What it's all about...

The purpose of this blog is simple: Reading

My friends and me used to get immense joy from reading great books, sharing them, and maybe discussing them over a few beers. We no longer live in close proximity and for most of us free time comes at a premium.

This year, I have made it a personal goal of mine to turn off the TV and read more. I got through 3 books pretty quickly and realized that I wanted "that old thing back" - that community of being able to share these great books with others, so the blog was born.

If you see a book review and the book sounds interesting and you want to purchase the book, you can do so by directly linking to Amazon.com through a text link on the book title. I will be donating all proceeds (probably .15 this year) to Reading Is Fundamental (

Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Wine of Youth

The Wine of Youth
By John Fante

Book Reporter: Joelman

This book is a compilation of short stories (likely with an autobiographical thread) that take place during Fante's youth as an Italian American growing up in Colorado. Fante works where many themes converge: growing up Catholic & Italian, dealing with dysfunctional parents, alcoholism, and poverty. These common themes thread together the different stories like familiar snapshots. Growing up Catholic is the dominant theme, and entire stories are dedicated to the sacraments - particularly the sacrament of reconciliation.

Fante does an outstanding job of re-creating the world of his youth where he and his brothers share a bed and must bring in coal for their mother each morning. This is a world where our hero is dominated by the nuns who consistently regard our hero with disdain. Our hero's father, Guido, a mason, goes on multi-day benders while his mother locks herself in her room to cry the days away. It is a sad and cold world that shows what poverty can do to a family and the resolve that it often instills in its children - to get the hell out and never look back.

Bottom Line: This is a great book to read if you are a Fante fan or someone that grew up Catholic or around Catholocism.

Recommendation: READ

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