November 16, 2011 § 7 Comments
In January 1943 two hundred and thirty women who had bravely fought as a part of the French Resistance were sent to Auschwitz. These were women who spanned many occupations and age groups, who fought for many different reasons. Yet, they all had one thing in common… They wanted to free their country from German rule. A Train in Winter is the story that illustrates just what these women endured.
The book starts out a bit slow, but Moorehead does a great job of setting the stage for the reader and introducing many of the players involved. Regardless of the opening, the book really starts to set its hooks into you after the first few chapters. It is nearly impossible to set the book down once you start to read about what these women sacrificed for their cause, the fear they overcame in order to do what they felt was necessary.
Moorehead does not shy away from the cruel or the heartbreaking. Having met with a few of the survivors still alive, the families of survivors who have since passed, and much research into the topic, she paints a brutally honest picture of the events surrounding the capture and subsequent encampment of these women. What they had to undergo is not something that’s easy to digest, but then the story wouldn’t mean nearly as much without being so true to what she learned about their experiences.
If the stories from the survivors didn’t make the book real enough, the pictures included in the book certainly serve to make the story that much more real and unforgettable. You are able to put faces to names and picture the torturous conditions all the more clearly. When you learn that only forty-nine of the two hundred and thirty women are able to make it out of the camps alive it really hits home.
A Train in Winter is not a book you are going to read and forget about, it is a book that is going to stay with you and make you realize just what we are capable of even in the worst possible conditions. This is the story of women who were stronger than most people will ever have to be and who supported each other in an attempt to survive the cruelest conditions a person could find themselves in. In one sentence, this is a book that everyone should read.
For more information about this book, the author, or if you would like to see more reviews visit the books main tour page.
** I received a copy of this book from the publisher as a part of TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
October 18, 2011 § 2 Comments
From the publisher:
“As devoted readers of Adriana Trigiani’s New York Times bestselling novels know, this “seemingly effortless storyteller” (Boston Globe) frequently draws inspiration from her own family history, in particular from the lives of her two remarkable grandmothers, Lucia Spada Bonicelli (Lucy) and Yolanda Perin Trigiani (Viola). In Don’t Sing at the Table, she reveals how her grandmothers’ simple values have shaped her own life, sharing the experiences, humor, and wisdom of her beloved mentors to delight readers of all ages.
Trigiani visits the past to seek answers to the essential questions that define the challenges women face today at work and at home. Don’t Sing at the Table is a primer, grandmother to granddaughter, filled with everyday wisdom and life lessons handed down with care and built to last.”
We all have people in our lives who leave a mark of some sort. For Adriana Trigiani, her grandmothers Lucy and Viola had a huge impact on her. Don’t Sing at the Table is a moving and even entertaining book full of stories about these two powerhouse women and I enjoyed it immensely.
Lucy and Viola are two women who lived very full lives. They loved with all their hearts and gave everything they had to their jobs and families. From their births and childhood in Italy to their trip across the Atlantic and the lives they built once they arrived in the U.S., Trigiani shares her grandmothers with all of us. Don’t Sing at the Table is full of stories about the time she spent with her grandmothers, whether it was cleaning cars (which is a thorough and amusing process if I may say so myself), using a magnet to collect needles off the ground of Viola’s factory or Lucy’s seamstress shop, or simply enjoying a drink and conversation on a beautiful summer afternoon. Trigiani also shares bits of the advice her grandmothers imparted to her over the years on everything from maintaining a home, to love, marriage, and parenting and discusses how her grandmothers affected how she approaches her career and her life.
Don’t Sing at the Table wasn’t just a book for me, but an experience. I’m probably biased by the relationship I shared with my grandmother, but I can’t think of a bad word to say about this one. Don’t Sing at the Table is a beautifully written memoir about the everlasting effect two women had on Adriana Trigiani’s life.
**I received a copy of this book from the publisher as a part of TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
August 21, 2011 § 3 Comments
Kevin Roose, child of Quaker parents and student at Brown University met a group of Liberty University students while on a trip with his boss. The result of that meeting… a desire to live and study at Liberty University for a semester where he could immerse himself in the evangelical Christian culture and get to know a group of people that he knew little about. During his semester at Liberty University he experienced many things. He got to sing in the choir at Thomas Road Baptist Church and attend a variety of church services the likes of which he’d never before experienced. He met regularly with a pastor and explored the campus. He interviewed Jerry Falwell himself. He taught himself to stop swearing and did his best to follow the rules (all forty-six pages of them). He went on a spring break mission trip to Daytona Beach and attended a support group for chronic masturbators. Oh, and he studied young-earth creationism while attempting to keep his cool every time he heard a homophobic statement.
