A quick recap: Over a year ago, after reading and loving several blogs which do chapter-by-chapter reviews/deconstructions/snarks of problematic books, I decided it would be interesting to try one of these for myself. As you know if you’ve been here regularly, the one I chose was J. Warner Wallace’s Cold Case Christianity For Kids, which I decided to review jointly with my daughter. It was great; for all the frustration I had along the way, I still had a grand old time ripping into the flaws. It absolutely confirmed my opinion that this (book deconstructions in general, not deconstructions of apologetics books specifically) is now what I want to keep doing as the main focus of this blog for the future.
This, as you might have noticed, raises a question; since I have nearly finished CCCFK, what will I be reviewing next? I had in fact decided a while back on The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, but then a couple of things came along to bump that off the top slot.
Firstly, one of my favourite booksnarkers – Jenny Trout, who snarks problematic romance fiction – is also about to start a new book. After a close-fought vote (she’d put the decision to her readership), the winning book was Jamie McGuire’s Beautiful Disaster, a book of which I had not previously heard but which is apparently a romance in the ‘male love interest displays aggressive controlling behaviour to the point of downright abusiveness, plot paints this as wonderfully romantic’ genre* previously popularised by Twilight/50 Shades. Ohhhh, Jenny is going to do such a good job of taking this apart. I look forward to it.
*I assume that, whatever the TV Tropes name is, it’s snappier.
Anyway, the point of this is that, while buying my second-hand copy for the read-along, I noticed that McGuire has written a parallel novel – Walking Disaster – which tells the same story from the POV of the love interest. And I suddenly thought “Hey! Why don’t I try writing a review of ‘Walking Disaster’ to run in parallel with Jenny’s review?”
The answer to that rhetorical question, in case you were wondering, is that a) I will probably hate the book and must be mad to want to review it, b) it’s taken me over a year to review seven chapters of the current book so when do I think I’m going to find time for this one, and c) the author apparently has a reputation for getting nasty towards anyone who critiques her books at all. So, there you go, really no reasons to worry about this plan at all. I AM IN.
And then, before I’d even got round to writing this post, R. G. Price – a Jesus mythicist not to be confused with other Jesus mythicist Robert Price, and author of Deciphering the Gospels Proves Jesus Never Existed – turned up to join in with all the recent Jesus mythicism discussion that’s been going on on my blog lately, and promptly offered me a free copy of his book. And I said, hey, yeah, totally up for a free copy and by the way why don’t I do a chapter-by-chapter review of it for you? And he agreed.
And so there you go. Two upcoming book reviews on possibly the most different subjects ever. I’m excited! I have no idea when I’ll manage to do any of this (actually, yes, I do; in time when I should be preparing for Christmas and catching up with my admin work, that’s when) but I’m still excited. This is going to be fun!
A quick word on some practical points: Because I’m collaborating with someone else for my CCCFK review, I’ve had to read it in chunks of a chapter or two at a time, writing the review on each chapter only after reading the whole chapter. I won’t of course need to do that for these reviews, so my current plan for ‘Walking Disaster’ is to write my review as I read it. (The only part of it I’ve read so far is the bit that’s available on the Amazon look-inside feature; the rest, I’ll aim to write up as I go along.) This should be interesting; I’ll see how it works out.
For ‘Deciphering the Gospels’, I’m planning to take completely the opposite approach. I want to give the arguments a fair assessment, so my plan (assuming R. G. Price is good with this) is to read the whole thing first before going back to the beginning to start the review, so that I don’t waste anyone’s time raising questions that turn out to be answered later on in the book
Meanwhile, of course, there is still CCCFK to finish. I have now read through to the end with Katie, so I’m all set to head down the home stretch with that one. So, my-plan-and-I-do-have-one will be a) finish CCCFK, b) start on Walking Disaster, and c) start the review of Deciphering the Gospels once I’ve read it. I do hope some of you guys choose to come along for the ride and chime in with your thoughts as we go. Looking forward to it.