Other than a headshot for the dust jacket, my book with Fortress Press, Cancer is Funny: Keeping Faith in Stage-Serious Chemo, is all finished and due out 12/1. Stay tuned and, if you’ve not already, you can pre-order it here. And if you know someone touched by cancer in some way, make sure they get one too.
One of the
humbling humiliating experiences of book publishing, I’ve discovered, is asking other people not only to read your book but also to blurb it. I can only liken it thus: “Will you take me out on a multi-hour date? Oh, and pay for it, too?”
I realize there’s no way to share these without humble-bragging, but some of my reviewers went out of their way to provide not only thoughtful but emotional blurbs for Cancer is Funny. I thought I would thank them by giving them a shout-out here on the blog before you can see them on and in the cover of the book.
“What gets lost in all the stories about the decline of religion is how many people have left church because they find its leaders uninspired and institutionally minded. Jason Micheli is neither. He is as funny as he is smart and both come through in refreshing, irreverent ways in Cancer is Funny. If you’re spiritual but not religious or if you’re religious but have forgotten how to be spiritual, Jason Micheli reminds us that God can be found in the world beyond the Church, even in incurable cancer. And Jason shows us with raw candor that wherever God is to be found, joy and laughter are possible.”
—Diana Butler Bass, author of Grounded: Finding God in the World—A Spiritual Revolution
“Jason Micheli is one of the most hip, funny, deeply-theological-without-being-boring pastors in my church today. Jason is an engaging, always substantive-without-being-showy communicator of the faith. Now that he’s got Stage Dangerous Cancer Jason’s wit, faith, and genius turns even that tough journey into a pilgrimage toward God. Only Jason could transform cancer into a source of comedy but also a great occasion to teach the rest of us how to think like Christians about life, sickness, death, and God. Jason is able to do this because he, as much as anyone I know, believes in a living, redemptive God who is with us, in good times and bad. A funny, faithful book.”
– Will Willimon is Professor of the Practice of Christian Ministry and United Methodist Bishop, retired.
“Jason Micheli is the bravest motherfucker I’ve ever met. It takes a lot of courage to keep faith with God while you’re saying, “Fuck you cancer, and your little tumor Toto too.” But not only does he keep faith; it deepens because he becomes a theologian of the only theology that matters—the theology of death and life, you know, the theology of when shit gets real. Writing with the wit and brutal honesty of Annie Lamott, Michelli takes his readers on a shakedown cruise of pain, suffering, and discovery where we all meet God, perhaps for the first time. Get this book, bitches.”
– Dr. Jeffrey Pugh, Professor of Religion, Elon University
“Illness creates loneliness but Micheli resists that development by sharing his struggle with cancer. He does so with good humor which is not only a gift because, as he suggests, cancer is only funny in a tragic way, but also the most fundamental quality for a well-lived and faithful life.”
– Stanley Hauerwas, Gilbert T. Rowe Emeritus Professor of Divinity and Law at Duke University
If smart-ass humor is the best evidence of fighting spirit, Jason Micheli is Charles Bronson of cancer patients. He disrupts all the cliches of cancer chronicles: he’s not old or saintly and peddling comfort or resolution. He’s a preacher who’s not at peace, a GenXer who acknowledges that irony is his security blanket. Staring down the barrel of a life-threatening disease, he proves that irreverence can be the flip side of faith.
— JC Herz, author of Learning to Breathe Fire
“Sometimes you read a book you have to finish. Sometimes you know you have to read it again. On occasions you read a book that makes you think, laugh, drop some tears, & want to grab a drink with the author. Jason has done that, plus I have a list of people who will be getting this book as a gift. If you love solid theology, powerful testimony, & a text you will ruminate over, you will love this book.”
– Tripp Fuller, author of The Home-brewed Christianity Guide to Jesus
“Coming to terms with death ain’t easy. And yet, as Jason Micheli says, none of us is getting out of life alive. Thankfully Jason Micheli has given us a surprising book like Cancer is Funny, which, it so happens, is as hilarious as it is thoughtful and deeply faithful. Cancer is Funny is funny. It’s also personal and reflective, urgently so. It will not only teach you about yourself, it will teach you about God too. A riveting journey through the suffering that, as he puts, God may or may not be doing to him- a question everyone of us has asked, or will some day soon. Don’t be fooled by the title. Suffering, it turns out, can lead to laughter because you can’t face death without rediscovering the wonder of life.”
– David Fitch, BR Linder Chair of Evangelical Theology, Northern Seminary and Author of Faithful Presence
“Don’t let the title of this book fool you. It’s about cancer, and it’s funny, but it’s also profound, honest, and deeply faithful. Jason Micheli is one of the best theological communicators I know. This book will move and instruct everyone who has a mortal body and a questioning spirit.”
– Dr. Kendall Souled, Professor of Systematic Theology, Emory University
“Cancer Is Funny is a stunning monument to human perseverance and divine grace amid the specter of finitude. The very fact of its construction, like that of the ancient pyramids or the Taj Mahal, is as improbable as it is awe-inspiring and beautiful. The result is a wonder to behold. Jason Micheli is that rare Christian minister who serves up truth unvarnished, live-blogging with graphic honesty his experience of ingesting deadly poisons designed to spare his young life, against sobering odds, from an unforgiving cancer. Fasten your seatbelts, dear readers. There is turbulence ahead. Prepare to laugh and cry. Prepare to live and die.”
– Robert C. Dykstra
Charlotte W. Newcombe Professor of Pastoral Theology
Princeton Theological Seminary
“Put down that outdated magazine in your oncologists office! Cancer is Funny will take you on a journey from Jason’s mind all the way to the inner parts of his body that ends up revealing his soul. Jason lays himself bare so that you can look, laugh and feel better during the often faith-testing, twisted ride that is cancer. What is funniest is that this book will grab you and remind you of what matters in life.”
– Brian Stolarz, Attorney and Author of Grace and Justice on Death Row