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Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me: A Memoir...of Sorts

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing 21 – 34 of 34 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted July 5, 2011

    Good Read, Must Buy!

    Book Description

    An entertaining, touching memoir of life with an alcoholic father who secretly works with the CIA, a dark pilgrimage through the valley of depression and addiction, and finding a faith to redeem and a strength to forgive.

    At the age of sixteen, Ian Morgan Cron was told that his stockbroker father actually worked with the CIA. The story of this world-rocking discovery is the stepping-off point into a fascinating exploration of one man's alternately heartbreaking and humorous journey to faith and spiritual growth.

    Born into a family of privilege and power, Ian's life is populated with colorful people and stories, including the account of an alcoholic father who takes his family on a wild roller-coaster ride through wealth and poverty and back again. Includes tales of a nearly blind English nanny who teaches him what love means, a famous New York radio personality who saves his life, a simple carpenter who leads him to faith in Jesus, and his own personal journey from addiction to twenty-three years of sobriety.

    Believers and seekers alike will be moved by how Ian uncovers and honors what is sacred in his story, how he discovers God in the struggle to find redemption, and how the mysterious movement and presence of God is woven throughout the adventure of his life.

    My Review

    This book is a MUST READ, MUST BUY

    In this surprisingly funny and forgiving memoir, Ian reminds us that no matter how different the pieces may be, in the end we are all cut from the same cloth, stitched by faith into an exquisite quilt of grace, in all honesty i've thought lesser about the book looking at the cover and the title

    However, what Cron packed inside was mind blowing, it's a story of acceptance, forgiveness and yet at the same time his humor injected made sure you're able to swallow the truths contained in the writing. It's the kind of reading when you read about others yet at the same time, it's so thought provoking for yourself. a page turning book, buy it.

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  • Posted July 3, 2011

    Great story and great storytelling!

    Love.this.book! If I could give it six out of five stars, I would!

    In an engagingly honest style, Iam Morgan Cron takes us through his life's journey, starting with the experience of being the son of an alcoholic CIA agent, to seeking love and acceptance in a bottle himself as a young adult, to finding his salvation in his wife, children and the church. This is not a gloom and doom book of sadness, nor is it a fire & brimstone urging to find Christ. It is Cron's real life story, bringing the reader to tears as often through its humor as its poignancy.

    No part of the book is as laugh out loud funny as Cron's experience on his first day as an altar boy at the early mass. No story quite as heartwrenching as his first school concert as first chair trumpet and his Mom doesn't make it because she has to tend to his drunken father. I could relate to the wonder Cron felt as he lay in bed late at night listening to a radio voice sharing stories of far off places and interesting people. Cron writes these and all of his stories so that the reader smiles at the humor, sighs with understanding, laughs at the wonder, and cries at the sadness.

    The story of the little boy, the rebellious teenager, and the troubled adult are all rooted in the author's relationship - or lack thereof - with his father. Part of this story of forgiveness, understanding and growth is also Cron's journey towards peace with God. However, this is not at all a preachy book. The religious aspect appears to be almost an afterthought; although I imagine it is why the book was written to begin with. Cron has taken his profound, and often times painful, journey and translated it into a compelling adventure that engages, moves and inspires readers all along the way.

    I highly recommend reading this book. Order the book and enjoy the journey. You won't regret it at all.

    Note: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. Other than that, neither the publisher, author nor anyone connected to them offered any influence on the content of my review. The opinions I have expressed are entirely my own.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2011

    Fun read

    Six weeks into summer (well, it's only officially been a week, but there's been plenty of summertime stuff to do) and I've only read one book. Not a great tally, but a pretty good book--Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me, a memoir...of sorts by Ian Cron.

    Long title, but thoroughly engaging book. Perhaps I harbored a fantasy that my father (who I never really knew) would have some sort of super-secret life (like the author's father, who was a CIA agent). Or I appreciate a good story of how one can overcome life's obstacles to find faith.

