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Everything Happens for a Reason and Other Lies I've Loved
Everything Happens for a Reason and Other Lies I've Loved | Kate Bowler
London-born Kate Bowler, a thirty-five year-old professor at the school of divinity at Duke, had finally had a baby with her childhood sweetheart when she began to feel jabbing pains in her stomach. She lost thirty pounds, guzzled antacid, and visited doctors for three months before she was finally diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer. As Kate navigates the aftermath of her diagnosis, she pulls the reader into her life and her history affectionately filled with a colourful retinue of friends, mega-church preachers, parents, and doctors and shares her irreverent, laser-sharp reflections on faith, friendship, love, and death. She wonders why suffering makes her feel like a loser and explores the burden of positivity. Trying to relish the time she still has with her son and husband, she realizes she must cure her habit of skipping to the end and planning the next move. An historian of the American Prosperity Gospel (the creed of the megachurches that promises believers a cure for tragedy, if they just want it badly enough) Kate finds that she craves these same 'outrageous certainties'. Why is it so hard to surrender when she knows there are no spiritual guarantees? In Everything Happens for Reason we encounter one of the talented, courageous few who - like Paul Kalanithi - can articulate the grief we feel as we contemplate our own mortality.
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review
Suet624
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Mehso-so

This wasn‘t quite what I was expecting but I admit I went in cold. What I am leaving with is finally understanding what a prosperity church is all about. I didn‘t realize that‘s what those mega churches are all about. There are a number of problems with their thinking, not the least of which is that if you have cancer it‘s your own fault. She highlights how that affected her throughout her treatment.

Cinfhen Wait??? What???? Cancer is your own fault!!!!! 😡I‘m not ok with that!!!!!! 1mo
Suet624 @Cinfhen You‘re not thinking positively, you‘re not trusting God enough, you have sinned somehow. Ugh. 1mo
readordierachel That is massively screwed up 😠 1mo
See All 6 Comments
Cinfhen Ugh!!!! That‘s just terrible and in the name of God and religion makes it worse 1mo
Texreader Ugh 1mo
Reggie Boo. 1mo
57 likes1 stack add6 comments
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EadieB
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gradcat Cool. Marilyn Monroe! 😎 3mo
EadieB @gradcat I know! That‘s why I posted that one! Love Marilyn! 3mo
gradcat Me, too!! 3mo
56 likes3 comments
blurb
nzisai
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I will die, yes, but not today

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blurb
Caterina
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I have taken 3 naps today, starting at 10 am, with heating pads draped over various joints of my body - this is a forced [fibro] rest day. Highlight of the day so far was sitting on the front porch with #Pippin reading the first 1/3 of this book for an hour, before I got too sore from sitting and had to come in. Maybe tomorrow I can squeeze in a run/walk before church!🤞#BookFitnessChallenge #BFC @wanderinglynn #bostonterriersoflitsy #dogsoflitsy

Crazeedi Sending special healing vibes your way! I know what you're going through, some days are just hard. So pamper yourself and read😘 6mo
robinb Healing wishes being sent for some relief and peace. 💙 6mo
BookwormAHN Hugs 💐 6mo
cobwebmoth Gentle hugs to you.❤ 6mo
Clwojick Sending healing vibes your way! 🍃 6mo
44 likes5 comments
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Caterina
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"It was certainty, plain and simple, that God had a worthy plan for my life in which every setback would also be a step forward. I wanted God to make me good and make me faithful, with just a few shining accolades along the way. Anything would do if hardships were only detours on my long life's journey. I believed God would make a way.

I don't believe that anymore."

35 likes1 stack add
review
goodbyefrancie
Mehso-so

I guess Bill Gates and I have different taste in books. Meh. Not what I was expecting, and too much of what I wasn't expecting.

55 likes2 stack adds
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samjmitchell
Panpan

I do feel like I can judge in a more non-biased view given my own diagnosis. Every cancer memoir that is published is going to influence people‘s view about our illness, mortality, etc. None of us can know what‘s to come, religion won‘t tell us the truth. To me, she explored (and over shared) her religion. This was more of a religious book then a cancer memoir. Was she still a televangelist and believed in the prosperity gospel? I don‘t know. 2/5.

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EmmaMae
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Pickpick

A complex and beautiful memoir. Kate tells a story of being in the middle of hard things, the questions we ask, what is important, and whom and what matters without trivializing her experience. #bookclubreads

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BittersweetBooks
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Live unburdened. Live free. Live without forevers that don‘t always come 😷🏥⏳

14 likes1 stack add
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Arudakewiz
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“...we just can‘t know...our brains fill in all the details, for good or for ill. We want to tell ourselves a story - any story- so we can get back to certainty.”

