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Mennonite Meets Mr. Right: A Memoir of Faith, Hope, and Love
     

Mennonite Meets Mr. Right: A Memoir of Faith, Hope, and Love

3.0 12
by Rhoda Janzen
 

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At the end of her bestselling memoir Mennonite in a Little Black Dress, Rhoda Janzen had reconnected with her family roots, though her future felt uncertain. When this overeducated professor starts dating the most unlikely of men-a weight-liftin', church-goin', truck-drivin' rocker named Mitch-she begins a surprising journey to faith and love.

Overview

At the end of her bestselling memoir Mennonite in a Little Black Dress, Rhoda Janzen had reconnected with her family roots, though her future felt uncertain. When this overeducated professor starts dating the most unlikely of men-a weight-liftin', church-goin', truck-drivin' rocker named Mitch-she begins a surprising journey to faith and love.

Nothing says, "Let's get to know each other!" like lady problems on an epic scale, but Mitch vows to stay by her side. Convinced that his bedrock character has something to do with his Pentecostal church, Rhoda suits up for a brave new world of sparkler pom-poms and hand-clappin' hallelujahs.

Written with her trademark "uproarious, bawdy sense of humor" (Minneapolis Star-Tribune), MENNONITE MEETS MR. RIGHT is witty and moving, perfect for anyone who has taken an unexpected detour only to find that new roads lead to rich destinations.

Editorial Reviews

If you have ever wondered what happened to Rhoda Janzen, the bestselling author of Mennonite in a Little Black Dress, this eventful memoir brings you up to date. Does This Church Make Me Look Fat? describes the "weirdness" of her mercifully brief battle with breast cancer, but devotes most of its pages to her new relationships with a huge, intense rocker; the Pentecostal church; and her new stepchild. Elizabeth Gilbert called Janzen's debut as "singular, deadpan, sharp-witted and honest," not a bad description either for this follow-up.

Publishers Weekly
Following up on the success of her previous memoir (Mennonite in a Little Black Dress), Janzen tackles her next set of difficult and joyful experiences with humor and gratitude. Once again single, the book begins with Janzen questioning her intellect after she develops an unlikely crush: “So when I found myself falling for a Jesus-nail-necklace wearing manly man, the kind whose hands were so huge they ripped his jeans pockets, I thought my common sense was all a-pother.” Janzen’s new love, a devoted Pentecostal, rekindles her lackluster feeling about religion and she delights in comparing her Mennonite faith to the brash style of Pentecostals. She also has to contend with a cancer diagnosis, her relationship with her new partner’s family, and arguments about premarital abstinence. With her usual sense of candidness and jest, Janzen worries about integrating a religious transformation into your social life: “How do you tell your Ph.D. friends, far-flung across the world at their various academic postings, that you are attending church on purpose?” She weaves her reevaluation of her belief system throughout the memoir. This is a joyful trek through one woman’s spiritual journey into a new life as a wife, stepmother, and believer. (Oct.)
Booklist
"A hilarious account of the small details that make a life. . . Readers from all backgrounds will be inspired by Janzen's tale of love and faith told with her trademark wit and honesty."
From the Publisher
"A hilarious account of the small details that make a life. . . Readers from all backgrounds will be inspired by Janzen's tale of love and faith told with her trademark wit and honesty."—Booklist

"Janzen is the kind of writer-world-weary yet incredulous; girlfriend-esque and conversational-that draws you along through a story with ease...[Does This Church Make Me Look Fat] would fit naturally on a shelf, say, next to your collection of beat-up Anne Lamott paperbacks. It has that same sort of accessibility to it; that same sort of acceptance."—Charity Vogel, The Buffalo News

"Smart and witty.... Janzen has a remarkable ability to demystify religion through humor and humanity."—Susanne Jaffe, The Columbus Dispatch

"Amazingly light-hearted... [Janzen] is not so much proselytizing for her particular religion as she is pointing toward the value of examining one's own beliefs, whatever they might be, and finding a way to live with them in joy."—Colette Bancroft, Tampa Bay Times