    The book was a fun, lengthy read and would be perfect summer reading for traveling.

    I received this book at no charge from BookSneeze.

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  • Posted June 27, 2011

    Well Written Book Dealing with Alcoholism

    Jesus, My Father, The CIA and Me..a Memoir of Sorts by Ian Cron. If you can get past the long title, perhaps you'll enjoy the book as I did.


    Although this book isn't in a genre I would typically pick up, the title intrigued me, much as it has and does many others, I have found. Although it is in some ways autobiographical, it is not by any means a boring book. Albeit, a pit different, I found it informative, well written and an easy read.


    Mr. Cron tells, in a simple way, of his childhood and life living with an alcoholic father, his mother and a nanny. He weaves a tale that makes you recognize yourself in his own story. It also pulls at your heart strings and invokes your sympathy and at times righteous anger toward his relations with his father, even to the end. He shows us an open wound in himself that took years to heal, and in ways, is still healing. Mr. Cron deals openly and honestly with one of the most common addictions known. Alcoholism.


    This book deals with raw emotions and struggles that surface in children and adults that have suffered at the hands of addictions. Regardless of the addiction itself, the effect is often similar. Mr. Cron shows how his life was shaped by his fathers alcoholism and also how key members of his family where a part of the process. Not only being there to deal with it alongside him as a child, but also to help him, eventually, to heal.


    This is an honest look at one mans life and struggles as a result of a loved ones addiction. Written in simple and easy to understand language, it would make a great book to read for anyone who has struggled with similar addictions or who has been affected by loved ones addictions.

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  • Posted June 25, 2011

    this one holds its own special place on the bookshelves in my heart.

    Jesus, my father, the CIA, and me by Ian Morgan Cron.

    Personally, I have always had an interest in autobiographies. Out of the dozens that i have read, this has got to be one of the best ones. Along with Richard Wrights masterpieces, Jeanette Walls brilliant storytelling capacity, and George W. Bush's conversations with the reader into his presidency, this one holds its own special place on the bookshelves in my heart.

    It's definitively not your usual tell-all story. It's a different class of a confession that though has no relation to my own childhood, still rings the same bells that i heard all throughout my own. Different situations, same purpose.

    It's a story about a boy who doesn't have all the answers that he'd like to have inherited. A boy whose scared of many things including his father and people in his neighborhood. From the humiliating experience of being told to pull his pants down in an innocent effort to save his family's reputation to the accounts of living in a household where the assurance of your existence wasn't needed or better yet, frowned upon. He talks about his childhood in a way that it's undoubtedly something that occurred in the past, spiritually speaking as well; he definitely leaves the best part to the end. It's a story that highlights a boy who yearned with all his heart to go beyond all that he knew into a world uncharted and only seen with his imagination. He leaves the reader with a new perspective and a new plate of things to re-examine. He leaves us exactly how his favorite radio talk show host left him, nights and nights ago in the dusty town of his hometown. It's captivating, to say the least.

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  • Posted June 21, 2011

    Engaging cover to cover

    An engaging memoir that keeps readers interest through the pages, memories, stories and lessons. So much more than just a memoir, this book offers a look into the life of a man who straight forwardly shares the hurts, fears, struggles and battles of a life lived with an alcoholic mysterious father, bouncing from well being to near poverty and back. Brutal honesty draws readers to Cron's side as cheer leaders through the book.



    Prior to reading this book, I was unsure what I would be finding. Not familiar with Cron's story, I was intrigued by the title. I am so glad I stepped into the adventure his book offers. With a spiritual force backing his story, he leads readers through more darkness than is imaginable, spun with laughter and humor, complete with a faith that finds readers identifying and searching their lives for that faith as well. A good read, quick and light yet deep and fully engaging.


