To Be Perfectly Honest: One Man's Year of Almost Living Truthfully Could Change Your Life. No Lie.

( 23 )

Overview

Would I Lie to You? Not This Year. 
 
Veteran author and speaker Phil Callaway is no stranger to daunting challenges. He has been laughed at—repeatedly—by large crowds of people from Halifax to Hong Kong. He fathered three children in three years, spent much of last year on airplanes built by the lowest bidder, and flipped an out-of-control ATV, which doesn’t mean ...
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To Be Perfectly Honest: One Man's Year of Almost Living Truthfully Could Change Your Life. No Lie.

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Overview

Would I Lie to You? Not This Year. 
 
Veteran author and speaker Phil Callaway is no stranger to daunting challenges. He has been laughed at—repeatedly—by large crowds of people from Halifax to Hong Kong. He fathered three children in three years, spent much of last year on airplanes built by the lowest bidder, and flipped an out-of-control ATV, which doesn’t mean he sold it for a profit. So who better than Phil Callaway to boldly accept a challenge that would make the average person run and hide?
 
Phil promised to tell the truth for an entire year, and he wasn’t joking. Twelve months later, his journal was crammed with successes, near-successes, and outright failures. During his year-long experiment with veracity, he made a disastrous financial investment, fielded hundreds of intrusive questions from friends and strangers, attended a thirty-year class reunion, and waded into possibly the most revealing—and hilarious—situations he has ever documented.
 
Find out what happens when a follower of Jesus does his level best to always tell the truth. There is no doubt you’ll be entertained. But don’t be surprised if you are left with a question: how might your life be changed if you sold out to the truth—with no exceptions?
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for To Be Perfectly Honest

“This book is fabulous and funny. I couldn’t read it all at once because my doctor doesn’t want me to tear my stitches! These journal entries can help alter the way we view our speech and relationships, God’s grace, and our own integrity. To be perfectly honest, I plan to plagiarize everything Phil has written here!”
—Bryan Duncan, Grammy Award–winning musician

“Reading Phil Callaway’s writing is one of life’s pure pleasures. His books are not just a pleasure to savor, like eating a perfectly ripe pear. They are full of firm insights that give grace for the daily race, especially when the journey is hard.”
—Ellen Vaughn, New York Times best-selling coauthor of It’s All About Him and author of Time Peace

“Phil Callaway may be known for his humor, but he takes on a serious topic in To Be Perfectly Honest: He tries not to lie for one solid year. Thankfully, he takes us along on his 365-day journey with his sense of humor firmly intact. You’ll enjoy this book—no lie.”
—Mark Joseph, Foxnews.com, author of The Lion, the Professor, and the Movies: Narnia’s Journey to the Big Screen

“Phil is what you’d get if you tampered with the genes of Garrison Keillor, Dave Barry, and my fourth-grade Sunday school teacher. Don’t buy a copy of this book. Buy a few dozen.”
—Joel Freeman, author of God Is Not Fair, chaplain for the Washington Bullets

Praise for Phil Callaway

“I love Phil Callaway because he manages to accomplish what few writers can—masterfully blending laughter with learning.”
—Lee Strobel, best-selling author of The Case for Christ

“Very few authors make me laugh out loud. Phil Callaway makes me roar. Maybe that’s why I savor his books like a cup of hot chocolate. Sipping each story slowly, rolling it around my mouth to get the full flavor. Then spitting it all over the room in reaction to the hilarious truth.”
—Ken Davis, author and comedian

“Reading Phil Callaway is like playing in holy sand. You’re having so much fun you don’t realize how much has gone into your shoes and is now sticking to your life.”
—Chris Fabry, author and host of Chris Fabry Live!

“God speaks through the small and ordinary in extraordinary ways. Phil has listened and heard—and thankfully decided to share it with us.”
—Michael Card, author, teacher, and singer/songwriter

“Phil Callaway is master of the funny bone and the heart tug. He pretends to be just a fellow traveler, but I’m not fooled: he knows the ground well, and I’d follow him anywhere.”
—Mark Buchanan, author of The Rest of God and Hidden in Plain Sight

“Phil keeps us laughing so it doesn’t hurt so much when we face the truth.”
—John Fischer, author of What on Earth Are We Doing?

