Customer Reviews for

Surprised by Oxford

Average Rating 4
( 32 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(12)

4 Star

(15)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Great book on discovering faith

As a professional who works in college student development I have always enjoyed reading about the spiritual journey of college students. Ms. Weber's experience at Oxford not only includes her spiritual journey, but combines her love of literature, her appreciate of fr...
As a professional who works in college student development I have always enjoyed reading about the spiritual journey of college students. Ms. Weber's experience at Oxford not only includes her spiritual journey, but combines her love of literature, her appreciate of friends and family and beautiful descriptions of Oxford and her experience there. Others may compare her writing (as I first did) to Girl Meets God or even Blue Like Jazz. Ms Weber's book far surpasses both of these. She openly admits to going to Oxford as an agnostic but is quickly challenged by friends to explore her faith. As someone who has through her whole life focused on reason and intellect, this is the way she begins to look at faith. She is however changed by what she learns about God's love and grace. This is an enjoyable read for anyone who appreciates reading about the spiritual journey of others, strong writing and an appreciation for beauty. Ms Weber is a gifted writer.

posted by MaryFF on August 17, 2011

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Boring Fake PREACHY Conversion Story

5 HIGHEST - 1 LOWEST STARS: 2 Stars

READ IT OR SKIP IT? SKIP IT

WHO MIGHT LIKE/HATE THIS BOOK?
People who love Christian fiction or Oxford might enjoy this book. Anyone who is annoyed by "preachy Christianity" or "unrealistic salvation stories" will not like thi...
5 HIGHEST - 1 LOWEST STARS: 2 Stars

READ IT OR SKIP IT? SKIP IT

WHO MIGHT LIKE/HATE THIS BOOK?
People who love Christian fiction or Oxford might enjoy this book. Anyone who is annoyed by "preachy Christianity" or "unrealistic salvation stories" will not like this book.

BOOK REVIEW:
This book was boring and disorganized. The author skipped about in an odd fashion and most of the writing was really pointless and boring. Would you want to read 15 pages about getting off the bus and having to walk to Oxford? Booooring! And how about a chapter on getting lost looking for Stonehenge? The author seems to lose her timeline in several places, as you end up back in time and this makes the story choppy and illogically organized.
Then our main character meets a guy. But just when you want to know what happens to them, the chapter ends and you get a very boring chapter inserted to break up the timeline. You must wait to find out about the guy. Our main character girl is agnostic. But the guy gives what he calls a "brief" summary about his Christian beliefs into a SUPER long SUPER preachy SUPER fake summary of the Christian gospel. It sounds very fake and very revolting (even though I am a Christian). No agnostic would be receptive to this kind of preaching. Especially, when the guy is using Christian terminology that the girl would probably not know in the real world. I certainly didn't buy this "conversion" story as real - and this is supposed to be a memior!
Who wants to read about a "real life memior" that sounds like a completely unrealistic fiction? And it's boring and disorganized to boot!

Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher Thomas Nelson for this review. I am giving my honest review, as positive reviews are not required

posted by JoyForChrist on August 12, 2011

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 32 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 2
  • Posted October 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    An Agnostic turned Christian...this is Surprised by Oxford.

    An agnostic turned Christian...this is Surprised by Oxford. Can God get through to even the most non-trusting of souls? Is there such a thing in this world as a genuine Christian? Does God really care? These are all questions that Carolyn Weber asked on her journey to discover her need for Christ.

    Carolyn Weber is a beautiful writer. I thoroughly enjoyed her wonderful use of language and her descriptive sense of style. The people and places were so vividly described I could almost taste the scones and feel the cool British rain on my face. This book was an absolute joy to read. There were times when I almost could not put it down. What a treat!

    Her story is sadly one with which all too many people can relate. Surprised by Oxford is the story of an absentee father, an emotionally and financially struggling mother, and a young girl who had hardened her heart to God and love. I enjoyed experiencing God's sense of humor throughout this book as He used anything and everything to get Carolyn's attention - even street signs. I appreciated how transparent she was when describing her difficulty in trusting Christians and God.