"A delight for fans of [Janzen's] warm, wisecracking style.... Her enthusiasm and spirit and knack for finding humor in the God details make this book a crowd-pleaser."—Hannah Sampson, The Miami Herald

"A joyful trek through one woman's spiritual journey into a new life as a wife, stepmother, and believer"—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Does This Church Make Me Look Fat? made me laugh out loud, often enough to make my beloved children inquire as to whether I was losing my mind. Too much spiritual writing these days claims that religious practice is about healing or developing the self. But Rhoda Janzen avoids this theme: here she sets out on a path to become more loving, grateful, and helpful to others. This is particularly impressive given that she's writing about a period in her life when she's got a scary, life-threatening illness, and a brand-new family. Bravo, Rhoda-or rather, 'Thank God!'"—Kate Braestrup, author of Here if You Need Me and Beginner's Grace

"Rhoda Janzen is one of the few people I trust to write about faith without using God to clobber me. She writes about the most serious things in the world-life, death, family, love-with such spot-on honesty, spiritual humility, and disarming humor that I would follow her anywhere. The nicest thing I can say about her new book is that it made me want to be a better person. It is that good."—Barbara Brown Taylor, author of An Altar in the World and Leaving Church

"Paul Shaffer, the noted theologian/TV sidekick, once said that if God is the ultimate being, he must have the ultimate sense of humor. To which I add, Rhoda Janzen is not far behind. This is one funny book. Not to mention thought-provoking and touching."—AJ Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically

Colette Bancroft
"Amazingly light-hearted... [Janzen] is not so much proselytizing for her particular religion as she is pointing toward the value of examining one's own beliefs, whatever they might be, and finding a way to live with them in joy."
Barbara Brown Taylor
"Rhoda Janzen is one of the few people I trust to write about faith without using God to clobber me. She writes about the most serious things in the world-life, death, family, love-with such spot-on honesty, spiritual humility, and disarming humor that I would follow her anywhere. The nicest thing I can say about her new book is that it made me want to be a better person. It is that good."
Charity Vogel
"Janzen is the kind of writer-world-weary yet incredulous; girlfriend-esque and conversational-that draws you along through a story with ease...[Does This Church Make Me Look Fat] would fit naturally on a shelf, say, next to your collection of beat-up Anne Lamott paperbacks. It has that same sort of accessibility to it; that same sort of acceptance."
Susanne Jaffe
"Smart and witty.... Janzen has a remarkable ability to demystify religion through humor and humanity."
Hannah Sampson
"A delight for fans of [Janzen's] warm, wisecracking style.... Her enthusiasm and spirit and knack for finding humor in the God details make this book a crowd-pleaser."
Kate Braestrup
"Does This Church Make Me Look Fat? made me laugh out loud, often enough to make my beloved children inquire as to whether I was losing my mind. Too much spiritual writing these days claims that religious practice is about healing or developing the self. But Rhoda Janzen avoids this theme: here she sets out on a path to become more loving, grateful, and helpful to others. This is particularly impressive given that she's writing about a period in her life when she's got a scary, life-threatening illness, and a brand-new family. Bravo, Rhoda-or rather, 'Thank God!'"
AJ Jacobs
"Paul Shaffer, the noted theologian/TV sidekick, once said that if God is the ultimate being, he must have the ultimate sense of humor. To which I add, Rhoda Janzen is not far behind. This is one funny book. Not to mention thought-provoking and touching."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781455502899
Publisher:
Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
10/02/2012
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
747,926
File size:
516 KB

Meet the Author

Rhoda Janzen is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Mennonite in a Little Black Dress and the poetry collection Babel's Stair. She holds a Ph.D. from UCLA and teaches English and creative writing at Hope College in Holland, Michigan.

