Wednesday, November 20, 2013

WWRW: DAD IS FAT, a New Review, and a Giveaway


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I just finished reading Jim Gaffigan's DAD IS FAT, which I gave my husband for Father's Day this year.  He read it first (mostly while away from home, in between flights), and said it made him laugh out loud--which came as no surprise, because our family has been a fan of the funny man's comedy routines for a long time now.   He told me that Gaffigan's deep love for his wife Jeannie and their five (and counting!) young children is evident throughout the book, and that his observations on marriage and fatherhood are not just hilarious, but are also surprisingly profound.  Obviously, after that endorsement I had to read it for myself. 
 
I, too,  laughed a lot while reading this delightful book--loudly and often--and I kept stopping to read passages aloud to my husband.  Even though he'd just read the book himself, and he might be in the middle of an important task (like paying the bills or bidding for next month's trips), he would patiently stop what he was doing and listen, and then he'd laugh along with me.  That husband of mine--he's phat, that's what he is.  He knows how much more fun it is when we laugh together rather than separately.

Gaffigan reveals that he and his wife are Catholic, and they are obviously open to the idea of having as many children as God wants them to.  As he puts it in the forward, in a letter to his children, "Given how attractive and fertile your mother is, there may be more of you by the time you're reading this book."   What's rather surprising and laudable is that the Gaffigans live in a crowded two-bedroom apartment in NYC, because the alternative is that dad would have to spend hours every day commuting to and from the suburbs--and he isn't willing to give up that precious time, when he would much rather be spending it with his wife and kids.

The comedian's takes on the dad's role during labor and delivery will make you chuckle: "During labor, the father-to-be is always attempting to justify his presence in the room: 'Hey, I'm the dad.  I'm on the team.  I caused this.  Well, I'm in the way, so I will just stand here in the corner and take pictures.'"

It is obvious that Gaffigan worships his wife, even when you're reading humorous passages like this one: "I am undeniably lucky to have married a woman like Jeannie.  She is energetic, hardworking, and takes incredible care of the kids and me.  However, during our marriage there have been periods when she has become rather lazy.  Jeannie describes these periods as 'pregnancy.'  My view has always been, pregnant or not, that does not mean she can't move some cinder blocks."

And of course, his favorite jokes revolve around how pale he is ("Let me tell you, there is no boost to the ego like putting sunscreen on the top of your balding head, but I think swimming in a pool in a long-sleeve sun shirt is up there."), how fat he is ("I put on more weight than Jeannie during each of her pregnancies.  I justify it by thinking, 'Well, just another thing I'm better at than she is.'"), and food ("Once my daughter Katie ate the icing off a cupcake and then asked for more cake on her bread"--my husband loved that one).  Gaffigan cracks wise on every page, but he also reveals the heart of a loving family man.
 
I don't think I should give away any more funnies.  If you're married and have children, you really must read this book.  It's a riot (but it's sweet, too).  And I didn't think I could love Jim Gaffigan more than I already did...but  now I do.
 
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I recently heard from my friend, author and Catholic Writers Guild president Ellen Gable Hrkach, via e-mail.  She wanted to let me know that she'd finished reading Finding Grace and had written a review.  I was so thrilled to see a new review (lucky # 13!) on my book's Amazon page, and I thought I'd share it with you here.

I would be so excited if one of these Wednesdays, it's what we're you're reading!
 
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4.0 out of 5 stars Epic Coming-of-Age Story, November 13, 2013

Ellen Gable Hrkach "award-winning author" (Pakenham, Ontario Canada)
This review is from: Finding Grace (Women's Inspirational Christian Fiction) (Kindle Edition)
Author Laura Pearl and I have a lot in common. As she says on her blog, "I wanted to write a book that shows that the Catholic Church's teachings on pre-marital sex are not only good for one's immortal soul, but also just make sense and make life simpler and happier." That sounds a lot like me when asked why I wrote my first novel. As well, we both know the joys of raising five sons. It was my pleasure to meet Laura (and her husband, Tim) recently at the Catholic Writers Conference Live in New Jersey.

