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It’s really unlike anything I’ve read before.”

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The full paperback cover by Mandy Tucker Designs.

“My poor neighbors”

Got your book in the mail tonight. Just fourteen pages in and already cackling like a hyena on mushrooms over here. My poor neighbors.
Proud Prague Peacock.

“I truly enjoyed most of the book and deeply appreciated all of it.”

This is by far the truest and most honest autobiography I have ever read. It is great work and obviously very difficult and hard work. I suffered through some very severe depression in my teenage years and it continued into my 30s.  I'm very happy that the meds are working for you and that the book ended on a positive note.  I hope to read the sequel in 5, 10, or 20 years, your Return of the Jedi.”

“A tour de force! It’s really unlike anything I’ve read before.”

From a full-time professional writer:

I’ve been reading your book - it’s a tour de force! The narrative and visuals (everything from Death Valley to chocolate crinkle cookies) are so lively. It’s really unlike anything I’ve read before.


“The hard copy of Losing My Religions arrived here in New Jersey yesterday and I am, as those "across the pond" like to say... GOBSMACKED! 

“In addition to carrying my cellphone and my reading glasses, I am now carrying Losing My Religions. I am riveted. For the next 36 hours, I want to curve myself into a comfy chair and read every word, every quote, gaze at every photo...and then read it again.

“I am already so friggin' overwhelmed by the strength and beauty of your writing skills, compelling story, your insights, your queries, your... EVERYTHING. I am shaking my head in humble wonder-amazement.

“I HAD told [my spouse ] that I'd give him my copy in two or three days after I'd finished reading it....but NO WAY!  This hard copy is MINE!”

Losing My Religions: A half-failed life of airplanes, agony, animals, basketball, bliss, cameras, chaos, cops...

More reviews below. Fair Start Movement's blog post here.

I was a small-town Christian boy before a number of unlikely turns took me far from my obedient, omnivorous origins.

Part memoir and part travelog, interspersed with essays, musings, and tips, Losing My Religions takes you on a journey to true love, crushing betrayals, and near-death and near-marriage experiences.

Catholicism, chronic pain, consciousness, depression, drugs, free will, money, philosophy, sex, sociology, Sportsball!, and suicide are just some of what I deal with in 54 years, covered in the book in just 31 days. In these pages, you live May 2022 with me, traveling across Europe and the Southwestern US to hear how I became an atheist, father of a non-binary child, a hated and hunted former vegan, and survivor of accidents and illnesses that haven’t killed me. Yet.

On my life's journey, I change my mind, discover three tips everyone should know, and find the first key to happiness. Arriving home from my 2022 travels, I'm still a cranky old man who should never have been born, broken from lung to heart to neck to jaw to nose. But traveling with my soulmate showed me it is still possible to be “so happy it’s scary” while wearing clothes.

Hope you enjoy the trip.

ISBN - Paperback: 979-8-9869565-0-3
ISBN - Color Paperback: 979-8-9869565-2-7
ISBN - eBook: 979-8-9869565-1-0

“I couldn't put it down”

“It's only just after 7am now and I read the first 70 pages. It's very unusual writing and I have found it efficient in that I couldn't put it down - even though I repeatedly thought I'd only just read one more page.”

“A wily, at times even serious irreverence.”

“I'm halfway through my read of Losing My Religion, and can already say it should be in my library. 

“The author ... has always written and spoken with a distinctive perspective on suffering, animals, and even politics.

“Here in his memoir, he plays with quotes, stories, and a wily, at times even serious irreverence. He lets us into the world of his own joys, realizations, and daily suffering. Family, religion, consciousness, health, life, reality, and everything are given a series of pulsating reflections and staggering vulnerabilities that are hard to put down.

“Read it, but just don't tell his mum.”

“I laugh so much.”

“It's really beautiful. I relate to it / laugh so much. And I'm reading it so slowly because I reflect on many of your lines, and every quote.”

“I did a straight-through read”

I finished your book last night.  It was great!  I did a straight-through read because if I stopped to do something else, it felt like I was interrupting you!  There is something about conversationally-written pieces that are a breath of fresh air, and you did an excellent job.  I also love how you sometimes anticipate a reaction in a section and basically explain what the reader might be thinking at that point.

Can you spot your charming narrator?

“Touching without being too sad.”

Really love this book. It is honest without being overly dramatic. Touching without being too sad. Funny and interesting. 

I’m glad to hear that it is not too painful to write, considering the deeply personal (and often painful) issues you discuss.

