Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Lazy Book Review: Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me

It's my first book review! And I'm calling it a Lazy Book Review because it's short. And that stems less from laziness and more from the fact that I don't think I've written a review of anything since my days on the college newspaper. So I may be a bit rusty. Apologies.

But you may not need much help from me on this one, anyway. If the title isn't enough to get you interested, I don't know what is.

Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me by Ian Morgan Cron

I'll start this off by saying that I don't like to read memoirs. And this is one.

The reason I don't like memoirs is that sometimes they feel like the author is dragging you through their story instead of propelling you from page to page. I hang in there out of pity rather than looking forward to each new story.

This memoir ("of sorts," as the author clarifies), however, is different. Better. At first, it seems like a typical my-dad-was-an-alcoholic story (although I assure you, none of those stories are "typical"), but the way Cron weaves in his father's past gives it an air of intrigue and propels the story forward. And the way Cron talks about moments where he connected with God at a young age does the same thing—although it makes me wonder why I didn't have such moments of clarity until after college. Perhaps I should have more actively pursued a misspent youth.

Well. Perhaps not.

I'd like to tell you about my favorite part of the book, but it's kind of the turning point and I don't want to be a spoiler. So I'll tell you about my second favorite part: Cron and his family are driving to his first communion ceremony when the bottom of their (old, rusty, free-to-them) car drops out under their father. The image of him stuck and cursing is hilarious and, at the same time, sad and embarrassing. Cron does that a lot—makes you feel one thing and the opposite all at once, if that makes sense.

The only thing I didn't like about this book is all the pop culture references, especially to things that are very right-this-moment. It doesn't give the book a timeless quality. I mean, while I appreciate Captain Sullenberger as much as the next gal, will his name stick in our collective memory for many more years? I'm not sure. (Although the story that compares the author's mom to Sullenberger is in the aforementioned passage.) While pop culture references add to the lightly snarky tone of the author, I don't think they do much for the story as a whole.

That one complaint is a tiny part of the overall book, which is a fantastic read. I highly recommend it!

I wasn't compensated at all for this review. I received the book via BookSneeze.com for the purpose of writing a review.


And the winner is...

Now to announce the winner of the book giveaway! With the help of a random generator, the winner of a copy of For the Love of Our Husbands is: Valerie @ My 2 Cents! I'll be in contact with you shortly, Valerie! Thanks to everyone who entered! If you'd like to buy a copy of the book, here's the link to the store!


  1. I love memoirs...that's my favorite genre, lol! I am not a huge fan of fiction myself. Maybe it has something to do with real over fake, I don't know. Anyway, I loved this book! I didn't get a lot of the pop culture references, now that I think about it. But it wasn't a deterrent to the overall feel of the book.

    Good review!

  2. Hi Rachel,

    Congrats on your first book review! I'm honored that I was in your first batch. I hope you have a great summer filled with good books and a million visits to your new review site. BTW, I love the word 'snarky'. It SO sounds like what it means!


    Ian Morgan Cron

  3. I LOVED this book . . . it touched me deeply!
    Great review!


I wrote the thing. You read the thing. Don't be too lazy to comment!