“Phil Callaway really enjoys life—life with his family and life with his Lord. He’s the kind of contented, happy Christian I like to be around.”
—Luis Palau, author and evangelist

“Very likely Phil Callaway has the best sense of humor in the Western hemisphere. Rollicking humor, subtle wit, charm, and style don’t often coexist in one author’s prose, but they surely do in the case of Phil Callaway.”
—Paul L. Maier, author of A Skeleton in God’s Closet and Pontius Pilate
 

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590529171
  • Publisher: The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/3/2011
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Phil Callaway is an award-winning author known worldwide for his humorous yet perceptive look at life. He is president of Laugh and Learn, Inc., and the author of twenty books, including Laughing Matters and Family Squeeze. Callaway is a wildly popular speaker who keeps being asked to appear at churches, couples’ nights out, healthcare conventions, and corporate events. He also is a repeat guest on national radio and television shows. Phil and his wife, Ramona, have three grown children.
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Read an Excerpt

The Truth Dare

Some phone calls change your Saturday; some your entire year. When my editor called, he couldn’t have known he would accomplish both.

“I’ve had an idea for a while,” said Ron. “It will make for a great book, and you’re just the guy to write it.”

I’m human. I was flattered.

“Is it about understanding women?” I asked. “About being sensitive to my wife’s needs?”

“Why?”

“I’m good at those things, Ron. I am most excellent.”

“Are you telling the truth?”

“Uh…why do you ask?”

“Well, that’s what this book is about: complete and total honesty. I want you to see if you can tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth for an entire year.”

“I’m sorry,” I said, “you’re breaking up on this end.” (I pretended to hang up, and judging from the prolonged silence, he thought I had.) The truth is, as my Native American friend Roy likes to say, I had reservations.

For some, a lieless year would be an easy assignment. Their natural habitat is the truth. Not me. I lie for a living. Oh, I’m not a used-car salesman or a politician. Nor do I write copy for bank advertisements. It’s worse. I am a humorist. I stand in front of audiences and tell stories. These stories are 99 ¾ percent true—at least as far as I can remember. But sometimes I add just enough salt to keep a tale savory, just enough falsehood to keep people interested. Some of the things I describe may not technically have happened, but they might just as well have.

After pretending to get back on the line, I leaked all this information to Ron as if he were my priest. He seemed to listen attentively, though he could have been working a crossword puzzle, texting his wife, or reading e-mail. I told him the assignment would be complicated by the fact that I have been a chronic fudger all my life. Most people don’t know this because I have become so adept at it. I fudge that I’m fudging.

And to be honest with you, I learned it at church. The church my family was part of seemed to reward falsehood. Nothing seemed to be more important than a person’s outward appearance, so from an early age, I learned to fake my faith. Whenever anyone asked, I’d claim that I’d been having my devotions. I’d sing “I love to tell the story…of Jesus and His love” when I would sooner have had my eyebrows plucked by spider monkeys than talk to anyone about God. Our church embraced an impossible system of rules, which was rigged to render you miserable, no matter what you did. Ignore the rules and you were guilt-ridden. Follow them to the letter and you ended up either self-righteous or sporting a nervous twitch. As a result, I bathed my answers to adult questions in what they preferred to hear.

“What have you been up to, Philip?”

The truthful answer was, “When I haven’t been coveting or gossiping, I’ve been lusting. And, honestly, I kind of enjoy all three.” But instead I’d say, “Just struggling to memorize the gospel of John, brother.”

Ron quite enjoyed hearing my confession, and instead of being discouraged by it all, he was more convinced than ever that I was the perfect author for the project. I mentioned once again that history did not weigh in on the side of my success. “My ancestors were horse traders, Ron. They sold slow animals then got out of town fast.”

“You’re our guy!” he said, and we hung up.

I still wasn’t sold on the idea, but I couldn’t stop thinking that I would love to read such a book.

If someone else wrote it.

Following someone’s yearlong experiment in telling the truth wouldn’t just entertain me, it may change my thinking and—if the author were honest, vulnerable, and wise—inspire me with hope. I mentioned the book idea to friends who have known me for years. I said, “I am considering taking a truth vow.” Without exception, their eyebrows shot up to their bangs, though one said, “Isn’t that a bit like giving up arson for Lent?”

Yeah, sort of. But that didn’t stop me from accepting the challenge. And in no time I encountered the first major drawback. Having shared openly that I was now solely a truth-telling individual, I found that some of my friends insisted on getting a straight answer to things they’d wondered about since fourth grade.

