Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
How I Learned to Snap: A Small Town Coming-Out and Coming-of-Age Story Paperback – May 27, 2003
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
"Read navigates his adolescent minefield of snap queens, rednecks, love, sex, family, booze, and punk rock with an astute eye for detail and a stunning capacity for compassion."
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Some of the things that Kirk writes about might be a bit shocking for some (sex with an older guy at such a young age, for instance) but the writing is so warm and honest, that I really didn't think about how serious some of the situations were. I don't want to imply that the book makes light of these situations, because it doesn't at all.
The other thing that I loved about this book is that each chapter is quite short. It's the exact opposite of "wordy"- Kirk gets right to the heart of each story he tells. This book would be perfect for someone who likes to read a little before going to bed. I was able to read the entire book in a day.
Don't miss out on this great book! It has a permanent place on my bookshelf!
Read recounts his teenhood as an ongoing process of learning, suffering and coming out bit by bit, yet he dispenses with self-tortured misery, and offers an uplifting and often hilarious take on the horrors of high school.
Read provides an updated version of the teen coming out memoir, with modern updates. It made me wonder how many other new queer kids cut out pictures of Sir Ian McKellan and put them on their lockers. Read recounts his personal activism in rural Virginia. Diet Coke, Casey Donovan, gym teachers, Judas Priest, drama club; "Child," this is a fun and uplifting account with all the style and richness of the best young adult fiction. But it's all true!
Apart from that, our lives are incredibly different -- I am the straight mother of a toddler living in the suburbs. Yet Read's conversational tone and personable writing style made this accessible and enjoyable. Reading the book gave me the sense of having had a conversation into the wee hours of the night with a new friend, where incidents from the past become valuable character insight and cause for endearment.
I am not always a fan of memoir/autobiography, and found this more entertaining and freshly original than most in its class.
The chronological thing didn't bother me: he seemed to arrange the events in a way that is intelligent. I do see a bit of David Sedaris in this writing, but this is entirely different than Sedaris' stuff.
I thought Kirk's refreshing, positive handling of circumstances was nice `n' different. We've had a lot of books about suffering related to coming out and being gay, and it was nice to see a character that handled the gay life with finesse. This is different! I highly recommend reading this.
Some readers might find Read’s invariable turning of ill into good to be too facile. Indeed, he comes off well, often with a deserved comeuppance for his detractors. But he never makes himself heroic, and there is his charm. What he learns, he learns from a parade of teachers, librarians, older peers, and a few empathic gay men—or from blindly stumbling (sometimes staggering) from innocence to enlightenment while just trying to be a normal, if over-the-top, boy. His mom’s his greatest ally; his dad—VMI, career military with a bark bigger than his bite—doesn’t understand him. But both love him, and he loves them. He’s open to experience wherever his nature leads him, and it leads him not to football (although he excelled in soccer) but to writing, theatre, and men who love him.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book is AMAZING!!! The author is truly a wonderful and inspiring gift to this world.Published 3 months ago by Ian D Young
Kirk Read is a master story teller, the true to life story comes alive with Kirk's wonderful composure and wit. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Amazon Customer
It is a great book to read if you are trying to find the courage to come out - coming out is thankfully getting easier for everyone - but this is a good book to help find that... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Andy Hunter
I purchased this because it was recommended in a book on how to write and publish a memoir. It was greatly overrated with an overabundance of the individual's life style rather... Read morePublished on August 17, 2013 by genealogy bug
A little hard to follow at times. You must pay attention or you can lose your place in the story. To me the best part is the epilogue , it really hits home.
WELL DONE !
I absolutely loved this book and read it in only a few (3, I think) sittings. It's humorous and intelligent and, personally speaking, I related to it very well as a gay teenager... Read morePublished on October 29, 2012 by Isaac Athens
I was initially reluctant to read this book. A small-town coming-out, coming-of-age story? I envisioned sad, perhaps violent stories, and braced myself going in. Read morePublished on May 16, 2011 by M. Naomi
Kirk's book is fantastic reading. Essentially a bio detailing his childhood and teenage years. Dealing with his sexual orientation, finding his career/life path and deciding how... Read morePublished on August 19, 2009 by Lori Holden