Title: Truck: A Love Story
Author: Michael Perry
Summary: Over the course of a year, Michael Perry twines his life around the rebuilding of an International.
The Take-Away: Mike's previous books have been about the people and things he has observed in life. This title reflects what's going on within himself, primarily explaining how his love for a time represented by a International. The International -- once a hard-working farm truck, now a lawn ornament -- has been moved to his brother's shed. In their spare time, between jobs, writing assignments and family, Mike acquieses to his brother's superior knowledge of trucks. Unless, it involves left hand lug nuts with left threads. Then Mike's collection of odd knowledge wins out.
The International isn't the only love in Mike's life, but also a time that only exists in peoples memories. Mike longs for a simplier time, when a fictional woman named Irma Harding graced the marketing material for variance home appliances and cookbooks. The world seemed simplier, a world that a man could be a man and trucks were used as work vehicles, not a means of transportation. Mike paints the world he misses in broad strokes, but with careful attention to the detail that truly makes it special.
Perhaps most importantly, Mike regales his readers with the stories of people falling in love, his brothers and himself. Each bacholer's in their own right, each married to strong women who complement them.
Mike's book isn't one to race through in an evening. Each section is meant to be savored, with a bit of reflection on what life really means, and how I'm going to make my life mean that as well. The lessons I drew from the pages probably weren't his intent in writing them. Often, though, that's were I find life's best lessons to be located -- where no one means them to be.
Recommendation: Buy a copy for yourselve and for the readers on your Christmas list.
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