Sunday, March 17, 2019

I Love to Tell the Story Review and Giveaway!

Is it possible to emerge unscathed from an evangelical upbringing? Yes, as surely as David slew Goliath!

I Love to Tell the Story is Susan Barnett Braun’s account of growing up Baptist in a small midwestern town, touching on many cultural icons common to those who came of age in the 1970s. Braun recounts childhood obstacles, which loom as large as the walls of Jericho in her eyes. She encounters a trio of Sunday school mean girls who make King Herod look tame. She worries about being “ugly as sin” due to her chubbiness, glasses, and braces. She’s so consumed with the idea of Jesus’ imminent return that she wonders whether it’s even worthwhile to brush her teeth at night.

Humorous, poignant, and ultimately triumphant, I Love to Tell the Story is a Christian memoir that will stay with readers long after the last Vacation Bible School craft stick cross has fallen apart.

"The whole book was a wonderful reminder of how a simple upbringing centered around a strong church family (complete with warts and imperfections) can be a wonderful foundation for a life of faith." ~J. Martinez

"I found it well written not only with humor but also a refreshing honesty. I think it would also be a good book to give to a child that might be struggling with their own identity or even being bullied." ~Storyweaver

"Having grown up in the 1970s and in the Church, I sometimes felt that Susan was writing my memories!" ~T. Walker

My thoughts: This is a delightful memoir that is told by Susan of growing up in a small town during the 70's, with life revolving around their Baptist church. I enjoyed the hymns that she starts each of the chapters with and thought that her writing was enjoyable. She writes with humor and honesty about small town life. I enjoyed this book, and think it would be especially enjoyable for those who grew up in the 70's.
I received this book from Celebrate Lit. This is my honest review and is in no way influenced by receiving a complimentary copy.

About the Author:
Susan Barnett Braun earned a BS in retail management from Indiana University and an MA in education from the University of Alabama. She taught for eight years in northeast Indiana, earning a Lilly Endowment Teacher Creativity Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Study Scholarship. Susan has had work published in Parents, Children’s Ministry, and The Secret Place. She also writes online for Fort Wayne Visitor’s Bureau and blogs at Girls in White Dresses. She is married with three wonderful young adult daughters. Susan enjoys reading, playing piano and organ, and spending her time with her family and pets (currently three rabbits and a chinchilla)

Guest post from Susan:
One of the reasons I began blogging, ten years ago now, was to document my childhood memories for my kids. Why? When I was a teacher, before I had kids, I used to tell my students stories from my youth. They loved them and begged for more. Same thing when I had my own kids. I wanted to document these tales, but the problem always came in finding the time and the motivation to actually get around to writing them down.
Childhood Memories Friday posts on my blog helped get me moving in the right direction. Eventually, I began thinking I’d like to compile a bunch of the memories into book form. Since many of my most vivid memories revolved around church, I decided that that was the perfect theme. And “I Love to Tell the Story” was born. Each chapter is titled with a hymn that reflects its theme. As I delved into the writing, I had a lot of fun reliving the decidedly memorable life I had led as a youth :). I realized, too, that many aspects of my conservative midwestern upbringing don’t exist anymore in the 21st century. I became nostalgic thinking about the many cultural markers of the 1970s — Lawrence Welk, the Flintstones, — even macrame and latch-hook!
Another goal in writing this book was to put out a positive Christian memoir. So many that I read started out fine, but then dissolved into abuse, disillusionment, or even worse. I began to wonder if anyone had grown up in the church and actually enjoyed the experience … surely I wasn’t alone, was I?
Treat yourself to a stroll down memory lane. It’s my hope that you’ll enjoy yourself.

Blog Stops:
For a list of the blog stops, please go here.

To celebrate her tour, Susan is giving away a grand prize of a copy of the book and a $20 Barnes and Noble gift card!! Go here to enter.