- Paperback: 184 pages
- Publisher: AuthorHouse (November 14, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1425971180
- ISBN-13: 978-1425971182
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,499,077 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Burning The Furniture
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About the Author
Dan Smith has been an award-winning journalist in North Carolina and Virginia for more than 40 years. For the past two decades has been editor of the Blue Ridge Business Journal in Roanoke, VA., being named Virginia's Small Business Journalist of the Year in 2005. He has won a number of awards for writing sports, news, editorials and feature stories, for newspaper design and and for photography. He has also won awards for business ethics, environmental education and support of the arts, among other things. He is married to Christina Koomen Smith and has two children and one grandchild.CHAR(13) + CHAR(10)
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Top Customer Reviews
Here's a good portion of it.
The mistakes of childhood can easily be recalled then brushed off as a youthful indiscretion. To write about your struggles in adulthood takes a lot more gumption. Dan attacks his struggles head on: alcoholism, failed marriages, fatherhood regrets, lost jobs. He leaves no stone unturned. This also becomes a source of inspiration because he sobered up, has a career, and has a good relationship with his kids and grand kids. Everyone faces adversity and makes mistakes, but not everyone has the character to face that adversity and learn from their mistakes. Even fewer have the ability to write about it eloquently. Dan Smith is one of those few.
Memoirs are mostly successful based on the name value of their authors and not their inherent quality. Personally, I'd rather read a great memoir from a local author than some ghost-written fluff piece from a celebrity. I'm sure Arnold Schwarzenegger's memoirs will always outsell Dan Smith's, and that's a damn shame. "Burning The Furniture" is short, but satisfying. You won't regret investing your time in this one.
If that particular scene doesn't connect with you, well, you're just in for a fun read anyway, where you'll laugh more than you weep, and you'll chuckle more than you sigh. Dan Smith is a great storyteller, with details that pull you right into his backyard or out on the ball field with the team. His descriptions make you a participant more than an observer in the antics of boys growing up - well, boys trying sometimes to grow up, or not grow up. And then there's an adulthood that gets scrambled and unscrambled more than a few times.
There are tender moments and sad seasons, but most of all, Dan Smith has revealed joys, challenges, fun, and wounds common to many who don't have the courage to share them out loud. "Burning the Furniture" is the kind of book you read in just a couple evenings. You relate. You reflect. You reminisce. Then you buy a couple more copies for friends.
Ostensibly a memoir, it's really a How-To Manual for a life lived hard, sometimes deliberately, sometimes self-indulgently, sometimes both. Virtually every page of Burning The Furniture offers a window into both Dan Smith's past, and into his heart.
It is amazing in some ways, looking at some of the past lives Smith led, that his heart is still beating. Smith's early adulthood, and much in fact of his middle adulthood was not... tranquil. Volatile might be a more accurate description. Indulgent is one I've already used, but listening -- you will hear Smith's distinctive voice in your head as you read his book -- to the stories he tells, well, it's fair to use indulgent more than once.
Throughout, though, this superb journalist had his eyes open -- even when bleary -- to experience and observation, and now that he has long-since emerged on the more... sober side of the human equation, we can be grateful that he did so with both talent and memory cells intact.
This is just a terrifc book from a terrific writer about surving long enough to learn how to become a terrific guy.
It's a funny, moving, sometimes horrifying journey -- and its author, the journeyer himself, has more than done it justice without whitewashing any of his flaws or misjudgments.
Get two (or more) copies of this one. You'll surely want to give it to friends and you'll just as surely not want to part with your own copy.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Though the setting in Burning The Furniture takes you back six decades (timely book...Read more