Book Review: Diary of Two Mad Black Mormons

I absolutely loved this book! Zandra Vranes and Tamu Smith co-authored it and they talk about life experiences they had from their childhood through adulthood and what they learned from those experiences. I enjoyed the humor and wit found throughout the book.

I love that they keep things real in the book. I think anyone can relate to the authors’ experiences, because every family and individual has problems in their life. I love the wordplay and rhymes because they’re catchy and easy to remember, such as “too blessed to be stressed.” The authors take phrases you hear often and add a twist to them. They help you see things in a different and truer perspective. Here’s an example:

“They say when God closes a door, He opens a window. The key to finding the Lord’s lessons is knowing that sometimes you gotta pick the lock” (2).

I also appreciated that they tied everything back to Jesus and the Lord, reminding us that God gives us trials so that we can learn from them. It’s hard for me to remember that sometimes. A lot of times I wish I could be done with trials, but there is a reason for what we go through. There are so many things that can be learned.

There are several great stories in this book that are tied to lessons learned. One story is about one of the authors as a child telling people at school that her mother had died, when in fact her mother was in another country at the time. You’ll have to read the book to find out the outcome. It’s pretty hilarious!

I also appreciated this quote:

“Just because you have the key that unlocks your spiritual truths doesn’t give you license to be pickin’ other folks’ locks” (16).

Tamu Smith and Zandra Vranes

I love this quote because sometimes people will mistakenly believe that whatever worked for them will work for you too. This is not always the case. People are genuinely trying to help when they say this, but we forget that each person has a different path to follow. No one will have the exact same experiences and the exact same life. After that, there’s another witty saying, which says that we are our brother and sister’s keepers, not their creepers (16).

There are stories about stealing pink fuzzy slippers, swearing like crazy on a plane, and moving a dresser to block your sister from trying to share your room. Some of the lessons the authors learned came from very dramatic experiences, one of which involved the author’s mother slamming the door in her face. It’s hilarious and uplifting at the same time. There’s also a section talking about dysfunctional families and how the scriptures are all about the lives of dysfunctional families and relationships.

I especially recommend this book to Mormon women, but really, I think everyone would enjoy it. It’s captivating and really speaks to you.

I’ll end with one of my favorite quotes from the book:

“Life is not a sit-down job. Well, unless you’re Rosa Parks, but in her case sitting down was actually standing up” (33).

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5 Responses

  1. Caroline Kline says:

    Thanks for this review! Sounds like it was a blast to read. I’m putting it on my list.

  2. Patricia I Johnson says:

    My favorite Facebook friends. I need this book!

  3. spunky says:

    This book sounds excellent! Thank you for your review!

  1. December 14, 2017

    […]  Diary of Two Mad Black Mormons: Finding the Lord’s Lessons in Everyday Life. $21.99 Tamu Smith and Zandra Vranes. Funny, smart, and honest, the Sistas in Zion are always worth listening to. (If you don’t follow them on Twitter, you should.) For a full review of their book, look here. […]

  2. October 23, 2018

    […] 1970s, you work in the Church History Department, you are a female, and you have your first child. “Book Review: Diary of Two Mad Black Black Mormons“ (The Exponent II – Dani Addante) Dani Addante reviews “Diary of Two Mad Black […]

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