Book review: The Seven Good Years

The Seven Good Years by Etgar Keret is a memoir.  Keret has written several fictional works, including a collection of short stories.  The title of the book refers to years between when the author’s son was born and when his dad died.  It sounds kind of depressing, but this book was hilarious.

I’m usually not very fond of memoirs (with a few exceptions), but I really enjoyed reading this one.  The book is short and filled with funny vignettes about the author’s life.  I think my favorite bit was when he described how he used to write fictional inscriptions for people at book signings.  He would write things like, “Where’s that tenner I lent you?  You said two days and it’s a month already.  I’m still waiting” and “I don’t care what the lab tests show.  For me, you’ll always be my dad.”  Too bad he stopped writing those kinds of inscriptions at his book signings.  I would have loved to have gotten something like that at a book signing.

It should be mentioned that the author is Jewish and lives in Israel.  This is important to know because some of his stories involve being a Jew.  I loved that he laughs at himself.  For example, he confronts his paranoia in his story about his first trip to Germany.

It’s a short book – you could probably finish it in one sitting.  Read it.

Book review: The 13th Gift

The 13th Gift was an easy, fast warm-your-heart holiday memoir about a family who is spending their first Christmas without the Dad, who died of a heart condition.  Presents start appearing 12 days before Christmas with cards that contain modified versions of the 12 days of Christmas song on them from “true friends.”  The gifts are small items like a poinsettia, candles, etc., – little gifts that remind the family of Christmas.

The author did a nice job of portraying the pain and anguish that her family felt.  She also was very honest about how she didn’t want to celebrate Christmas and how even buying presents for her children were difficult.  It was interesting how, once the author started getting into the Christmas spirit more, she encountered more people who were willing to help her (furniture store) instead of rude people (guy in the parking lot).  At the very end of the book, the author does finally track down the “true friends.”

This book is exactly what you would think it would be.  It was fun to read and I’m glad that there are good people out there who help others without any recognition.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Blogging for Books for my honest review.