BOOK REVIEW - "Nothing" Something to Believe in

Friday, June 20, 2008

Nothing - Something to Believe In - by Nica Lalli

This book details the events of a woman's life, from early childhood into adulthood, as she comes to grasps with her atheism, or at least, her lack of believe in anything. Along the way, she encounters interesting characters- relatives, boyfriends, and aquaintances. It's an extremely honest book and I enjoyed peeking into the life of a female atheist. I found alot of similarities between Nica's life, and mine. Granted, Nica grew up in a well to do family in NYC and I grew up in a depressed, poor, freezing cold area filled with Italian Catholics, but other than that, there were alot of similarities. I thought it was interesting that she was raised, basically, as an athiest. I think thats why she had such an easy time resisting the "converters" as they try to bring religion into her life by first befriending her, then sticking the religious rhetoric to her. Her account of going to a "church ski retreat" and being locked in a basement and spewed hellfire at, brought back some memories for me. At times she seems confused, almost hurt by peoples insistance that she believe "something". Other times she seems downright befuttled by her Jewish roots and her lack of belief. This book is heartfelt, familiar to many, and entertaining. I think its a mandatory addition to any non believer's bookshelf. Even Christians would benefit from reading this to get a prespective of how "non-believers" have to deal with a world that feels completely off its rocker when it comes to God. Its maddening, and I think Nica captures this perfectly in her book.

Now the English Major in me has to speak. My only negative comment is, for someone who went to Vassar, I didn't find Nica's story telling techniques to be that creative, nor her descriptive vocabulary to be that diverse. That is not to say her story telling was not entertaining and well written. Maybe she meant it to be factual and to the point; I don't know. The book is interesting and the story is good enough to keep even picky readers coming back for more, but I wouldn't herrald her writing style as particularly captivating. I absolutely enjoyed it though.

Find out for yourself! Want this book? you can order a copy of Nothing - Something to Believe In from PROMETHEUS BOOKS!