I have to say, I really enjoyed reading The Unlikely Disciple. From the first page I was interested to see what he had to say about being immersed in a culture so different from his own and trying to fit in as if he too was an evangelical Christian.
There are two huge positives that stood out for me while I was reading this book. First, Roose’s observations of the other students, faculty, and staff at the university. By that I mean that even though he is on the complete opposite side of the belief spectrum from those he was living and studying with, he didn’t criticize their beliefs or put them down. Sure, he might disagree with many of their beliefs, but that is natural, and he isn’t a jerk about it. He also talks about some of the friends he made while he was at Liberty and the fact that aside from their religious and generally conservative beliefs, students at Liberty are just like students at any secular college in the States. They have fun, stress over exams, and some break rules. Basically, he shows that they are human just like the rest of us.
The other thing that I really liked about this book was the fact that a lot of what Roose writes is about what he is feeling. He writes about his fears, insecurities, and his struggles throughout that semester. You’re able to get a good feel for what was going on in his head.
The Unlikely Disciple gives a peak at what is happening on a Christian college campus. In my opinion it is an all-around great read. The way the book is written makes it a quick read with the added benefit of being quite humorous. Most certainly an enjoyable book.
July 21, 2011 § 3 Comments
From the book jacket:
Stefan Templeton was born a child of extremes. He spent half his childhood with his African American philosopher father in the decaying ghetto of Baltimore in the 1970s. The other half was spent with his Norwegian mother in the wealthiest enclaves of Europe. His father was a brilliant academic, and intense disciplinarian, and a lethal martial artist. His mother, an aristocrat by birth, was a mystic and a healer. By the time Stefan was nine, he spoke four languages. By the time he was seventeen, he had a black belt and could take apart a .45 automatic in the dark.
Things got heavier from there. Stefan’s wanderlust and action jones took him all over the world. Before he was twenty-one, he’d hunted in Burgundy, brawled in Oxford, served as a medicine man in Colombia, escaped death on the Amazon, and trained to be a deep-sea diver on Cousteau’s Calypso.
At twenty-five, love for the mother of his first child settled him in Norway but didn’t settle him down. He drifted into a labyrinthine criminal underworld, where he pulled off an enormous jewel heist and became a player in a European smuggling consortium. But his conscience demanded that his life be about more than the next adrenaline fix, the next adventure, the next score. His road to redemption led him to some of the bleakest corners of the globe, where he finally found a focus for his life in humanitarian relief work: on the beach in the wake of the Indoneasian tsunami and on the ground following the Sudanese civil war. That was just the beginning.
Kicking Ass and Saving Souls is a true testament to the capacity of the human spirit, a mythic adventure made palpable, lyrical, and human by David Matthews- Stefan’s childhood friend and sometimes harshest critic.
I would be lying if I said the story of Stefan Templeton didn’t grab me from the start. He is a human being just like the rest of us, but he has lived an extraordinary life. Things that the general population can only dream of were seen and done by Stefan by the time he became an adult. Deep sea diving, traveling over several continents, a run in with a member of the Yakuza, walking through crime ridden neighborhoods in the dead of night for an adrenaline fix as a teenager, and helping people in need all over the world – this is only a sampling of the things Stefan Templeton has experienced.
At times, this man’s story seems almost unrealistic and you can’t help but think, ‘Really, one person has done all of this?’ Yet there is one about the book that makes you realize, yes this is true, this is the extraordinary story of a real person, and that is seeing the change in Stefan as he goes through life.
The changes Stefan goes through from the time he was a child through his adulthood is my favorite part of Kicking Ass and Saving Souls. The book paints a picture of Stefan’s life and the many good and not-so-good things he’s done. Seeing that he had made both good choices and some mistakes gives him a human quality. This isn’t just some unrealistic story, but it’s the life of a living and breathing person. A father, a son, a friend, a lover.
Stefan Templeton has done some amazing things during his life. He’s seen the most beautiful parts of the world and the ugliest. His story, told by his good friend David Matthews, is absolutely worth reading.
**I received a copy of this book as a part of TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. All opinions here are my own and have not been influenced in anyway.
