Does This Church Make Me Look Fat?

A Mennonite Finds Faith, Meets Mr. Right, and Solves Her Lady Problems
By Rhoda Janzen (Hardcover Book, 2012)
What does it mean to give church a try when you haven't really tried since you were twelve? At the end of her bestselling memoir Mennonite in a Little Black Dress, Rhoda Janzen had reconnected with her family and her roots, though her future felt uncertain. But when she starts dating a churchgoer, this skeptic begins a surprising journey to faith and love.

Rhoda doesn't slide back into the dignified simplicity of the Mennonite church. Instead she finds herself hanging with the Pentecostals, who really know how to get down with sparkler pom-poms. Amid the hand waving and hallelujahs Rhoda finds a faith richly practical for life--just in time for some impressive lady problems, an unexpected romance, and a quirky new family.

Does This Church Make Me Look Fat? is for people who have a problem with organized religion, but can't quite dismiss the notion of God, and for those who secretly sing hymns in their cars, but prefer a nice mimosa brunch to church. This is the story of what it means to find joy in love, comfort in prayer, and--incredibly, surprisingly--faith in a big-hearted God.
  • Audiobook Excerpt

What does it mean to give church a try when you haven't really tried since you were twelve? At the end of her bestselling memoir Mennonite in a Little Black Dress, Rhoda Janzen had reconnected with her family and her roots, though her future felt uncertain. But when she starts dating a churchgoer, this skeptic begins a surprising journey to faith and love.

Rhoda doesn't slide back into the dignified simplicity of the Mennonite church. Instead she finds herself hanging with the Pentecostals, who really know how to get down with sparkler pom-poms. Amid the hand waving and hallelujahs Rhoda finds a faith richly practical for life--just in time for some impressive lady problems, an unexpected romance, and a quirky new family.

Does This Church Make Me Look Fat? is for people who have a problem with organized religion, but can't quite dismiss the notion of God, and for those who secretly sing hymns in their cars, but prefer a nice mimosa brunch to church. This is the story of what it means to find joy in love, comfort in prayer, and--incredibly, surprisingly--faith in a big-hearted God.

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.
  • Praise for Does This Church Make Me Look Fat?:


    "Breezy despite the weighty subject matter... Janzen's wit and love of fashion keep things light, but her conversion to Pentecostalism after a miraculous return to health sends the book into serious seekers' territory." (People (Three Stars)).

  • "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 ).

  • "Given the gravity of the subjects-cancer and religious conversion-Janzen gave herself an enormous challenge. Could she maintain her hallmark comic voice in the midst of suffering and transformation? The answer is yes, and that is no small accomplishment... The excitement of discovery is palpable in this book."

    (Shirley Hershey Showalter, Christian Century).

  • "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 very funny writer. . . . A heartfelt memoir that is both hilarious and inspiring." (Great Day Houston).

  • "[A] vibrant, charming narrative." (Publishers Weekly).

  • "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).

  • "A very funny writer. . . . A heartfelt memoir that is both hilarious and inspiring." (Great Day Houston).

  • "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).

  • Praise for Mennonite in a Little Black Dress:

    "It is rare that I literally laugh out loud while reading, but Rhoda Janzen's voice--singular, deadpan, sharp-witted and honest--slayed me."  (Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love).

  • "I loved this book, and Rhoda Janzen.  She is a terrific, pithy, beautiful writer, a reliable, sympathetic narrator and a fantastically good sport." (Kate Christensen, The New York Times Book Review).

  • "Hilarious and touching." (People (four stars)).

  • "A hilarious collection of musings on Janzen's childhood, marriage, and eccentric family... Janzen mines Mennonite culture for comic effect, but she does so with love."
    (Entertainment Weekly
    ).

Product Details

Does This Church Make Me Look Fat?
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Price: $24.99 US/$27.99 CAN
  • Pages: 272
  • Physical Dimensions: 5-1/2" x 8-1/4"
  • ISBN-13: 9781455502882
  • On Sale Date: 10/02/2012
Does This Church Make Me Look Fat?