I Can't Date Jesus
Featured as one of Summer 2018’s most anticipated reads by the Los Angeles Times, Vogue, Vulture, Entertainment Weekly, ELLE, Buzzfeed, and Bitch Media.In the style of New York Times bestsellers You Can’t Touch My Hair, Bad Feminist, and I’m Judging You, a timely collection of alternately hysterical and soul‑searching essays about what it is like to grow up as a creative, sensitive black man in a world that constantly tries to deride and diminish your humanity.It hasn’t been easy being Michael Arceneaux. Equality for LGBT people has come a long way and all, but voices of persons of color within the community are still often silenced, and being black in America is…well, have you watched the news? With the characteristic wit and candor that have made him one of today’s boldest writers on social issues, I Can’t Date Jesus is Michael Arceneaux’s impassioned, forthright, and refreshing look at minority life in today’s America. Leaving no bigoted or ignorant stone unturned, he describes his journey in learning to embrace his identity when the world told him to do the opposite. He eloquently writes about coming out to his mother; growing up in Houston, Texas; that time his father asked if he was “funny” while shaking his hand; his obstacles in embracing intimacy; and the persistent challenges of young people who feel marginalized and denied the chance to pursue their dreams. Perfect for fans of David Sedaris and Phoebe Robinson, I Can’t Date Jesus tells us—without apologies—what it’s like to be outspoken and brave in a divisive world.

I Can't Date Jesus Details

TitleI Can't Date Jesus
Author
ReleaseJul 24th, 2018
PublisherAtria / 37 INK
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Writing, Essays, Lgbt, Glbt, Queer