May 26, 2011 § Leave a Comment
All too often, religious beliefs make their way into arguments surrounding law-making. The huge debate over whether or not gay marriage should be made legal is only one example, but it is a good one. No matter where you go in the U.S. (even in my liberal home state) someone is going to say that The Bible says homosexuality is not to be tolerated, therefore, allowing gay marriage is not okay. But, what does The Bible really say when it comes to matters of sex and desire? In Unprotected Texts, Jennifer Wright Knust, a bible scholar and American Baptist pastor answered just that.
There are no topics left alone in Unprotected Texts. Want to know what the different books of The Bible have to say about whether desire is good or bad and what to do about it? You can find it here. Curious about premarital sex and same-sex relationships, you can find that here too. How about the physical body? There’s an entire chapter devoted to circumcision, semen, and menstruation. Gender roles, monogamy and polygamy, marriage… You name it, if it’s in The Bible, Knust has presented it here.
Not only are the contradictions of The Bible pointed out, but Knust also takes a look at some of the interpretations as well. She states that some of the translations aren’t literal, but educated guesses. In addition, she points out that our present day understanding of certain words and phrases (Sodom is the example that comes to mind right now) did not come along until centuries later. If that’s the case, how can we really say that the destruction of Sodom happened because of same-sex relationships, when it’s far more likely that the destruction of Sodom happened because of human/angel sexual relations or the attitude of the people.
Knust, in my opinion, very successfully argues that The Bible is too contradictory to use as a guidebook for anything, let alone sex and desire. She states, up front, that something that is tolerated in one book will be prohibited in the next, and glorified in another. In that case, sure you can argue that The Bible says one thing, but they guy next to you will probably point out that it says another entirely – and there you have the not-so-merry-go-round of The Bible, as I’ve chosen to call it.
There are a couple of things I think it’s important to mention about Unprotected Texts, both positive. First, we all know that there is a stereotype assigned to religious books. That’s the idea that the author is going to try to push their beliefs on you. Does Knust acknowledge her beliefs in this book? Yes, she mentions them in the introduction. Does she at any point try to say her beliefs are right or that you should believe as she does? No, Knust stays on topic the entire book. Second, you don’t need to be a bible scholar to understand Unprotected Texts. As someone who has yet to successfully read The Bible, I was able to follow along with her discussions of the different stories and books of The Bible quite well.
Overall, Unprotected Texts was a great book. It was easy to read, easy to follow along with, and it answers the questions regarding sex and desire in The Bible.
May 19, 2011 § 10 Comments
On the afternoon of May 13, 1945 a group of 24 officers and enlisted military personnel hopped on a military plane to see the popular Shangri-La, a picturesque valley hidden away in the mountains of New Guinea. The only way to see Shangri-La was by air, flying through a particularly tumultuous mountain pass. On this day, one man’s questionable decision, one co-pilots inexperience, and possible mechanical problems paired with the unpredictable mountain weather all lead to a tragic fate for the men and women aboard the plane dubbed the ‘Gremlin Special.’
After the crash, only three of the 24 passengers survived – one woman and two men. Armed with few supplies and an array of injuries – broken bones, burns, cuts, bruises, and gangrene, not to mention the grief of losing friends and acquaintances and in one survivors case a twin brother, the three started their hike down the valley into an open area they were able to spot. Living off of small tins of water and hard candy, they never gave up. Eventually they made it to the field where they were spotted by American pilots and the native peoples.
Soon after the survivors are spotted, supplies start coming in raising morale and a group of Filipino-American paratroopers volunteer to make a daring jump into the valley. Finally, with the attention of medics, things start to look up, but they still have a long way go to heal, hike back to the main base set up by the paratroopers, and get out of the valley – safely. Almost seven weeks after the crash, a daring attempt was made, and in a matter of days, the survivors, the volunteer paratroopers, and one man from Hollywood all made it out of Shangri-La.
If I was limited to one word to describe this book, it would be: phenomenal. It’s hard to believe that Lost in Shangri-La is a non-fiction book because the story is so amazing. However, this is a true story, and it is pretty epic. Lost in Shangri-La isn’t just about a plane crashing and what happened afterwards. It’s an extremely comprehensive telling of the history of New Guinea, what life was like for the native peoples and soldiers stationed there, the men and women who went down in the plane as well as the men and women who were willing to risk their lives to help the survivors, what was happening during WWII at the time, and the rescue that one has to be crazy to attempt.