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Clint
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Pickpick

I enjoyed this book very much. Kind of a quick read but mainly because I didn‘t want to put it down. We are all dying, it was insightful to hear more about her journey.

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abbielistenstobooks
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Bailedbailed

Another jesusy one! Why is this happening to meeeeeeeee

I really thought this was going to be ANTI jesusy, from the title, and the description. And even the first, like 60% of it. Alas, no.

gradcat Ha ha! I don‘t know why I‘m laughing 😂, but It strikes me as funny! Sorry for you, though...I completely understand what you‘re saying. 13mo
abbielistenstobooks @gradcat please do laugh! I just went back and read the book's description again. It's definitely unclear that she's going to be a jesus freak. Oh well. Song of Achilles is up next - a re-read for my IRL book club. Yay! 13mo
AutumnRLS I read this too and thought the title and description were misleading. 13mo
abbielistenstobooks @AutumnRLS thank you! Misleading. Yes! 13mo
12 likes4 comments
quote
gottabechispa

It was certainty, plain and simple that God had a worthy plan for my life in which every set back would also be a step forward.

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kspenmoll
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https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/26/opinion/sunday/cancer-what-to-say.html
#memoir
Kate Bowler, a professor of Christian history at Duke University who specials in the history of the Prosperity Gospel, discovers she has Stage IV colon cancer at the age of 35. This is her memoir. I have no background in the Prosperity Gospel, but as I read I could recognize it in American culture. This is raw,funny, gut wrenching, uplifting.

Crazeedi I'd like to read, not a proponent of the prosperity gospel, but I'd like to read her story. (edited) 1y
53 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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InnerSavvy
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Mehso-so

It was a little confusing. I do not agree with the Prosperity Gospel and I was not even sure Kate did, but she wrote a dissertation on it so it was the basis for a this book on her finding out she had colon cancer and the struggle she had fighting it. Enjoyed parts.

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Elma
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Mehso-so

Really enjoyed the first chapter and a couple chapters towards the end, but the middle of this book was super boring. I feel like this whole book would have been better served as a blog post.

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Elma
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Things not to say to people experiencing terrible times.

Love this!!

13 likes1 stack add
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Elma
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Yes!! This!!

#bothand #theology

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Elma
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😂😂😂

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Elma
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Elma
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😂😂😂

#savedbythebell

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Elma
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One of the many reasons I hate prosperity gospel.

#badtheology #theology #prosperitygospel

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Elma
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Rcoco
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Pickpick

Excellent read. Echoes of “The Bright Hour” and even “When Breath Becomes Air”. The author is living with stage IV cancer and her insights are poignant and funny. A Christian perspective, but not preachy. For anyone, but especially people with loved ones with cancer.

44 likes1 stack add
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Elma
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"What if rich did not have to mean wealthy, and whole did not have to mean healed? What of being people of "the gospel"meant we are simply people with good news? God is here. We are loved. It is enough."

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Ashley_Nicoletto
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Mehso-so

I have mixed feelings about this book. While the book wrecked me emotionally (see: she tells her husband he's her bucket list 😭😭😭) it also felt disjointed in places and I sometimes had a hard time following.

Takeaways: Never tell a terminally ill person that everything happens for a reason, God needs an angel, or it could be worse.

57 likes1 stack add
blurb
TieDyeDude
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First, ALAN ALDA HAS A PODCAST!
Second, this interview with Kate Bowler about the tagged book was excellent. She is an amazing human. Has anyone read the book?

wanderinglynn I listened to the first episode with Sarah Silverman. It was very interesting. 1y
Amanda23 Love Alan! 1y
26 likes2 comments
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AllisonMP
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Pickpick

Poignant, and somehow lovely and fortifying.

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LiteraryLass
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“... they feel the English language has reached its limit in a time of inarticulate sorrow.”

2 likes1 stack add
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hwestfall
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Pickpick

"I had my own prosperity gospel. A flowering weed grown in with all the rest."

This was an interesting memoir of a woman diagnosed with colon cancer. She is a historian of the "prosperity gospel" and sprinkles facts about this along the way. As a person who has struggled with my own health issues and my faith I found this book struck a chord with me. There were tears, times I chuckled out loud, rolled my eyes and nodded in agreement.

2 likes1 stack add
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nikirtehsuxlol

The promise of heaven to me is this: someday I will get a new set of lungs and I will swim away. But first I will drown.

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nikirtehsuxlol

I am preparing for death and everyone else is on Instagram.

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nikirtehsuxlol
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🤷‍♀️? 😇? 😔?

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UnabridgedPod
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Pickpick

This #audiobook is amazing. Oh my gosh, it‘s sad, but the author‘s voice brings her experience so close. Kate Bowler‘s research into prosperity gospel and her frank discussion of her cancer diagnosis and treatment results in a moving, compelling memoir.

