Jennifer Fulwiler told herself she was happy. Why wouldn't she be? She made good money as a programmer at a hot tech start-up, had just married a guy with a stack of Ivy League degrees, and lived in a twenty-first-floor condo where she could sip sauvignon blanc while watching the sun set behind the hills of Austin.
Raised in a happy, atheist home, Jennifer had the freedom to think for herself and play by her own rules. Yet a creeping darkness followed her all of her life. Finally, one winter night, it drove her to the edge of her balcony, making her ask once and for all why anything mattered. At that moment everything she knew and believed was shattered.
Asking the unflinching questions about life and death, good and evil, led Jennifer to Christianity, the religion she had reviled since she was an awkward, sceptical child growing up in the Bible Belt. Mortified by this turn of events, she hid her quest from everyone except her husband, concealing religious books in opaque bags as if they were porn and locking herself in public bathroom stalls to read the Bible.
Just when Jennifer had a profound epiphany that gave her the courage to convert, she was diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition-and the only treatment was directly at odds with the doctrines of her new-found faith. Something Other Than God is a poignant, profound and often funny tale of one woman who set out to find the meaning of life and discovered that true happiness sometimes requires losing it all.
Jennifer Fulwiler is a programmer-turned-writer who chronicles her experiences of faith and family life on her popular blog, ConversionDiary.com. Her articles have also appeared inAmerica, Our Sunday Visitor, Envoy and National Review Online. She has been a guest on the television shows Fox and Friends, Life on the Rock, and The Choices We Face, and and was also the subject of the reality show Minor Revisions. She and her husband, Joe, live in Austin, Texas, with their six young children.
Praise for Something Other Than God:
"This heartfelt book is a lovely account of a spiritual journey and a charming memoir. The author's epiphanies are wonderfully conveyed and will resonate with readers."
- Dean Koontz, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author
"Thought-provoking, honest, and often hilarious. It will strike a chord with anyone who ever posed --or tried unsuccessfully to avoid-- the big questions of life."
- Gretchen Rubin, New York Times bestselling author, The Happiness Project
"Fulwiler's story of finding God when you aren't looking for Him is a universal tale which will touch many hearts."
- Raymond Arroyo, Host of The World Over
"Touching, inspiring, provocative and, above all, real. Fulwiler's memoir shows us that while we're seeking God, He is seeking us even more."
- James Martin, SJ, author, The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything
"A humorous, uplifting story about one woman's journey from lifelong unbelief to both faith and an intimate relationship with Jesus and His Church--Something Other Than God joins science, faith, and reason in an engrossing read."
- Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York"
Jen Fulwiler is one smart cookie. Open to the movement of grace in her life, she submitted that extremely bright mind of hers to the God who made it and chose to use, rather than worship, her intellect in the search for truth. We are all the richer for it."
- Mark Shea, Author, By What Authority?: An Evangelical Discovers Catholic Tradition
"Countless men and women find themselves astonished, overwhelmed, and swept off their feet by God's ravishing grace, but rarely has anyone described the experience as honestly and compellingly as Jennifer Fulwiler has. This powerful conversion story deserves to be ranked alongside classics such as Augustine's Confessions and Newman's Apologia."
- Patrick Madrid, Host, "Right Here, Right Now" radio show
"Something Other Than God could have been called Indiana Fulwiler and the Quest for Truth. This is a personal conversion story that reads like an adventure novel one cannot put down. Trained by her scientist father to identify and uncover ancient treasures, our driven protagonist spends a lifetime on the hunt, engaging both heart and head as she tracks down first what is desirable, then what is meaningful, until, finally -- working her way through the clinging vines of conventions, the rolling hazards of memory and the brutal realities of suffering -- she locates a priceless and eternal prize that had always awaited her.
Intellectually satisfying, spiritually affirming and populated with peripheral characters that make you wish you knew them, too, Something Other Than God is an authentic and authentically entertaining must-read!"
