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I Can't Date Jesus

Love, Sex, Family, Race, and Other Reasons I've Put My Faith in Beyoncé
Narrated by: Michael Arceneaux
Length: 6 hrs and 9 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (402 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In the style of New York Times best sellers You Can’t Touch My Hair, Bad Feminist, and I’m Judging You, a timely collection of alternately hysterical and soul‑searching essays about what it is like to grow up as a creative, sensitive black man in a world that constantly tries to deride and diminish your humanity.

It hasn’t been easy being Michael Arceneaux.

Equality for LGBTQ people has come a long way and all, but voices of persons of color within the community are still often silenced, and being Black in America is...well, have you watched the news?

With the characteristic wit and candor that have made him one of today’s boldest writers on social issues, I Can’t Date Jesus is Michael Arceneaux’s impassioned, forthright, and refreshing look at minority life in today’s America. Leaving no bigoted or ignorant stone unturned, he describes his journey in learning to embrace his identity when the world told him to do the opposite.

He eloquently writes about coming out to his mother; growing up in Houston, Texas; being approached for the priesthood; his obstacles in embracing intimacy that occasionally led to unfortunate fights with fire ants and maybe fleas; and the persistent challenges of young people who feel marginalized and denied the chance to pursue their dreams.

Perfect for fans of David Sedaris, Samantha Irby, and Phoebe Robinson, I Can’t Date Jesus tells us - without apologies - what it’s like to be outspoken and brave in a divisive world.

©2018 Michael Arceneaux. All rights reserved. (P)2018 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

"[A] witty and powerful collection of personal essays.... Arceneaux’s confident voice and unapologetic sense of humor will appeal to fans of Roxane Gay." (Publishers Weekly)

"Arceneaux's essays penetrate to the heart of intersectionality to reveal personal and religious trials of faith. Together, they make a powerful statement of self-acceptance in a world much in need of lessons about diversity, tolerance, and openness. A funny, fierce, and bold memoir in essays." (Kirkus Reviews)

"Hilarious...Arceneaux’s acerbic humor is reminiscent of the very best work of American humorist and author David Sedaris." (The Advocate)

Editorial Review

Putting his love on top

I’ve been following Arceneaux on social media for a while now, cracking up at his witty nicknames and verbal backflips, and find it immensely gratifying to see him flesh out his funny and uniquely descriptive voice in his memoir, I Can’t Date Jesus. He shares what it was like to grow up black and gay as a Catholic whose first reference point for being gay was the death of an uncle from AIDS. It took a long dark road for him to embrace his life and sexuality, but Arceneaux manages to keep it real and heavy (with Houston references, including lots of love for his hometown’s Queen Bey), but not so emotionally heavy that you can’t thoroughly enjoy the ride. —Abby W., Audible Editor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Everyone should read this

Honestly incredible. I’ve been following the expected release of this book since last year, and it did not disappoint. At all. The title essay, “I Can’t Date Jesus,” had me crying. I’m still crying. Arcenaux is raw and I afraid of himself, and we learn about his resilience navigating a complicated world of other people’s’ expectations. Read it, buy it again, share it with a friend.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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what I've been looking for.

I've been searching for a book that is light, fun and funny, yet relevant. I listened to this in one day.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Terrible reader.

While I enjoyed the content of the book to a degree, and laughed out loud a few times, Arceneaux is the worst audio book reader I have come across. In nearly every single sentence, he followed the exact same monotonous, bored sounding cadence. If it weren’t for my very long commute and the fact that I spent my hard-earned money on the book, I would NOT have finished listening to it. Ugh!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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ok

struggled to finish as I couldn't determine a joke from serious moment due to tone

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Poignant and Funny

This book made me laugh and it made me think. Unfortunately, the author’s self-admitted monotone and lack of dramatic skills detracted from the poignancy and humor. Better read than heard, I think.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Funny, authentic, view-changing

I really enjoyed listening to life experiences so different than my own. It was written with enough honesty and detail to allow me to really be able to see the authors view of the world.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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So real and unapologetically Black.

This book was so lively and an amazing reflection on the author's thoughts and life. For as funny and snarky as he is, when it's get real it touches you. Some parts reminded me of my own childhood and it was sobering to know someone has had similar experiences

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great listen!

I loved listening to this book!!!! As a black, unmarried, childless, heterosexual woman from coastal Alabama with a very religious mother, I deeply identified with the authors struggles and musings on religion, relationships, intimacy, and talking to mama. This book both validated some of my own thoughts about all of those things , gave me some new things to consider, and also made me laugh. I really enjoyed this!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Good story...terrible narration

I loved Michael’s story and the small peek into his life. I feel that someone else who is trained in or is used to narration would have done the reading justice.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Great Book!

This was a really good book! I admit, I do wish Michael had invested in a voice actor to read, just because it sounded less conversational (and this harder to follow)than most audiobooks; however, I’m SO glad I purchased this, and I highly recommend it to others!