Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Book Review: Not Less Than Everything by Catherine Wolff

I've had a pretty extensive religious education, I think, compared to most people.  I grew up in church, my parents were missionaries, I did Sunday School, GA's, Bible Drill, youth group, VBS, and then went on to Christian high school and got my undergraduate degree from a Christian college.  So I'm well-versed in the heroes of the faith with one major caveat - they're all Protestant heroes of the faith.  I think in my very Protestant education I missed out on learning a lot of the valuable lessons that can be taken from the lives of Catholic heroes.  So I was thrilled when I got the opportunity to review this book, edited by Catherine Wolff, featuring prominent Catholic writers (including one of my very favorite living authors Ann Patchett) describing their heroes of faith.

In terms of writing, we are talking the cream of the crop.  Ann Patchett, Tobias Wolff, Alice McDermott, Mary Gordon, etc.  Every essay is impeccably written.  The essay subjects ranged from, as the title states, Joan of Arc to Oscar Romero.  If you're wanting historical information, it's there.  If you're looking for spiritual insight or inspiration, it's also there.

Entertainment Value
In terms of entertainment value, I tended to prefer the essays that were more personal and related to spiritual growth than those that were academic in tone, but what the really means is that there is something in here for everyone.  There are deeply philosophical, historical, and academic essays, and there are personal anecdotes and musings.  The variety kept it interesting and I learned something significant from every essay.  I read it over the course of several evenings, a few essays at a time, but it could all be read at once as well.

I highly recommend reading this.  I think if you're interested in matters of faith, whether Protestant or Catholic, or of any religion, there is something to gain from reading this.  It's also an example of beautiful essays from current authors on what they believe and their personal opinions on faith, which I think will appeal to any reader who is interested in the lives of authors.

Thank you to TLC for providing me with a copy to review!  Click here for the complete tour list.

1 comment:

  1. You make a good point that the variety of essays (philosophical and academic versus personal) means that there's something for everyone. Sometimes when reading books like this I forget that not everyone enjoys the same type of writing that I do!

    Thanks for being on the tour!