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Pope Awesome and Other Stories Paperback – November 5, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Lisa M. Hendey, Founder of CatholicMom.com and author of A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms
"Pope Awesome and Other Stories reads like you're sitting across the table for coffee with a good friend, the cool one who always makes you laugh and leaves you feeling inspired, like you can take on anything in life. Cari Donaldson's book -- a smart, sassy, irresistible spiritual memoir -- is the New Evangelization done right. If each of us shared our love for our Church just as openly as Cari does here, the New Evangelization would be a smashing success. Can't wait to share this great book with friends and family!"

Fr. Dwight Longenecker -- parish priest, blogger and author of Quest for the Creed and The Romance of Religion
"Pope Awesome is a rollicking, thoughtful, hilarious, heart-string tugging conversion story. Cari Donaldson stands up for life, love, family and faith with feisty good humor, open hearted intelligence and a subversive twinkle in her eye."

Jen Fulwiler, author, speaker, and blogger at conversiondiary.com
"Cari Donaldson is a brilliant storyteller who knows how to share her experience in a way that is humorous, touching, and imminently relatable. Pope Awesome is a memoir that everyone is sure to love."

Hallie Lord, speaker, editor of Sex, Style and Substance, and blogger at moxiewife.com
"Cari Donaldson brings the reader into the wild ride of conversion, marriage, and family life. The funny, often poignant tales from her life are sure to have readers laughing and nodding in recognition."

Colleen Martin, blogger at martinfamilymoments.blogspot.com
"Cari's hilarious and uplifting stories really touched my heart and renewed my love for our amazing Catholic faith! If I wasn't already a mother and a Catholic, this book would inspire me to become both."

Daria Sockey, author of The Everyday Catholic's Guide to the Liturgy of the Hours
"As a cradle Catholic sometimes tempted to take the life of faith for granted, I need to snack on conversion stories from time to time they delight while they nourish. Cari Donaldson's was a real banquet. Her journey from secular nothing-ism to full blown, culture-of-life orthodoxy is astounding. Her tortuous online search for truth brought home to me the loneliness of unbelief. Her amazement and relief at discovering Christ revived my joy. And her zany descriptions of large family life are just plain fun."

Rebekah Es, blogger at RebekahsWeblog.blogspot.com
"I was truly inspired by this book's tale of how Faith was found and met with unabashed courage, and was allowed to radically change Cari's life."

Ana Hahn, blogger at TimeFliesWhenYoureHavingBabies.blogspot.com
"The presence of God's grace is all too evident in this beautifully and hilariously written book. Through so many heart warming and humorous stories, Cari does a stellar job of mixing the sublime with the real and constantly hearkening back to God's loving providence."

--Personal Endorsements
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 197 pages
  • Publisher: Sophia Institute Press (November 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1622821564
  • ISBN-13: 978-1622821563
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #271,374 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Cari Donaldson was born in a suburb of Detroit, lived in a suburb of Memphis for half a decade, and is now in a suburb of Hartford. In the midst of her unabashedly suburban life, she and her husband raise their six children.

Cari is an author, a speaker, and a blogger. You can find her almost daily at clan-donaldson.com.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Micaela T Darr on October 24, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been reading Cari's blog for about 2 years now. (If you haven't found it yet, you really must.) She's funny and insightful, and the stories she shares there have often ended with me in tears. Tears of side-splitting laughter, tears of profound joy, tears of been-there-done-that camaraderie. This book is no exception.

Cari GETS it. She gets life, she gets motherhood, she gets comedy. Most importantly, she gets so much about the spiritual world that many of us cradle Catholics take for granted (or flat out ignore). I was handed the gift of faith as an infant, and although I've had my struggles coming to terms with Catholicism's teachings, I've never had to question too hard or look too deep; the truth was always close at hand. Donaldson, on the other hand, had to peel away layer after layer of what society had given her as a belief-system to find the core meaning of her existence and her relationship with God. And she did it with a tenacity that would shame the rest of us, if she were not so gracious and so. dang. funny.

