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Bubble Girl: An Irreverent Journey of Faith Paperback – June 28, 2013


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Chalice Press (June 28, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0827202903
  • ISBN-13: 978-0827202900
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #576,286 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Like many young adults, Kat Banakis struggled to decide how her Christian faith would shape her adult life. Banakis's debut book follows her funny, quirky, wobbly, messy wanderings while helping you reflect on your own faith journey. Bubble Girl seamlessly weaves together iconic tales of those in their twenties and thirties-isolation, unemployment, virtual (and real) relationships, and rodent infestations-with theological reflection. Take a solo journey or grab some friends and use Bubble Girl's discussion questions to take the road trip together.

"Off-beat...quirky...candid, but not self-indulgent...well-written...The words all fit Bubble Girl perfectly. And what they are describing is one of the best, kindest, gentlest, most informative introductions to theology and to the faith of the young-to-middle-aged Christian that I have ever seen. This is one book that should be read both by individuals who love a good read and also by study groups who seek a cordial understanding of what the Church is."

-Phyllis Tickle, author of Emergence Christianity

"Kat Banakis has written a memoir that is too funny to be called 'spiritual.' I did, I really did, laugh out loud....Banakis is very smart, and very honest, and this memoir will help you understand a full call and a full life."

-Nora Gallagher, author of Moonlight Sonata at the Mayo Clinic

"Banakis's humor, transparency, and honesty resonate across generations, while also offering a lucid window into the state of postmodern American young adulthood as it wrestles with faith, organized religion, and even our traditional archetypes of God, gender, and family. But ultimately, as Banakis says, this is a love story between a young woman and God."

-Christian Piatt, creator/editor of the Banned Questions book series and author of PregMANcy: A Dad, a Little Dude and a Due Date

"Kat Banakis's book matters because it's not just her story: it's our story, and the story of what it means to be a person of faith (or not) at this moment....There is a 'Bubble Girl' in all of us, and Kat has the temerity to name this, and to allow us to chuckle as we recognize what's really real in her life and our own."

-Anne S. Howard, executive director of The Beatitudes Society

About the Author

Kathryn (Kat) Banakis is an Episcopal priest in the Chicago area and holds two degrees in religion from Yale University. She is a winner of the Associated Church Press Award for Excellence, and her writing has appeared in the Washington Post, Reflections, and many other print and online publications.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
67%
4 star
20%
3 star
13%
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See all 15 customer reviews
Excellent spiritual autobiography.
Susan V. Hagen
This was an easy book to read, a joyful story with just enough theology thrown in to make me happy.
Bob
Both great fun and very thought provoking.
MargieM

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Molly Worthen on July 19, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a lovely book that will teach you so much and make you feel as if you've made a new friend for life. Banakis describes her journey through young adulthood and the church through a series of events, crises, decisions, and relationships, and in these key moments we see her wrestling with--and coming to a deeper understanding of--the core doctrines of Christianity. Her writing is sincere and unpretentious, and she is so good at cracking the tough nut of human experience that you will almost certainly recognize something of yourself here, whether you are a committed believer or an atheist who's just curious about religious experience. Banakis follows in a long tradition of spiritual memoirists whose central insight is that doubt is not a religious failing, but an essential part of genuine faith. You'll learn a lot from her too. Banakis sure knows her Christian theology and history, but she wears her erudition lightly, and has a gift for explaining complex points of dogma in plain language without sacrificing important nuances. Lastly, she is funny. The book's forward promises that you'll laugh out loud, and I'm always suspicious of claims like that. But I did, truly!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By timothy 7.7 on July 14, 2013
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Bubble Girl is a wonderful read for anybody who is searching for faith and meaning. The book expertly weaves Kat's story with theological reflection. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Judith C. on July 29, 2013
Format: Paperback
The author is indeed fresh, funny, intelligent and with an edge, as she describes her journey to the priesthood and Christian adulthood...a coming-of- age tale, but not the usual one.
Ms. Banakis's faith has been a given but deepens as she sorts herself out and finds her direction...much to the benefit of those she is serving.
I was struck by the "bubble" analogy..in some ways it seems her faith can be viewed that way, because it both protects her yet sets her apart...and indeed is transparent. She looks through it; we look in. Her honesty is almost painful yet makes her a more authentic minister, and human being.
I hope to read her next installment in about 20 years. Go, Kat!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By POP on August 2, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an honest, warm,faith driven story of the authors journey into her life.
It left me with the feeling that this younger generation has the same level (and maybe a lot more) of the stamina, fortitude, courage and humor then the previous generations showed. My hats off to the author for "baring her soul". Ages 16 to 86 will be able to relate to the episodes in the authors life in their own meaningful way and apply them to their understanding of their own faith.
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book. While I thought at first it would be a "quick read," I soon realized that there was a depth and honesty in this writing that required attention.

It brings great and exceptional insightful looks into this person's life, her family, and especially her look at faith.

She shares so much - she is so open - that you come to love her by the end of the read.

I highly recommend this book for anyone and everyone. You won't be disappointed. (You may however, find yourself looking up certain Bible passages as you go through the book. Depending on your level of interest. And I certainly did get interested!)

Well done for a first time author. I look forward to other books.
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Format: Paperback
In the interests of full disclosure, I will admit to knowing and liking the author, with whom I've worked on some church stuff. But I was unprepared for this wonderful piece of work. Each chapter is a mix of memoir, confession, and reflection on faith that can take you from laughter to tears (and back again) in 0 to 60 and then leave you quietly reflecting on what you just read. Think Anne Lamott and Diana Butler Bass when you wonder whether you should buy it. I think Chapter 3 (Bible Says) is probably worth the price of the book alone. If you want a sneak peak into her writing, see Alone among Friends (Christian Century, July 24, 2013). Enjoy!
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Format: Paperback
The title is enigmatic for the first third of this book, but the author has an engaging voice and intriguing story. I love her Ann Lamott-style irreverence. Banakis' self-deprecation is both funny and poignant. As a latter-day Episcopalian, I was fascinated by what the clergy go through on their way to the priesthood. I recommend this book to anyone whose spiritual seeking is at times a little bit lost but wants desperately to both find and be found.
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By Craig on April 26, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I can relate on many levels with Kat. I enjoyed reading her story! I haven't been through this entire process, but an aspiring theology student it's been great to read of her experiences.
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More About the Author

The daughter of a Greek Orthodox father and an Irish Catholic mother, Rev. Kathryn (Kat) Banakis was raised in Protestant churches throughout the Bible Belt and at a missionary outpost in Hong Kong. She holds a Master's of Divinity from Yale Divinity School and the Institute of Sacred Music, a certificate in Anglican Studies from Berkeley Divinity School at Yale, and a BA in religious studies, also from Yale. She's a proud alumna of the Youth Theological Initiative, a former Fund for Theological Education undergraduate fellow, and a board member of The Beatitudes Society, a national progressive Christian leadership organization that equips emerging entrepreneurial faith leaders.

Kat began her career as a federal lobbyist on issues of community development and has also worked in non-profit development and administration. She works for a fundraising consulting firm in Chicago, helping non-profit institutions use data, analytics, and technology to better reach their donors. As Community Connector at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Kat tries to foster relationships within St. Luke's and to the surrounding community. She is ordained as a priest in The Episcopal Church.

The winner of the Associated Church Press award in first-person writing (2011), Kat's work has appeared in Split Ticket (Chalice 2009), The Washington Post, Reflections, the Beatitudes Society blog, and several other online and print publications. (www.katbanakis.com).

Read an interview with Kat in the Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/danielle-tumminio/kathryn-banakis-books_b_3823099.html)

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