- Elizabeth Scalia, Author, Strange Gods, Unmasking the Idols in Everyday Life and the blogger on Patheos known as The Anchoress
Fascinating Coming-to-Faith Story
As a cradle Catholic, I've grown up accepting many things about the Faith without doing a lot of questioning. While my faith has deepened through the years, it never occurred to me to think about proving or exploring the truths behind what we believe.
Jennifer Fulwiler, by contrast, came to the Church after growing up atheist. Her memoir Something Other Than God chronicles her intense journey of faith. She used resources that are readily available to us in this technological age, printing out pages of blogs and other religious websites, purchasing a vast library of Catholic books, and participating in online discussions. Fulwiler's memoir shows--sometimes in very humorous ways--the great lengths she went to in order to satisfy her own intellectual and spiritual curiosity.
Fulwiler does not divorce her quest for faith from the rest of her life. This quest affected, an Full Review...
Something Other Than God: a wonderful book about coming of age and coming to God
I knew from following Jennifer's blog what a wonderful and witty writer she was, but still Something Other Than God took me by surprise. It is so much more than just her conversion story; it is a story of coming of age and grappling with the major questions you face as you decide who you are and what you will value in life. Jennifer graciously takes us on her journey starting in 5th grade, as she grows up and ponders ideas of science, nature, and how belief systems affect friendships growing up.
Jennifer takes us masterfully along through college and her twenties, as she picks a career path and meets her spouse. Most critically, we follow as her questions and growing understanding of God changes her and her husband's definitions of sucess, happiness, and love. As she introduces us to other touchstone people in her life, ranging from her great-grandparents to ja Full Review...
Profound Questions and Answers in a Funny, Delightful Read
I was surprised how much I enjoyed this book. I've read Jen's blog for years so I am familiar with her wit and humor, but she took it up a notch in her book Something Other Than God.
I expected her dry sense of humor and quick wit. I knew I'd read funny stories and even expected some of them to involve rappers/rap music. I was not prepared for the long curvy road of asking and answering some of life's deepest and most profound questions. A curvy road can either reveal beauty or make you carsick...Something Other Than God definitely revealed beauty.
At each stage in her conversion, Jen wrestles with some heavy questions. These questions delve into the core of Christianity and thus Catholicism. But instead of being antiquated and stuffy, her wanderings through and around these questions are refreshing and thought provoking. Full Review...
Jennifers discovery to a faithfill life
Jennifer Fulwiler had a interesting road of faith and non faith through out her life. She was baptized in the catholic church, however her family wasn't a deeply religious or practicing catholic family. Along the way her faith left her and she considered herself an atheist. She even let her atheism dictate her leaving her beloved Texas A&M for a less christian University of Texas. She is plugging along fine, or so she thought. Questions, and doubts keep creeping up in her mind and she starts to question everything she thought was true.
Then a death in the family really makes her take a good hard look at life and what true happiness is. She realizes that she isn't happy, she isn't an atheist, she believes that there is a greater, higher power that loves her. So Jennifer Fulwiler begins a journey towards a faithfill life. Her journey is a rocky one full ups and downs. As with any journey you have your doubter and ones that try to tear you down. This could make Full Review...
Naming your antagonist is the key to becoming the hero of your life story
The world is actually quite small. I'm a military brat, and I've lived in multiple U.S. cities and states for non-government reasons, as well, so I know a few things about incredible connections. Being part of the Catholic blogosphere adds an additional dimension to those connections.
I followed Jen Fulwiler's blog, Conversion Diary, for some time before I saw her in person, and then for a while longer until I got to meet her. (She really is very tall, but so am I. She even said so.) The Catholic community in Austin is only so large, though, so it was only a matter of time. I was delighted to find out later that she was finally having her memoir, Something Other Than God: How I Passionately Sought Happiness and Accidentally Found It, published. It adds a little extra lagniappe to reading a good, recently-published book when you have fr Full Review...
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