“Thought-provoking ideas!”

From an economist who doesn't know me:

“That is an unconventional autobiography with some thought-provoking ideas!”

“I love the advice”

I love the advice that is interwoven in your story. I was drawn to the savings/ retirement plan advice as [we] have 4 different types of retirement savings, but I am researching I-bonds right now as I am looking for something that is long-term, but that I can possibly use without much penalty after 5 or 10 years.

“Now I’m not going to be able to sleep a wink!”

With Dan at Homecoming, 1985.
“I finally opened this. Now I’m not going to be able to sleep a wink because I want to read the whole damn thing! Just ordered a paperback, mainly so I don’t stay up all night reading right now.”

“Rapidly Addictive”

Your writing style is rapidly addictive. I’m having a hard time putting the book down, and I am no bookworm.

Yes, that's a Mac SE!
Anne working on her dissertation, 1992.
Love the hat. Too bad it was wool.  :-(

“Quick sense of humor”

“I’m 3/4 of the way done with this book and I absolutely love it! Matt has such a sharp mind and a quick sense of humor.”

“I especially love how it is written.”

“I wanted to drop a line & say how much I love your book so far!! I especially love how it is written. It feels like I'm hanging out with y'all during your travels, chatting, listening to stories. I can't wait to read more.”

Just hanging out with Wynton Marsalis. NBD.

“I can't believe how real it is.”

“I can't believe how real [the book] is. It's definitely a nice change of pace from the typical stuffy, overly serious memoir....

“For a while, I was a bit fixated on reaching some sort of 'conclusion' on all of this - God, suffering, morality. But at some point I realized there is no end to the searching. This just is life. And we should be skeptical of anyone that thinks they have all the answers....

“I've come to think of faith as something that should be deeply personal. To the extent that any of this matters anyway (and I'm not totally convinced it does, hello nihilism) it doesn't do you any good to push your beliefs on anyone else. So I appreciate people that talk about their experiences without trying to convince anyone of anything. That doesn't solve the loneliness of the individualism that runs deep in American society. But it feels the most authentic and honest to me - admitting you can only know what your personal experience has led you to, and acknowledging that that's true of everyone else as well. ... I appreciate you sharing this with me.”  

“Is your book some kind of voodoo/witchcraft?!”

Future Warlock
While reading and weaving in and out of your timeline, I would stop and take some time to think about where I was/what I was doing at that point in time as well.  Especially around 97/98 when I stopped eating animals and became an advocate.  Interestingly, good and ugly personal memories resurfaced, like, Where the fuck did that come from? as I never thought about it in 25 or 30 years! Is your book some kind of voodoo/ witchcraft?!


“You had me awake until 3:00 a.m....Losing My Religions is THAT compelling!” 

“His bond with his wife Anne was moving”

From Amazon:

“Matt tells the tale of his own rejections from childhood to adulthood, how they influenced him, and how he coped with times of real adversity, especially with his health. His bond with his wife Anne was moving, and I appreciated the resilience he describes in overcoming difficult times, even finding happiness and humor in some of them.

“Matt's done more good in the world than he concludes in the book he's done. There are many people, myself included, who've been influenced by Matt to try to be more effective in our efforts for animals, and that is surely among his important legacy.”

Probably one of my three favorite pictures ever.


“A raw glimpse into a life with more than its share of suffering, yet amazingly, still dedicated to reducing the suffering of others.”

“Love Letter”

“I found it to be a compelling read, and it struck me mainly as a love letter to Anne despite the many tribulations you went through and describe.”

Yet another of my three fav pictures.

“I don’t even know what to say”

“I don’t even know what to say about what you’ve endured. But I’m hearing it through your words.”

About the Author (Me! Matt Ball! :-)

I am the author, co-author, secondary-author, ghost-author, and non-author of articles, speeches, book chapters, and even entire books! Before Losing My Religions, the most recent was my blockbuster* The Accidental Activist. Currently, I am the President of One Step for Animals; previously, I was shitcanned from so many nonprofits that I can’t list them all here. Before my unfortunate encounter with activism, I was an aerospace engineer who wanted to work for NASA to impress Carl Sagan. (That's him here; I'm down below.)

My hobbies include photography, almost dying, and                      . (Hey! This is a family-friendly site! -ed) I live in Tucson with my wife and reluctant editor Anne Green, along with no dogs, no cats, no guinea pigs, and only the occasional snake or scorpion.


Me in the newspaper. Also in Wikipedia.

Seriously. This is the funniest thing. By far.

