the church I attend (which is a Lutheran-Catholic community, one of a kind in the world as far as we know), we like to joke about the fact that Catholics are not the only ones who experience guilt. Susan Isaacs' "snarky but authentic spiritual memoir" proves that point. I discovered Susan Isaacs when I googled her name, expecting to find the web site of the novelist Susan Isaacs (not the same one). Instead I stumbled upon Isaacs' great blog (Gray Matter). She is one funny and snarky Christian. At the church I attend (which is a Lutheran-Catholic community, one of a kind in the world as far as we know), we like to joke about the fact that Catholics are not the only ones who experience guilt. Susan Isaacs' "snarky but authentic spiritual memoir" proves that point. Isaacs was raised as a Lutheran and over her adulthood sampled a wide variety of Christian flavors, which in the end turned her off to Christianity, at least for a time. The book cleverly intersperses Isaacs' accounting of her childhood (including that awful Kirsten in her Lutheran school who made her life a misery!) and subsequent life trying to make it as an actress and writer, with her "marriage counseling" sessions with God (the Father), and the saintly Norwegian Jesus in that famous painting. Along the way, she dabbles with anorexia, bulimia, and alcoholism, and as she says, she became a slut (by sleeping with two guys). She feels great guilt over everything, even for feeling guilty--because, after all, aren't her troubles middle-class white girl troubles? I CAN relate to that--feeling guilty about feeling sorry for myself. I too grew up Lutheran, belonged to the Luther League (even though my Luther League was full of nerds like me, unlike Isaacs I loved it!), and my freshman year at PLU dabbled in 7/11 churches full of "James Dobson mix tapes" until I attended a bible study, where the other girls told me my Jewish friend would go to hell. That was when I walked out and never went back. I too had a dark night of the soul when I had to throw out "God the Father" and a spiritual moment when I realized I needed to replace him with a different version of God (which, in my mind, was a Creator God). I enjoyed this book--Isaacs has a refreshing style of writing--but I did feel sorry for her, wasting so many years on SO MUCH GUILT...and on an angry "God the Father." I can understand how she felt empty being with men who didn't really understand her, but to feel so much guilt about premarital sex? As even God said (in her counseling session), 40-year-old women are not meant to be celibate! I also couldn't relate to Isaacs' image of a marriage with God, and feeling that she needed to love God more than anything or anyone else in her life. I know that's what a lot of (especially fundamentalist) Christian churches say, but for me, I experience God through the love of others. They are not mutually exclusive. God is not a big white man up in the sky for me--he is not someone I'm married to or need to go to marriage counseling with. I don't need to love God more than I love my husband, children, family, and friends. They are one in the same, for me. Ultimately, though, Isaacs' memoir is funny, snarky, and real. I'm glad she found happiness and contentment (in the epilogue)!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kristen Rudd

    At the suggestion of my friend Brent, I went to hear Susan speak at an event here in the City on her book tour. It wasn't until the host introduced her that I realized that the event I had shown up for was billed by the church putting it on as a *SINGLES* event. Yeah. Awkwardness aside, I loved hearing her speak and ended up buying a copy of her book. I am so glad I did. I ended up reading it all in one day. If you grew up in church culture, there are so many jokes in this that are scathingly fu At the suggestion of my friend Brent, I went to hear Susan speak at an event here in the City on her book tour. It wasn't until the host introduced her that I realized that the event I had shown up for was billed by the church putting it on as a *SINGLES* event. Yeah. Awkwardness aside, I loved hearing her speak and ended up buying a copy of her book. I am so glad I did. I ended up reading it all in one day. If you grew up in church culture, there are so many jokes in this that are scathingly funny because they're TRUE. Susan takes God to couples counseling and the book follows her spiritual journey throughout her life. There were so many places where she would write something and I found myself underlining things and writing "THIS" in the margins. It made me laugh out loud and made me cry. Susan put words to so many things that I feel myself. She pretty much nails it.

