I just finished reading The Tender Bar by J.R. Moehringer, a well-written and interesting story about how he grew up around a fairly dysfunctional family and found solace at a bar that his Uncle worked at. The author was a newspaper columnist which is always a good sign for me. Books like Marley and Me, I'm Proud of You, All Over But the Shoutin' and many others seem to grab me right from the beginning and all were written by columnist.
I guess it's something to do with the zippiness and approachability of the stories, they just keep it moving. Ironically, all four of the books I've included here are all memoirs of one sort of another which for some reason makes it more connecting.
What particularly moved me about this book was how nakedly honest Mr. Moerhringer is able to be about his life including his successes and even more poignant, his failures. I was also moved by the way he wrote so beautifully about 2 very important female relationships in his life (his mom and an on/off lover).
The one thing that sort of troubled me was that he and his homies drank, and drank hard. He definitely romanticized the bar, understandably. I don't think, however, that he did enough to describe the damage that heavy drinking surely did to the lives of the "stars" of the bar. Ironically, towards the end of the book, he quit drinking because, he figured he had to grow up at some point. Wouldn't that suggest that most of his crew hadn't?
Regardless, it was an interesting read and another in a LONG line of GREAT book recommendations from my Mom. Maybe my Mom should start a blog called booksfromtimsmom.com or something like that, trust me, we'd all be better off!