The Tender Bar

 

My first review! Yippee!

Here goes nothing, my first review on this blog. If you can’t guess from the picture above the first book that I am going to review is The Tender Bar by J.R. Moehringer. I stumbled upon this book because an amazing guest at the hotel that I work at asked me what I wanted to do for a living (he is a frequent guest so we talk often). I told him that I will be an editor and we started discussing our favorite books. Mine was Pride and Prejudice (didn’t you guess that already :)) and his was The Tender Bar. The next day he brought a copy of it to the desk and let me read it. I thought that was so amazing and we have been sharing book recommendations ever since. When he first described the plot of the book it did not sound very interesting, but I will read anything so I tried it and FELL IN LOVE!

The author wrote this book so well and is such a great story to tell that I can’t believe it took me this long to read it. But I digress and am getting ahead of myself. The book is a memoir and revolves around J.R. Moehringer’s life as he grows up in the 70’s. J.R. grows up with a single mom, who divorced his father after 2 years due to an abusive relationship. They then move into with his grandparents since they cannot afford anything else. Overcrowded is to tame a work for this house. From him and his mom, his grandparents, his single uncle and his mom’s sister and her 5 children, they all cram together in one little house. It makes for interesting stories. The house is old and falling apart, the grandfather is rude and verbally abusive to the females of the family, and all J.R. wants is to escape and learn who is father is. This leads to him listening non stop to the radio for The Voice, which is his father. He develops a relationship with the radio and becomes attached to the sound of his father’s voice. This is when the story really picks up speed and we finally see J.R.’s life unfold. Everyone thinks that his relationship to The Voice is unhealthy and he needs male influence in his life. His grandfather is not providing it, so Uncle Charlie steps in. Uncle Charlie is a bar tender at the local bar, where everyone frequents (that’s what they all say). Charlie takes J.R. on summer adventures to the beach with his bar buddies and eventually invites him to spend his time at the bar. The patrons of the bar (all male) become J.R.’s family. His home away from home. They teach him about life, they make him want to go to college, they teach him about girls and are always there for him. This bar has a cast of characters (what bar doesn’t…) and continually provided hilarious answers and questions to J.R. I don’t want to give too much more away but the rest of the book follows J.R. through high school, college and life after college where he doesn’t know what to do with this life ( sounds familiar to me). Through the ups and the downs he always goes back to his family of men at the bar.

Phew…that was a long plot summary, hopefully not too long.

I would recommend this book to just about anyone. It has so much resonance with anyone that has been through struggles in their life or just the trials of growing up. It touches a place in your heart no matter what you have been through. J.R’s life struggles are something that we all go through. Boys and their troubles (girls too), graduating high school, deciding what major you want in college, what to do after college etc. Mr. Moehringer’s book touches on all of these points in a funny but serious way. There is so much to read in the book, all the side stories and the references to the great literary works of our time (come on my English major friends you can spot them). It is a great book about life, growing up through our ever-changing world and how one man dealt with all of life’s challenges. So my challenge to all of you readers out there is to go pick this up at your local bookstore, or Amazon or rent it from a library. I guarantee that this book will not disappoint.

So my first review is in the bag, I know you all enjoyed it :). Obviously I will work out the kinks and I think (if I am clever enough) that I am going to set up a rating system to rate these wonderful books on. So more to come soon… I think there might be a non-book related post coming in the future…so just be forewarned (a rant it will be).

Upcoming books that will be reviewed (there are so many on my bookshelf that I will be posting a picture later):

  1. Lord John and the Private Matter by Diana Gabaldon- I have read all the books of the Outlander series so am moving on to her other series about Lord John. The Outlander series is a review that I am tackling on here before I move to this one.
  2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins Yes…I am probably one of the few (and by few I mean just me) who has not read this series. Well it is on my list and they will all be completed soon 🙂

Those are the ones I know of for now…more to obviously come and I will also be reviewing some of my favorite books just to get the ball started on this blog.

So au revior for now.

Tori

 

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