Memoir: smiley variety

Wait Till Next Year: A Memoir by Doris Kearns Goodwin
Some books make me nostalgic for an era before my birth. This is one of those books.
Doris Kearns grew up in the ’50s, and she makes it sound pretty darn good. (Though—gotta say—my ’70s childhood is pretty sparkly from this vantage point, too…)
Now, this book often is described as a book about how the author became a lifelong baseball fan when she was a young girl (at age 6, to be exact).
But, not-a-sports-fan that I am, I can attest that there’s tons and tons and tons more to this book than baseball. However, if baseball is a requirement for happiness for you as a reader, you’ll find that Doris Kearns Goodwin’s delight in the sport proves that she’s on your team.
I know the current trend is for memoirs to be all about horrible childhoods. Lots of people really like reading that stuff. Me, I detest those books. They make me go into a protective crouch. (I’m not naming names—those people have already suffered enough, don’t you think?—but you know what books I’m talking about.)
I like the “I had a good—but still interesting—childhood” books, and this definitely qualifies.
The thing that makes this book worth reading is that Doris Kearns Goodwin can really tell a story. This isn’t just any old someone rambling about their shiny, happy childhood; this is Doris Kearns Goodwin telling us her story, and she and her family are charming and funny and decent. And the fact that the little girl in this story grew up to be Doris Kearns Goodwin, the charming and smiley political biographer… Really, how can a person resist her story?

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