"the unlikely disciple" by kevin roose

hi all-as you have probably noticed from the sheer vastness of my weread tab, i am a bonafide and hopeless bookworm. as far as hobbies go, my love for reading/writing is only surpassed by my love of music. i am completely incapable of venturing out to the mall without also going to barnes & noble. in recent years, i've come to appreciate barnes and noble more than the library. it's cozier and has fastly become my favorite hangout. although i love joyce meyer for her practicality, straight-forwardness, and biblicly-sound teachings, i was beginning to need a break from all the self-examination god tends to lead me to via her books. so, i went to a new/old favorite: gregory maguire's fatastical and very detailed re-imagining of oz in "wicked". for some reason, i couldn't get into it a second time. i love the book, play, the whole series, and i will certainly read it again. but oz just seemed too intertwined and complicated. maybe the summer heat has put my brain in a fog. :) i needed something new. this need for an exciting story brought me to the discovery of my title. i had read bits and pieces of it during previous trips, and was very intrigued. the book is a memior of sorts. student and journalist kevin roose goes with his boss on a research trip to thomas road baptist church because his boss is writing a book on the bible. while there, kevin-who didn't have a religious upbringing-has an awkward conversation with church goers who also attend liberty university-a school started by televangelist jerry falwell. the awkwardness of that conversation bothers him. he wonders why there is such a huge gap between christians and the rest of the world? why is it that he-an intelligent ivy league brown student who has a diverse group of friends-couldn't hold his own when talking to these students? this bothers him to such a degree that he does something radical. in the spring of 2007, he transfers to liberty university. he reasons with his parents, friends, and family that this is a writing project. it is, but it is also quite a culture shock. liberty maintains rules such as: no swearing, r-rated movies, no coed dorms, etc. he completely immerses himself in this school and lifestyle that is completely foreign for him. he even takes history of life-a creation-based science class. i've only been reading it for a couple of days, but i can already tell it will be a favorite book of mine. his writing is honest, unbiased, fresh, and funny. he really made an effort to capture what life for many young christians is like. i am so interested in this book that i have literally stayed up nights reading. i encourage everyone-no matter your views on god-to read this. it's been eye-opening for me as a christian. initially, i thought roose's writing may be argumentative, one-sided, or sarcastic. i was very pleasantly surprised. if you need a thought-provoking and entertaining read this summer, go get "the unlikely disciple".-fallon