Mini Book Review: This Is Awkward

Welcome to a new feature where I give a mini book review.



In 2013, there was a huge Twitter storm involving Sammy Rhodes, a Presbyterian campus minister at The University of South Carolina.

Mr. Rhodes had become an unlikely Twitter star under the handle of @prodigalsam. He wrote witty tweets. He had over 130,000 Twitter followers.  Unfortunately, some of those tweets were either “stolen” or modified from professional comedians.  For example, comedian Alec Sulkin wrote: “Think I might take a job as Ray Davies’ trainer. Still working out the kinks”.  Rhodes tweeted: ” ‘I’m still working out The Kinks’- The Kinks personal trainer”.

Granted, stealing jokes appears to be  very minor crime at worst (See Milton Berle, Robin Williams, Carlos Mencia, etc, who have been accused of being  joke stealers) and  it is Twitter-not a term paper, Rhodes was called out on Twitter by some pretty big stars (Patton Oswald being the most notable who called Rhodes  “a thief”) and soon Rhodes withdrew from Twitter.

Happy to say Rhodes is back on Twitter (@sammyrhodes) and has a book worthy of your attention: This is Awkward.

This is an endearing book. Mr. Rhodes is not one of those perfect little Evangelicals. He lays out his life, warts and all. He was from a broken home. He was sexually abused by a relative. He is an introvert in an extrovert profession (ministry). He had a problem with depression, food and pornography.

While it can be uncomfortable to read, Rhodes avoids the Evangelical trap of bragging about his sins (if you are an Evangelical, you know what I am talking about).  He just lays it out and lets you know that nothing is too awkward for God.

The book can be read in two or three sittings and there are parts where you will laugh out loud.

Excellent book.