  8. 5 out of 5

    John Tidwell

    Read this during a difficult time. Laughed. Cried. Shouted at the Heavens and was humbled. Loved this book so much, I read it 5 times, well, not "read". I bought the audiobook and listened at least 5 times in a row.

  9. 4 out of 5

    K

    If you could bring God to couples therapy to work on your relationship with Him, what would that look like? It’s certainly an original take on a memoir. Susan Isaacs (incidentally, not the Susan Isaacs of “Shining Through” et al.; until I realized that I was a bit confused), raised as a religious Lutheran, experienced ups and downs in her relationship with God throughout her life. After hitting rock bottom in her personal life, Susan sought couples counseling with God as her partner to explore th If you could bring God to couples therapy to work on your relationship with Him, what would that look like? It’s certainly an original take on a memoir. Susan Isaacs (incidentally, not the Susan Isaacs of “Shining Through” et al.; until I realized that I was a bit confused), raised as a religious Lutheran, experienced ups and downs in her relationship with God throughout her life. After hitting rock bottom in her personal life, Susan sought couples counseling with God as her partner to explore this issue. Her Christian therapist, Rudy, happily facilitated Gestalt-therapy style conversations between Susan and her projection of God, divided into Jesus and the father. Susan appeared to split Jesus and the father into a sort of good-cop, bad-cop routine, viewing Jesus as a loving if unreliable source of support throughout her life and the father as punitive and uncaring. Interspersed with dialogue from the sessions are Susan’s recollections of religious and other highs and lows throughout her childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. On one level, as an Orthodox Jew, I found the whole trinity thing difficult to relate to as well as other theological assumptions which colored the dialogue. On another level, though, I resonated with questions posed to God like “Where were You?”, “I thought I was doing what You wanted -- why did You allow things to turn out so badly for me as a result?”, and “If You truly love me, why would You make that happen to me?” I imagine that anyone in an ongoing relationship with God has wondered about these things. I was reminded of the line from “Foreskin’s Lament:” “I believe in God. It’s been a real problem for me.” Although I haven’t read Auslander’s memoir, I suspect there’s quite a bit of thematic overlap between the two books – individuals who are all too aware of God’s existence and struggle mightily with His influence on their lives. I wasn’t sure how I felt about Susan as a narrator. She sounded a lot like Kathy Griffin, who also wrote a memoir about her struggles as an aspiring actress, her childhood, and her eating issues. It took a while for Kathy to grow on me, and I’m not sure Susan ever did. In fact, I suspect I would have appreciated this book more had I found Susan easier to relate to. Obviously it’s not her fault that her life choices and experiences were so vastly different from mine (eating disorder, alcoholism, hippie churches, multiple dead-end romances, striving to be an actress) or that her concept of God as a Christian was so alien to me in many ways. Unfortunately, though, my disconnection from the protagonist interfered with my enjoyment of the book. Struggles with God are very personal and while I could relate to Susan’s more universal themes, the particularities of her experiences were too foreign for me. Which is interesting in and of itself, because I generally don’t mind reading about people whose lives are different from mine, but I guess I was hoping for more resonance here given the book’s theme. I did appreciate some of Susan’s provocative ideas, for example, framing a relationship with God as a kind of Stockholm Syndrome. Wow – that one gave me pause. I also liked the mind-bending nature of Susan’s dialogue with her projection of God, both in and out of the sessions – how much of what we hear as “God’s voice” is really our projection of Him? And what are the implications of that? When we think we’re doing what God wants us to do, are we really or is it our subconscious that’s leading us? And given that, to what extent can we blame God for the results of those choices? After all, we’re only doing what we think He wants us to do – maybe He would really tell us otherwise, and then things would have turned out differently. Another thing this book stimulated me to consider was the relationship between self-destructive and/or addictive tendencies and seeking God. Many of the people who “find religion” as adults are people who have led sordid lives on some level or another – prisoners, addicts, etc. – or simply people with a lot of psychological baggage. What does this mean? Do troubled people have a greater potential for spirituality? Or does religion simply provide a means of externally imposed self-control for people who would otherwise be dominated by their impulses? Or a source of nurturing for people who feel emotionally deprived? And does that have implications for the rest of us religious people who otherwise lead boring, typical lives? This book probably deserves four stars for its original concept and provocative content. In terms of my own experience with the book, though, I'm giving it three because, while the book certainly gave me a lot to think about, it ultimately didn't speak to me as much as I had hoped. Despite my having had my own conversations with God over the years, my difficulty relating to Susan's personal and religious experiences made this book less affecting for me than it might have been.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Maria Elmvang