I Can't Date Jesus Review

  • Roxane
    January 1, 1970
    There are stories that simply demand to be told and Michael Arceneaux’s is one such story. In I Can’t Date Jesus: Love, Sex, Family, Race, and Other Reasons I’ve Put My Faith in Beyoncé, Arceneaux writes from his life as a black gay man with an uncanny strength of conviction and such fine wit. The essays collected here reveal Arceneaux at his finest, as he grapples with the very things that shape our lives--faith, family, and finding a way into the world he wants to be a part of. Whether he is w There are stories that simply demand to be told and Michael Arceneaux’s is one such story. In I Can’t Date Jesus: Love, Sex, Family, Race, and Other Reasons I’ve Put My Faith in Beyoncé, Arceneaux writes from his life as a black gay man with an uncanny strength of conviction and such fine wit. The essays collected here reveal Arceneaux at his finest, as he grapples with the very things that shape our lives--faith, family, and finding a way into the world he wants to be a part of. Whether he is writing about coming to terms with his father’s rage or his complicated relationship to Christianity or his trepidations about dating and finding human connection, Arceneaux makes keen observations and sculpts beauty from the ugly things a lesser writer would shy away from. This is not a perfect book--there are some odd structure choices in a few of the essays and a bit too much unnecessary detail in others, but the critical thinking, from beginning to end, is outstanding. I Can’t Date Jesus is a must-read collection from a rising, unforgettable voice.
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    Contender for fave memoir title of 2018 Although not familiar with the work of Michael Arceneaux, I was intrigued to explore this collection of memoir essays. Even though this book didn't have me rolling on the floor with belly laughs, I enjoyed the feel of the book. As if, Michael Arceneaux, was sitting across from me in a cafe and pouring out his perspectives on the Catholic faith, his struggles with coming out to family and friends, thoughts on dating/marriage, American politics, and his lov Contender for fave memoir title of 2018 Although not familiar with the work of Michael Arceneaux, I was intrigued to explore this collection of memoir essays. Even though this book didn't have me rolling on the floor with belly laughs, I enjoyed the feel of the book. As if, Michael Arceneaux, was sitting across from me in a cafe and pouring out his perspectives on the Catholic faith, his struggles with coming out to family and friends, thoughts on dating/marriage, American politics, and his love for Beyonce. But I guess if we were really having coffee I would probably be shushing him to stop talking about his blowjobs. Book will be published in July 2018. Thanks to NetGalley for an advanced ebook in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Mara
    January 1, 1970
    4/4.5 stars- The perspective of this memoir is one that I think is much needed and I would love to see more of: what does it look like to reckon with people and institutions that on some level don't want you, even when you have lingering love or affection from them? Michael Arceneaux grapples with these questions very thoughtfully on many levels: as a "recovering Catholic," as a gay child of a religious mother, as an adult child of an alcoholic and abusive father, as a black gay man in a white d 4/4.5 stars- The perspective of this memoir is one that I think is much needed and I would love to see more of: what does it look like to reckon with people and institutions that on some level don't want you, even when you have lingering love or affection from them? Michael Arceneaux grapples with these questions very thoughtfully on many levels: as a "recovering Catholic," as a gay child of a religious mother, as an adult child of an alcoholic and abusive father, as a black gay man in a white dominated gay culture, etc. etc. I found this to be very moving, and I admire how he unfolded the story, adding layers and nuances as each chapter progressed. This book is definitely funny at times, but I would say that is not the overall tone of the book. If that is your expectation, I think you would be disappointed or confused, so I wanted to clarify that despite the comedic tone of the title itself (which is great, btw), this is not a humorous memoir or an ironic take on pop culture. Rather, there are funny moments and observations about pop culture that are incorporated into the larger personal story he is telling. All told, I really enjoyed this, particularly the religious aspects, and am excited to read more from him in the future.Also, big cosign on a wholesale rejection of Beytheism. Life is too short.
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  • Kayla Brunson
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you Atria Books for providing me with a copy for an honest review.I haven’t read anything by Michael Arceneaux before, but when I heard he was from Houston like me and saw the title I knew I wanted to read it. This was compared toYou Can't Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain and I loved that book last year.This guy is hilarious as hell and he kept me laughing while reading. The style of the book feels as if we are having dinner and he’s telling me about his life. It’s v Thank you Atria Books for providing me with a copy for an honest review.I haven’t read anything by Michael Arceneaux before, but when I heard he was from Houston like me and saw the title I knew I wanted to read it. This was compared toYou Can't Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain and I loved that book last year.This guy is hilarious as hell and he kept me laughing while reading. The style of the book feels as if we are having dinner and he’s telling me about his life. It’s very laid back but don’t think that he’s not hitting you with some hard-hitting truths about the world. I learned a lot from reading about the obstacles he had to face and go through as a gay black man. We also get topics from race, religion, and his love for Beyonce. I love his candor and his sense of humor: “You want to learn how to give up on humanity? Ride the bus in L.A.”“Are you a homosexual?”“Yes, as long as women still come with vaginas.” My favorite part of the book was all of the Houston references. People outside of Houston might not understand them, but I loved seeing my city in a book.I did have to knock some stars off because it a little heavy in unnecessary information and also very heavy on sexual topics. That doesn’t bother me in the slightest but I know that some people might not enjoy it.All in all, this book was entertaining as it was informational and I can’t wait to read more from him.**Quotes are from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.Follow Books and Blends on:Blog | Instagram | Twitter
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  • Bri (girlwithabookblog.com)
    January 1, 1970
    I really thought I was going to go through all of 2018 only reading books written by women, but Michael Arcenaux's debut I Can't Date Jesus sounded too intriguing to ignore. Despite not reading any of Arceneaux's work before, I really enjoyed reading his memoir essays. He's a big shot in the journalism world, particularly known for writing from the gay and black POV, but you don't need to know his previous work to dive into this! Arceneaux brilliantly writes about the tensions between his family I really thought I was going to go through all of 2018 only reading books written by women, but Michael Arcenaux's debut I Can't Date Jesus sounded too intriguing to ignore. Despite not reading any of Arceneaux's work before, I really enjoyed reading his memoir essays. He's a big shot in the journalism world, particularly known for writing from the gay and black POV, but you don't need to know his previous work to dive into this! Arceneaux brilliantly writes about the tensions between his family, religion, sexuality, professional goals, Beyoncé, and beyond. I dug all of the Texas references (some of my favorites were deep cuts that people outside of Texas might not understand... but people read that kind of stuff all of the time about NYC, so don't let that dissuade you) and enjoyed reading about his reflections upon how his experiences, both during youth and more recently, have greatly shaped the man Arceneaux is today.Disclaimer: I was provided with a digital copy of this book for free from Atria Books via NetGalley. All opinions expressed in the review are my own and have not been influenced by Atria Books or NetGalley.For more reviews, check out www.girlwithabookblog.com!
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  • Sahitya
    January 1, 1970
    Though I’ve never read any of the author’s previous work, I still wanted to try reading this and it was a very entertaining read. Michael’s style is very conversational, like he is just talking to us about all his feelings. His issues about his father’s abuse, his very religious mother, his paranoia about intimacy - all heavy topics are written in a very humorous way. I was obviously expecting a little more political commentary since Michael is very opinionated, but the book concentrates more on Though I’ve never read any of the author’s previous work, I still wanted to try reading this and it was a very entertaining read. Michael’s style is very conversational, like he is just talking to us about all his feelings. His issues about his father’s abuse, his very religious mother, his paranoia about intimacy - all heavy topics are written in a very humorous way. I was obviously expecting a little more political commentary since Michael is very opinionated, but the book concentrates more on his many unsuccessful dating attempts quite graphically. This book definitely wouldn’t have worked for me if not for his quick wit and self-deprecating nature while discussing the most impactful situations in his life. I would definitely recommend it.
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  • Al
    January 1, 1970
    Excellent, timely read. This is the first time I've read Arceneaux and I was delighted by his depth, honesty and humor. He gave insight into a world I knew nothing about and offered further insight into worlds to which I new very little, all the while seeming to be very true to himself. This is a highly worthwhile read for anyone looking to pull their heads out of the sand.
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  • Lisa Elizabeth
    January 1, 1970
    This is a funny, honest and poignant memoir which I thoroughly enjoyed reading. The author’s perspective is one I’m not familiar with, so I found this book incredibly informative and eye-opening.
  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    Review in progress.Thank you to the following for permitting me access to an advance reader's copy (ARC) of I Can't Date Jesus. This generosity did not impact my honesty when rating/reviewing.Source: NetGalleyAuthor: Michael ArceneauxPublisher: Atria Books/37 INKGenres: Entertainment, LGBTQ NonfictionPub Date: July 24, 2018
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