Monday, March 2, 2009

Buffalo Gal by Laura Pedersen

Copyright: 2008
Publisher: Fulcrum
Genre: non-fiction (memoir)
Pages: 306
Challenges: none
New-to-me author? no

Simple Description

I took the following from the back of the book because it does a great job summing up how I feel about this novel "Combining laugh-out-loud humor with a genuine slice of social history, Buffalo Gal paints a vivid portrait of an era".

In short, this is a re-telling of what it was like growing up for the author. I loved that she included lots of info about what was going on during the time period. She included stuff about the Vietnam War and how it effected her at a young age (or didn't). She included info about when MLK Jr was killed, she include info about segregation, etc. She included info on the economy and the weather in Buffalo NY. I felt that if history teachers had portrayed history lessons in this manner I might have actually remembered some of it! Haha!

I wouldn't really say that anything exciting happened to the author. I suppose being the youngest person on the American Stock Exchanging and making enough to be a millionaire by the time she was 21 is impressive. However, most of this story is about her life up until that point. It appears that she grew up in an average town, had crazy parents (so of course her childhood was a lot more fun than mine), and grew up a bit differently than we did (lack of constant parent supervision). However this isn't a memoir about somebody who survived something horrific, no major drug addictions, etc. It's not going to be on the same page as, say, A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah. It's about somebody growing up what they considered a normal childhood at the time.

I took the following from the book, doesn't this just sound like tons of fun! :

"When winter arrived, Mr. Pyne made an outdoor skating rink by flooding the backyard. We'd play tag, broomball, and, if Mrs. Pyne wasn't on the lookout, we'd bowl with the frozen chickens she'd picked up on sale and store in the freezer, or play hamburger hockey using frozen beef patties as pucks." P. 84

Why did I read this book?

I have read a couple of fiction novels by the author and really enjoyed them. I know I answered a Booking Through Thursday not so long ago and said I rarely read about authors or their websites, etc, but this book caught my interest. I liked her style of writing in the other books I read and thought I would give this one a try.

What I liked most:

I liked that she weaved what was going on in the US and sometimes World into the story about her life at that time. I liked how she compared the generations too. Her parents were from the generation before the hippies, she was the generation after. She compared that a couple of times. She also compared some of her learning and growing up that was different from her parents. I find stuff like that fascinating.

Was there something I didn't like?

I admit that it took me awhile to really get into it. I wish I would have been gung-ho from the beginning but I imagine if that's the only negative I have, that's not so bad.

Do I recommend the book?

I really do. I think those who like memoirs will like this one. Have you read This Boys Life by Tobias Wolff? That memoir seemed to be about the same type, the author growing up. Nothing major happened, yet I really enjoyed it. Buffalo Gal reminded me of that memoir. Although, one major difference is that I found this one to be pretty funny. I wouldn't say I was laughing out loud a lot, maybe once, but a lot of things made me chuckle to myself.

I just had to include the image towards the left. In the back of the book I saw this. Evidently the publisher uses 100% recycled paper and shows how much was saved by doing this. I love it! I admit that I did not ask the publisher if I could copy it and put that on my blog but I truly hope they don't mind. I'm telling you all where I got it. If they happen to notice this, and don't like it, I'll remove it. But personally, I think it would only help them sell books, with being being more "Green" these days.

Have you reviewed this book on your blog? Leave me a comment to let me know and I'll link it below.

Sorry, no linked reviews yet.

Happy Reading and thanks for stopping by……Kris


bermudaonion said...

I'm looking forward to reading this one!

Kris said...

Bermudaonion - I hope you like it! Can't wait to read your review.