Book Club Discussion: Buddy: How a Rooster Made Me a Family Man

Buddy How A Rooste Made Me a Family Man by Brian McGrory

Buddy How A Rooste Made Me a Family Man by Brian McGrory

While chickens are becoming more common in backyards, they’re usually hens. In Buddy: How a Rooster Made Me a Family Man (Broadway), Brian McGrory moved into a home with a backyard rooster. Who didn’t like him. While his new human family were excited to have him in their home, McGrory had to win over the rooster.

Today From Left to Write members discuss Buddy: How a Rooster Made Me a Family Man. Head over to their blogs to see their essays inspired by McGrory’s memoir:

Read an excerpt of the book and a Q&A with Brian McGrory and pick up your own copy of Buddy: How a Rooster Made Me a Family Man. You can also follow the author and journalist on Twitter.

Do you have family pet? Or pets?

November Book Club: Buddy: How a Rooster Made Me a Family Man

Buddy How A Rooster Made Me a Man by Brian McGrory

Buddy How A Rooste Made Me a Family Man by Brian McGrory

The week before the United States Thanksgiving holiday might seem an odd time to discuss Brian McGrory’s memoir Buddy: How a Rooster Made Me a Family Man (Broadway), but since fowl will be on our minds while we meal plan, why not? McGrory shares his journey from single city guy to suburban husband and step-father to two girls and Buddy.

Our final November book club selection is sure to keep you laughing:

 Brian McGrory’s life changed drastically after the death of his beloved dog, Harry: he fell in love with Pam, Harry’s veterinarian. Though Brian’s only responsibility used to be his adored Harry, Pam came with accessories that could not have been more exotic to the city-loving bachelor: a home in suburbia, two young daughters, two dogs, two cats, two rabbits, and a portly, snow white, red-crowned-and-wattled step-rooster named Buddy. While Buddy loves the women of the house, he takes Brian’s presence as an affront, doing everything he can to drive out his rival. Initially resistant to elements of his new life and to the loud, aggressive rooster (who stares menacingly, pecks threateningly, and is constantly poised to attack), Brian eventually sees that Buddy shares the kind of extraordinary relationship with Pam and her two girls that he wants for himself. The rooster is what Brian needs to be – strong and content, devoted to what he has rather than what might be missing. As he learns how to live by living with animals, Buddy, Brian’s nemesis, becomes Buddy, Brian’s inspiration, in this inherently human story of love, acceptance, and change.

Make sure to order your copy of Buddy: How a Rooster Made Me a Family Man and join our book club members on November 21 as we discuss the memoir.

Read an excerpt of the book and a Q&A with Brian McGrory. You can also follow the author and journalist on Twitter.

Book Club Day: Raising Cubby by John Elder Robison

Raising Cubby by John Elder Robison

Raising children is challenging for every parent, but what is parenting like when both father and son have Asperger’s?  In his latest memoir  Raising Cubby: A Father and Son’s Adventures with Asperger’s, Trains, Tractors, and High Explosives, John Elder Robison gives readers an in depth glimpse into his journey into fatherhood. Up through his son’s teenage years, at least.

Today our From Left to Write book club members share their thoughts about special needs, parents, and much more.  Visit their blogs and comment to join the discussion:


Make sure to pick up your copy of Raising Cubby. You can learn more about John Elder Robison on his website and connect with him on Facebook.




Lessons From the Monk I Married (Review)

Lessons From the Monk I Married by Katherine Jenkins

Lessons From the Monk I Married by Katherine Jenkins

Falling in love with a monk probably isn’t on anyone’s bucket list. That’s exactly what happened to Katherine Jenkins as she shares in her memoir Lessons from the Monk I Married.  On her journey to find herself, she takes an English teaching in South Korea. She crossed paths with Buddhist monk Seong Yoon Lee by chance more than once.

Seeking a life of purpose, Jenkins pursues a path of meditation and soul searching. She turns to the her new friend the monk for direction. Along the way, the two fall in love, but obviously their relationship is not simple. Her memoir covers the ups and downs of their relationship.

Before I picked up Lessons from the Monk I Married, I glanced at Jenkins’ blog of the same title. After reading her blog, I expected more lessons on spirituality and less romance.  Then I realized that the book was more about the back and forth battle between  her future husband’s Buddhist calling and his love for Jenkins.  So I adjusted my expectations.

When Jenkins described her first encounter with Seong Yoon Lee, I was curious as to how their romantic relationship began. I really wanted to know, how does a monk fall in love with a civilian? An American one at that? (I won’t give you any spoilers on the how.)

Once the two finally did began their secret relationship, I began to lose interest. The rest of the book reads a lot like an episode of a sitcom. They were together. Then they broke up. Together. Apart.  Their cyclic journey might have been more interesting that it was on paper, but I couldn’t tell. I found the writing a bit flat and unemotional. Reserved might be a better description.

Breaking up with one’s soul mate is not an easy thing to do, but I never really got a glimpse of Jenkins’ turmoil.  Even the author’s journey to seek inner peace through her meditation and retreats had the same reserved tone. I imagine that a 30 day, mostly silent, mediation retreat is life transforming for anyone. I never felt Jenkins’ rush as she was able to ground herself and find her inner peace during her retreat.

I had to push through to finish the last few chapters. I had already spent so much time reading it, I might as well finished it. I admit I was a bit disappointed with the book. At a glance, Katherine Jenkins’ story sounded inspiring. Here is a woman who traveled the world and learned many things about herself.  Or so I thought.

I’m actually more interested in Katherine Jenkins’ blog than her memoir. Did you read Lessons from the Monk I Married?

I received a copy of the book for review. All opinions are my own. This post includes affiliate links.

Book Club Day: Signs of Life by Natalie Taylor

Signs of Life by Natalie Taylor

In one way or another, we’ve all been touched by death and in turn, grief. Everyone deals with grief differently and English teacher Natalie Taylor is no different.  During the fifth month of her pregnancy of her first child she is devastated by the sudden death of her husband. Natalie Taylor shares her grief journey in her memoir Signs of Life.

From Left to Write book club members were touched by Signs of Life, and share their personal stories inspired by it.

Grief is a such personal process. Would you react the way Natalie Taylor did? Pick your copy of Signs of Life and let us know!

February Book Club: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver Kingsolver

Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver

Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver

Thanks to our global market, even during the winter we can find our favorite non-seasonal produce in the supermarket. Now that eating locally is trending, should we feel guilty for eating fresh peaches in the dead of winter?

In our second book club selection for February, we’re reading about Barbara Kingsolver’s journey to only live off her land as documented in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. In more detail:

Author Barbara Kingsolver and her family abandoned the industrial-food pipeline to live a rural life—vowing that, for one year, they’d only buy food raised in their own neighborhood, grow it themselves, or learn to live without it. Part memoir, part journalistic investigation, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is an enthralling narrative that will open your eyes in a hundred new ways to an old truth: You are what you eat.

For this book club selection, From Left to Write is proud to partner with Stonyfield a company that offers certified organic yogurt, smoothies, milk and much  more.  Stonyfield advocates that healthy food can only come from a healthy planet and is engaged in educating people on eating healthy.

Stonyfield logo

Join us on February 21 as our From Left to Write members and Stonyfield’s YoGetters discuss Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. You’ll also have the opportunity to join a Stonyfield expert to chat about healthy eating and healthy living. Learn more about Stonyfield on their Facebook page.

Have you read Kingsolver’s memoir? How do you try to eat healthy?