Saturday, December 31, 2011

To Be Perfectly Honest by Phil Gallaway

Callaway is a standup comedian. Imagine his surprise when his publisher called him and made a proposal: tell only the truth for a year and write a book about it.
He took on the challenge. He emailed all his friends and announced his plans for the year. He was dismayed when many emailed back asking for the “truth” about pranks.
His adventure gets off to a bit of a slow start. Parts were a bit boring.
Day 43: “Call me cranky, but I decided not to join in on a few of the worship songs at church this morning. I feel too much like a liar when I do.” “You're all I want...” Callaway couldn't help but think of all the things he wanted. “Shout to the Lord...” He sat there, quietly.
Callaway debates confronting others … with the truth. “truth-tellers … rarely win popularity contests.” “Sometimes we need to tell ourselves the truth before we tell it to others.”
Day 83: “I'm learning that you should never tell a lie to your spouse, but you shouldn't always tell the truth either.” He found an acrostic that helps:
T – Is what I'm about to tell her the Truth?
H – Is it Helpful?
I – Will it Inspire?
N – Is it Necessary?
K – Am I Kind about it?
Day 235: “God is working on me, but he's slow. I squirm a lot.”
He writes about being convicted in church, about visiting his dementia plagued mother, a mission trip to the Dominican Republic, a failed investment. He carries on an email dialogue with people from the Post Rapture Pet Care business. His mother dies.
His conclusion: He is much more aware of his flaws and weaknesses. He's “learning the joy of scratching a little deeper beneath the surface of Gods grace.”

Maybe I expected too much but I did not think this book was all that funny. There were funny moments but the majority of the book was rather serious.
The strength of the book comes, I think, in the discussion questions at the end. They are divided into thirteen sessions. The questions are very good. They are penetrating, jumping off from Callaway's own experiences. They would best be used in a group discussion setting.

Phil Callaway is known for his humorous yet perceptive view on life. He is the author of twenty books and is the president of Laugh and Learn, Inc. He is a popular speaker at churches, conventions and corporate events. He also repeatedly appears on television and radio shows. He and his wife have three adult children.

Multnomah Books, 224 pages.  Publisher product information.

I received an egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
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