“So,” one asked, “do you remember in 1983 when we rented Rocky III and I bought taco chips and root beer and you said you’d pay me back later?”

“I’m not sure. Is that the one with ‘Eye of the Tiger’?”

“Did you pay me back?”

“Probably not,” I said, handing him five bucks. I hadn’t written a word, and already I was out of pocket. How much would all this honesty cost me?

Other questions troubled me even more, like could I stay happily married while being completely honest with my wife? Would people pelt me with ethical dilemmas? What are the side effects to subjecting myself to sodium Pentothal injections for a year? How honest should I be in a book about my struggles with faith, family, and the challenges of life?

In the end I agreed to write this book for the same reason some people watch NASCAR on television. I was eager to see what would become of me. Would my life change? Would I crash?

“You sure I can’t write about my expertise in understanding women?” I begged Ron during our next phone call.

“Nope,” he replied. “Come on, Callaway, you can do this. Tell the truth and shame the devil. Besides, I want to read it.”

And with those words, the most intriguing year of my life began.

Author’s Note

This book is a work of fact. I have, however, taken two liberties. First, I engaged in minor chronological adjustments. Second, a handful of names and minor details were changed so that I may continue to live in peace and go out in public without incident in the small community I call home. I suppose a nomadic lifestyle would be ideal for an author. You could breeze into town, point out people’s inconsistencies and hypocrisies, then hightail it out of there before they discover how inconsistent and hypocritical you are. The first draft of To Be Perfectly Honest contained all the actual names and places, and it was really quite fun. But I realized it’s like a Wal-Mart greeter pointing people to Target. Not smart.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 23 )
Rating Distribution

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(14)

4 Star

(5)

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(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 27, 2013

    I have to admit that I found this book quite refreshing and funn

    I have to admit that I found this book quite refreshing and funny. Imagine challenging yourself to not tell a lie for an entire year. Talk about your hard things to do! We tell so many lies, and isn't that how comedians make their living? I was impressed with Phil Callaway and his writing style, not to mention the fact that he actually took the assignment seriously. I found myself sympathizing and seeing myself many times throughout the book. I found myself thinking about all the lies I tell without thinking about it. I think you will find this a delightful book, and it is a moment to just take a deep breath and truly think about your spiritual life. But don't worry. You'll do it with a smile on your face!

    I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2012

    Most of my books come from Thomas Nelson through the booksneeze

    Most of my books come from Thomas Nelson through the booksneeze program. Most of the ones that don’t come from Thomas Nelson come from Bethany House through their blogger review programme. Of the few that aren’t from Thomas Nelson or Bethany House, they come from Multnomah Publishers. This book that I just got, “To Be Perfectly Honest” by Phil Callaway, is one such book. In the book, Phil attempts to go an entire year without lying. At all. Not even ‘No, that dress doesn’t make you look fat,’ or ‘That green mush you served for dinner was DELICIOUS,’ lies. None of that. Nope, this man wants to go an entire year without any lies. Whatsoever. Not even to God.
    This book was an extremely easy read- I devoured the whole thing in about three hours. As a humourist, Phil Callaway has a fantastic writing style and I literally laughed out loud at many, many points during the novel. He has enough fluff to keep you giggly and enough meat to keep you thinking.
    Plus, he’s from Canada. So his awesomeness level went up by about a thousand points with that right there.
    Overall, I loved this book, I would recommend it to near everyone (and I have!), and I give it five out of five stars.

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  • Posted February 8, 2012

    An Excellent Read!

    Such an intriguing idea that should not at all be foreign to or even strange to hear of, esecially in the Christian community, To Be Perfectly Honest is a refreshing and challenging read that should be taken in by all!

    In his book, Calaway humorously yet honestly walks through a year of his live through daily journal type entries, facing the challenge given him that he should go an entire year without telling any lies. His honest report of the experience is thought provoking, yet presented in a way that is easy to read, engaging and even laugh out loud funny at times. Through his journey, he shares stories, life experiences and events he faces and his way of handling them while trying to maintain his truthfulness.

    Readers of all walks will find challenge, humor and sobering honesty within this book and will likely find themselves facing the challenge themselves to at least comsider how truthful they really are as well as considering the effects of their responses on others with whom they interact. A highly recommended read, light and fun yet filled with challenge and life changing ideas sure to make an impact.

    I was provided a free copy of this ebook through the Waterbrook Multnomah Blogging for Books program. I was in no way compensated for my review or required to write a positive review. All thoughts are my own.

