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Belieber!: Fame, Faith, and the Heart of Justin Bieber Paperback – September 27, 2011

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Belieber!: Fame, Faith, and the Heart of Justin Bieber + Nowhere but Up: The Story of Justin Bieber's Mom + Justin Bieber: Just Getting Started
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 229 pages
  • Publisher: Worthy Book Publishers (September 27, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936034778
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936034772
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,055,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Cathleen Falsani is an award-winning journalist and author. Currently a columnist for Religion News Service and an editor for Sojourners in Washington, D.C., she is best known for her personal interview profiles of Barack Obama, Bono of U2, Elie Wiesel, Anne Rice, Studs Terkel, Annie Lennox and many other notables. She is the author of three critically acclaimed books and was the religion writer for the Chicago Sun-Times from 2000-2010. She and her husband live in Laguna Beach, California, with their son.

More About the Author

Cathleen Falsani is an award-winning religion journalist, featured writer for Sojourners in Washington, D.C., and author of four critically acclaimed nonfiction books: The God Factor: Inside the Spiritual Lives of Public People (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2006), Sin Boldly: A Field Guide for Grace (Zondervan, 2008), and The Dude Abides: The Gospel According to the Coen Brothers (Zondervan 2009), and BELIEBER: Fame, Faith & the Heart of Justin Bieber (Worthy 2011).

Cathleen was the religion writer and columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times from 2000 to January 2010. As a writer for Sun-Times and other publications, Cathleen has covered her diverse "God beat" from locations as far afield as Vatican City, Vedic City, Ireland, Germany,the Caribbean, the West Wing, the Playboy Mansion and the dugout at Wrigley Field.

She was honored as the 2005 James O. Supple Religion Writer of the Year by the
Religion Newswriters Association, and twice has been a finalist for the Templeton Religion Reporter of the Year award. She goes by the nickname "God Girl," a moniker given to her by her friend and fellow writer Bill Zehme back in 2002. It started as a greeting Bill yelled to across a crowded bar the day she came off a 10-day stint on the road with Bono of U2, chronicling his humanitarian efforts to raise awareness in U.S.religious communities about the AIDS emergency in sub-Saharan Africa. It was funny -- an affectionate joke -- but it stuck. Hence,

Cathleen began writing her popular column on spirituality and popular culture for the Sun-Times in 2001, and also writes as a columnist for Religion News Service, Sojourners Magazine and The Huffington Post. Her work has
appeared in many media outlets including Rolling Stone, Harvard Divinity School Bulletin, Christianity Today and Christian Century magazines, as well as the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post, the Toronto Star and other publications in North America and Europe. She has appeared as a commentator on CNN, Oprah Winfrey's "Soul Series," NPR, FoxNewsChannel, Moody Radio, The Tavis Smiley Show, PBS's "Religion and Ethics Newsweekly", and a host of other radio and television venues.

Since 2004, she has maintained the religion-and-popular-culture blog "The Dude
Abides," ( and/or

Cathleen is perhaps best known for the April 2004 interview she did with U.S. President Barack Obama (then an Illinois State senator running for U.S. Senate) about his faith -- the lengthiest and most exhaustive Obama has granted to date about his personal spiritual and religious beliefs. A profile of the President, based on that interview, appeared in her 2006 book, The God Factor, alongside profiles of other notables including Bono of U2, Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, Hugh Hefner, Anne Rice, Dusty Baker, Hakim Olajuwon, Tom Robbins, John Patrick Shanley, Melissa Etheridge, Billy Corgan, Harold Ramis, Studs Terkel, Bush administration speech writer Michael Gerson, Annie Lennox, and Russell Simmons.

A Connecticut native and granddaughter of Italian and Irish immigrants, Cathleen is a graduate of Wheaton College, the alma mater of the Rev. Billy Graham, former U.S. Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert and horror film director Wes Craven. (Though she often finds more common ground with Craven and Graham than Hastert.)