If you're a Catholic, read this book. It will make you proud to be so. If you or someone you know is considering converting to Catholicism, I also highly recommend this book. It's a great look at the thought process many converts go through, but in a highly readable format.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Stuart Dunn TOP 500 REVIEWER on December 9, 2013
Format: Paperback
One of the oldest adages in the reading world is "Never judge a book by its cover." I would add to that, "Never judge a book by its title." I'm guilty of being a book snob; with the recent boom in Catholic publishing, there are now hundreds of books published every year to assist us in deepening our faith. Therefore, I try to CAREFULLY scrutinize every book I request to review, because I don't want to waste my time reading something heretical or a unfulfilling. I make exceptions to that rule if you are a Pope, or a Cardinal or your name is Scott Hahn, Mike Aquilina, or Edward Sri. When Pope Awesome and Other Stories showed up on my desk, I was skeptical. This book, on the surface, didn't seem to meet the criteria of the books I usually review, but I decided to grudgingly give it a try, but ONLY because I trusted the book's publisher, Sophia Institute Press.

Pope Awesome and Other Stories is Cari Donaldson's spiritual memoir that tracks her life from an apathetic Presbyterian teen to a Catholic homeschooling mom of six, with a whole lot of New Age atheism and soul-searching in between. How does one get from her Point A to Point B, with that much darkness in between? In a word, God. As Mrs. Donaldson points out, despite all the plans we make and the running we do from God, if God wants us, He will ultimately get us. God's plan for our lives always reigns supreme.

So what makes Cari's life story different from other converts out there? Is it unique, different, and extraordinary? No. However, she weaves her conversion seamlessly into these stories of family life that will have you laughing one minute and choking up near tears the next. How the book got its name is particularly funny, but you'll have to read the book to learn the story.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Damien T. Fisher on October 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I tore through this wonderful conversion story. Lively and engaging from start to finish, funny, flawlessly paced, and sometimes profound. Just loved it. (Review by Simcha Fisher. I can't persuade the computer I'm not Damien T. Fisher.)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By callherhappy on October 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My feelings about this book could be summed up with an email I sent to the author:

"I am reading your book right now, and I feel like you wrote it just for me. I too grew up (still live) in Michigan. I went to State (2008), and had a conversion after spending years doing a lot of things that I am still not proud of. So, thank you for writing this book. I feel like you are helping me make sense out of my past - a past which is very painful for me."

This book is equal parts charming, informative, hopeful and enjoyable. And it's funny too. Just read it already!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. Anderson on November 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The writing was so enjoyable and engaging,and the story so compelling, I had to force myself to put the book away a little over halfway through in order to avoid staying up all night.

I LOVE the humorous footnotes. I have not enjoyed footnotes like that since reading Will Cuppy's "The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody." My favorite kind of footnotes. I wish she had put 100 more of them in the book.

I love how the author describes how a painting of Mary moved her heart to realize what she was searching for. I love the "contraband" Catholic medal. Such a lovely personal touch to this story!

And the ending? Oh my! It is the most lovely ending I have ever read to any book. It is the mostest, bestest, "feel-good" ending you could imagine. In my opinion. Beautifully chosen and written! It was the perfect event to sum up the story.

This story of a soul, longing for God, the REAL God, and His truth (and nothing but the truth), is something I relate to perfectly. It has just been a few short weeks since God dared to even hint to me that what I had been searching for my whole life could be found in the Catholic Church (He knew my upbringing and knew when I would be open to the possibility--after ruling out everything else and realizing where I had gaping holes that needed to be filled in my personal knowledge and by Him). I related almost identically to many moments in this book--and hope to continue on the same path. After reading the Amazon Preview, which cut me short very near the author's sharing of an emotional state like to my very own current one, I knew it was what God was sending me to help me through a difficult night. And thank God for Kindle and the ability to have the whole book in less than five seconds.
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