    *There is a word used in the prologue that is considered strong language so be forewarned. This is not used gratuitously but rather in the recounting of a conversation Carolyn had with a professor which shocked her enough that God was able to start getting her attention.


    This book is a memoir. An actual account of Carolyn's first year at Oxford University and for me, the most beautiful and inspiring part of this book was the realization that God only needs one moment from us to start seeking Him. Just a moment. A blink of the eye and He is there answering the questions, "Where are you?" "Are you real?" "Do you care?". He does not need some cataclysmic event He just needs a split second of searching. Carolyn's moment of searching began when she challenged by a professor to discern the real stuff from the garbage in this world began to take personal responsibility for finding the meaningful in a world full of meaninglessness.

    I would recommend this book to both those who have found Christ and those who are searching for Him. If you have found Christ then you will be encouraged by this memoir. Encouraged that it isn't always the "right" words that get through to someone. That real Christians living a real life can have an impact on those who are searching. If you are searching for Him then be encouraged by Carolyn that you can ask God the hard questions and He not being offended will answer...sometimes in the most unconventional of ways.



    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher's book review 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."

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 17, 2011

    Great book on discovering faith

    As a professional who works in college student development I have always enjoyed reading about the spiritual journey of college students. Ms. Weber's experience at Oxford not only includes her spiritual journey, but combines her love of literature, her appreciate of friends and family and beautiful descriptions of Oxford and her experience there. Others may compare her writing (as I first did) to Girl Meets God or even Blue Like Jazz. Ms Weber's book far surpasses both of these. She openly admits to going to Oxford as an agnostic but is quickly challenged by friends to explore her faith. As someone who has through her whole life focused on reason and intellect, this is the way she begins to look at faith. She is however changed by what she learns about God's love and grace. This is an enjoyable read for anyone who appreciates reading about the spiritual journey of others, strong writing and an appreciation for beauty. Ms Weber is a gifted writer.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 1, 2011

    I couldn't put it down!

    I really enjoyed this book. It's the story of an agnostic graduate student's journey to belief during her first year of Oxford. It follows the school year, and through her struggle with belief, her salvation, and the adjustment of her life and relationships because she can no longer be spiritually blind. I devoured it in less than 24 hours. One things I loved about it was the way she took you through the thought process of her 'seeking'. I was delighted to read this book mainly for that reason. I was raised in a somewhat Christian home and my own journey went from weak belief to sanctifying my life with Christ and making Him the ruling force. I have unbelieving friends, and from conversations roughly understand their world view. But that stage from unbelief to belief is amazing and beautiful to me, and it was lovely to read about. I could see how Jesus was already working in her and calling to her heart, transforming her to faith. This book also turned on the intellectual, academic part of my brain. I love Weber's writing style. As I said, it was hard to put down! I received this book from Thomas Nelson's booksneeze program in exchange for my impartial review.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 1, 2011

    Will this Canadian Atheist and Oxford Student Find God?

    Surprised by Oxford, A memoir Carolyn Weber © 2011 Thomas Nelson Inc. ISBN 978-0-8499-4611-0 (ppbk) 440 pp. plus notes I give away many of the books I'm sent to read and review, but this one's a keeper. Surprised by Oxford is one of the most delightful volumes I've ever received. Intelligently written, witty, as absorbing as a novel, this memoir tells briefly of Carolyn (Caro) Weber's childhood in Canada, then relates her sojourn as a student at Oxford College in England. An atheist, Caro meets TDH, an American student who shares with her about Jesus. In nearly every chapter she struggles with different questions about Christianity. TDH sometimes offers answers, as do several professors and their wives. Caro writes about her search for truth, her friendships, her classes, and historical people and places around Oxford. With honesty she explores aspects of knowing God that she doesn't understand. Anyone searching for the truth may relate to her questions. Curiosity about her final decision and its results will keep readers involved in the story. They'll also want to know the outcome of her relationship with TDH, which she doesn't reveal (or his real name) until near the end of the book. Carolyn Weber eventually becomes a professor at Oxford as well as at other colleges. I hope to enjoy more writing from this astute and articulate woman.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Boring Fake PREACHY Conversion Story

    5 HIGHEST - 1 LOWEST STARS: 2 Stars

    READ IT OR SKIP IT? SKIP IT

    WHO MIGHT LIKE/HATE THIS BOOK?
    People who love Christian fiction or Oxford might enjoy this book. Anyone who is annoyed by "preachy Christianity" or "unrealistic salvation stories" will not like this book.