Laura's novel, Finding Grace, is a coming-of-age story of a girl named Grace Kelly and her journey as a teenager of the 70′s in small town America. This novel deals with some mature themes (Roe v. Wade, abortion, pre-marital sex) but it does so with sensitivity and without explicit details so teens regardless of faith background will enjoy it.

For those of us who grew up in the 70′s, I related to much of what Grace went through and the author captures the atmosphere of that decade well. In fact, I knew a Grace Kelly during my high school years. (I also knew a Rudy Valentino and an Elizabeth Taylor and marveled at how parents could do such a thing to their kids...)

The characters and story line were believable and well-defined. If I were to use one word to describe this book, it would be "Epic." Epic (a word teens use to describe something cool) but it is also epic in size. As other reviewers have mentioned, this is not a short read. Special thanks to the author, who gifted me with a Kindle edition. I was able to read this book in a larger font (I struggled with the print book's tiny font) and I must say, it was a much more enjoyable experience!

Ellen Gable, author

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Thanks, Ellen!

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For the record, dear readers: I prefer the hard copy version myself, small font notwithstanding.  It just looks better, because the formatting is more attractive--and nothing beats holding a real book in your hands (at least if you're an old school type like yours truly).  What about you: do you like e-books or book books?  Because I'm thinking it's about time for another Finding Grace giveaway--especially with Christmas on the horizon.
 
If you'd like to win a signed paperback copy of Finding Grace, just leave me a comment below, anytime between now and November 30.  I'll announce the winner on December 1, and I'll get that book mailed out to you in time for you to wrap it up and give it as a Christmas gift--to that special high school girl on your list,  or your BFF...or yourself! (And guess what?  Christmas falls on a Wednesday this year!  How a propos.  It's a WWRW miracle!)

Okay, my fellow bookies (yes, that's right, bookies!  If there can be "foodies" who love food, there can be bookies who love books!)--you know where to go.  Over to Jessica's with you!

23 comments:

  1. I love bookies. Good word! I don't have a preference between ebooks and hard copies. I know I should but really I just buy which ever is cheaper or which ever version I can get faster from the library. (Sometimes I get on both waiting lists too.)

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  2. A free Christmas present?! Sign me up! :) I like that the giveaway ends on the day the St Andrew Christmas novena begins. *smiles* God bless!

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  3. I'm sure I could find someone to gift a copy to!

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    1. I remember how nervous I was giving you those pages to read when I was still working on it...and how much it meant to me that you liked it. :)

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  4. I always like a good giveaway! And I love Jim Gaffigan too! (because of you)

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    1. Jim Gaffigan is the best. He would approve of the way you and Jeff "camp," too. ("Oh, that's what I forgot--my house!")

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  5. Bookies! I love it! I love giveaways too! Christmas is on a Wednesday! I'll have to plan ahead...

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    1. I love giving away copies of this book--and I thought WWRW was the perfect place to announce a giveaway. I mean everyone around here loves to read, right? :)

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  6. Ooooo...I want to win. I would love a signed copy to give to my daughters!

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    1. It makes me so happy to know that you are planning to have your daughters read it when they are old enough! God bless you.

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  7. Love to win for my dd, 20. That is if you are posting to Australia.

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    1. If you win, Erin, I will certainly post to Australia! You've been one of my best blogging buddies. :)

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    2. Aww, so sweet of you to say. Thank you{}

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  8. Oh, oh *raises hand*, that sounds great! Would love a good book to share :)

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    1. Yay! Your name is going in the hat right now.

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  9. Same as last time, if my name is picked, please pick another and gift it to them on my behalf ;)
    Love,
    Mike

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  10. I would really love to read your book!

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  11. I read the intro the the book at Amazon and it sounds like such an interesting book. What a great book for my nieces and nephews to read.

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    1. Hey, when I got this comment I clicked over to check out your blog. And while I couldn't get on it, I did see your profile--and we share many interests!

      Thanks for stopping by, and for your nice comment about the book. Your name will be in the hat!

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