    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze . com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  • Posted June 21, 2011

    "Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me: a memoir . of sorts" -- Book Review

    "Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me: a memoir . of sorts" by 'Ian Morgan Cron' is a compulsive read creating the impact of edge-of-the-seat thriller in the minds of the readers. Ian Morgan Cron touches our minds and hearts through the intense description of his story. He displays a great sense of humor while narrating his distressed and gloomy childhood to us. His writing is bombastic and lofty in style. In this book, he goes back and forth to describe is life incidents.

    Ian's story is a story from riches to rags; a story form addiction to sobriety; a story from despair to hope. His alcoholic dad, his ever radiant mom, his wife Anne, a caring Nanny, a cheerful radio host, a carpenter evangelist and psychologist Dan -- all form part of this memoir. This biography deals more with his childhood and collegiate years.

    Some beautiful truths which I found in this book :
    "Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave, and grow old wanting to get back to." (pp 3)
    "For me, life is like one long job interview in which I'm trying to impress everyone I meet enough to hire me." (pp 27)
    "A boy needs a father to show him how to be in the world." (pp 46)
    "Kids don't know their parents are human. They think they're gods." (pp 62)
    "Life is easier when you refuse to know what you know." (pp183)
    "Our parents are mysteries to us. No matter how close we think we are to them, we cannot know the content of their hearts." (pp 214)

    It's a highly recommended read. I would give this one four out of five stars.

    Ian Morgan Cron is an Episcopal priest, speaker, and acclaimed author. He is currently the curator of the Conversations on Courage and Faith Series at Christ Episcopal Church in Greenwich, Connecticut, and a doctoral student at Fordham University, where he is studying Christian spirituality. He is an engaging and poignant speaker who inspires listeners at churches, universities, retreats, seminars, and conferences around the world.

    Please note that I received this book from Thomas Nelson through its book review bloggers program Book Sneeze in exchange for an honest review. Also be informed that the opinions I have expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.

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  • Posted June 16, 2011

    A joyous read on many levels!

    What can I say? I liked the book "Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me". Ian Morgan Cron writes in a delightfully engaging style, which invites the reader to come into his world, to share his pain, and more importantly, to share in the grace he experienced which allowed him to overcome the demons of his childhood and young adult years. Billed as 'a memoir.of sorts', Cron describes a childhood and adolescence of trying to please a father who couldn't be pleased. Along the way he describes the terrors of life with an alcoholic parent, his own descent into alcoholism, hitting his bottom, and, thanks to the grace of God, his road to recovery. As he writes about his parents, his Nanny, his wife and children, life on two continents, adolescent angst, disillusionment and joys, things seem so real that at times I thought I must be reading a book of non-fiction. This is the gut-wrenching stuff of life, which usually comes across as sounding false when we try to accurately describe it. Learn about the difference in jumping and falling, a deliberate descent versus spiraling downward, totally out of control. Be reminded that sometimes it's not about you (page 212). Learn about God as the grace of glue that mends us (page 248) and be reminded that no one should eat alone (also on 248) This book is so readable on so many levels: are you struggling with the idea of a loving God? Read this book. Read this book if your family has been torn apart by alcoholism, or if your alcoholism is tearing your family apart. Read this book if your life seems to be a roller coaster ride that the attendant won't let you get off of. And you can even read this book if you're just looking for a feel good story with which to curl up by the fireplace. Warning: (tongue in cheek) One of the great things about this book is that Christian writers endorse it, and you won't find any gratuitous sex, profanity or violence. Cron is also the author of "Chasing Francis: A Pilgrim's Tale". My prayer is that he has more books waiting to be written Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  • Posted June 13, 2011

    Loved it...

    "When I first discovered the grainy picture in my mother's desk-me as a towheaded two year old sitting in what I remember was a salmon-orange-stained lifeboat-I was overwhelmed by the feeling that the boy in the boat was not waving and laughing at the person snapping the photo as much as he was frantically trying to get the attention of the man I am today. The boy was beckoning me to join him on a voyage through the harrowing straits of memory. He was gambling that if we survived the passage, we might discover an ocean where the past would become the wind at our back rather than a driving gale to the nose of our boat. This book is the record of that voyage."