    BOOK REVIEW:
    This book was boring and disorganized. The author skipped about in an odd fashion and most of the writing was really pointless and boring. Would you want to read 15 pages about getting off the bus and having to walk to Oxford? Booooring! And how about a chapter on getting lost looking for Stonehenge? The author seems to lose her timeline in several places, as you end up back in time and this makes the story choppy and illogically organized.
    Then our main character meets a guy. But just when you want to know what happens to them, the chapter ends and you get a very boring chapter inserted to break up the timeline. You must wait to find out about the guy. Our main character girl is agnostic. But the guy gives what he calls a "brief" summary about his Christian beliefs into a SUPER long SUPER preachy SUPER fake summary of the Christian gospel. It sounds very fake and very revolting (even though I am a Christian). No agnostic would be receptive to this kind of preaching. Especially, when the guy is using Christian terminology that the girl would probably not know in the real world. I certainly didn't buy this "conversion" story as real - and this is supposed to be a memior!
    Who wants to read about a "real life memior" that sounds like a completely unrealistic fiction? And it's boring and disorganized to boot!

    Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher Thomas Nelson for this review. I am giving my honest review, as positive reviews are not required

    1 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 12, 2011

    Well-Written and Fast Read!

    I'm a sucker for books about people encountering God through the University setting. I loved my college experience for many reasons, and I think it is one of the most finest places for wrestling with issues of faith, belief, and truth. Carolyn Webber, now a professor of literature, writes about her experiences with this very thing while studying at Oxford in her new book, Surprised by Oxford.

    Surprised by Oxford is very well-written. Although it's a thick book (400+ pages), it is a fast read- it reads like fiction! Webber uses many references to poetry and literature to help illustrate how she was thinking about and interacting with God. Although I'm not super into classical literature or poetry, I could appreciate how God used those things which Webber loved to help woe her to Him. This is a great testimony to the Lord's character. I loved it!

    Webber's experience also shows how key relationships are in our faith journey. Carolyn didn't experience God in a vacuum. Instead, many different kinds of people genuinely loved her and shared their life and faith experiences with her in an authentic way. College students would really benefit from reading this book to see how to talk about God in a way that isn't focused on selling Christianity to someone.

    Thanks, Booksneeze, for letting me read it and review it. And thank you, Carolyn, for writing about your experiences.

    These were my own thoughts about the book- Thomas Nelson publisher gave me the book to review but gave me the freedom to say what I really thought.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 13, 2014

    Surprisingly Good Read

    Spiritual memoirs can be a slog. Not this one. The author's background in literature studies really shows. A wonderful surprising story structured in a wonderful way. The vignettes Weber recreates are exceptional. I particularly enjoyed her story of attending the famous speaker who advocated post-modernism. Hilariously funny! Her story is remarkable in its most unexpected series of encounters and conversations, each taking her step by step to a place she was not looking for. Weber's honesty is refreshing. This is not a rah-rah, let's go Jesus kind of story, but one that is candid in its hostility to the Gospel, a hostility that transformed into love. A final endorsement. As soon as I finished this book, I immediately read it again. So many lovely and deep passages that kept my highlighter busy.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 30, 2013

    A delightful read!

    What first drew me to this book was a recommendation by a dear friend and the fact that I had spent a lot of time in Oxford during my second assignment with the USAF in the mid 90's. But what really kept me enthralled was Caro's wonderful way with words and her candid and humorous retelling of her faith experience at Oxford! A definite must read for fans of Tolkien and Lewis and any who have been blessed enough to wander Oxford. If you want to have a virtual journey, Caro will be am excellent guide!

