American Gods

American Gods
By Neil Gaiman

You never know with recommendations from my brother, Adam.  Sometimes, like with his fierce love of the entire Matrix trilogy, his taste is suspect. However, other times, like with this book, he is a sage advisor.

I LOVED this book! Loved, loved, loved!

This is the story of Shadow, who is released from prison to find his previous life-as-he-knew-it, completely flipped over. He has strange, cryptic dreams and meets a mysterious man, Mr. Wednesday, who hires Shadow to be his personal companion and guard, and leads him on an absolutely unbelievable spiritual, mental, and physical journey.

The story is about religion, but, moreso, it is about belief- in believing in something bigger than ourselves and surrendering to not always knowing the answers, surrendering to changing our minds, being willing to leave everything behind if it means doing what is right, and questioning what it really is that we put our faith in and what it really means to be alive. Believe me, though, it doesn’t feel nearly as heavy as this. It feels more like floating in a pool on your back: effortless.

I would tell you more but I don’t want to spoil it. This book slowly reveals itself, layer by layer like one of those delicious layered, flaky biscuits. You know the biscuits I’m talking about? So good, right? And when you get to the last layer, you are so sad it’s over and want to eat the biscuit all over again. This book is exactly like that.

I was dazzled by the style and the integration of ancient myths from around the world. The story is so beautiful and engaging. I never knew what was going to happen next and was pleasantly surprised with each revelation.

Oddly enough, I think my greatest appreciation of this book came when I was walking home in the rain. It was cold and I was soaked, and couldn’t help but reminisce about some terrible things I have gone through in the past year. But (and this will all make sense to you after you have read it), I found myself grateful to have been tested and come out of it. Grateful for the suffering because it reaffirmed that my heart still beats.

I know that sounds cheesy, and maybe it is… but shut up and read the book and then we’ll see who’s cheesy.

Read this book.

Do you hear me?!


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