She holds a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University as well
as a master's degree in theological studies from Garrett-Evangelical Theological
Seminary. She is also a 2009 Divinity School Media Fellow at Duke University,
a Gralla Fellow in Jewish Studies at Brandeis University, and was the 1996
Stoody-West Fellow in Religious Journalism.

She is a sought-after public speaker having presented lectures and talks at
colleges, universities, civic organizations, houses of worship and large faith-based conferences nationwide, including the National Pastors Convention, the Buechner Institute, the Catalyst Conference, the Los Angeles Book Festival, the Festival of Faith and Music, and the Festival of Faith and Writing,
numerous houses of worship and colleges including Westmont College, Andrew University, Southern Baptist University, Sacramento State University, Dominican University, and St. James Episcopal Cathedral in Chicago.

Cathleen is also an active social media maven, with more than 7,000 followers
on Twitter and 1,500+ members of her Facebook Fan Page. She blogs regularly
on her own site and for God's Politics (, Huffington Post, and Faith &
Leadership (Duke Divinity School), and elsewhere. She is also working on
the manuscript for a memoir about her real-life, life-changing experiences with
social networks tentatively titled, The Thread: Faith, Friendship and Facebook.

Chicago Magazine media critic Steve Rhodes has said Cathleen writes one of the city's "most compelling columns . . . despite her focus on a subject that often
is handled with a deadly dullness."

Of her longtime column, Cathleen says she likes to try to "find God in the places
some people say God isn't supposed to be," and that she defines both spirituality
and popular culture quite broadly.

In its review of her debut book, The God Factor, the Chicago Tribune said:

"Cathleen Falsani is above all else, an exemplary conversationalist...She is
enthusiastic, well-read, articulate and open-minded. [In The God Factor,] she
sweeps us right along... She has done what only great interviewers have the
wisdom and patience to do. She has set the stage and dimmed the lights just
so. She has invited us in to the conversation and left us with wonder, confusion,
elation and grace."

On a more personal note...

After 20 years in Chicago, Cathleen relocated in the summer of 2009 to Laguna
Beach, California, with her husband, fellow author and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Maurice Possley. Most recently, Cathleen became a mother (officially, at least) for the first time. The High Court of Malawi approved the adoption of the Falsani-Possley's son, Vasco, in 2010.

The story of how the couple met the boy who would become their son is told, in part, in the chapter "Chisomo" in her 2008 memoir, Sin Boldly: A Field Guide
for Grace. A feature-length documentary film chronicling Vasco and his family's journey currently is in production. Filmmakers Keiko and Rob Feldman of Juris
Productions and Cinependent Films ( plan to release "Vasco's Heart" in 2012.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 11 customer reviews
The book is written in an engaging,conversational style which makes it an easy read but it is certainly not a work without depth.
Amazon Customer
For parents like myself, it reminds us to talk with our children about the artists they love - and gives us great ideas about what kinds of questions to ask.
Jennifer Grant
It helps explain the singer's more than occasional thanking of God, his intense charity work, and actually his goodness as a person.
Peter Johngren

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Iola on September 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
I don't usually read non-fiction, but Belieber! caught my eye because it is a biography and assessment of Justin Bieber, teenage superstar. It will probably not cover a lot of information that fans of Justin Bieber don't already know, as much of it is sourced from Justin's own autobiography, the movie, other interviews, his Facebook posts and his Tweets. However, for those of us who don't know every minute detail of the background and superstar life of this teen singing wonder, this book provides an interesting read with the added benefit of placing Justin's upbringing and actions in a clear Christian context. It also answers one of my questions - is this guy really a Christian? (He is. Bieber is quoted as saying "I'm a Christian. I believe in God. I believe that Jesus died on the cross for my sins... I have a relationship with him... and really, he's the reason I'm here".)