    Very interesting and thought-provoking book. I love the idea of taking God to couple's counselling, because while at the end of the day, I'd be the one who had to change, hopefully - like Susan - my perception of God would have to change along the way. And it brought up some really deep issues - do we expect everything to go our way, and that God will bless our every endeavour, just because we believe? How do we cope when God's every answer doesn't seem to be "yes and amen", but a door shut in ou Very interesting and thought-provoking book. I love the idea of taking God to couple's counselling, because while at the end of the day, I'd be the one who had to change, hopefully - like Susan - my perception of God would have to change along the way. And it brought up some really deep issues - do we expect everything to go our way, and that God will bless our every endeavour, just because we believe? How do we cope when God's every answer doesn't seem to be "yes and amen", but a door shut in our face? How can we see the big picture and trust Him when we're in the middle of the dark time of the soul? (I keep wanting to write "the dark tea-time of the soul" - darn you, Douglas Adams!) Definitely a book that has given me a lot of food for thought. I found myself highlighting passages all over the place, so I'm glad I got it as an ebook!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kris

    Creatively done! This was a joy to read in audiobook format. Isaacs was very honest and heartfelt in speaking about her spiritual struggles. I'd never heard of her before (as an actor) and was surprised to see all the popular projects she's been involved in. I liked the switching back and forth between memoir exposition (usual paragraphs) and actual conversations (dialogue). Isaacs created an unusual format in talking back and forth between herself, God the Father, and Jesus. Using this style, sh Creatively done! This was a joy to read in audiobook format. Isaacs was very honest and heartfelt in speaking about her spiritual struggles. I'd never heard of her before (as an actor) and was surprised to see all the popular projects she's been involved in. I liked the switching back and forth between memoir exposition (usual paragraphs) and actual conversations (dialogue). Isaacs created an unusual format in talking back and forth between herself, God the Father, and Jesus. Using this style, she was surprisingly able to actually break down cliches and facades and dig into to something useful and honest.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Starry

    A quick read: funny but also (to use a word the author would hate but -- hey, it's on the front cover so it's fair game) authentic. Actress, writer, and comedian Susan Isaacs writes a spiritual memoir with a twist: during a spiritual low around age 40, she decides to take God to couples therapy, accusing him of "being gone too much" among other things. The ensuing dialog is hilarious. Obviously, God doesn't speak for Himself. But by reviewing her life and providing her own idea of what God would A quick read: funny but also (to use a word the author would hate but -- hey, it's on the front cover so it's fair game) authentic. Actress, writer, and comedian Susan Isaacs writes a spiritual memoir with a twist: during a spiritual low around age 40, she decides to take God to couples therapy, accusing him of "being gone too much" among other things. The ensuing dialog is hilarious. Obviously, God doesn't speak for Himself. But by reviewing her life and providing her own idea of what God would say in His defense, Susan begins to realize that she needs to rethink her concept of God. He is not a sarcastic (well, maybe He is sometimes) drill sergeant of a father who is disappointed in her; Jesus is not an ineffective wimp who just shows up now and then but doesn't do much. And God really does care about Susan and her "middle-class white girl problems" such as bulemia, alcoholism, loneliness, indecisiveness, and turning 40 without having a husband or steady job. Many "middle class white girls" will relate to this book, especially those who were raised Christian in human (a.k.a. dysfunctional) homes and who tried to stay true to their faith despite human (a.k.a. dysfunctional) churches and their own human (a.k.a. dysfunctional) lives. This is for women who have wondered why it seems like "God is good... He's just not good to me." I picked up this book while at the 2012 Festival of Faith and Writing and I read it on the plane ride home. Now I wish I had heard this author speak at the festival.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Crystal

