Welcome to my website and thanks for checking me out. My name is Joanne (Kao) Beckman and my book, Groceries on a Saturday Morning: Confessions from Real Life Christianity, was recently published. (You may read blurbs, excerpts, and reviews of the book, as well as order now, at Amazon.com. Just click on the bookcover to your right.)
This collection of personal essays is my attempt to express and reflect upon what it means to live as a flawed but thoughtful Christian in everyday life, behind-the-scenes, when no one else is looking. We all have a longing to know and be known, to love and be loved, and we’ll do just about anything to make it happen. Sometimes we fall on our faces, sometimes we soar above, sometimes we crash and burn, and sometimes we get an epiphany. This isn’t so much a book on the “how to’s” of Christianity, then, but on “how it is” Christianity. It’s not about how to be a perfect Christian, but how to be an honest one. Whether you’re a Christian, atheist, or agnostic (and I’ve been all three), I’m hoping you’ll recognize someone like yourself in these pages. I’d love to hear from you. Read my book and let me know what you think.
Here’s what some others are saying:
I could not put this book down; a collection of piercingly candid vignettes, personal idiosyncrasies, and a raw look at moments that changed the author’s life…all alluringly framed and craftily penned… unassuming and honest, filled with humor and valiant self-examination…the reader gets inside her head to hear internal dialogue, doubts, and self-justification…in ways we can all relate. Her lack of glib spiritual talk and honesty leaves one refreshed and uplifted…reveals her smarts and her wit. A must read. —ES, New York
Beware. There is no comfortable way to read this book. You will be silenced by her honesty and self-exposure, and compelled to examine your own deepest reactions to the ups and downs and funny moments of life. If the words of St. Irenaeus are true–“The glory of God is man fully alive.”–then here is a book that glorifies God; for in its pages you meet someone fully alive; alive to her own foibles, hang ups, and weaknesses; alive to her own strengths and sureties; alive to the sorrows and joys of those around her; and most of all alive to the presence of the transcendent in her life. Read, ponder, and pass it on.—AT, New Jersey
In a time when books packs so little punch for their many words, Groceries reverses that trend. Just 166 pages in 11 chapters… this book can be read in an afternoon, but reflected upon and relished for years. In highly honed style, Beckman writes with great candor, humor, and wit inside a faith-based framework. But not in your typical manner. With a gift for introspection and self- awareness, underpinned by humility, the author is able to explore and tap her inner thoughts and emotions in a way that will make many readers squirm and wonder, “Can a Christian really say or think that?” From devastating her daughter by returning the family dog, to wondering if her voice is indeed “delightfully melodious” (in Woody Allen-like, comedic self-absorption), this is not a book for the religious, but for those who understand the grace of God and, after all is said and done, how our humanity can’t help but point us back to God. The book starts on a serious note as the author tackles the adoption of their first child and ends with a powerful story about her coming to faith in Christ (after being an avowed atheist). In between is great writing, turns of phrases, laugh lines, and profound insights. —RK, British Columbia