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  • Posted January 6, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Great!

    Wonderful book

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  • Posted January 3, 2012

    An enjoyable challenge

    The title of Phil Callaway's book intrigued me--and so did the premise. Is it really possible to go an entire year without telling a lie? Any lie? That's the challenge that Callaway's editor put in front of him. Go 365 days without telling even a little white lie. On his first attempt, he didn't even make it through two days. So he started again. To Be Perfectly Honest is his journal of his daily experiences. I found it to be very engaging. I could certainly empathize with the challenges he faced of being completely truthful. It wasn't easy! However, sometimes I wish he would skipped over the days when he did not have problems and would have spent more time sharing the days and times that were challenges. They were often pretty skimpy on the struggles he went through. I found it to be the most honest, though, toward the end of the year as he deal with his mother's end-of-life issues. Perhaps that's because I'm dealing with that myself--but his feelings of both relief and guilt really resonated. This is a book that you can pick up and put down quite easily. The chapters are short--sometimes a little tedious, but when they got like that, I simply put the book down for a couple of days before returning to it. I'm glad I read it. He raises some interesting challenges with the question of just how truthful we are--and how to be truthful without being harsh. I'm glad his editor gave him the assignment--I don't think I would have wanted to spend his year, but I'm glad to have been challenged by his experiences.

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  • Posted December 29, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    What Would You Say to a 1 Year Truth Challenge?

    Phil Calloway said yes which lead to a very funny book To Be Perfectly Honest: One Man's Year of Almost Living Truthfully Could Change Your Life. No Lie.

    Calloway is a Christian humorist and no that is not an oxymoron as many people may think. This is the first book I have ever read by him and I have a laugh warning for you, don't read while drinking (coffee up the nose is not comfortable) and don't read where your LOL bursts might embarrass you or get you fired.

    I believe Calloway is a very brave man. This is a dare that though I would like to believe I always tell the truth about everything, we just completed a holiday that celebrated the birth the Savior of the world but left me telling fib upon fib about a dead St. who brings toys to children overnight. So yeah, truth telling challenges would not be for the faint of heart.

    Through his book, however, he demonstrated true spiritual growth because even his prayer time with the Father changed. He made a fine point that prayers where we say the opposite of how we feel is quite ridiculous since God knows your thoughts and heart anyway.

    I really enjoyed this book. I was able to read it quickly over two days both laughing and crying. If you have had a rough year or are facing a difficult new year, this book will not only lighten your load but will give you perspective. I know I will look at my own life much differently after reading his trip through the year of telling the truth.

    I received a free digital copy of this book. The opinions are 100% my own.

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  • Posted December 20, 2011

    A great book to read - to be perfectly honest...

    I was looking for my next book, and this book got my attention. I am happy it did! To be perfectly honest by Phil Callaway was a hilarious book. I couldn't stop laughing. My favorite part was how he described his mother. I loved it! I loved how he made the book so interesting with his humor. Without the humor it would just be a 365 day journal(blah). He does touch some personal topics, and was very honest on how he felt. I would recommend everyone to read this book.

    I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah through Blogging for Books their book review program. These are my own opinions on this book.

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  • Posted December 3, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Honestly - This is a Funny and Thoughtful Book

    What would you do if you had to tell the truth for the whole year?
    No laughing at jokes that you don¿t think are funny, even if your boss is the one telling them. No saying ¿I¿m fine, thanks¿ when inside your heart is breaking. No saying, ¿It¿s the perfect gift!¿ when your husband gives you a toaster or your wife gives you a tie. Could you do it? Could you tell the truth for an entire year?
    This was the challenge presented to humorist Phil Callaway by his editor. Phil took a vow to be truthful in all things, and kept a journal of his trials and triumphs during his year of truthfulness. The result is an off-beat look at why we say and do things in our culture that is often based on appearances rather than truth.
    Phil¿s first concern was that friends and family would want him to reveal secrets from the past, such as whether he had cheated at golf or illegally copied a video. Next he wondered if he could still tell jokes or if these would be considered lies.
    He quickly found that even a Christian who values ethics and integrity can have trouble discerning when to speak the truth and when to remain silent. For example, it may be true that your best friend needs to lose weight, but should you tell him or her this when they¿ve just been laid off from their job? Can the truth be told in a caring, non-judgmental manner?
    I enjoyed following Phil¿s year of truthfulness, and it gave me much to think about in my own life.
    I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group Blogging for Books program for this review.

