Book Review #4 | Faith and Other Flat Tires

This week’s Book is by Andrea Palpant Dilley—and it’s called Faith and Other Flat Tires.

The daughter of Quaker medical missionaries, a daughter raised in the respect, fear and admonition of the Lord. She finds herself in a real-life Pilgrim’s Progress—but this memoir details Andrea’s journey from faith to faith, by way of skepticism.

Stuff got real when she actually **GASP** pried the Ichtcus (the fish symbol) from her car.

Now—the thing about Andrea’s memoir—it isn’t remarkably tragic. Just the opposite. It’s extra-ordinarily Christian, but I’d say her walk addresses some bumps that I even wonder if some people in the Christian community even address. Or do they just go along—secure in familiarity and comfy social structure. Can’t help but wonder that sometimes. Andrea’s doubts lead her away from that comfort, on a search for something more meaningful.

So she went—a-questioning in her teen years, a-scraping the fishy decal from her car during her college years, a-drinking, and a-dating—as she traveled the road to meaning and—ultimately—faith.

What I like most about this book is that the end is not so definitive. Yes, she found a re-discovered faith in God, but it is not cliché’ and clear-cut and totally question or doubt-free.

I recommend this read—especially for anyone of a church-y background—who is traversing the terrain of spiritual and/or religious angst. There just might be comfort in Andrea’s story.

Book Review #3 | Harriet Beamer Takes the Bus

Person: Joyce Magnin
Thing: Book—Harriet Beamer Takes the Bus
Place: On the roads of the USA, from Pennsylvania, to California
Idea: Harriet Beamer’s husband is dead, and her son and daughter-in-law now live in California—so it’s just Harriet and her dog, Humphrey. But unfortunately, Harriet falls, hurts her ankle, prompting her son and daughter-in-law to urge Harriet to move from Pennsylvania to California.

Harriet resists—but gives in—with a catch: She insists on seeing the country—using ground transportation the entire journey.
Armed with a fancy new smartphone, she begins her trek. A number of adventures later, including meeting up with and befriending a dance troupe, being kidnapped, and having a medical emergency that prompts her son and daughter-in-law to come after her—Harriet—resolute, strong as ever—insists on boarding the final bus that will carry her into Grass Valley California—which will be her new home.

This is a lovely book, full of whimsy and fun. And I admire Harriet—even though she is a fictional character. She has guts, man!

If you want a quick, fun read about an ordinary character that steps out of her comfort zone—this books for you!

Book Review #2 | Steve Pemberton | A Chance in the World


This week’s book is by Steve Pemberton, who is a Divisional Vice-President and Chief Diversity Officer for Walgreens. This book is the sometimes sorrowful, downright upsetting, but an inspiring story of Pemberton’s journey from a pretty whack situation. The book: A Chance in the World.

From the title, you would think he had one or two chances, but according to a babysitter during Steve’s toddler years, Steve had the absolutely no chance. He was also abused, misunderstood and undervalued by more than one foster family.

A lingering question in young Steve’s mind was always “Where did I come from? Where are my mother and father?” He picked up on unintentional clues from his foster family—and this bookworm turned into a sleuth to gather more information about his Dad from local newspapers at the public library.

He also had encounters with those acquainted with his father. And he met his mother’s relatives, as well as siblings he didn’t know before.

This boy—now man—who was stamped with a prediction of failure—survived abuse, learned to love reading, graduated college, learned about his parental history, connected with his family—even though this was somewhat painful—but he also found career success, and married—creating a family of his own.

Obviously that babysitter’s prediction was wrong. His circumstances might have sapped one with weaker resolve. But Steve Pemberton carved a chance out of thin air it seems. And Pemberton reserves thanks to God—for his chance in the world.

Another highly recommended read! I like this book because it shows—even if life hands a person trash—they can choose to transform it into treasure—with a glass of lemonade!

Jason Nelson | Shifting the Atmosphere With Praise


Jason Nelson talks about his single “Shifting the Atmosphere” and his history with BET’s Bobby Jones Gospel!

Jason Nelson’s single “Shifting the Atmosphere” swiftly shifted  its way through the Gospel music world. Not only is this tune blessing many, it’s also managed to maintain a prominent place on Billboard’s Gospel Songs chart for 39 weeks.

Liz had the opportunity chat with Jason Nelson about the 32nd season of Bobby Jones Gospel, a weekly staple in the Gospel music community.   Nelson also gave his perspective on events that were hot topics at the time of the interview.  The controversy discussed actually calmed in the weeks following this interview, but is still making occasional reappearances in the news.

Enjoy the interview, comment, and subscribe on YouTube!

 

 

Richard Smallwood | Creator of Timeless Gospel Classics


What’s amazing about Richard Smallwood, is the fact that people told him that his music wouldn’t sell.  Planet Noun’s Liz Anderson found that almost unbelievable—because she’s been a fan for years—and one of the key features of his music—is its timeless, classic sound.

Liz had an opportunity to talk with Smallwood for a few minutes about his latest projects, including an autobiography that’s in the works—complete with information about his genealogy!

Anthony Brown of Anthony Brown and Group Therapy | Laid Back, Ordinary Guy


He was dressed in sweats and a t-shirt, and donned a cap throughout the interview—he seemed so laid-back, Liz later noted that it was as if she were talking to one of her own brothers.

One thought that meandered through her mind—“If I saw him on the street, I wouldn’t be able to tell this guy performs in front of many, and is a writer, singer, director or producer.  He’s so cool!”

Brown and Liz shared a few minutes talking about the off-stage Anthony Brown.  An ordinary guy—the introverted leader and talented performer.

Planet Noun Book Review #1 | Sober Mercies by Heather Kopp


The main idea is pretty clear in the title. Heather Kopp is a Christian. And she was a straight up drunk. The book opens with her waking up in the guest room of her home—when she guesses why she spent the night there—again. Yup—she was wasted the night before. From the preface, she admits she didn’t even have a inkling that the end of her days drunken-dom (yes I just made up a word) were before her—but she writes:

“So instead, God comes to us disguised as our life, wooing is through our misery toward surrender.
At least, that was how it was for me.”

And from the moment she had a near out-of-town-shopping meltdown trying to lay her hands on some booze to slip in her purse in order to get her through a long evening—only to discover the beers she finally scored were too huge for her purse. So she dashed to a Sears, purchased a whopping purse with which she would carry her liquid sanity. But it wasn’t sanity. From this point, she was on her way there—with sobriety at the finish line.

Sober Mercies is hilarious. It is—no pun intended—sobering as well. This honest look at the underbelly of Christian existence—no wait—it’s not the underbelly—it’s just the human side of the Christian experience, and I love this book for this reason.

Tamela Mann’s Best Days are ahead–literally, and figuratively! (Inaugural interview)

Tamela Mann has enjoyed phenomenal success since the August 2012 release of her album “Best Days”, a GRAMMY ® nomination.

To celebrate the official (albeit quiet) launch of Planet Noun, enjoy our inaugural YouTube video, which was released two days before August 2012 release of “Best Days”.  Mann discusses the album and the lyrical resonance the hit song “Take Me to the King” has had with the public.  She also gives a sneak peek into a new cooking show that she and husband David have in the works.


Mann, her husband David, and her son were all warm, gracious, and yes—David Mann is hilarious in real life.  If Ms. Tamela’s entourage is any indication of her personal priorities, the sweet fragrance of a loving family must be at the tip-top of that list!

Find out about this and more—on Planet Noun—where we cover people, places, things, and ideas!

People, places, things, ideas!