Shit My Dad Says

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.

Mennonite in a Little Black Dress

My first book review! As exciting as it is, I must say that I am indeed still getting used to this, so please bear with me.

Sometime last year I started learning about the Amish culture, and then about the related Mennonite culture. When I came across this memoir I had no idea what to expect from it, but in the end this one made it to my list of favorite books of all time. Mennonite in a Little Black Dress is the true story of Rhoda Janzen’s ‘mid-life crisis’ and what happens when she returns home to her Mennonite roots.

Though I did in fact learn quite a bit about Mennonite society from Janzen’s accounts, what really got me was the humor that she looks upon all events with. I have to say that I spent most of my time reading this book laughing out loud, literally, regardless of the strange looks my mother gave me. This can be attributed mainly to the very matter of fact telling of a visit to Kohl’s with her mother, and her mother’s ability to stop a Seeing Eye dog in its tracks.

Janzen’s memoir takes you through her difficult marriage, to their second divorce, and the struggles she faced in overcoming that final separation. She talks about a serious accident she had and the troubles she faced being seriously injured and living alone in her big, secluded home. Janzen also writes of her conflicting feelings in saying goodbye to her child rearing days. Finally, she writes of her experiences going home, going back to her family and friends who lived in a world much different than her own and the good and the bad times she had with them.

Overall, I absolutely loved this book. I laughed and my eyes got teary with her words. It is honest, funny, and well-written. Absolutely worth every second spent reading it!