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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (143 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Brenda Peterson Narrator: Brenda Peterson Publisher: Listen & Live Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In Brenda Peterson’s unusual memoir, fundamentalism meets deep ecology. The author’s childhood in the high Sierra with her forest ranger father led her to embrace the entire natural world, while her Southern Baptist relatives prepared eagerly and busily to leave this world. Peterson survived fierce “sword drill” competitions demanding total recall of the Scriptures and awkward dinner table questions (“Will Rapture take the cat, too?”) only to find that environmentalists with prophecies of doom can also be Endtimers. Peterson paints such a hilarious, loving portrait of each world that the reader, too, may want to be left behind. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Peterson’s I Want to Be Left Behind is a tonic, the least acridly dogmatic of the new God books, pro or con…Her book has humor, which the divine debate could use more of. Instead of another volley in the God ward, her book can be seen as a kind of peace offering. She makes you think maybe everybody is in more harmony than they think.”

    City Arts Magazine

  • “Unusually affecting and radiant…Peterson seeks a meeting of church and earth in this witty, enrapturing account of a spiritual journey or great relevance to us all.”

    Booklist, starred review

  • “[Peterson] merges her quest for spirituality with her love of nature…[She] writes with gentle humor of being a stranger in her own family, while highlighting both the beauty and the holiness of our physical world.”

    Oregonian

  • “[An] outstanding memoir…[Peterson’s] vivid imagination combined with a lilting writing style make the book a pleasure to read.”

    Miami Herald

  • “Peterson wraps her story in down-home warmth and a quick wit…Peterson’s stories are gems.”

    Christian Science Monitor

  • “A thoughtful, witty meditation…Peterson has distilled her life experiences to create the sense of a woman on an idiosyncratic spiritual journey.”

    Seattle Times

  • “With this luminous, surprising memoir, Brenda Peterson completes her own assignment, giving us a story where no one is killed, dismissed, or left behind, where empathy is not only possible but imperative, where rapture can be ours here and now.”

    Huffington Post

  • “Lovely, irreverent humor…Her journey is fascinating, and when she writes about spiritual revelation through nature, she’s captivating…We are left with a good feeling: it is possible to have meaningful discussions with people we don’t agree with and still love them.”

    Cleveland Plain Dealer

  • “It is a rich and often lovely life—full of humor and Peterson’s own unique brand of faith.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Unusually affecting and radiant…Peterson seeks a meeting of church and earth in this witty, enrapturing account of a spiritual journey or great relevance to us all.”

    Booklist, starred review

  • “Peterson has a gift for describing her life's many adventures with disarming understatement and narrative poise.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • Selected for the February 2010 Indie Next List

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Heather | 2/18/2014

    " I want to be left behind, but this book didnt hold my interest as much as the title. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Nancy Eister | 2/17/2014

    " Brenda Peterson is a great writer, especially of nature. What compelled me to read this book was a radio interview with her where she compared the inflexible dogma of religious fundamentalists and diehard environmentalists: both see no possibility outside Armageddon. Her book has a light and loving touch as she probes her own family background,her biography and where she developed a love of nature, and the possibilities born within a new generation of earth- based , taoistic evangelicals. Beautiful and funny, too! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Bekah Mae | 2/12/2014

    " I got a kick out of this book. If you have any religious background at all, I know you will find it amusing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Carol | 1/31/2014

    " After reading a review of this book I was curious to read it myself. I thought it would be more focused on religion but was pleasantly surprised that it was a biography of an interesting nature writer. She uses the compare/ contrast of her "born-again" southern Baptist family with her embrace of the natural world. Given all the focus on environmental issues and the doom and gloom of global warming, war and the end of time as we know it, this book was essentially positive and upbeat. "

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About the Author
Author Brenda Peterson

Brenda Peterson is the author of several novels including Duck and Cover, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. She lives in Seattle.