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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eminently readable, but not the least bit fluffy
This Lent, I'd been looking for a fresh take on the spiritual life to try to get refocused and re-energized. Thanks to my Kindle, I was able to snag this wonderful little volume on the first day it was out. It has turned out to be just what I was looking for. It's a delightful collection of essays that I'm finding inspiring and humorous, but also challenging to my "status...
Published on March 7, 2012 by Mom of 4

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars No Substance
This book was in my humble opinion, mediocre. It was chosen for my church's group and we read it and discussed it. The authors are all different so it is more of a compilation of advice, if anything. I think for Catholic women, they might find it helpful and/or useful. It just didn't seem to really provoke that much discussion in our group compared to other books. I...
Published 13 months ago by TReviews


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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eminently readable, but not the least bit fluffy, March 7, 2012
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This review is from: Style, Sex, and Substance: 10 Catholic Women Consider the Things that Really Matter (Paperback)
This Lent, I'd been looking for a fresh take on the spiritual life to try to get refocused and re-energized. Thanks to my Kindle, I was able to snag this wonderful little volume on the first day it was out. It has turned out to be just what I was looking for. It's a delightful collection of essays that I'm finding inspiring and humorous, but also challenging to my "status quo". Because each essay stands alone, it works well with the fact that my only reading time is usually a few minutes right before bed. While the essays are readable, they're definitely not vapid, feel-good pablum. I've found each essay thought-provoking in a different way, and I appreciate the questions for reflection at the end of each one.

All in all, a wonderful collection from a group of fine writers.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for men as well as women, March 31, 2012
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This review is from: Style, Sex, and Substance: 10 Catholic Women Consider the Things that Really Matter (Paperback)
I recently read Style, Sex and Substance, a book featuring short essays about...style, sex and substance from ten Catholic women. The contributors will be familiar to anyone familiar with the Catholic blogosphere and include the likes of Hallie Lord, Jennifer Fulwiler, Simcha Fisher, Daniel Bean and Barabara Nicolosi. There essays confront important issues like how to approach sex (yes, with your spouse), what it means to be a Catholic woman in the world today and how to engage the culture we live in. For those who picture Catholics as having a bunker mentality, they will be surprised Without giving anything away, these essays do not encourage the exclusive use of the missionary position, treating the house like a cloistered convent or engaging the culture by throwing rosaries at passers by. No, these women are frank, honest, modern and deeply committed to the teachings of the Church. They are each in their own way models for the Catholic women of today. Not that they set themselves up as perfect. In fact, they are perfectly clear about how hard it is to find a balance in life and that doing so with five kids throwing their shows at each other in the minivan is even harder.
And yeah, I'm a guy and still enjoyed the book. For the most part, all of the advice in it would apply just as for men if you swap out the word "husband" and replace it with "wife."
And that brings me to my last point. The guys who write books for Catholic men could take a hint or two from these ladies. Don't be afraid to be funny for one. Yeah, it's cool to use the imagery of knighthood and battle, call us to imitation of St. Joseph and all that. Heck I'm a particular sucker for the knighthood imagery but it only goes so far. Make a good joke! About family life and the kids. Yes, you can just wind up complaining and that isn't a good thing but it doesn't mean we need to hide the fact that living out the Church's teaching is a pain in the neck sometimes. And for crying out loud, not every guy on the planet thinks sports is the most important thing in life after God and family. I may rank it in the top ten but it's near the bottom of that list.
In any case, no matter if you are a man or woman you should get this book. Even if you aren't Catholic, but are curious about what real Catholic women think about how real life and faith intertwine, you should get this book.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A funny, helpful guide for all Catholic women, April 10, 2012
This review is from: Style, Sex, and Substance: 10 Catholic Women Consider the Things that Really Matter (Paperback)
(This review was written by my wife, Kathleen.)

As a young wife, and stay-at-home mom of three kids, I knew I would relate to Hallie Lord's new book, Style, Sex, and Substance. And that was true--it was packed with relevant content. But I was surprised to relate even to the chapter on singleness by Anna Mitchell, which had plenty of its own nuggets. This one especially hit me:

"I won't sugarcoat the frustration that comes from waiting for a vocation to be realized. I am at least consoled in knowing that my ideas for the ideal life are not as good as God's."

Anna was talking specifically about her discernment process, and choosing between marriage, a convent, or the single life. But her words taught me many lessons even as a married woman. They were a good reminder that ultimately God is a capable conductor, even when we want to steal the baton.

This is just one example of how applicable Style, Sex, and Substance would be for all women, whatever her age or state in life. Through the gifted contributors, an 18-year-old high school graduate would get just as much out of this book as a 40-year-old nun who long ago professed her vows.

The consistent theme of the book is how to discern your true vocation, to find that place where God has uniquely called you to be. And that's not a vocation for the future but for the present. As Rebecca Ryskind Teti points out in her chapter on work, "God gives us the grace to do what we must right now."

At times I found myself in tears at the deep emotional truths I was reading, feeling as though that particular author had written the words on the page just for me. But there was also plenty of laughs (you try reading Simcha Fisher without chuckling.)

Along with the topics of vocation and discernment, the ten excellent writers explore subjects such as prayer, friendships, motherhood, and, as the title suggests, style. If you follow any Catholic woman's blogs, then you might already be familiar with several of the contributors--and if you don't, you'll be subscribing to several after finishing the book.

