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Hope and Other Superpowers: a book review

✂️✂️✂️✂️✂️/5

A book about superheroes, our current political landscape, and hope? And they go together all in one book?

Yep.

I have followed the author, John Pavlovitz since 2016, shortly after Trump was elected. He popped up in my Facebook feed and I headed to his blog to read more. He is viewed as polarizing pastor in some circles but oddly enough, it’s primarily the church circles who view him as such.

So, a book review about politics, religion and a polarizing pastor? This should go well.

It will. I promise. Because this book is about hope and I don’t know a single person, in the church or out of the church, who doesn’t need hope. I know I do.

And did I mention superheroes? He uses all the well known superheroes to beautifully illustrate the points of his book. I’m a sucker for superheroes so I was hooked.

What this book boils down to is how we treat each other and how we inspire and give hope to others. That issue is something that has been on my mind a lot lately, and really, the past several years.

John gave an example of watching coverage of Hurricane Harvey and rescue after rescue – others helping others without a care as to what their political views were, what church they attended or didn’t attend, their race, or whether they were legal citizens or not.

That was eye opening to me because he was right; I watched the same footage and I never wondered if the woman stranded in her home voted for Trump or Clinton.

I would be lying if I said that my heart doesn’t hurt for how our president treats others or that I can support that behavior just because he is our president. I can’t look past it in favor of policy. But at the same time, I can’t directly influence a change in him either and that realization has been deeply dividing for our country.

This book helped me to refocus.

He wrote about activism; a word that scares a lot of people. But it’s really not frightening at all when it ends up as simply looking to help those who have been marginalized in your own community. I don’t have to 100% agree with someone to be kind and helpful.

I don’t even agree with the author on every point but I took from the book what I needed for my heart, for my life. And that’s the approach I’m going to start taking on a daily basis. It’s hard to be angry and despondent when you are focused on helping others.

From a writing perspective, John is a great writer. He is passionate and he has a way of conveying his passion through examples, like the Hurricane Harvey passage, and of course the superheroes.

This was a fairly quick read and left me feeling better than I did before I started the book. I am still thinking about what he wrote and that is typically a sign of a good book – if it sticks with you after you turn the final page.

Who would I recommend this book to? Anyone in need of hope; especially the weary and the hurting. And please don’t let the pastor thing scare you off. This book was written for everyone and quite possibly more for those who have been hurt and turned away by the traditional church.

This book is available on November 6th which just happens to be Election Day. Well played, John Pavlovitz. Because no matter how the results come in, hope is still needed whether you are red or blue.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher, Simon & Schuster, for the advanced reader’s copy. I received this ebook for free in exchange for my honest opinion.

3 Comments

  • Michael

    Wonderful review! This reminds me a bit of Rebecca Solnit’s Hope in the Dark, which I loved. She seems to make a similar argument: most people don’t panic and exploit each other in the wake of tragedy or disaster, but instead come together and try to do as much good as possible.

    • jj3nkinson

      Thank you! I’ll have to look that other book up. Thanks for the suggestion. We need more books that focus on hope!

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