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Does This Church Make Me Look Fat?: A Mennonite Finds Faith, Meets Mr. Right, and Solves Her Lady Problems 3.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found Janzen's journey fascinating and laugh out loud funny. Most of the time I couldn't even re-read parts of it to my friend with a straight voice. Very sharp. The part that slowed me down was when she started trying to get jiggy with the bible towards the end, which to me smacks of the new but same old same old preaching. But knowing that our inspiration can come from anywhere, I tried to crack open my mind and do what she did - find out "what I could take away from it". It was quite a bit and I learned some valuable mind tools to use even in my non-religious life. I'd love to take a writing class from her, but will settle for the next book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very likely the best memoir I've read. Ms Janzen shares her journeys through cancer, of recovering from an abusive first marriage and entering into a wonderful second marriage, and of her spiritual journey from devout childhood through adult skepticism to the development of an adult faith. Laugh-out-loud funny throughout! Very enjoyable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read and enjoyed Janzen's book, as well as her first book--Mennonite in a Little Black Dress. While detailing some rather personal and frightening health issues, she incorporates humor and a brave front in her fight against cancer. In the process, she rediscovers her religious side and embarks on the next chapter of her life with a husband who truly has her back and appreciates her. I found the book to be uplifting and on the autobiographical side, yet relavent to middle-aged women who face divorce and health issues as they move toward the next chapter of their lives. In other words, you're not alone! P.S. You don't need to read the first book in order to follow this one; however, if you find her sense of humor charming then "Mennonite in a Little Black Dress" is recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have decided the best part of the Rhoda Janzen books are her titles. They sound funny but the books themselves are a let down. The first one was fairly entertaining but the second was just plain boring. She rattles on and on and on. I wished I had not wasted my gift card on it. Do not buy even if you liked the first one.
charlottesweb93 More than 1 year ago
If you enjoyed Mennonite in a Little Black Dress, you will enjoy Does This Church Make Me Look Fat. The author's sense of humor remains intact despite the fact that she is battling a life threatening disease.
bramall More than 1 year ago
Once again I really enjoyed Ms. Jaanzen's book. I actually liked this one better than "Mennonite in a Little Black Dress". In the first book I felt that she looked back on her upbringing in the church and faith in God as one of those quaint things that is part of growing up. In this book, she truly finds a faith of her own. She "gets it". She still has the breezy style that sometimes feels like a poor fit for her subject matter. But humor colors all aspects of life for her, and I would much rather it be that way then the gloom and doom kind of writing. Definitely worth reading.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite In "Does This Church Make Me Look Fat?: A Mennonite Finds Faith, Meets Mr. Right and Solves Her Lady Problems" by Rhonda Janzen, Rhonda Janzen was raised a Mennonite but by twelve she had turned away from her faith. When she began dating a Pentecostal she started going to church with him. The worship services were very different from what she had formerly experienced. During a healing service an Elder asked if anyone there was having “lady problems.” She resisted the urge to step forward for prayer; however, at a later date she did agree to be anointed. Moving in with her new father in law, Albert, was challenging. He had a tendency to be very negative and resisted finding anything to be happy about. Mitch is a delightful partner for Rhonda. I love Rhonda Janzen’s writing style; she had me laughing out loud as she shared her life with me. She was raised in the Mennonite faith but in this book, the second in the series, she begins to explore the Pentecostal faith. It was refreshing to listen to her talk about the new man in her life. He is obviously very much in love with her and he is definitely Mr. Right. The reader also witnesses her reaction to the diagnosis of breast cancer. “Does This Church Make Me Look Fat?" has many tidbits of advice easily ferreted out. This book has strong Christian overtones and yet it is never preachy. This tale will stay with you long after you’ve listened to the last word.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What is this book even about?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Having emerged from the same Mennonite community in Fresno, I found Rhoda Janzen's first narrative a pithy analysis of her efforts to make sense of a life of the mind in juxtaposition to her unique spiritual background.  Rhoda's second narrative comes across as a disingenuous romance novel in which she trivializes the questions posed in her first book.  In spite of a much-needed apology to  her family and their Mennonite community in chapter 8, this book seems trite and hollow.  Don't waste your money.
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