    Her real faith and excellent writing make this journey an absolute delight!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2012

    I'm not much into all of the poetry, but I loved all of the thou

    I'm not much into all of the poetry, but I loved all of the thoughts going on in her mind that lead to her salvation and then gaining boldness in sharing Christ with others after she was saved. Our book club meets next month to discuss this book and I anticipate a long and lively discussion.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 6, 2011

    surprised by oxford

    ¿Surprised by Oxford¿ is Carolyn Weber¿s account of the time she spent studying classical literature at Oxford University in 1994. The memoir is pretty hefty, and Weber shares many of her experiences as an American living in England, falling in love with a fellow American, and discovering religion. Although many pages were dedicated to Weber¿s religious outlook, many other pages were full of details about England, Oxford, and the author¿s relationship with the above mentioned American¿referred to as ¿TDH¿ (Tall, Dark, and Handsome) in the book. Weber discusses her fellow international classmates, her classes, and her adjustment to her new life (she¿s from a poor family, and spent nearly all her life working multiple jobs and scraping away every penny¿being able to attend Oxford based on a full scholarship). The writing also evokes nostalgia for the early nineties (for instance, the author¿s boyfriend teaching her to use email¿something the author had vaguely heard about but had no idea how to use--so she doesn¿t have to spend money calling her mother in the U.S.) Overall, a well written memoir.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 26, 2011

    "Surprised by Oxford: A Memoir" by 'Carolyn Weber' - BOOK REVIEW

    "Surprised by Oxford: A Memoir" by 'Carolyn Weber' is a reflective read of her experience in embracing Christ. A unique story. A tailor made story. It gives us a detailed glimpse of her college days in Oxford. Being a student and teacher of literature, her writing reflects the poetic and ornamental style of narrating the incidents. She must also be credited for preserving the suspense till the climax of the story. Moreover, the traditions and culture of Oxford form a beautiful background for the story.

    "TDH" (Tall, Dark, & Handsome) deserves a special mention here. After being awarded scholarship, Carolyn moves to Oxford to pursue her studies. She goes with the loads of questions in her mind. And, in that journey, she befriends several believing and non-believing friends and professors. Being a lover of God, TDH challenges Carolyn in her spiritual quest. For the first time in her life, she reads a Bible and starts going to church. She asserts that Bible is the most compelling piece of creative nonfiction she had ever read. Her story of conversion gradually kicks off from there.

    Throughout the book, Carolyn maintains a fresh and personal perspective with her intellectual arguments and thoughtful questions and takes us into deep theological space. Her description of events, places, conversations and incidents are refreshing and strikes a chord with the readers. Carolyn sounds philosophical at times and I was mesmerized when she writes about the eternal paradox: nothing matters and everything does.

    Overall, this was a very good book. It spans over around 450 pages. It could have been made little cheekier. I give this one four out of five stars.

    Carolyn Weber holds her BA from the University of Western Ontario and her MPhil and her DPhil degrees from Oxford University. She has been Associate Professor of Romantic Literature at Seattle University, and has also taught at Westmont College, University of San Francisco, and Oxford University. Carolyn and her husband share the joy of parenting three spirited children in Santa Barbara, CA, and London, Canada.

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 19, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Surprised by Oxford

    The author's "Acknowledgement" page begins with the following thoughts: "It takes a village to write a book. And, it would seem, a city to publish it."

    Can this statement be any less true of the journey one travels to complete faith in God and the Trinity? Especially, if one comes from a place that has ". no polite need of a Savior."

    Dr Carolyn Weber has written the story of her spiritual journey that begins at the oldest surviving university in the English-speaking world, Oxford University. It is her first year of graduate school and she uses the University's three term calendar which coincides with the Christian liturgical calendar to frame her account.

    As a young woman, Ms. Weber believed in reason, intellect, and education. God, if she thought about Him at all did not lurk ". among families like mine - loving enough to get by without Him, but broken enough not to deserve his attention." It is during this year that her unbelief is challenged and her reason and intellect tested. Using an abundance of literary quotes, and poetry Dr Weber tells her story of her conversion.