Although Falsani was not able to interview Justin Bieber personally, nor any member of his close team of supporters, she has researched him thoroughly, including reading each of his thousands of Twitter and Facebook posts. As a true child of the age of social networking, Bieber tweets his millions of followers several times a day, unless his mother has confiscated his phone and laptop for bad behaviour!. Twitter and Facebook make it possible for his many fans to `know' Justin in a way that was inconceivable a few short years ago. (It is testament to the power of social marketing that this book doesn't solicit Amazon reviews or star ratings. Instead, it asks you to `like' the book so it is shared with all your Facebook friends, or tweet it. If you don't understand Facebook or Twitter, ask the closest teenager.)

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Peter Johngren on September 27, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a 70 year old grandfather, I am probably one of Justin Bieber's oldest fans. My granddaughter recently gave me a Bieber tooth brush. I am fascinated by this talented kid and end up reading or seeing everything related to Justin - I loved "Never Say Never."

As a non-believer myself, I would have expected that something written by a religion editor and rather fundamentalist author to be the last thing I could stand reading. Yet this book, "Belieber: Fame, Faith, and the Heart of Justin Bieber" is really a well researched, well written, and from what I can tell accurate telling of the spiritual side of Justin Bieber. It helps explain the singer's more than occasional thanking of God, his intense charity work, and actually his goodness as a person. Justin is one of those rare individuals who actually practices what he preaches. He is genuine to the core and very human - he makes mistakes and is quick to apologize and even uses his mistakes as a gentle lesson to his young followers.

My favorite example of this is his famously giving the finger to a bunch of relentless paparazzi. Both his flipping the bird and his subsequent apology were completely real and his using the incident to talk about the dangers of acting in anger, pure genius.

This book gives you a clear feel for the origins of all this, his mother's journey, and how Justin has come to be surrounded by the incredible people that comprise Team Bieber. It is well worth reading.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Chip on October 10, 2011
Format: Paperback
As a clinical psychologist (...), who is a Christian and also the parent of a tweener and a school age child, I was really interested to read Cathleen Falsani's book on Justin Bieber's faith, fame, and heart. To be honest, I am familiar with all of Cathleen's work and have really enjoyed her style and approach to the subject matter she chooses. But Justin Bieber and his faith? Seriously? I was skeptical. Ok, I wasn't really expecting much of anything and the main reason I read it was curiosity. How she was going to pull this off? I just had to see.
A chapter into the book I realized how wrong I was. Cathleen, even without the benefit of talking directly to the child star, provides a reporter's eye for assimilating a massive amount of detail into a coherent whole. A whole, that I must say, is most impressive. Specifically, what is most impressive is the character of this young man. I was absolutely shocked at the depth of his relationships with his mom, his grandparents, his old friends, and the assimilated "Team Bieber." At the risk of sounding judgmental, one doesn't have to look too far into the Hollywood, or Disney, machine to become discouraged with the "role models" that are being offered to our children. After reading this book, I believe that Justin Bieber is not only a good role model, but a quality person. If you think that I'm being duped, read the book for yourself. Go ahead. I dare you. You just might become a Belieber.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Isabel Anders on September 10, 2011
Format: Paperback
Superstar Justin Bieber is a role model for millions of teens around the world. He stands out as "different" in a culture of high-level performers shying away from revealing their personal religious beliefs. According to Cathleen Falsani, author of this comprehensive volume on "everything Bieber," he makes it OK for millions of teens to say "I believe in Jesus."

Well researched and wittily written, with personal emotional verve, Belieber! is packed with fan notes, Christian understanding, and practical suggestions for aiding ministries of peace and justice, following Bieber's example.

Cathleen Falsani is an apologist for Christian belief and practice in a skeptical world, and through several heart-felt chapters in her own voice, she also offers a primer on prayer, the power of conversion, and the workings of Christian community.

What a story! Bieber's young life is already "the closest thing to a real-life Cinderella story" that any regular guy might want to experience in America.

Here is the guidebook for "Beliebing."

Isabel Anders is the author of Becoming Flame: Uncommon Mother-Daughter Wisdom Becoming Flame: Uncommon Mother-Daughter Wisdom
and co-author with Diane Marquart Moore of the Father Malachi mystery Chant of Death Chant of Death
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