- Hardcover: 270 pages
- Publisher: Kensington; Reprint edition (May 1, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0758216599
- ISBN-13: 978-0758216595
- Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.9 x 8.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,345,909 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Things I Learned About My Dad: Humorous and Heartfelt Essays, edited by the creator of dooce.com Hardcover – April 29, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
Unfortunately, in many cases that did not translate to the printed page. I was disappointed that much of Armstrong's contribution was published on her blog (for free, as someone previously noted), and Alice Bradley's essay in WonderTime, to which I subscribe. That eliminated quite a bit of the best writing in this book. I enjoyed a few of the other essays, but several just seemed to hint that perhaps the editor was hesitant to edit these online celebrities... or the essays were beyond saving, regardless of editing.
The fact that I was able to support these folks in what they aspire to do, however, still makes me happy. To those who comment on Dooce's "self-promotion," she's a business woman whose commodity happens to be herself and her words. She's entitled to promote herself. While I don't consider myself a diligent Dooce devotee, her words have pulled me through difficult times as a mother and I respect the ambition she and Jon Armstrong have in tailoring their family according to THEIR rules. These reviews are not intended to rate your feelings about Heather Armstrong (if they were, I'd tack on another star). They should rate the work.
After having read it, I'll also admit that I found it uneven, probably because the writers all have such unique voices and I am not a fan of each and every person included in the book. My favorite essay is by Doug French of Laid Off Dad fame and for that essay alone I would encourage others to purchase (or at the very least, read) this book. The letter to his sons on the eve of his divorce is incredibly moving.
There were several other essays that were quite well written as well and others that just did not resonate with me. Essentially, if you enjoy reading certain blogs, then you will enjoy reading the longer essays by the authors of those blogs.
Since I knew the outcome of the stories a lot of the excitement was lost. I was hoping for a new voice from her and it wasn't there. Especially considering this was her book, I expected the most from her (perhaps somewhat unfairly.) True, collections often feature writing that has been showcased elsewhere, And each writer that pulls from their own material, does add to it, but it didn't quite work as a whole.
This is not true, however, of all of the pieces. I truly enjoyed Doug French (of Laid off Dad, whose blog I had not read before this) and Jim Griffioen (of Sweet-Juniper, whose blog I do read) as stand alone works.
There are other strong essays in the collection, but none that rival Doug or Jim's. The other stronger essays felt like great blog pieces, but only average non-fiction pieces.
If you enjoy the bloggers featured in the book, I think you will enjoy the book. And it is worth purchasing just to support the bloggers and writers you enjoy on a daily basis. But this isn't a book I will keep coming back to.
The book simply doesn't stand alone as a collection (Doug & Jim's pieces are the exceptions.) Without the back story of the bloggers the book lacks real substance and makes it an unlikely gift, which is unfortunate.
And I know this is super picky, but the pull out quotes throughout the book drove me mad.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It was a gift and while I haven't heard anything about it from the recipient, I read several excerpts before gifting it and I thought it was a hoot.Published 11 months ago by Donal K. Oneill
Absolutely the worst read ever. Uuugh I am infuriated I didn't research before I bought this. Should have remained in the slush pilePublished on May 2, 2012 by Lover of good reads
It's too bad the other bloggers got stuck with Heather Armstrong as their editor....she can't edit her OWN books, why on earth is she trying to edit this one? Read morePublished on July 21, 2009 by Maximum Verbosity
For those reviewers who are trashing this book, please stop to consider that every one of these essays was written by someone whose father was too stupid, careless, or drunk to... Read morePublished on April 27, 2009 by B Smith
There are so many great stories in this book - some of them had me rolling they were so funny! There were also many touching stories. A quick read. Definitely worth it.Published on March 7, 2009 by Allison Jones
This was a much anticipated read for me. I was terribly disappointed. It was very poorly edited, and even more importantly, pathetically written. Read morePublished on February 20, 2009 by Erin
Like her blog, this is poor writing at its best. Random thoughts, weird lay-out...didn't like it at all.Published on February 7, 2009 by mark wain
Fans of dooce.com and similar blogs will probably find this collection of essays on fatherhood entertaining. Some of the stories are better than others as with most compilations. Read morePublished on July 31, 2008 by S. Murphy