Almost a top-50 best-seller in ... basketball books!

One of these things is not like the other.

Table of Contents

Anything for Her Laugh  + Warnings & Notes

Day 1: One Love, One Hate + Carl Sagan

Parentheticals & Grammar & Memory

Day 1 Continued: Up Shit Creek

Day 1 Concluded:  The Tyranny of Money

Harold and Ed


The three tips for you  but not my enemies  (you know who you are)

Day 2: Bullet in a Bible

Day 2 Concluded: Zero to Sixty

What’s Dick Got to Do with It?

Day 3: Funeral Suit

Day 3 Concluded: Ready … Aim …

Day 4: Losing My Religion

Day 4 Concluded:  “Just one more.”

Worse than Hitler

Day 5: The End of Innocence

God, the Greatest Murderer of All Time

Day 6: Adventures in Wine,  Wings, and Women

Day 6’s Wild and Crazy Ending

Sex Is Gross

“Don’t Threaten Us”

Day 7: The Bullet Is Fired

Day 7 Continued:  “We’re here, we’re queer,  we don’t like the government”

Day 7 Continued:  Inevitably, the cops came.

Day 7 Concluded:  The Bullet Is Dodged

Day 8: Soulmate.  Literally. Not Figuratively.

Day 8 Concluded: Stone Cold

Day 9: The (Two Hour) Courtship  of EK’s Mother

Day 9 Continued:  The Road to Perdition (and Prague)
The Giddy-Up Courtship becomes  Time the First

Day 9’s Surprise Conclusion!

Why Reason Is Needed

Day 10: “Not comin’ all that way  just to eat vegetables.”

Travelog Erfurt

Day 11: Remembering Perfection while Flying Coach

Day 11 Concluded: Won’t go naked,  but open to party.

Brains! BRAINS! (There is a self! But no free will.)

My Brain Flaps Again

Day 12: Hot for Teacher

Day 12 Concluded:  I Used to be Smart … and Dumb(er)

Very Little Really Matters

Day 13: The Puritans were Assholes

Day 13 Concluded: Freezing, Snuggling, and Wine Undrunk

How to Be a Stud: Relationship Advice

Day 14: Prelude to  The End of Happiness

Fight the Power Part 1:  “To breed or not to breed”

Day 14 Concluded:  Worst the First

More Unpopular Opinions

Day 15: A Lot of What?

Fight the Power Part 2: Family Feud

Day 16: “Who eats animals?”

The End of Veganism

Day 16 Continued: Test Your Marriage!

Day 16 Concluded:  Money might not buy happiness,  but lack of money can  bring unhappiness

Money makes the world go ’round,  but your time will run out. 
Lessons from a lifetime of bad decisions.

Day 17: To the Exurbs – and Beyond!

Day 17 Continued: Time the Second

Brains! Redux: The Mind Is Fragile

Day 17 Concluded:  Dazed and Delirious in Deutschland

Day 18: Time of Your Life

Day 19: Wolf Park, Dog Camp,  and Time the Third

Bonus Tips

Day 20: “That’s a high math score!”

Day 20 Concluded:  Running to Stand Still (SportsBall! redux)

Day 21: Sowing the Seeds…

Day 21 Concluded: “You’re Matt Ball?”

Biting the Philosophical Bullet

My Expected Value  Is Bigger Than Yours
I welcome our robot overlords and you should, too!

Day 22: The Shocking Inevitability

Day 23: Flashback to Worst the Second

Day 24: Prelude to Worst the Third

The Interesting Life of  an Uninteresting Person 
(but really: Drug-Aided Meditation)

A Personal Request from Me to You

Day 25: The One Who Got  (Inside) My Heart

Day 26: The Green Party Fucks Us Again

Climate activists are to blame for some of the suffering  caused by climate change

Greta Thunberg’s misery is the result of child abuse.

Extinction Is No Big Deal

I Take the Colbert Questionert

Day 27: Burn the Heretic

Travelog for Introverts

Day 28  2021: A Suffering Odyssey

Day 28 Continued:  “Maybe I’m paralyzed”

Day 28 Concluded: Free-Falling

Day 16 Revisited: Karma, Money, and a Bread Machine

Mindfulness, Meaning, & More Drugs

Day 29: Good Times!  Literally. Not Sarcastically.

Day 29 Concluded:  Even with a Soulmate, Life Can Become Not Worth Living

Day 30: The Foreshadowing Pays Off “Where is his heart?”

Day 18 Revisited: So Happy It’s Scary

Day 31: And In The End