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  • Posted August 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Humor In The Truth About Lying

    Phil Callaway in his new book, "To Be Perfectly Honest" published by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group shows us One Man's Year of Almost Living Truthfully Could Change Your Life. No Lie.

    In The Bible we are told to not lie to one another. Paul makes it perfectly clear that there is no place in Heaven for liars, yet, we as a people, seem to lie all the time. We excuse this behavior because we told a little white lie. Yet, God sees every lie the same. What do we do?

    Phil Callaway was given the assignment to give up any lies for a whole year and write about the experience. Now this could turn out to be a really dry, weary march through 365 days but it turns out that, among other things, Mr. Callaway is also a comedian. So get ready to laugh.

    "To Be Perfectly Honest" is not a humor book so it won't be found in the humor section of the bookstore. It is a book of human behavior and about how much we need God to change the very nature in our lives. Telling a lie, any kind of lie, all goes back to Adam and Eve in The Garden and we need God's help even more today. Phil Callaway knows how to deliver truth that we can take because he provides it with lots of humor. Some of it is really funny, others not so but everywhere there is truth delivered in a subtle manner. I recommend this book and, if you are like me, you will find yourself in these pages somewhere and still laugh.

    If you would like to listen to interviews with other authors and professionals please go to Kingdom Highlights where they are available On Demand.

    To listen to 24 hours uninterrupted Christian music please visit our internet radio station Kingdom Airwaves

    Disclosure of Material Connection: 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. 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 May 31, 2011

    Honest Effort

    Though it was not a laugh a minute type book, I loved the honest and the real struggle of this man's adventure of living a year lie-free. It was a true eye opener for him as well as me when I questioned if I would be able to make such a commitment to totally honest. In the end, I triumphed with the author on his becoming a better person for the effort.

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  • Posted May 15, 2011

    to be perfectly honest

    A whole year of telling the truth...can it possibly be done, especially by a man that makes his living telling stories with just a bit of embellishment? Phil Callaway shows that it can be done, and it sometimes the truth is funnier than fiction. This book is humorous and thoughtful with some faith and spirituality thrown in. A very good, quick read.

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  • Posted May 4, 2011

    honestly

    While reading To Be Perfectly Honest, there were several times that I had to put it down from laughter! This book was an incredibly wonderful read. Laugh out loud funny and incredibly insightful. Phil Callaway has a remarkable way of making everyday situations funnier and more vibrant. The writing is wonderful, though a little basic and the humor witty wonderful and all around enjoyable. I recommend this book to anyone who likes the simple fun in everyday life or anyone looking to be a little more honest.

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  • Posted May 2, 2011

    A Vow of Verity

    If you're looking for a laugh, Phil Callaway's book, To Be Perfectly Honest, is just the ticket for you! The premise of his book came from his editor who wanted him to write a book about telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, for an entire year. Callaway writes in diary form about each day of the year making this an easy book to read at your leisure.


    About a month into this adventure, his friends decide to take advantage of his honesty and he starts getting pummeled with e mails:

    Day 31. Neil wanted to hear about my most embarrassing moment, and Nick wondered about my biggest fear....

    (to Neil): I once deliberately frightened a man whom I thought was someone else. I awoke with a snort during a sermon...(pg. 19)

    Phil's journey of truth is really a fun read. Throughout the year, he is faced with the same temptations of the past, but now he has to confront these trials accompanied by his vow of truthfulness. He is tortured by the fact that his wife pays their tithes on the first Sunday of the month and each succeeding Sunday he is forced to watch the sneers (in his mind) of the ushers as he places nothing in the offering plate.





    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through their bloggers 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."

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  • Posted May 1, 2011

    To Be Perfectly Honest - I loved this book!

    Whoppers, fibs, little white lies..everyone tells them at some time or another. Some people would maintain that society would fall to pieces if we all told the honest truth! Phil Callaway takes his editor's challenge to spend an entire year telling the truth for a book and "To Be Perfectly Honest" is the delightful result! Within the first few pages, I was enjoying those "laugh-out-loud, Honey, you have to hear this" moments.