The three survivors of the Gremlin Special are the ultimate heroes. They found within themselves the motivation they needed to go on, even when they were in so much pain they could hardly stand and at times they were actually crawling through the jungle. They were confronted by a native people with whom they couldn’t communicate very well and whom they were lead to believe were a cannibalistic and cruel group of prehistoric warriors. In fact, these people ended up friends. On and on these three fought, never giving up no matter what was thrown their way.
A story put together from interviews, journals written by those involved in the crash and rescue, old news articles, along with pictures from the time spent waiting to be rescued and the rescue itself, Lost in Shangri-La is a book you have to read, to experience for yourself. It’s the type of book that you don’t want to put down because you want to know how these individuals fared.
Bottom line, Lost in Shangri-La is beautifully written, the chapters move very quickly, and the story is absolutely captivating. I highly recommend this book, not only for lovers of history, but for anyone who is looking for inspiration, for a story of struggle and triumph.
**I received a copy of this book as a part of TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. All opinions here are my own and have not been influenced in anyway.
April 6, 2011 § Leave a Comment
It’s not an easy thing to fit my thoughts and reactions to Yes Means Yes into a review. This is an incredibly provoking collection of essays that takes an honest look at views of sexuality in America and proposes ways to change those views for the better. My reactions to this book come from a few perspectives. That of a criminal justice major, a social scientist, but most importantly, a woman.
Several of the topics discussed throughout Yes Means Yes are topics that I am familiar with – sexual assault is a huge topic in my classes. The ability to see the issues surrounding sexuality and sexual assault through different viewpoints is something I consider to be a huge benefit of this book.
The idea behind this book was to confront the view of sexuality in America and how it feeds the rape culture that surrounds us, and further, how we can change the negative ideas surrounding sexuality, especially female sexuality, by promoting and valuing female sexual pleasure. Ideally, achieving that goal, whopper though it may be, will lead to a decrease in the occurence of rape and take away the power from the systems that give rape the influence it has over women’s sexual power.
These are essays based in personal and professional experience. The contributors are women who have felt that their bodies were not their own, who have seen firsthand the painful effects of sexual trauma on survivors, and even a few men who realized that their education, or lack thereof, in regards to respecting women, and how to treat them, was missing something essential.
There is a huge range of topics that are discussed here… the influence of media on beliefs regarding sexuality, the discussion of what consent is – saying yes! as opposed to not saying no, those first explorations into your sexuality, the part the male sexuality plays and the fact that it’s not just women who need to rethink the way they relate to their sexual power, that sexuality does not come in one form (male/female) and that we need to fight for those who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or who are still trying to find their sexuality because their desires are not shameful – sexuality in general should never be shamed.
There are a few essays that really either hit home or made a deep impression on me while reading them. One of these essays is The Fantasy of Acceptable “Non-Consent”: Why the Female Sexual Submissive Scares Us (and Why She Shouldn’t) by Stacey May Fowles. Fowles touches on a very important point in her essay. Many people look at the BDSM culture as a taboo, as disgusting, or dirty, or whatever other label you want to put on it, but those who are a part of this culture have something that many other sexual partners don’t… A completely open and honest line of communication. Because BDSM encompasses such a wide range of activities the partners have to discuss what is and is not okay. There is a safe-word, so if one partners is taking things too far, the other can let them know. I know far too many people willing to talk to close friends about sex, about what they do or don’t like, but when you ask, “Did you tell him/her that?” they respond with, “Well, no. It’s too soon,” or, “No, I’m not comfortable discussing this with them.” A whole other conversation could be had about that (you know, if you can’t discuss your sexual likes/dislikes with someone you probably should not be having sex with them), but the important thing is that most of us could use a lesson from the BDSM community.
Another essay that hits home is Sex Worth Fighting For by Anastasia Higginbotham. Part of this essay is Higginbotham speaking of her training in a self-defense class and feeling physically empowered and going on to teach the class, but the part that got to me was the internal battle she waged with herself. Finding the ability to revel in her body, her wants and desires, and learning to fight the anger she felt in herself for wanting sex because she shouldn’t be angry about it. Higginbotham makes a statement in the essay that, “Until we demand this education for ourselves and for girls, we’re all still floating in the same boats together, up the same creeks, generation after generation. Our minds are not free and our bodies are not safe.” She has a point, how can we fight for ourselves and our desires when we are never taught how to defend ourselves physically, and when we live in a society where women who embrace their sexuality are stigmatized?
