Cannarf Review: Angry Conversations with God by Susan E. Isaacs

Author: Susan E. Isaacs

Book Name: Angry Conversations with God: A Snarky But Authentic Spiritual Memoir

I’m Glad it Wasn’t Called: This Book Has Slight Hints of The Shack, only God’s not a Woman in a Cabin, The Writing is Much Better, and It’s Nothing Like The Shack.

Book Synopsis in Twitteresque 140 characters or less: Susan tells her life story using “couples counseling with God” to show how her perception of God changes as she works thru her issues.

Where I Bought It: I didn’t buy it! I was sent a free copy by Hachette for agreeing to review the book on my blog. Thank you Al Gore!

Paid for With: You idiot, I DIDN’T BUY IT. Someone needs to brush up on their reading comprehension skills.

How Long it Took Me to Read: 3 days. With the bulk of it coming in 1 day when I plowed through most of it. This book was a “time-maker” book for me. I definitely made time to read it because I was drawn in to the story.

Who I WOULD NOT recommend this book to: If some occasional PG-13 language offends your spirit, or if you’d rather not read an honest account of someone who has made bad choices and seriously questioned God, then this book might not be for you. Go read some Jeannete Oke.

Who I WOULD recommend this book to: Just about anyone interested in an honest account of the ups and downs of life, and how a relationship with God might look like through those peaks and valleys. And my brother Jordan. I only single him out because I was sending a package to him yesterday and I threw the book in there because I thought he’d like it. Is that okay Hachette? Am I allowed to send a free book to someone else to read? Is Metallica going to sue me now? Was I supposed to destroy it like a secret CIA file? Was I supposed to walk into a Barnes & Noble and Reverse Steal it by leaving it on the shelf for someone to buy?

What I used for a bookmark: A $1 off Palmolive coupon from Target that came in the mail the same day the book arrived.

What were some interesting stories from the book: There were a lot. One of the most memorable was when she quit the improv comedy group she was a part of to follow God’s leading, only to find out that soon after she left 3 of her cast mates were asked to join Saturday Night Live. Talk about questioning whether or not you’re hearing from God! Geesh.

What were some interesting stories NOT from the book: She probably gets so tired of hearing this, but I wish there would have been more about Seinfeld in the book. Even if she only spent a few days there on the set filming the few lines from the episode she was in (She played Judy in ‘The Hot Tub’ from Season 7), I still think she should have devoted a whole chapter to it. Or three. Or at least an Appendix.

Appendix A: Every Last Minute Detail about Seinfeld For Those of You Who Care More about That Than You Should, You Insufferable Morons.

That’s not too much to ask, is it?

What was the 1 thing I’ll take from the book: Just because I want something really bad, doesn’t mean it’s going to happen for me. Susan loved performing and seemingly came oh so close to finding her big break on TV or in movies more than once. She had the talent, the desire, and the trust in God, and yet things never panned out the way SHE wanted to. It’s a good reminder that I won’t always get what I want, and that’s okay.

What I learned from this book that I will apply to my next book: Great Title. Short, edgy, and memorable. The only knock against the title is that some people get dyslexic and call it Conversations with an Angry God, as if Susan has written the conversational sequel to Jonathan Edwards’ “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” sermon 268 years later. As she recently told a DJ who screwed it up in a radio interview, “It’s not God who was angry, it was me.”

Expectations Going In: I didn’t have a whole lot of expectations. Knowing Susan’s history in theater and on TV, and being familiar with her work at the Burnside Writers Collective where she and I are fellow contributors, I knew she had the ability to throw down the funny. Just wasn’t sure how that would translate into a book. Also, the book IS endorsed by her friends Donald Miller and Tony Hale (Buster from Arrested Development), but still, you can never be sure with endorsements…maybe they secretly hated the book and only blurbed it because she has videos of them pole dancing in drag?

Cannarf Rating: Like I mentioned earlier, this book was a TimeMaker. Susan did a fantastic job keeping me interested in her story. Part of it was that she has a fascinating story…the other part is that she’s a great writer. I loved the honesty she wrote with, how she threw some salty language in there when it was warranted, and how she didn’t hold back from sharing things that didn’t necessarily make herself look good. I thought it was encouraging, inspiring, candid, and a joy to read. The Rating: +4 cannarfs. (what’s a cannarf?)

Have any of you read Angry Conversations With God? If so, what’s your cannarf rating?