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The All Important, Well-Fed, Giant White Man: A memoir. Paperback – November 12, 2015
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That said, I would have loved this book regardless. Dan is a great writer, but even more so, he's completely 100% comfortable discussing his life lessons, successes, and failures. People can really learn a lot from Dan (I have!!), way more than just the life lessons he talks about. People should take a page out of his book and learn to be comfortable with themselves, and not pretend to be perfect.
A+ reading. And for those of you wondering, the majority of the book is new material and wouldn't be found on his blog.
First off, I'd like to say that the thing that hooked me, that really grabbed me and, I'm sure, many people was the level of unabashed honesty. And more than just that, it was the fact that for better or worse, he held nothing back. That is no small feat. It takes an incredible amount of bravery. It is a daunting prospect, knowing others will read of your life stories, to have a spotlight that bright shined on you and thousands if not more strangers scrutinizing you. It's the nightmare that you came to school in just your socks, to feel so very....exposed. But Dan embraces that and it is worth mentioning if you take such things to heart as I do. Reading this book, I did feel deeply like I was talking to an old friend, someone with whom no secrets are kept. I felt incredibly close to him and the experiences he shared, like we had known each other for years. I expect many had a similar experience. I'm not sure if that was his aim but I'm not sorry for it. Feeling a real connection like that is a gift, one few can truly accomplish through writing. And he holds nothing back. He has truly opened his heart and soul in this book and I have a deep appreciation for anyone who can put himself out there like that and manage to touch so many people in such a profound way. I know I'm not the only one who identified with the lessons that his experiences have taught him. And it gives me a sort of feeling of solidarity. A togetherness, not just with him, but with everyone who can find some personal truth in his stories. That too is a gift. Dan has many gifts and I truly find him to be an exceptional person, not just because of his talents, but also his flaws. It's easy to paint a nice picture of yourself to the world when they don't know any better, to carefully edit out the less than flattering details about yourself. It's so easy, but you'll find none of that here. In a world where we all strive for the ideal image of perfection, he puts himself on display exactly as is, imperfectly human, no more, no less.
In conclusion and to save myself (and you all) from my ramblings, this book is a truly human experience. It reminds us of exactly what it means to be human, to be alive, to make mistakes and learn (or not) from them. It reminds us to really look at ourselves, to open our eyes to our own flaws, to the lessons our own experiences are trying to teach us, and that even though we are imperfect beings, we can still grow and learn and become better, bit by bit. Thank you, Dan, for a truly eye-opening experience and, for better or worse, letting the world see (and accept) you for all that you are.
As I got to the end of the book, I realized that this is a man who learned something valuable that I've already learned myself just this past year (choosing to be exactly who you are and being more than okay with what that entails) and we were both freed by the lesson of it. I felt overjoyed to share in his realization. If you haven't experienced this yet, once you read his book, you'll find yourself thinking until you do hopefully. It's one of the most powerful things that any of us can hope to gain from being human and living a single life.
If you're on the fence about reading it, do so. Enjoy this book and the stories, read it and appreciate what Dan's trying to teach you, laugh until it hurts to breathe and then learn a little more. He is a very good teacher, writer, and giant with a big heart. It shows here (and on his blog).
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Also, like any good movie, stay (read) after the closing credits.