One of my favorite parts of the summer is that since I'm not teaching or taking classes, and since I don't have to go to regular meetings every week, and since I generally work at a slower pace than during the semester, I usually find some time to read books for fun. Back before I went to grad school I used to read at least a book a week (and usually more) for fun, but since starting my phd program 4 years ago (has it been that long? Jebus!) I find that after a long day of reading journal articles and academic books, when I get home, I just want to veg out in front of the tv. I usually do manage to read something for fun, but it can take me months to get through a book.
So far, since about two weeks ago when I handed in grades for this semester, I've finished Dancing Girls by Margaret Atwood (which I had been slowly reading since January sometime), re-read the last Harry Potter book and the new Chuck Palahniuk book (Rant), and started reading Bait and Switch by Barbera Ehrenreich. I'm almost done with that though, and I don't have any new books I particularly want to read in my queue right now (I've been about half way through A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn for like 3 years now, but reading it feels too much like school, so it'll continue to live half-read on my night stand indefinitely), so it's time for new books.
I read a Column in the Huffington Post today (my favorite super-lefty daily news source) written by Elissa Wall, who left the FLDS church. This reminded me that I had been wanted to read another book by someone who left the FLDS church, and while I was at it, I figured I could read a book by someone who left orthodox judaism as well.
The reason I started this blog is because last year when my grandmother died, at the funeral my dad used about 20% of the eulogy to talk about his mother, and about 80% to talk about how he has to make sure his children are orthodox jews to "honor" his mother (who ironically was "traditional," not orthodox, and went to a conservative shul). I was very hurt by this, and one random day started searching google to try and find other people who had left orthodox judaism. I came across Jewish Atheist's blog, and was inspired to start my own.
The point here being is that many blogs in the little circle that is the former-orthodox-jewish-current-skeptics-blogosphere are about intellectual critisisms of Judaism, but what I was looking for, and what I try to write about, is the actual personal experiences of leaving a lifestyle which you were raised in, and which all of your family lives by. Sometimes this blog has descended into people bickering about bullshit (ie who I really am "thanking" on thanksgiving if I don't believe in god), but really, I have no interest in fighting about my beliefs or lack thereof. I'm just looking for some people who are going through similar experiences as I am, so I feel a little less lonely on this journey.
Anyways, back to my original point, the theme of the books I just ordered on amazon.com to start off my summer reading list is that of people leaving their fundementalist religious upbringing. They are:
Stolen Innocence by Elissa Wall
A Former FLDS member
Escape By Carolyn Jessop
Another former FLDS member
Foreskins Lament by Shalom Auslander
A former orthodox jew who grew up in Monsey (where I went to high school!), this book has been mentioned on many a skeptic's blog, so I figured I would check it out. Plus this seems to be the only book out there about leaving Orthodox Judaism, unless I'm mistaken (but looking at related books, and what other people who bought this book have bought, that seems to be the case)
And finally Beware of God: Stories by Shalom Auslander
Same guy who wrote Foreskins Lament, cause what the heck, it was only $10.