    It is very rare that I give a book one star. There are usually enough redeeming qualities in a book to at least say it was okay. I listen to this book on audio and it was read by the author which usually adds interest to the book. Isaacs’ "Memoir," as I would term it loosely, seemed more like a whining, selfish pity party. I get that we are in the post postmodern world that focuses on individualism and that many people carry the "it's all about me" attitude. Whether the author wrote this book, t It is very rare that I give a book one star. There are usually enough redeeming qualities in a book to at least say it was okay. I listen to this book on audio and it was read by the author which usually adds interest to the book. Isaacs’ "Memoir," as I would term it loosely, seemed more like a whining, selfish pity party. I get that we are in the post postmodern world that focuses on individualism and that many people carry the "it's all about me" attitude. Whether the author wrote this book, tongue-in-cheek or whether she was serious throughout, it was not for me. I have enjoyed some of the post postmodern ideologies surrounding Christianity. Some tenants of the emerging church have value and while I did not rate Blue like Jazz with five stars, I certainly liked it better than I like this one. I wanted to write this review and say that there were a few nuggets along the way; but, it was more like trying to pan for gold and finding nothing but sand. The best part of the book for me was when the author sang the hymn "Be Still My Soul" and into the chapter. I don't like to be snarky, but throughout this book, the author complained about why her acting career didn't take off and I must say if her acting was like this writing that I know why it didn't take off. I borrowed this from the library and so thankful I did not invest any money in.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Joyce

    OK, so this was a non-fiction book that I actually read in just 2 sittings--usually the only way I can stay awake for non-fiction is if I have to read it for a course or study or something. I think it's because a) Isaacs is a good writer and sometimes really funny, and b) I could relate to some of the 'dark night of the soul' stuff she wrote about. I liked reading about her gay friend's journey, and his comment that if God could put up with polygamy and slavery for centuries, He could tolerate h OK, so this was a non-fiction book that I actually read in just 2 sittings--usually the only way I can stay awake for non-fiction is if I have to read it for a course or study or something. I think it's because a) Isaacs is a good writer and sometimes really funny, and b) I could relate to some of the 'dark night of the soul' stuff she wrote about. I liked reading about her gay friend's journey, and his comment that if God could put up with polygamy and slavery for centuries, He could tolerate his homosexuality for 30 years [why only 30?]. Her hindsight observations of how & why God put certain experiences/people in her life were interesting to read. However, she just seemed way more obsessed with the idea of God as her lover and the impossibility that she could maintain her relationship with God and yet be intimate with someone outside of marriage. I'm not convinced that premarital sex is the HUGE sin the church has usually claimed it is. And some of the churches she attended were just so goofy, it was pretty hard to understand why a smart, mature woman would get sucked into all that. I guess the experience of growing up as an American fundamentalist (evangelical?) Christian colours your outlook. But I guess God enjoys & uses us where and as we are.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    I don't recall where I heard about this book, but I have been having my own fair share of angry conversations with God lately, so I thought this seemed an apropos book to read. While there were parts of the book I found a bit distracting - or that left me indifferent - overall, I thought this book lived up to the label "authentic spiritual memoir." That alone made it worth reading - at least for me. Like Isaacs, I have experienced God's absence and felt that acutely and painfully. Unlike the auth I don't recall where I heard about this book, but I have been having my own fair share of angry conversations with God lately, so I thought this seemed an apropos book to read. While there were parts of the book I found a bit distracting - or that left me indifferent - overall, I thought this book lived up to the label "authentic spiritual memoir." That alone made it worth reading - at least for me. Like Isaacs, I have experienced God's absence and felt that acutely and painfully. Unlike the author, I didn't encounter Jesus at a young age or feel his presence throughout my life. But I appreciated Susan's retelling of her experiences and the push/pull she felt to pursue her art, live her life and seek God's will. It's not always easy to discern God's desires for us versus our own desires. And even if we think we know what he wants, that doesn't make it easy to do it. If you are interested in reading about a faith journey that isn't a linear plot from sinner to heaven bound, this is a good place to start. It is written with a light, but always honest, touch, which makes it both enjoyable and quick to read.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sally Ewan