The last piece I’m going to speak specifically about is Hooking Up with Healthy Sexuality by Brad Perry. In one section he speaks about abstinence only until marriage education, something Perry refers to as a “goddamned travesty,” and I am entirely in agreement. Millions of dollars each year go to abstinence only education programs, programs that generally only cover your post-marriage, to make a baby only, woman only gets an orgasm by accident, vanilla sex. And really, what good is this education doing us, especially when somewhere in the neighborhood of 80-some-odd percent of high schoolers who make a vow of abstinence end up having premartial sex anyways. These programs shame those who decide to have sex before marriage and there’s no point in even discussing when happens when someone ignores a “no.”
As I read Yes Means Yes I found myself nodding in agreement, laughing, and getting teary-eyed because some internal string was plucked. I know what it is like to be stigmatized for my choices, and while I try to keep myself above that level of ignorance, it still hurts to be the recipient of that hatred and judgment. I’ve always been very open about my life and my choices. I don’t believe in hiding who I am as a person, even if I might not be so proud of some of those past choices. When discussions of sexuality arise I have no problems saying, “Heck yeah, I’ve done that!” or “No, that’s never really appealed to me.” I have no problems asking another person about their experiences, sexual or otherwise, but I always listen with an open-mind. I’m not looking to shame and blame, which are two things, of many, at the root of societies issues with women’s sexuality.
No one should have to live in a culture where you cannot be yourself, where you are shamed for embracing your body, for satiating sexual desires, for wanting to try new things. Sex should happen only with an enthusiastic ‘YES!’ from all parties. Sex should be about pleasure. Sex should be one of life’s feel goods, not just because its a physiological response, but because you want it and you’re enjoying it. Here’s to embracing sexuality and creating a sex-positive culture for the next generation, and on!
March 21, 2011 § 2 Comments
”Accidental” wife murder. Adultery – on a grand scale. Adopting lovers as children. Misogyny – Socrates style. Physical deformation via venereal disease. Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love is a collection of the love-gone-wrong-lives of some of the greatest minds in history. Men and women alike, this group of 37 philosophers were much better off as thinkers than as lovers.
There is, among many people, this idea that anything to do with philosophy (or other certain topics – mine is physics) is going to be difficult. This book isn’t something to be afraid of – there’s no super-high page count and you don’t need the dictionary ever other sentence. The book itself is actually quite small and a really quick read. Once I actually sat down and got into the book I finished it in less than an hour. I figure its the way that Shaffer set the book up that makes it so easy to read. Each philosopher has his or her own little section. Shaffer gives the gist of what the individual was known for, a little bit about their life, talks about the love gone wrong, and ends each section with an ‘in their own words’ tidbit. Shaffer uses letters and other writings from these men and women as the basis for the book, so it’s not as if he is making anything up which gives him major points in my book.
I think it’s important to mention that Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love isn’t about the actual philosophies of these individuals. Shaffer doesn’t attack anyone for how they lived saying ‘so and so thought this and said this and did this and so he must be wrong.’ Some people might try to do that, but Shaffer isn’t one of them. He does inject a bit of his own humor and such, but what one of us out there could write this kind of book without any commentary at all? I sure couldn’t. And it certainly wouldn’t be as fun to read if there wasn’t any humor.
The book doesn’t have much depth to it. It’s really just about some odd, unfortunate, or by some of our standards just plain crazy things that people said and did when it came to their love lives. Though I must say, there are certain individuals in this book who’s love lives can’t really be called failures. Some of these people just made a life change, drastic as they may be.
Bottom line, Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love contains some interesting stories and causes a few chuckles. It’s great light reading, and if you’re looking for something to divert your attention from, say rough day at the office, this is a book that is sure to make you feel better about yourself, your love life, and life in general.
December 16, 2010 § 8 Comments
Those of us in modern day western culture live in a world where emphasis is put on long term pair bonding and the nuclear family. You grow up, go to school, get a good job, select a spouse, and raise children. This is what we were made for right?
Sexuality is not a topic that has been fully explored until recently. Sure, Darwin put forth some ideas of sexual selection, but his Victorian sensibilities restrained him from truly investigating the subject. It’s a topic he even stated that he could not explore in good conscience.
