14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Perfect Read for the Less-than-Saintly
, October 27, 2011
It's not often that a book makes me both laugh and cry, but the early chapters of this were so funny, and the ending so heartfelt, that "Flunking Sainthood" tickled my funny bone AND tugged at my heartstrings. The author takes on (and fails) lots of different spiritual practices including an Orthodox Jewish Sabbath, a Ramadan fast, Benedictine hospitality, and a generosity project to raise money for charity.
Riess wants to push her limits but also not go too far, so she says she won't be plucking her eyes out for God (a la St. Lucia), living on top of a pole for 37 years (St. Simeon the Stylite) or parading naked in the town square (St. Francis).
I liked Riess' honesty and humor, and the quotations about spiritual growth in every chapter (from Billy Joel's "I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints" to thoughts from Dorothy Day and the Desert Fathers). This is a good book for people who are interested in spirituality but also want to keep it real and not be all holier-than-thou.