    In the end, she is able to acknowledge God's real presence in her life because of the love and support of the community, including TDH* and her own unique village of faithful friends and colleagues.

    *TDH is the very handsome, tall and dark American student.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 25, 2011

    Smart, Whitty, and "TRUE" Storytelling.

    Surprised by Oxford by Carolyn Weber is an extremely smart memoir of the authors conversion to Christianity during her formative years at Oxford University. Weber weaves a poignant tale of a less than picturesque upbringing in a home where religion had very little to do with her day to day life. In a brief instance, she meets a man, TDH, (her name for Tall, Dark, and Handsome), studying theology who opens her mind and allows her to question if the path she is on is truly fulfilled or is it somehow lacking the presence of grace and god's love.

    Weber, who is studying literature during the time of the story, has a very clear voice and sense of purpose in her writing. Her love of literature proved to be distracting at times. Primarily the distraction resulted in her own personal voice being watered down. While the connection to literature excerts is quite obviously a large portion of Weber's life and therefore relevant, it also felt repetitive and almost "crutch" like. Her authentic story telling voice was lost at time as a result.

    Surprised by Oxford is a beautiful memoir eloquently written in a straightforward style that I found to be a page turner. The b0ok, while perhaps not on the top 10 list of all time, is most certainly a fun and insightful read.

    As part of booksneeze's blogging for books program, I received the book at no cost. While I am required to write a review of the book, the thoughts and opinions shared are my own.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 17, 2011

    Great Book

    I loved following Carolyn Weber as she found God (er, God found her) in her book, Surprised by Oxford. The book follows Weber throught her years at Oxford as she is studying Romantic literature. She struggles through issues such as growing up without a father figure, feminism, and questioning how could a loving God let so much bad happen.

    This book is a jem. It's so rich and real, and yet tough and gritty. I laughed, I held my breath, and I pondered. I also fell in love with TDH right along with Weber, that Sweet-Talkin' Son of a Preacher (Chapter Seven's title).

    There is some language in the Prologue, but you can skip it and start on the first chapter.

    I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 6, 2011

    Surprise!

    A book with a beginning that grabs the attention of the reader, dragging them in, is a wonderful thing. A book that manages to hold that reader captivated throughout is beyond wonderful.
    Surprised by Oxford by Carolyn Weber begins with a surprising bit of truth shared by her professor. This bit of truth is a sampling, an introduction, a foreshadowing of the many truths exposed by this epic memoir.

    "'The truth is in the paradox, Miss Drake. Anything not done in submission to God, anything not done to the glory of God, is doomed to failure, frailty, and futility'...

    Dr. Deveaux stopped and looked at me hard. He leaned in and whispered, 'The rest is all bullsh*t, Miss Drake. It's as simple as that. Your purpose here in life is to discern the real thing from the bullsh*t, and then to choose the non-bullsh*t. Think of the opportunity that God has given you to study as the means by which to attain your own personal bullsh*t detector.'" - Surprised by Oxford, Weber, page 3

    Please do not mistake my use of words like "epic" as romantic exaggeration. I recognize the subjectiveness of my opinion, but I thoroughly loved this book. It is an inspiring coming-of-age conversion story filled with wisdom, grace, and humanity.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 6, 2011

    Prepare for a long read...

    Surprised By Oxford is the extensive journey of "Caro", Carolyn Weber's, awakening to salvation through Christ Jesus while attending the historically active college of Oxford. My first thoughts after reading this book are "Wow that was a long book." Not previously knowing this author's writing style I was slightly unprepared. However, I will say that most of this book kept my attention with Weber's figurative recollection of events that built up to her personal eye opening of who Jesus is. Specifically, Weber recalls many moments with TDH, a tall, dark, and handsome gentlemen, in which he asks the author thought provoking questions while answering hers with love and respect, in much the way Jesus did himself.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2011

    Wonderful

    I received a copy of SURPRISED BY OXFORD: A MEMOIR by Carolyn Weber
    from Thomas Nelson, via BookSneeze. I was originally enchanted by the
    cover, depicting historical architecture at Oxford, but once I started
    reading, I was enthralled. While I read, I kept forgetting it was a
    true story. As Marilyn Meberg states on the back cover, it really does
    read like a novel. The fact that it is a memoir makes it all the more
    delicious.

