I’m keynoting at a Con for Christian nerds!

I'm excited to announce that I'll be giving the keynote speech at this year's Doxacon (a Christian convention on fantasy and science fiction)! Tickets are on sale now (and there's an early bird rate, so if you think you'll come, or you have a friend who would be interested, go ahead and book).My husband (pictured above with me when we saw Captain America: Civil War) will also be speaking at Doxacon, and here's what we're both speaking on:  Leah Libresco—Wizardry and the Wounds of th … [Read more...]

How do you throw a fasting and silence party?

The New Yorker has written a profile of Rod Dreher, author of The Benedict Option, and my husband and I were interviewed as part of the article. (It was very funny overhearing the New Yorker fact checker asking Alexi to confirm he was wearing a bow-tie when we met with the author, and that the mac-and-cheese we ate could be accurately described as "artisanal.")I'm glad the profile author, Joshua Rothman, included my story about a specific BenOp-inspired event I ran: “We did an evening of job … [Read more...]

Lenten disciplines draw on our weakness, not our strength

The most aggravating thing I've given up for Lent was jaywalking. I'm from New York, originally, and it's habit to step into the road regardless of whether the light is green for me. Jaywalking was a good discipline for me because it's clearly not a very big sacrifice. There's no way for me to think of the practice as badass or a testament to my own strength.In fact, as I watched the WALK sign tick down on the other street, it was a reminder of my own weakness, of how frustrated I get being … [Read more...]

I’m speaking about my conversion in Denver!

The archdiocese of Denver is running a special season of Theology on Taps this spring on "Why I am Catholic." I'll be kicking off the series this coming Monday, January 9th, with "Arriving at Amen: An Atheist’s Conversion to Catholicism."If you're in Denver, or have a friend in Denver, let me know if you'll be there, so I can say hi!Here's the prècis for the talk: How does an argumentative atheist wind up Catholic? By being too stubborn to walk away from a fight, even as it got clearer a … [Read more...]

Books on deck for me for 2017

Getting married meant I read a lot fewer books this year than usual. According to my Goodreads account, I read 195 books this past year (that comprised a total of about fifty-eight thousand pages).  And eleven and a half of those were books I specifically set out to read in last year's Books on Deck post.(Ok, the half is because I'm still reading Meditation and Contemplation: An Ignatian Guide to Praying with Scripture by Fr. Timothy Gallagher—I started doing it as a weekly reading, but too l … [Read more...]

My Favorite Books of 2016

These are my favorite books I read for the first time in 2016 (here's last year's list). Well, technically, my favorite books I read from December 2015-November 2016, since I always put this list together in time for people to grab Christmas gift ideas.And, if you're looking for other book recommendations from me, you can check out the list of books I managed to reference in my own book. Or, of course, there's always my book, Arriving at Amen: Seven Catholic Prayers That Even I Can Offer. If … [Read more...]

The Boring, Quiet Rituals that Sustain Us Spiritually

When I worked as an instructor at the Center for Applied Rationality, a lot of our curriculum on cognitive biases felt secretly virtue ethics-y: Here's how small choices you make (including ones about what environments you exist in) shape your big choices and who you grow up to be.I really enjoyed reading James K. A. Smith's You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit and reviewing it for Commonweal because it seems to cover spiritual life in the same kind of way. Here's one of my … [Read more...]