    Loved this book, loved the author, loved her writing style. Her memoir takes the form of narratives about her life from childhood on, interspersed with the transcripts of counseling sessions. In her frustration with God, Isaacs decides to invite Him (the whole Trinity, actually) to couples counseling. As she works through her 'issues', she redefines her understanding of God and His sovereignty in Her life. I would recommend this book to anyone I know. The author's honesty and candidness in confr Loved this book, loved the author, loved her writing style. Her memoir takes the form of narratives about her life from childhood on, interspersed with the transcripts of counseling sessions. In her frustration with God, Isaacs decides to invite Him (the whole Trinity, actually) to couples counseling. As she works through her 'issues', she redefines her understanding of God and His sovereignty in Her life. I would recommend this book to anyone I know. The author's honesty and candidness in confronting her life and her understanding of how God 'should do things' is really thought-provoking. Her certainty that God exists and wants to be in a relationship with her is a great reminder of God's drawing us to Himself for His glory.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Cathy

    I liked the way this author questioned God and had God answer back, and the idea of entering "couples therapy" with God is pretty entertaining. However, I quickly grew irritated with the author's very literal interpretation of Bible passages and what she thought were God's answers to her prayers. Perhaps it was because of my personal religious teachings growing up, but I have always thought the Bible should be interpreted, not taken literally. I'm more in the "God helps those who help themselves I liked the way this author questioned God and had God answer back, and the idea of entering "couples therapy" with God is pretty entertaining. However, I quickly grew irritated with the author's very literal interpretation of Bible passages and what she thought were God's answers to her prayers. Perhaps it was because of my personal religious teachings growing up, but I have always thought the Bible should be interpreted, not taken literally. I'm more in the "God helps those who help themselves camp," not the "wait around for God to fix things for me" camp.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Susy Flory

    I wanted to like this book, and I did love the memoir portion. The author's voice is honest, likeable, witty, and self-deprecating. But I had a hard time with her conversations with God. It felt fake and seemed distracting. I ended up mostly skipping those parts.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Holmberg

    This book changed how I look at my relationship with God and how I speak with Him. It lead me to a place of honesty and letting go of a lot of expectations. Highly recommend for anyone who struggles with feeling like perfection is the goal and who don't know how to talk to God.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    LOVE. It took me a bit to get into the style of the book, but once I got past that....really deep stuff, and things that I related to in many ways. WOW. I'll be processing this one for a while.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin

    If only we could all be so honest. This was a great read. Comedic and fast-paced, but refreshingly real and insightful as well. I recommend it. And I definitely think God enjoys a little sarcasm. ;-)

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    I really loved this book! One of the best books about one's Christian experience I've ever read. I love the author's honesty and I hope to read more of her work in the future.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Crae Achacoso