    The memoir begins with a touching prologue, that clings to the mind
    long after the book is closed. She had a wonderful professor who
    helped her a great deal, only to die at the end of the semester. This
    prologue brought tears to my eyes.

    After that, the book jumps between her life at Oxford University and
    her life growing up. The writing is smooth and the dialogue is
    fascinating. For example, on page 15, the driver says, "I havena idear
    you're talikin' aboot." I could hear it perfectly in my mind, making
    the experience all the more real.

    She also mentions the Irish pop band U2. I'd never listened to them
    before, but after hearing her explain their insightful lyrics, I looked
    them up online.

    I found her experiences with God touching and enlightening. Her
    experiences cling to my memory bank even now that I've shut the book.
    This memoir will appeal to anyone looking for an enjoyable read, and
    especially someone who enjoys spiritual journeys.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2011

    LEARN to live in a glass box, like this author obviously does! AWESOME

    how many readers are trapped in the pity of their own story, their own life worries that they fail to admit what their own childhood was like or even who they really are today. this author is clearly as gifted as they come in the academic circles, and yet the realness of her sharing and admitting her struggles brings a reader to a TRUE desire to live honestly and call out those parts of ones life that stink and you wish you could do differently. we live in a world where folks that don't act like they have all the answers don't have anyone sitting by them on the bus. personally, I like a world like this authors' world where you say what you see and live who you are. Blessings on you, for taking the time to write down your very real life.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 23, 2011

    Surprised By Oxford

    "Surprised By Oxford" is a memoir by Carolyn Weber telling us her own journey of graduate studies at Oxford University. The narration is broken down into the three terms established by the liturgical calendar.
    Carolyn Weber received a scholarship to study at Oxford for graduate school. She arrived there in the mid-90's as a fairly typical agnostic student somewhat allergic to the world "Christian" (since as we all know, Christians are rigidly judgmental and irrational). But Weber also feels a great lack in her life, and as she gets to know some truly wonderful Christians are and reads the Bible, she unwillingly feels the hounds of heaven stalking her. This is the best that I can sum up the narrative.
    I feel that it is a tad too long. Actually at the end I really got bored and somehow trudged my way along. Apart from this it is a good book especially for those who have been to Oxford or feel a special connection with it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 23, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great for new Believers and refreshing for "life-long" Christians

    Agnostic girl meets atheist boy. Agnostic girl meets God. Atheist boy loses agnostic girl. Born-again girl falls in love with Christ. (Oh, and meets another boy along the way!) This is not the makings of a fairy tale or soon-to-be-released blockbuster film. This is an honest and colorful memoir reflecting on Carolyn Weber's transformation from second-guesser to Believer. Weber takes readers on a journey back into the early 1990s, when she was a first-year scholarship graduate student at the University of Oxford. Identifying herself as agnostic and very aware of the damages those closest to her could inflict, she arrived on the campus of the world's oldest English-speaking university certain of many things. She wasn't, however, aware of how deeply the university's Christian foundation would create uncertainty within a matter of weeks. (One who doesn't believe in Christianity probably experiences difficulty more often than not when the University's motto, Dominus Illuminatio Mea, is so prominent.) Weber's love for words and intrapersonal intelligence carve out a powerful story of spiritual awakening. Although the memoir has the capacity to be a great read over the course of weeks, one cannot help but dive in. You agitate yourself by reading about her resistance. You sit on the edge of your seat with excitement when she speaks of "TDH." You fall in love with the Holy Spirit, perhaps for the first time, or the millionth. But you read it too fast either way. Thus, you're left with wanting more of her story. -- Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I am not required to write a positive review whatsoever. The opinions I have expressed are completely my own. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 32 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 2