Until the sexual revolution of the 1960s and 70s, sex was a topic that stayed behind closed doors. Society did its best to limit sex as being something that married adults did to produce children. If sex is nothing more to us than a means of procreation, why in the past has masturbation been an accepted medical treatment for women experiencing what used to be thought of as hysteria, when really the symptoms they had resembled sexual frustration and arousal? And why, when the doctors knew exactly what they were doing did they make up fancy talk about vulvular massages and “nervous paroxysm” to support the belief that females lack libido? Something to think about – in the fifteen years after the first electric vibrators were made available to the public there ended up being more vibrators in American homes than toasters.
Sex at Dawn confronts the social norms put forth by society about human sexuality and challenges them. Authors Ryan and Jethá present evidence from pre-agricultural times, primatology, and anatomy that shows humans in fact are not a monogamous but rather a promiscuous species. Cultures around the world that embrace rather than shun sexuality along with matriarchal societies are discussed. The statements and beliefs of the “three intellectual grandfathers,” Hobbes, Rousseau, and Malthus are examined. They also take a crack at the issue surrounding research of human sexuality. The majority of research done on sexual behaviors comes from college students aged eighteen to twenty-two. How are these results generalizable, especially for women whose sexuality changes throughout her lifetime? What about all of those researchers omitting relevant information so they can make their case?
Ryan and Jethá further discuss how a standard narrative, the beginning of agriculture and the idea of personal property that emerged with it, and worries of “paternity certainty” among men has shaped the way society views sexuality. People shouldn’t want to have extra-pair sexual relations – after all we’re monogamous, right? – and yet so many men and women engage in sex outside of their relationships. Humans spend more time than any other species on earth having sex, if we are monogamous, why aren’t we like all of the other monogamous species who limit sexual activity to only a few interactions each year?
Believing that humans are promiscuous rather than monogamous is not difficult. Ryan and Jethá present their arguments quite well. In addition, it’s common knowledge that humans have to work hard to maintain long-term relationships; seeing divorce rates and the number of individuals who have affairs only further illustrates that point.
There were only a couple of things throughout the book that caught me off guard. The big one was a statement about how women who chose to marry while on birth control have a higher risk of regretting the decision once they stop taking the birth control. That particular argument led to a bit of eye rolling on my part, I need concrete evidence to believe it. The discussion of sperm composition and competition was also a bit funky.
When it comes to the bottom line, Sex at Dawn was an interesting read. The questions regarding our sexuality that need to be asked are, the information is organized and presented well, clear arguments are made, and there’s even a wit factor. This book is something that you can go into with little or no past knowledge and come out with a bit deeper understanding of the history of human sexuality. All in all, a good read.
December 5, 2010 § Leave a Comment
Before I start talking about the book I’m putting up a warning. If you are offended by lots of swearing, you’re better off staying away from this one since the title accurately reflects the language throughout the book.
A 29 year old Justin Halpern moved back home with his 73 year old father after his girlfriend dumped him and he had nowhere else to go. Having a job where he worked from home and spending time with his retired father, he started keeping track of things his dad would say to him. Then he started posting them on Twitter. These quotes attracted quite a following and along came a book, Shit My Dad Says. Halpern starts the book with stories from his childhood and follows through to his life as an adult.
Shit My Dad Says is a really quick read, time for any distractions included it took under two hours for me to get through the book. Over half that time I spent laughing aloud at quotes from his father or the stories of his life. We all have stories about ourselves that you just can’t help but laugh at. Halpern is no exception. His father is very blunt and for lack of a better term, swears like a sailor. I appreciate the straight-forward attitude shown in the book.
My mom actually read this before I did, and for a few weeks she has been hounding me to sit down for an hour and read the book, and boy am I glad I did. Stories that everyone can relate to are told in an honest and humorous way.
On My Bloody Nose
“What happened? Did somebody punch you in the face?!… The what? The air is dry? Do me a favor and tell people you got punched in the face.”
On My Response to Having My Tires Slashed
” Oh, don’t go to the goddamned cops. They’re busy with real shit. I don’t want my tax dollars going to figuring out who thinks you’re an asshole.”
That’s only a sampling of the things Mr. Sam Halpern has to say, and I really had to just open to a random page and point to choose what to quote.
The book ends with a story that Halpern’s father told him about his first wife that is far more serious than the rest of the book. While, the change in mood might seem abrupt, that story his father shares is personal and really hits home for me. It also reinforces the reality that we all live in. I’m going to be redundant here, again. Pick up the book, read it, laugh and nod and say yup, been there.