    If I were a book, I'd be this book.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    This was a very emotionally powerful read. While the title might lead you to expect a lot of lighthearted irreverence--and there is some of that--there's also an awful lot of raw pain and struggle in the pages of Isaacs' spiritual autobiography. While the specifics of her life were often foreign to me, the emotional feelings were nearly as often somewhat familiar, particularly in the earliest parts of the book. About halfway through, I was ready to wholeheartedly recommend this book to any adult This was a very emotionally powerful read. While the title might lead you to expect a lot of lighthearted irreverence--and there is some of that--there's also an awful lot of raw pain and struggle in the pages of Isaacs' spiritual autobiography. While the specifics of her life were often foreign to me, the emotional feelings were nearly as often somewhat familiar, particularly in the earliest parts of the book. About halfway through, I was ready to wholeheartedly recommend this book to any adult who can read. However, as the second half of the book wound down, I ended up with a kind of uneasy bad feeling. I started out cheering Isaacs on, so sure that she would pull through and thrive one way or another. But by the end of the book I was frustrated. The feelings of resentment and entitlement that seem so natural (if decidedly not productive or reasonable) coming from a 20 year old look quite ugly indeed on someone well into her forties. In terms of Ericksonian stages, one fears that Isaacs will choose bitterness and stagnation over generativity. Her protestations that she has "forgiven" those who she blames for her predicament ring as hollow as the "church language" she derides. There is always someone to blame. Her father was angry. Her mother was pathetic. Her parents ignored her. Her sister is too churchy. Her boyfriends were not religious enough. Her pastors and spiritual mentors misdirected her. The churches she attends are too hip and too square and too worldly and too forbidding. God is too sarcastic. Jesus is too "wimpy." I realize that comedians specialize in the complaint as an artform, but by the end of the book, I was losing hope for Susan--who I had gotten so attached to as a narrator--and feared that despite the book's happy ending she would remain mired in this finger-pointing game, and her preoccupation that she didn't get exactly what she wanted out of life (a religiously compatible husband and an acting career.) And I take issue too with her inflexible, rigid personal theology, most especially because she holds herself over her more traditionally "churchy" sister who seems nonetheless strangely well-adjusted by comparison. Susan is insistent on taking the bible far more literally than any other Lutheran I've known. She is resistant to receiving the free gift of God's grace and forgiveness. Aren't we all, at times, but nonetheless I would love nothing more than to see a sequel to this book where Susan seems to have genuinely moved past these 20 year old hurts and is building something new. I give the book a high rating because of excellent writing and storytelling and because it is so honest and revealing. It was a good read, if frustrating at times.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lydia Presley

    This book came along at the perfect moment in my life. First, this is the second memoir I've read this week and this one, by far, stands out as combining all of the elements of what makes good reading. Humor, thoughtfulness, anger, honesty - it's all contained along with a good dose of humility and, of course, faith. I laughed out loud at several portions of this book. Basically, Susan has decided that her marriage with God is in serious jeopardy and she takes him to couples counseling with a pas This book came along at the perfect moment in my life. First, this is the second memoir I've read this week and this one, by far, stands out as combining all of the elements of what makes good reading. Humor, thoughtfulness, anger, honesty - it's all contained along with a good dose of humility and, of course, faith. I laughed out loud at several portions of this book. Basically, Susan has decided that her marriage with God is in serious jeopardy and she takes him to couples counseling with a pastor, Rudy. Rudy encourages Susan to give voice to God and Jesus (She believes the Holy Spirit just.. is around), so she can work through her perceptions and beliefs in an environment that is there to aid her in her faith. Susan struggles (as I myself have struggled) with finding a good church, a good body of Christ to worship with, to be strengthened and encouraged by. And she does find some doozy's, I'll tell you that right now. She struggles with finding a mate, a man who fulfills her needs both spiritually and physically (and by this, she really struggles with finding someone who wants her sexually but is willing to wait until, as Beyonce says, "he puts a ring on it"). SUSAN: Just say it: I'm angry and no one will like me. GOD: No. I will not say that. But don't you think we ached for you to find a lover you could share your whole life with? I used your teachers to encourage you creatively when the church could not. I used Georgina to build structure in your life when you had none. I used the Rock'n'Rollers to heal you, and Pedro to wake you up. I worked with whatever I got my hands on. Can you see that? SUSAN: The church terrified me to live. GOD: The church healed your wounds. The church introduced you to me. And you're ungrateful because I didn't adhere to your timetable? It's easy to get carried away with things and then, while repenting from them, blame God for not putting the right people in your life, blame Him for seemingly allowing temptation to step forward and take hold of you. SUSAN: Well, you know who got the joke? You know who got me? You know who appreciated me and made me feel like I mattered? Heathens and drunks and potheads and Jews. GOD: I sent whomever I could get! SUSSAN: That was you? You put those people in my life? Then why were you so upset when I fell in love with David? GOD: Don't boink the messenger. JESUS: (To God) At least David was a Jew. She could have fallen for a pothead. Through humor Susan takes us through her life, the ups and the downs. And how does it all end? .. Well I encourage you to check this book out and see for yourself.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Bryon

