Skip to main content

Book Review: To Be Perfectly Honest

image I recently received a free eBook review copy of Phil Callaway’s To Be Perfectly Honest: One Man's Year of Almost Living Truthfully Could Change Your Life. No Lie (phew – long title!) from Blogging for Books, a website owned by Waterbrook Multnomah, yet another Christian publisher.  I DO have one Jewish book here waiting to review, I promise!

Anyway, I chose this book – after The Jesus Inquest, my last, serious book review read - because it looked like one of the more humourousimage offerings on their site and I needed something light and fun to tide me over during a library dry spell.

The book was indeed light and extremely readable.  I’m sure I’ve ranted here before about my impatience with books where the author takes on a project for one year and then writes a book about how changed / inspired / wonderful / awesome / super-duper / incredible / strange his/her life has become as a result.  

I was worried that the book would be something like the Jim Carrey movie “Liar, Liar,” where the author would be unable to lie even in situations where lying is appropriate and, indeed, the more honest thing to do.  I was relieved to discover that the book is NOT about extreme truth-telling, despite occasionally funny moments where old friends ask him to tell the whole truth about long-forgotten incidents – and money loans.  I’d say the slightly more nuanced theme of the book is becoming more careful with your words, and the rewards you will reap in your life as a result.

It’s a tender theme that comes across well in places throughout the book.  Unfortunately, though Callaway’s writing is crisp and lively, there are many other conflicting themes that ultimately get in the way of its deeper, spiritual message.  It’s as if he is unable to be genuine for longer than a single moment, pausing to reflect at the end of the chapter, before he believes the hilarity and slapstick must begin anew.  This may make him popular as a speaker and author, but it doesn’t lend the book a great deal of depth.

image If you are looking for a serious resource that will steer you into a lifestyle of guarding your tongue (as it’s referred to in Jewish tradition), there are many better books that come to mind, including former Torontonian Lori Palatnik’s Gossip: Ten Pathways to Eliminate It from Your Life and Transform Your Soul

On the other hand, this may be a helpful book for Christians who are disillusioned with how they see their religion practiced in mainstream churches.  With its friendly humour, gentle Canadianisms and real-life anecdotes, this may well be a helpful book.  Anyone looking for a book that underscores the fact that, however flawed believing Christians can be (in small and sometimes silly ways), they are still working to live meaningful lives of faith, may well find To Be Perfectly Honest, and Callaway’s other books very inspirational indeed.

Popular posts from this blog

לימודי קודש/Limudei Kodesh Copywork & Activity Printables

Welcome to my Limudei Kodesh / Jewish Studies copywork and activity printables page.  As of June 2013, I am slowly but surely moving all my printables over to 4shared because Google Docs / Drive is just too flaky for me. What you’ll find here: Weekly Parsha Copywork More Parsha Activities More Chumash / Tanach Activities Yom Tov Copywork & Activities Tefillah Copywork Pirkei Avos / Pirkei Avot Jewish Preschool Resources Other printables! For General Studies printables and activities, including Hebrew-English science resources and more, click here . For Miscellaneous homeschool helps and printables, click here . If you use any of my worksheets, activities or printables, please leave a comment or email me at Jay3fer “at” gmail “dot” com, to link to your blog, to tell me what you’re doing with it, or just to say hi!  If you want to use them in a school, camp or co-op setting, please email me (remove the X’s) for rates. If you just want to say Thank You, here’s a

Ancient Auction Secret: If Chinese auctions are racist, why do Jews love them so much?

Ah, Jews, Jews, Jews, Jews.  You sure do love your Chinese auctions, don’t you? It seems that even in an era of political correctness, within certain circles, this term just will not die . And frankly, I’m mortified. I’m not Chinese, but I have family who is Chinese.  Some are Korean, as well.  I guess this makes us more ethnically diverse than many Jews, but I suspect most Jewish families are moving in this direction.  Still.  Even if we don’t know a single Chinese person, we should still stop calling it that. First of all… is it actually racist to call it a Chinese auction? I figured I’d let Chinese people decide.  But when I turned to Google to find out how Chinese people feel about Chinese auctions, what I found was mostly… nothing.  Silence.  I did find some debate (presumably among non-Chinese people) over whether it was too far in the direction of political correctness to refer to these as a “silent auction” or (as in some parts of the States) a “tricky tray.”  (Ok

Hebrew/ עברית & English General Studies Printables

For Jewish Studies, including weekly parsha resources and copywork, click here . If you use any of my worksheets, activities or printables, please leave a comment or email me at Jay3fer “at” gmail “dot” com, to link to your blog, to tell me what you’re doing with it, or just to say hi!  If you want to use them in a school, camp or co-op setting, please email me (remove the X’s) for rates. If you enjoy these resources, please consider buying my weekly parsha book, The Family Torah :  the story of the Torah, written to be read aloud – or any of my other wonderful Jewish books for kids and families . English Worksheets & Printables: (For Hebrew, click here ) Science :  Plants, Animals, Human Body Math   Ambleside :  Composers, Artists History Geography Language & Literature     Science General Poems for Elemental Science .  Original Poems written by ME, because the ones that came with Elemental Science were so awful.  Three pages are included:  one page with two po