11 likes1 comment
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lbdallas
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Just got this from the library. I can't count how many people have recommended it to me.

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Nonaroo
Pickpick

Kate Bowler writes honestly about living with an incurable form of cancer. She lives from as she says “scan to scan” and tries to savor every minute she has with her family. Bowler discusses living in this in between space of not knowing how much time she has. This book isn‘t a downer. I love that she includes a section on what to say and what NOT to say to those going through a rough time.

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mrozzz
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Pickpick

In this short memoir, author & cancer patient Kate Bowler gets right to the point— staring down one‘s inevitable death is daunting, and yet through her faith and the support of her family she glares in the face of the cancer that‘s killing her and keeps fighting. Although I wish I‘d gotten a little more detail out of this (á la When Breath Becomes Air) this is still a quick, emotional read.

90 likes2 stack adds
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Jeanne_S
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Pickpick

Poignant.

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rebeccarvincent
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Husband has the kids for the day so I‘m treating myself to lunch. Turns out, when the mice are away the cat will play 😁😸 #readitandeat

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Jules7
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Mehso-so

The author is a professor at Duke Divinity School, married to a Mennonite, and extensively studied what she calls the “prosperity gospel.” Then throw in trouble conceiving a child and shortly after his safe delivery, a diagnosis of stage 4 colon cancer. I guess her goal was ultimately about how to make sense of life when things go incredibly haywire, and how our definition of “God” fits into all that.

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Floresj
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Mehso-so

I think I'd like Kate Bowler if I met her. This is her memoir as she comes to terms with having stage 4 cancer. Maybe I'd like this one more if I were into prosperity gospel, but it did give me some reflection on what to say to anyone who is dealing with tragedy. As a book, it just didn't rise like "When breath becomes air" or "the brightest hour" for me.

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sarahjane1077
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Home from the hospital and my best friend brought me some recovery reading. ❤️her.

8 likes1 stack add
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jillrhudy
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And now for some honest hard TRUTH. Not the Facebook version.

8 likes1 stack add
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Cynthia4
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Pickpick

Kate Bowler is a scholar at Duke Divinity School.And blunt. Philosophically satisfying, everything Happens For a Reason is not proselytizing. Bowler is a young wife and mother with stage four cancer. Typically we hear about religions other than Christianity promoting the link between perusal happiness and life success when you believe. Bowler takes this notion down, accepts her eventual fate, and embraces the moment enveloped by grace.

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Rhondareads
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Kate Bowler a young woman is diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. She openly shares her diagnosis her treatment but most of all her spirit her personality her sense of humor shines through.She is surrounded by family tons of love & there is hope.An emotional beautifully written memoir.

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Notafraidofwords
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Pickpick

Kate Bowler writes about her incurable cancer diagnosis, her little boy and her husband in such a beautiful way. More importantly, she writes about the ways in which we want to believe in certainty. The ways in which we use religion to believe that God is the man with a plan. But, is that true? Could you believe in God and still believe that there is no plan? I think so, but it requires a total shift in the way you view Christianity and life.

ReadingEnvy Ooh haven't heard of this. 2y
MargoCatts That title is 🎯. Added to my TBR! 2y
See All 8 Comments
Billypar Great review! 👏👏 2y
mauveandrosysky @Notafraidofwords I haven't! Do you think an atheist (i.e. me) would enjoy it? I'm trying to gauge how heavy the religion aspect is... 2y
Notafraidofwords @mauveandrosysky the religion aspect is the whole point of this book. She‘s sort of examining how prosperity churches deal with cancer or other horrible things. There‘s a lot of religion but also a lot of contemplation of live and the ways in which you deal with bad things. She is religious and does believe in Jesus and she‘s also a theologian so she doesn‘t shy away from that. 2y
mauveandrosysky @Notafraidofwords gotcha! In that case I think I will probably skip it, though it does sound like it's interesting and thoughtful! 2y
Notafraidofwords @mauveandrosysky totally understandable. My parents raised me catholic and then attended a properity gospel church and it always struck me funny, the ways in which people justify bad things. This book helped me understand that I wasn‘t crazy. 2y
81 likes3 stack adds8 comments
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jbhops
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Litsy friends, has anyone read this? A dear friend is considering reading it but it hits close to home - her 30 year old husband was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer just over a year ago. He went through chemo and is now cancer free. That being said, she's nervous about picking it up. I'm going to read it for her but also want your opinions! Is it worth reading?

Cosmos_Moon I just heard an NPR interview this morning with the author, and it sounds like a beautiful and horrifying book. I had to add to my read list. 2y
jbhops @Smemily thank you so much!! I sent my friend the NPR interview and she ran out to get the book after listening to it. 2y
Notafraidofwords Just finished it. Totally worth it. 2y
31 likes3 comments