Barkeep, Serve Up A Delicious Read

tender.jpgHeart-wrenchingly funny. A fierce and funny coming-of-age story about ambition, yearning and necessary betrayals. A superb literary brew. These and a truckload of other superlatives have been doled out by critics about one of the best books I read last year — The Tender Bar by J.R. Moehringer. Says Janet Maslin in The New York Times: “The best memoirist of his kind since Mary Karr wrote The Liar’s Club.” Really, this book is good.

And the best news: “The Tender Bar,” a Book Sense pick for August, was just published in paperback.

Moehringer, winner of a Pulitzer Prize in 2000, is a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times Sunday Magazine, and a former Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. The Tender Bar — a national bestseller that was named one of the 100 Most Notable Books of 2005 by the New York Times — is a raucous, poignant, luminously written memoir about a boy striving to become a man, and his romance with a bar.

Like the author himself, critics fell in love with the colorful cast of regulars who populate The Tender Bar. They were also moved by Moehringer’s poignant account of the place where he learned what it means to be a man — or at least drink like one. Reviewers ached with the young Moehringer when he tuned his grandparents’ radio to listen to the disc-jockey father who had abandoned him, and they envied the easy camaraderie he found among the shopworn patrons of the neighborhood tavern. Some critics complained that Moehringer removed too many of the sharp edges of his drinking buddies’ troubled lives, but no one has disputed his first-rate storytelling.

You can pick up “The Tender Bar” for just $14.95 at River City Books and then head to your favorite Northfield area watering hole to crack it open. I’m willing to bet you’ll be a couple of chapters in before you bother to order a second beverage.

Explore posts in the same categories: Recommendations, Reviews

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