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Thursday, March 14, 2019

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About the Book

Book: I Love to Tell the Story
Author: Susan Barnett Braun
Genre: Memoir
I Love to tell the storyIs it possible to emerge unscathed from an evangelical upbringing? Yes, as surely as David slew Goliath!
I Love to Tell the Story is Susan Barnett Braun’s account of growing up Baptist in a small midwestern town, touching on many cultural icons common to those who came of age in the 1970s. Braun recounts childhood obstacles, which loom as large as the walls of Jericho in her eyes. She encounters a trio of Sunday school mean girls who make King Herod look tame. She worries about being “ugly as sin” due to her chubbiness, glasses, and braces. She’s so consumed with the idea of Jesus’ imminent return that she wonders whether it’s even worthwhile to brush her teeth at night.
Humorous, poignant, and ultimately triumphant, I Love to Tell the Story will stay with readers long after the last Vacation Bible School craft stick cross has fallen apart.

Click here to get your copy.

About the Author

Susan BraunSusan Barnett Braun earned a BS in retail management from Indiana University and an MA in education from the University of Alabama. She taught for eight years in northeast Indiana, earning a Lilly Endowment Teacher Creativity Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Study Scholarship. Susan has had work published in Parents, Children’s Ministry, and The Secret Place. She also writes online for Fort Wayne Visitor’s Bureau and blogs at Girls in White Dresses. She is married with three wonderful young adult daughters. Susan enjoys reading, playing piano and organ, and spending her time with her family and pets (currently three rabbits and a chinchilla).

Guest Post from Susan

One of the reasons I began blogging, ten years ago now, was to document my childhood memories for my kids. Why? When I was a teacher, before I had kids, I used to tell my students stories from my youth. They loved them and begged for more. Same thing when I had my own kids. I wanted to document these tales, but the problem always came in finding the time and the motivation to actually get around to writing them down.
Childhood Memories Friday posts on my blog helped get me moving in the right direction. Eventually, I began thinking I’d like to compile a bunch of the memories into book form. Since many of my most vivid memories revolved around church, I decided that that was the perfect theme. And “I Love to Tell the Story” was born. Each chapter is titled with a hymn that reflects its theme. As I delved into the writing, I had a lot of fun reliving the decidedly memorable life I had led as a youth :). I realized, too, that many aspects of my conservative midwestern upbringing don’t exist anymore in the 21st century. I became nostalgic thinking about the many cultural markers of the 1970s — Lawrence Welk, the Flintstones, — even macrame and latch-hook!
Another goal in writing this book was to put out a positive Christian memoir. So many that I read started out fine, but then dissolved into abuse, disillusionment, or even worse. I began to wonder if anyone had grown up in the church and actually enjoyed the experience … surely I wasn’t alone, was I?
Treat yourself to a stroll down memory lane. It’s my hope that you’ll enjoy yourself.


I enjoyed reading this book and thought it was interesting to read about the author' s upbringing. I grew up in a Baptist church and remember Sunday school. My dad was a Baptist preacher and it was so hard for other kids to want to be friends with me. I don't know if they were scared I would tell the preacher on them which was my dad or that I just wasn't liked. 

The memories flooded back to me as the author talked about songs I use to sing in Sunday school. This Little Light of Mine was a favorite and the author including it was a treat for me. Being in church was where I felt safe. I loved everything about church and knew that while I was there I had a friend named Jesus. The author takes us on a vivid journey as she grows up in church. I loved reading about the stories from the bible she was taught and the special prizes she won for memorizing scriptures. It brought back a memory of me attending Sunday school and how happy I was when I was there. I remember receiving a brand new bible one Sunday for memorizing scriptures. My prize was so special to me. When I started looking through my new bible, tucked between two pages was a brand new one dollar bill. The smile I had on my face that day probably was the only time I really smiled. 

Reading this book was fun and it brought up so many things from my childhood that I had forgotten. Church was always fun for me because there was so much to learn and the Sunday school teachers were nice. I remember having dinner on the ground as we called it after church on a special Sunday. Everyone would bring a dish and we would all line up at the tables filled with yummy foods. We sat with our family and ate and then the kids would all get up and start playing. 

The book is a great account of the author as she grows up going to a Baptist church. I loved the bible stories she mentioned and how readers were allowed to go down memory lane with her. It is a book that gives us a glimpse into a young girl's life as she shares her faith  and great love for Jesus. 

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.

Blog Stops

Artistic Nobody, March 8 (Spotlight)
The Becca Files, March 18


I Love to tell the story
To celebrate her tour, Susan is giving away a grand prize of a copy of the book and a $20 Barnes and Noble gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


  1. Deana, "dinner on the ground" sounds like such a wonderful memory. Congratulations on winning a Bible, too! I appreciate your lovely review -- thank you for reading my book :)

  2. This book sounds like a really great read.