    Phil Callaway is witty, endearing, mischievous and funny. His pranks and smart remarks keep the narrative lively but he doesn't shy away from tackling some tough subjects. His year of living truthfully is not all smooth sailing and his struggles become common ground inviting the reader into his story. The best thing about this book is that Phil is not a "saintly" guy. He's the class clown, the guy who is just a little more "out there" than the rest of us and he's often the guy who says what the rest of us wish we could say.

    I can truthfully give "To Be Perfectly Honest" my highest recommendation. Would I lie to you?

    I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review as part of their "Blogging for Books" program.

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  • Posted April 30, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Entertaining and Convicting

    How many lies do you tell every day? Yes, we're counting the "white" ones. Could you go an entire year without telling a lie? Neither could the author, but he made an effort. The results are quite as extreme as in the Jim Carrey movie "Liar, Liar", but they're pretty hilarious just the same.


    The real impact comes from the author's honesty with himself and his readers, although he does have some interesting experiences with friends and family. We get to read about his PacMan addiction, his email conversations with a spammer, and his obsession with Mormons. I'm not sure when I last read a book that made me laugh out loud (many times) and cry. I've never been entertained and convicted quite like this. "To Be Perfectly Honest" isn't just about telling those around us the truth. It's about trusting God and being honest with him and ourselves.

    I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. All opinions are my own.

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  • Posted April 28, 2011

    Let's be honest: being honest isn't as easy as it seems!

    Author and speaker, Phil Callaway, took on a challenge few of us would have the courage to tackle: telling the honest truth in all circumstances for an entire year. In his humorous and witty style, Callaway sets out on his year-long journey determined to take on the behemoth of veracity, only to discover it's not as easy as he thought it would be. "To Be Perfectly Honest" is a 365-day journal of Callaway's hits and near-misses in his battle to speak the truth. Rather than simply being truthful about others' failings or flaws, he quickly finds out that the person he needs to be the most honest with is himself. As he progresses through his truth project, it becomes evident to him that an honest answer can cultivate a myriad of unexpected responses: Some people would prefer to hear a lie; the truth can hurt others as well as yourself; it can be viewed as sarcastic, critical, or judgmental; it could re-open old wounds, or actually heal them; and depending upon the recipient of the truth, it may reveal a different side of one's character that's not often seen. Callaway's wit and style of humor propels his readers through the book. Whether it's his imagined or actual encounters with his new-found honest approach, there's no shortage of laughter over his antics. But he also reveals a more poignant side of himself that will cause his readers to react with empathy and compassion. As he recalls his visits with his ailing mother, the trials of his close friends, his brief missionary trip where he rocked a small crippled child in his arms and wept, and his wayward, drug-addicted brother, Callaway has the ability to make his readers weep with him. Perhaps the most profound conclusion Phil Callaway discovered is that the challenge of being completely honest in every circumstance is something a struggling Christian is incapable of fulfilling without God's help. He ends his year-long journal with the understanding that being honest or dishonest is less about him and how others receive him, and more about how God views his own flaws and weaknesses. And with this new revelation, Callaway is determined "to extend the discipline on this truth vow another fifty years." I encourage everyone who has ever struggled to answer the hard questions with open honesty, or thought it would be a snap to do so, to read "To Be Perfectly Honest". Perhaps it's time we all took our own 365-day truth challenge. Like Phil Callaway discovered at the end of his journey, we may see it as a soul-searching, life-changing approach to a closer and better relationship with the God Who finds our little white lies, fibs, and whoppers a great offense. "To be perfectly honest," you won't be disappointed with this book.

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  • Posted April 28, 2011

    To Be Perfectly Honest: One Man's Year of Almost Living Truthfully Could Change Your Life. No Lie by Phil Callaway