    Author: Susan E. Isaacs New York, FaithWords, 2009 Number of pages: 242 If The Shack left you with an itch you can't scratch, Susan E. Isaacs’ Angry Conversations with God deeply soothes. While Isaac's book is not fiction, it is a creatively written memoir that asks the irreverent questions about God most people have the sense to not ask out loud. Isaacs brazenly writes about life’s ups and downs and the human tendency to take credit for the peaks while blaming God for the valleys. Isaacs assumes t Author: Susan E. Isaacs New York, FaithWords, 2009 Number of pages: 242 If The Shack left you with an itch you can't scratch, Susan E. Isaacs’ Angry Conversations with God deeply soothes. While Isaac's book is not fiction, it is a creatively written memoir that asks the irreverent questions about God most people have the sense to not ask out loud. Isaacs brazenly writes about life’s ups and downs and the human tendency to take credit for the peaks while blaming God for the valleys. Isaacs assumes that her relationship with God is supposed to function like a marriage. If that's the case, then she and God need counseling. In fictionalized accounts of real counseling sessions Isaacs stands as God's accuser and questions his intentions. She is smarter than God and knows more about his motives and capabilities than he does. Both she and God bite back at each other with snippiness and sarcasm. Both constantly one-up the other. If you've been in marriage counseling this sounds familiar. Ultimately, Susan wants a divorce. God stomps out of counseling and Susan doesn’t hear from him for a large chunk of the book. Isaacs covers topics like "Christians are weird," "the Church is hurtful," "Relationships are hard," and "If God is all powerful then why is my life so messed up?" For most of the book, Isaacs sounds like you and me; she whines. She readily admits that her problems pale in comparison with those suffering in Darfur. Her problems are "nothing but middle-class white girl tragedies." But if you're a middle class white girl, your tragedies are very personal. If God is supposed to be "personal" then why does he seem to be unconcerned and distant when it comes to the things that cause us distress in life? The author concludes that there is definitely some kind of disconnect between God and his followers. The book emphasizes that our relationship with God and our journey through this life looks quite a bit like Job's. Although we might not have the character of Job or the hardships of Job, we have the same questions as Job and the same problems with comprehending God. The author doesn't have Job's perspective, however. She sees things through the eyes of a middle class white girl. Angry Conversations with God is a fun read. It’s rated PG13 at time; reader be warned. If you have the complaints of a middle class white girl, a disillusioned daughter, or you’d rather just sit and watch wile someone else complains, get this book. You’ll have fun and you’ll laugh out loud. http://mondokblog.blogspot.com/2010/0...

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sophia

    My well meaning friend purchashed this book for me. Due to my rather...unhealthy anger toward God I thought I would be able to relate to this book and perhaps have some of my questions answered. However, this book caused me only fustration and annoyance. The self-centered nature of the narrator was honestly amazing. I thought her anger would be about more philipsophical questions (I.E. the nature of hell and why it exists, God's wrath toward his people in the Bible, the hyprocrisy of the Christi My well meaning friend purchashed this book for me. Due to my rather...unhealthy anger toward God I thought I would be able to relate to this book and perhaps have some of my questions answered. However, this book caused me only fustration and annoyance. The self-centered nature of the narrator was honestly amazing. I thought her anger would be about more philipsophical questions (I.E. the nature of hell and why it exists, God's wrath toward his people in the Bible, the hyprocrisy of the Christian church and the unhealthy, Stolkhom Syndrom like nature of the relationship between man and God.) Instead it was a WHY ARE YOU NOT GOOD TO MEEEE for the entire book. While I thought the converastions between her and God were fascinating. I feel like nothing was resolved at the end of the book. In the beginning, she was angry at God because he didn't seem to care and kept on throwing his worst at her. At the end of the book, nothing had changed outside of the fact that she she realized that this "abusive relationship" was really just God's way of showing how much he luuuuved her and it was all her fault in the end. God meant well! It was like reading a victims journey through abuse only to have said victim being like "Well, it could been worse really. I'm sure my abuser really meant well in his abuse!" I smell BULLSHIT. This only made me dislike Christianity/God/Christians even more. Eesh. 2 stars for the occasional bit of humor and the overal concept of the book.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ann