While any Catholic woman would enjoy Style, Sex, and Substance, it would be a great read for a small group study. Each chapter concludes with six thought-provoking questions to incite discussion within a group of friends. In fact because each chapter is written by a different author, I found there really is no need to read the book straight through from beginning to end. Whether alone or in a group, you could just as easily skip from chapter two, to nine, then back to five if you so wished.

Ultimately, this book is an excellent, easy read that should be enjoyed by Catholic women from all walks of life. So consider buying a handful of copies--one for you, some for your friends--and together discover the things that really matter.
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As Fresh as the Title Suggests, March 12, 2012
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This review is from: Style, Sex, and Substance: 10 Catholic Women Consider the Things that Really Matter (Paperback)
I cannot believe how good this book is. The writers are funny, warm, concise, and bring a wealth of wisdom to their topics. The study questions at the end of each essay could be used to take one's "temperature" in life. The writers are NOT fake and unbelievably perfect. They don't point to tiny faults so that we'll think they have no larger ones. The writers come from diverse backgrounds and approach common problems with such compassion for themselves and their readers. You can feel how seriously they take the task of offering advice to other people; there is no arrogance, just a prayerful, peaceful offering of what they have learned.

Something that I love about this book is how realistic the writers' descriptions of themselves and their faults are. Some bloggers give one the sense that their lives are an endless stream of crafts and novenas, or constant chaos that somehow stays funny. These women have been so open about what really goes on in their lives: the good, the bad, the so-so.

This is a book that can help you if you're looking for some encouragement on your path, want to be more comfortable in your own skin, and want to better understand all that God calls women to do. It doesn't hurt that there are plenty of funny, interesting passages too.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not a catholic woman but still hapy to see this book, September 4, 2012
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Scram J (Oakland, CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Style, Sex, and Substance: 10 Catholic Women Consider the Things that Really Matter (Paperback)
Im not the target audience but I still thought it was thought provoking, earnest, and worth the time and money invested in reading it. I can't recommend this enough.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't recommend this book enough!, March 9, 2012
This review is from: Style, Sex, and Substance: 10 Catholic Women Consider the Things that Really Matter (Paperback)
Wonderfully funny and honest look at the modern Catholic woman. This book covers us all- working moms, stay-at-home moms, married women, single women, etc.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read for Catholic women!!, May 8, 2012
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This review is from: Style, Sex, and Substance: 10 Catholic Women Consider the Things that Really Matter (Paperback)
"Style, Sex, and Substance: 10 Catholic Women Consider the Things That Really Matter", co-written by 10 extraordinary Catholic women and edited by Hallie Lord, is the newest book for Catholic women published by Our Sunday Visitor. Covering topics such as marriage, the single life, sex, and motherhood, this book has something for everyone. Each contributing author covers a topic that is close to the Catholic woman's heart with humor and genuine Christian love.

I am very proud to tell you that the book, "Style, Sex, and Substance" is about 20% style and sex and 80% substance! This book is THE GREATEST book for Catholic women that I have ever read. This book completely meets the 20-40 year old woman where she is at and brings her closer to her mother Church. Each chapter has a different focus and has as much useful and practical information packed into it as most Christian books written in the 21st century. Instead of the usual "fluff", every word in this book is well-thought out. I am planning to purchase a few copies to give as gifts and I recommend you buy a copy for yourself!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Owner's Manual for the Modern Catholic Woman, April 9, 2012
This review is from: Style, Sex, and Substance: 10 Catholic Women Consider the Things that Really Matter (Paperback)
This modern world is confusing for many Catholic women (myself included). How do we live our faith in our current culture of instant gratification, materialism, and selfishness? How do we live in the world, but not of it?

How can we be realistic about things such as modesty, money, work, prayer, and family size? How do we grow closer to God when our lives are going at lightening speed? How do we place value on life and marriage when the rest of the world does not?

Enter "Style, Sex, and Substance: 10 Catholic Women Consider The Things that Really Matter." Each chapter addresses a different subject including motherhood, marriage, work, friendship, prayer, and more. The writers are funny, down to earth, and honest. They reveal how to live the faith with practical advice and wisdom.

There are thought provoking questions at the end of each chapter that would be perfect for a book club, but are great for the individual, too. There is such a wealth of knowledge in this book that I know I'll return to it again and again.

It's an owner's manual for the modern Catholic woman.

Do yourself a favor and buy this book! You won't be sorry.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really, really excellent!, March 9, 2012
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Devra Torres (Ann Arbor, MI USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Style, Sex, and Substance: 10 Catholic Women Consider the Things that Really Matter (Paperback)
Very thought-provoking, very well-written. Heartwarming without being schmaltzy or sentimental in the least. Lots of practical wisdom. And funny, too!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest, Spiritually Uplifting, and Laugh Out Loud Funny, March 13, 2012
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This review is from: Style, Sex, and Substance: 10 Catholic Women Consider the Things that Really Matter (Paperback)
There were moments I laughed...moments I cried...and moments I thought, "Wow, that is a powerful and brutally honest statement." This book has been such a blessing to me.
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Style, Sex, and Substance: 10 Catholic Women Consider the Things that Really Matter
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