    Phil Callaway in To Be Perfectly Honest documents a year of his life and his attempt to avoid lying. The book is a journal of his life for a year, day by day, in his attempt to live entirely truthfully. He records his daily happenings and feelings about the activities of his days. He is "honest" with his readers on his views of faith, relationships and Pac-Man. The journal is a chronicle of a year in which Callaway interacted with Christians and non-Christians, dealt with financial scams, and experienced the death of his mother. At the end of each chapter Callaway presents an honest confession based on his observations for the last month. The book concludes with a discussion guide for use with small groups. When I agreed to review this book, I was looking for something different than what I typically read. I honestly was trying to seek out a humorous book. And Callaway has plenty of amusing stories and observations, though I honestly, okay I'm going to use honest and truth as much as possible in this review, never had a full out belly laugh. Callaway is very truthful with his reader about how situations made him feel and his opinions on what occurred. He does not hide that he would rather be playing and reaching new high scores in Pac-Man instead of reading his Bible, as a good man of God should. He provides us honest impressions of his interactions with other Christians and how we have failed, he is a reformed Pharisee in his own words. So I do believe this is a very transparent reflection of a man of faith and provides us a window to Callaway's mind a man honestly seeking to follow Jesus. However, I don't believe it delivers as a summary of an experiment of truth. Callaway does mention his truth project, but he is not always 100% truthful. For example he has an email exchange with Nigerian scammers where he gives the impression that he wishes to participate in the scammers request. He provides an explanation of why this allowable, but he is not 100 percent truthful. Also when reading the summary of the book I was thinking of a text along the lines of A.J. Jacobs The Year of Living Biblically a book where Jacobs documents his own extreme social experiment. That book delivers due to Jacobs' review of what his year did to him. It's especially highly engaging since Jacobs is not a man of faith. Basically I was hoping there was a more in-depth explanation of what his experiment meant to him than the five pages provided from a position closer to my own worldview. I could have taken from this text the same lessons and reflections on a Christian life without the addition of a year of living in truth. And that's my honest take on this book. I wouldn't lie to you. Review Copy Provided by WaterBrook Multnomah

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  • Posted April 27, 2011

    Honestly Good

    We've seen movies like "Liar, Liar" experiment with ideas like this - what would it look like if a man had to tell the truth no matter what? But it's one thing to wonder about it, it's another thing to actually try it. and not for a day or a week or a month, but for a whole year?? That's the experiment taken up by Christian humorist Phil Callaway at the encouragement of his editor. For an entire year, Phil takes us with him on this very personal truth project in an engaging diary style. He has fun with it of course, but we also get to peek into some very serious and personal moments in his life, and are forced to ask ourselves, what kind of person would I be if I always had to tell the truth - and why aren't we living that way already?
    This book is a nice read on it's own, but becomes an excellent resource for a Bible/book study when you use the great discussion questions included in the back for each chapter. I received a complimentary copy of this book from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for my honest review, and I highly recommend it - no lie!

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  • Posted April 27, 2011

    Honestly Good to Read!

    I liked this book. I felt that the author infused humor into the stories, but then in the last pages of each chapter he examined the focus of the chapter with seriousness and thoughtfulness. It's obvious he loves the Lord, and equally obvious that he struggles. Isn't that just so true of all of us? I felt the author was very real and sometimes vulnerable in his emotions and life. That kind of transparency makes me want to work harder at the challenges in my own life.

    I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah

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  • Posted April 24, 2011

    Funny, Thought-Provoking and Highly Recommended!

    I received Phil Callaway's book To Be Perfectly Honest in the middle of an afternoon on my day off. I put on water to boil pasta for lunch, telling myself that I would read a few pages and see what it was like. An unknown amount of time later, my dad came into my bedroom and asked if I was trying to humidify the house. My water had almost boiled away and I was many more than a few pages into the book. I finished it later that day, stopping only to drain the pasta (but not to eat it). I don't usually react audibly to books, I like to be quiet as a general rule, and prefer not to draw attention to myself. I work in a library. I also laughed aloud (rather loudly) for the first time on page ten. It was not the last time. Throughout the course of the book I laughed, cried and read parts aloud to my dog. She seemed to appreciate that. It would be one thing if this book was only funny. It would be another if it was only (sometimes painfully) honest and vulnerable. It would be yet another if it were only relatable and convicting. It was all of these things. Phil Callaway has managed to write a book that explores honesty while being honest. He wonders, from time to time, if his vow means that he needs (or gets) to be painfully honest with people. For example: should he answer his wife honestly when she asks how he looks in horizontal stripes? Monetary problems come up as well, debts to friends that he has "conveniently forgotten" seem to float into his mind. Sometimes his failures to be completely honest seem to teach him more than being "perfectly honest." During the course of this book we also get to know certain characters in his life: his wife, kids, fellow churchgoers, friends and kids' friends. Phil manages to craft a plot that we can follow and that held my interest in all these people and what would happen next. In fiction, that's called plotting, in non-fiction, it's called telling a good story. Even beyond this, Phil, ever the comedian, put in stories that were just, frankly, funny. The book would not have been complete without them. This book will stick with me, staying around in my home to be looked into again and again. I couldn't put it down. Honest. I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. However, this is my honest opinion.

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