April 10, 2014

Book Week! and Pope Awesome

Welcome to Book Week!

Over the last month or so I have read a handful of books that were each so very good I knew I wanted to tell you about them. I decided to set aside a week to do a review each day and, thanks to the generous folks at Ignatius Press and Magnificat, I also have a free copy of Kendra Tierney's A Little Book about Confession for Children to give away at the end of the week. Be sure to go to Monday's post to register to win!

If you have read any of the books I'm reviewing I'd love to hear your thoughts, too! Leave a comment or link to your own post in the combox.

Pope Awesome and Other Stories
Written by Cari Donaldson

I will be honest with you and confess that I kind of had low expectations for this book. I thought it would probably be a bunch of old blog posts rehashed and stitched together. Since I love and loyally read Cari's Clan Donaldson blog I was okay with that and I thought I'd still enjoy it and be super proud of my blogging friend.

Let me tell you something: I was wrong. So totally way wrong.

Pope Awesome is not the recycling of a bunch of old blog posts. It does not read like a bunch of blog posts stitched together. Pope Awesome was a fun and touching memoir, recounting Cari's conversion to Catholicism through stories of marriage, babies, friends, and family.

I know that when the book first came out there were many reviews written for it but I still wanted to share what I liked about Pope Awesome and why I so thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

First, Cari writes in a clear, strong voice. This is true of her blog, too, but while I read the book I really felt like Cari was telling me all these crazy stories from her past over a cup of coffee at a playdate. The writing was so personable yet intelligent.

Since I read her blog I know that Cari has a great sense of humor but I was still pleasantly surprised at how funny her memoir was. Really, I laughed out loud several times. Books usually don't do that for me but this one did. (My mom laughed out loud too.)

Finally, many of the smaller stories that make up the main story of Cari's conversion are incredibly moving. The entire work is very touching and several sections I cried. The balance of laughter and teary-eyed emotion was perfectly struck in Pope Awesome and as a cradle Catholic I truly was encouraged by her search of God.

My recommendation: get it from your library, put it on your Kindle, borrow it from my mom - just read the book. It was a delight.

Pope Awesome and Other Stories by Cari Donaldson was published by Sophia Institute Press.


  1. I laughed. I cried. I loved Pope Awesome, and I recommended it to everyone I talked to for weeks after reading it.

  2. I've been wondering about this book! Thanks for the review!

  3. Hey! Thank you so much for this review, Bonnie! I was over here to link to your review of Kendra's book and saw this. Made my day.