    Sometimes you just want people to cut through the religiosity and say what they think, and Susan Isaacs certainly does that. In this refreshing and hilarious memoir the story of her life is intertwined with "marriage counseling sessions" with herself, God (the Father), Jesus, and a hippie former-minister-turned-counselor. Susan vents about many frustrations, from her lack of success in her acting career, to her religious experiences (She was bullied at a Lutheran school as a child and as an adul Sometimes you just want people to cut through the religiosity and say what they think, and Susan Isaacs certainly does that. In this refreshing and hilarious memoir the story of her life is intertwined with "marriage counseling sessions" with herself, God (the Father), Jesus, and a hippie former-minister-turned-counselor. Susan vents about many frustrations, from her lack of success in her acting career, to her religious experiences (She was bullied at a Lutheran school as a child and as an adult tried just about every kind of bad church imaginable)to her perennial search for Mr. Right. Her honesty is brutal at times, yet long overdue. I would guess that a lot of us have similar experiences and thoughts, but we wouldn't dream of saying them out loud - as if God won't know how we feel as long as we don't say it. (duh) This book is extremely entertaining, and until the last few chapters I wasn't sure if it would be more than just laugh-out-loud funny. But it has a twist at the end that is surprisingly profound. This book is truly unique, and I'd recommend it to anyone who has been disappointed with God, or anyone who wants to read about God but is tired of dry theology and/or sappy stories. You will not be bored!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Bailey

    If you've struggled with your faith, read this book. Please. If you've been in that place where you don't know which way is up when it comes to God and life and your career and your happiness, read this book. If you've struggled with eating/body image, read this book. If you're 25+ and still single, read this book. If you're a Christian and you want to find a mate who shares your faith, read this book. If you've struggled with alcohol abuse, read this book. If you're a writer who HUNGERS TO WRITE, re If you've struggled with your faith, read this book. Please. If you've been in that place where you don't know which way is up when it comes to God and life and your career and your happiness, read this book. If you've struggled with eating/body image, read this book. If you're 25+ and still single, read this book. If you're a Christian and you want to find a mate who shares your faith, read this book. If you've struggled with alcohol abuse, read this book. If you're a writer who HUNGERS TO WRITE, read this book. Please. Thank you, Susan, for writing this book. P.S. I wasn't really hooked until around chapter 5 (not because it was bad up until that point), but then I was in. P.P.S. Susan did this genius thing in this book where she wrote about the writing of the book within the book, and she was so sneaky about it I didn't fully catch on until I had closed the cover.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn Martone

    Everything about this book captured my interest: the title, the fact that it's authored by a writer/performer/comedienne, the fact that Susan Isaacs is both reverent and irreverent at the same time and doesn't once become preachy, self-righteous or annoying. The opposite occurs, actually. Isaacs takes some of the most painful events of her life and makes them funny. She questions and gets angry with God but never writes God off; in my mind, that's not only rare but brave, especially when you liv Everything about this book captured my interest: the title, the fact that it's authored by a writer/performer/comedienne, the fact that Susan Isaacs is both reverent and irreverent at the same time and doesn't once become preachy, self-righteous or annoying. The opposite occurs, actually. Isaacs takes some of the most painful events of her life and makes them funny. She questions and gets angry with God but never writes God off; in my mind, that's not only rare but brave, especially when you live and work in Hollywood. I was fortunate enough to see her one-person stage show of the same title and was equally blown away. She also advocated at the show for one of her favorite charities, Compassion International, and thanks to her I am now the sponsor of a nine year old boy, Samson, who lives in Tanzania. Susan Isaacs is one of my inspirations. Hopefully you will read her work and feel the same level of admiration as I do.

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