The Church of 80% Sincerity

David Roche, Author
David Roche, Author . Perigee $19.95 (147p) ISBN 978-0-399-53390-7
Paperback - 142 pages - 978-0-9852796-0-8
Open Ebook - 160 pages - 978-1-4295-7778-6
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 160 pages - 978-1-4295-7779-3
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The church of the title is not a formal organization but a concept—“the church of choice for recovering perfectionists,” Roche writes in a powerful little book that’s part memoir, part inspirational handbook. “You can be 80 percent sincere 100 percent of the time, or 100 percent sincere 80 percent of the time. It’s in that 20 percent area where you get some slack and you can be yourself.” For Roche (now in his 60s), being himself has meant coming to terms with a face so severely disfigured by a benign congenital tumor that he’s been spat at and called a monster. He was rejected from a seminary because, he was told, his appearance meant “people would not respect you as a priest.” The loss of the fathers of the Holy Cross is the general public’s gain. A performer and motivational speaker, Roche is frank and witty and incapable of resorting to sentimental pap. He’s used to people staring at him, and he admits he’s been tempted to respond to pestering, obnoxious boys by saying, “Well, my face is like this because when I was a little boy like you, I touched my wee-wee.” He’s well aware that people find him inspiring, but he doesn’t try to hide his flaws, and that makes him more inspiring. (Feb.)

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