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Minneapolis Book Club "Nothing: Something to Believe in" by Nica Lalli Jun 4 7-9

  • Common Roots Cafe

    2558 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN (map)

    44.955694 -93.288050

  • We are meeting in the common room in the back.
  • Last month, we discussed the first half of Nothing: Something to Believe In, which focused on the author's childhood. This sparked interesting discussion about how the author's experiences related to our own.

    This month, we will be covering the second part of the book, which focuses more on familial relationships and what life can be like in a marriage of mixed religious and non religious belief.

    If you missed the first discussion on the book, here is your chance to give your two cents. Whether you hated it, or loved it, your opinion matters.

    We are meeting in the Common Room in the back of the shop.

    Common Roots is on Lyndale, in the Lyn-Lake neighborhood in Minneapolis. You can get there via the 4 and 115 bus lines. Parking can be tricky. There is a small lot, but parking is also available in the neighborhood.

    From Publishers Weekly
    Books on atheism are red-hot this year, and Lalli’s adds something fresh to the mix: rather than being an angry apologetic, it’s an engaging personal account of non-belief. Raised in Chicago and New York to free-thinking parents who seem to have provided little supervision, Lalli had sporadic encounters with religion at her friends’ churches and synagogues as a child. A disastrous high school ski trip turned her off completely when religious students tried to convert her with manipulative tactics. In college, she fell in love with a fellow agnostic, whom she married after a brief stint of what she calls "living in sin." Although Lalli got along well with her Christian mother-in-law, her self-righteous sister-in-law and her husband were a different story, and much of the memoir’s second half explores serious family tensions. "I got the feeling that I had to respect them for their religion but they were not going to return the favor," Lalli writes. Although Lalli doesn’t come across as being quite as open-minded as she claims herself to be, she does see herself as an equal-opportunity agnostic, as skeptical about a tarot reading as she is about Christian platitudes. This memoir is well-written and often acerbically funny, an edgy quest for meaning outside the boundaries of organized religion.

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