Please read this...Fun guy(?), ponders books, libraries

A headline and the title of a book which caught my eye during The Journey Through Life are the focus of our attention this week. The headline and the book are connected, 'cause one would not have happened without the other. 

The headline, "Love My Library," accompanied an article which appeared in the September edition of TBY, The Best Years. TBY is a supplement which is featured in the Southeast Missourian newspaper in Cape Girardeau.

The article with the "Love My Library" headline was penned by a writer named Jo Ann Bock. Bock shared that her relationship with the library had lasted for some "80-plus years." 

"Once I learned to read, I made it my business to get a library card," Bock wrote. My relationship with libraries doesn't go back quite as far as Bock's, but it's getting close. Seems like I've had library cards in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Alton and right here in Union County.

Bock wrote that her library card "has been and still is my ticket to contentment. Except for a Cardinal baseball game, I have no problem turning off the television to read a newly checked out biography or novel. Simply put, I love my library." Amen to that.

As you know, I like to read. A lot. Too much, maybe. I keep finding that there are too many books I would like to read, and there simply is not enough time to get to them all.

And the whole thing doesn't get any easier on Wednesdays. Wednesday is my go to the library day. I'm a lot like our cats when it comes to being a creature of habit. Actually, I could be worse than our cats when it comes to such things. 

Anyway, on Wednesday, I like to pay a visit to Stinson Memorial Library in Anna, which is where I have my library card. When I visit, I take a look at the library's new books, just to see what might catch my attention. Generally, there's at least one new title which looks interesting.

Such was the case during a recent visit. While looking through a row of new, nonfiction titles, I came across a book titled "Being a Dad is Weird." As a dad, that sounded kind of interesting.

The book was written by Ben Falcone. The end flap at the back of the book shares that Falcone "is a film director, writer, and comedic actor." He also happens to be married to actress Melissa McCarthy, who wrote the foreward to the book.

Generally, when I take a look at a book, I'll take a look at the front and end flaps, and then, maybe, flip through a few pages, just to get an idea if I might actually want to read the book. 

The front flap immediately caught my attention with a mention of "making gluten-free pancakes." Gluten-free food is something which is a very important part of my life.

Then, for some reason, I flipped Falcone's book open to page 155, and read: "Southern Illinois University is also the home to many amazing festivals and celebrations ( school)." Yup, have to read this one. For those who may not know such things, your writer is a alumnus of SIU. The Other Half is an alumna. We met while going to school at SIU.

"Being a Dad is Weird" is a wonderful little book, only about 220 pages long. The title pretty much says everything that needs to be said about being a dad. I'm just sure that "weird" covers the whole dad thing, but that's another story.

I read the book during the course of an evening, while watching some forgettable stuff on the tube. Mainly, I wanted to how many memories of Southern Illinois he shared. And there are a lot of them.

Falcone now lives in Los Angeles, but he grew up in Southern Illinois. His book features many memories of his childhood in Little Egypt.

His parents attended graduate school at SIU. "After a short, disastrous attempt at living in Texas, my parents put down roots in Carbondale."

The author also remembered that when he was very small, "my dad got the best job yet. He worked for the Southern Illinois University Arena, running the concession stands." I couldn't help but wonder if his dad and I had crossed paths at some point, since I also had a great job at the SIU Arena when I was a student.

If you want to learn more about the author's thoughts about being a dad, you will want to read the book. The language in the book can be a bit, shall we say, salty, but it's still fun to read. If you attended SIU, or partied at SIU, or are a dad, or have a dad, or know a dad, or know somebody who might know a dad, or just happens to be breathing, check out Falcone's book. (There it is, again. Check it out. A book. At the library. Get it.)

Having an opportunity to find a little gem like "Being a Dad is Weird" is why I love my library. I just wish the library didn't have so many books that look like they would be fun to read.

(Just as an aside, another article which appeared on the same page as Bock's column about the library, shared some special memories about finding arrowheads. The fellow who wrote the article shared that he has found a variety of arrowheads in recent years. I count him as a lucky guy. I still haven't found a single arrowhead. Ever.)


The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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