    I just finished reading this book, and am sad that it is over...if you remember (which I am sure you do) I have reviewed a book by this author before (Chasing Francis)...And wrote a review reflecting how much I love it...while his first book was non-fiction...this book is more of a biography of his life through his own eyes...If you feel in love with Ian's writing in the first book, then I think you will equally love this story he tells here...

    We get to watch Ian grow from a little lad in England to a man in the states...We see how his father's alcoholism permeates the families life...We see how secrets can damage...and we find out some pretty COOL secrets that make you father was in the CIA...We meet his mother who is a lady with a lot of secrets...she is beautiful, and fun...Ian and his brother have a nanny that provides a few moments of laugh-out-loud laughter...

    I enjoyed how Ian was able to weave together stories from his childhood, into stories of his manhood and then into stories of his own family.

    I also very much enjoyed how he incorporated the Eucharist moment from the beginning of the book also in the ending...I think the way he wrapped up the book shows how talented a writer he is...

    This book is FUNNY! I laughed out loud a few times...this book is real (I can absolutely believe it all happened)...I also cried a few times...I cried for the child who had to grow up with the secret of his father's alcoholism...

    If any part of the title

    Jesus or

    My Father or

    The CIA or

    Me

    catch your interest pick up this book and give it a read...you won't be disappointed...

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
    Why no voting buttons? We don't let customers vote on their own reviews, so the voting buttons appear only when you look at reviews submitted by others.

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  • Posted June 12, 2011

    Highly Recommend

    Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and me, A memoir.of sorts. Wow, is the one word that comes to mind after reading this amazing book. When I first started reading this book I actually felt as if it was being read to me. Oddly enough, I felt a familiar voice reading it to me. This deep male voice was reading it. The voice I heard was the narrator from the movie "The Christmas Story". Little did I know the further I read on I would learn that Ian Morgan Cron used that same man to escape from his world. Jean Shepherd was the narrator and Ian would listen to his show, "The Jean Shepherd Show "on the radio to make an escape from the present. In this book we learn about the many different lives and experiences people have to go through to get to where they are now. Doctors, politicians, pastors..they all have life experiences that were not as great as we would imagine them to be. In this book Ian writes a no holds bar of the accounts he remembers from his childhood to adulthood. We learn about childhood experiences that may remind us of a few of ours and some that we hate Ian had to go through. Ian tells the hard truth and about alcoholism and the effects it has on everyone it encounters. Ian talks about his journey of becoming and being a Christian. He gets real in this book and shares the anger that he held with God. We get to go through the events with him, and I found myself being angry for Ian. I enjoyed this book from beginning to end. I would like to say it is a warm fuzzy story but, it's not, it is the hard truth and reality of alcohol. Ian writes beautifully and this book is a must read for everybody. His journey through life will make you appreciate life even more. The good things you ever experienced in your life will be even more special after reading what Ian had to go through to be the man he is today.

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  • Posted June 8, 2011

    A book about a man coming to terms with his father's alcoholism

    I initially thought this book would be very suspenseful, dramatic, and full of twists because of the title. But, after finishing the first chapter, I realized this book was not about the CIA, but about a man reflecting back upon his childhood trying to make sense of a broken, dysfunctional family living with an alcoholic father (who happened to work on and off for the CIA). The author (Ian) goes back to his youth and immerses the reader in the trauma of a child desperately trying to seek approval, affection, and acceptance from his alcoholic father - which he never gets. Ian recounts many boyhood instances of struggle and survival, all the while struggling with his relationship with God and not understanding God's character. The author spirals into the pit of depression, anxiety, drugs, and alcoholism himself, until coming to terms with his father's issues, and resolving his relationship with God. I felt extreme empathy for this individual, and felt somewhat more understanding toward the alcoholism family dynamic. Although this book was not what I thought it was going to be, it ended up being an interesting read. I received this e-book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2011

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