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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Blog Tour: The Longest Trip Home by John Grogan

When Trish from TLC Book Tours asked me if I'd be interested in participating in a blog tour of John Grogan's book, The Longest Trip Home, I couldn't say "yes!!" any faster or louder. I'd read Grogan's wonderful memoir last year and had already reviewed it for the blog, and I loved having an excuse to re-read the book. You can see my review from last year by clicking here. Kristen at BookNAround has written up a terrific synopsis in her review, and since she's the first stop on the tour, I won't repeat all her great work!

John Grogan's memoir alternates between incredibly touching and laugh out loud funny, it reminded me so much of my own childhood. And that's the wonderful thing about this book. Really, about all Grogan and I have in common is that we were born the same year. I'm a farm kid from western Montana, he was a kid from the 'burbs of Detroit. He was from a wildly devout Catholic family, and I grew up in a Mormon family. Yet, as a reader, I felt connected to this man's family and his childhood. I would be reminded reading about his own childhood antics, of the things my brother and sister and I would get into.

Living on a farm, we had milk cows and also a few hundred chickens. My parents sold the eggs from the chicken's to a supermarket in a larger city about 50 miles away once a week. When the chickens would stop laying eggs that could be sold, my dad would turn them out of the cages and let them live out the rest of their lives with free run of the farm. They would continue to lay eggs in unlikely places, often misshapen or small and my older brother and sister and I would find them and stash them away in one of the outbuildings until they reached a nice level of stinky rotten-ness. Then, we would have an all-out war, "rotten egg fight". Of course, being the youngest, it was always them against me, and I always got the shed without the roof as my "fort" and since I was only 6 years old, I couldn't lob an egg all the way across the yard to their "fort" if my life depended on it. I pretty much always ended up covered in stinky rotten eggs, and they were the victors once more.

This all ended the year my cousin, Jack arrived to spend the summer with us. Jack was 7 years older than me, (2 years older than my brother) and he became my "knight in shining armor". He could nail my siblings through a knothole in the siding at 50 yards with a rotten egg. Oh, I spent many more summers covered in stinky rotten egg, but that summer...I was queen of the farm.

It's wonderful how a book about someone else's childhood can lead us down our own memory lane, and that is one of the special things about this book. Pick up a copy of The Longest Trip Home, I didn't think it was possible for John Grogan to top Marley and Me, but I may have loved this book even more!!

You can see John Grogan's website here, and you might want to take a look at the "Share your Stories" tab. After you read The Longest Trip Home, if you're feeling as nostalgic as I did, you may have a great childhood story that you can contribute to the site!

You can check out other stops on this blog tour for the next couple of weeks, and I'm sure you'll really enjoy all the perspectives of these wonderful bloggers.

Monday, October 19th: BookNAround
Thursday, October 22nd: Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books
Monday, October 26th: Book Club Classics
Tuesday, October 27th: Readaholic
Tuesday, November 3rd: Bookstack
Thursday, November 5th: The Book Zombie
Monday, November 9th: The 3 R’s: Reading, ‘Riting, and Randomness
Thursday, November 12th: Cozy Little House
Tuesday, November 17th: Starting Fresh
Date TBD: The Book Lady’s Blog

And if you're curious about what a "professional" reviewer thought about this wonderful book, you might check out the New York Times review here. Little hint--Janet Maslin loves it just as much as I do, but she's a whole heck of a lot more articulate in explaining why!

Thanks much to Trish for including me in the blog tour for this terrific book. My original review was based on a copy of the book I received from the publisher.


bermudaonion said...

I loved this book, too, but just sobbed at the end!

trish said...

Kelly, that is the absolute best story EVER. I love how books can bring up your own memories. So glad you were on this tour!

Toni said...

I really want to read this one. I mean really really. Great post! I am convinced I must read it.