BOOK STEW REVIEW: ‘Hola Papi’ by John Paul Brammer

Below is the latest Book Stew Review from Eileen MacDougall, the host of the 80+ episodes of Book Stew, a 30-minute video and podcast devoted to writing in all forms, featuring authors, playwrights, voice artists, and journalists.

‘Hola Papi’ by John Paul Brammer

This is the most unusual advice book I’ve ever read, and the most profound and profoundly amusing. The author, a gay man from rural Oklahoma, responds to pretty standard reader questions (“If something bad happens to me, can I still be mad about it years later?” “How do you keep chasing a dream when you’re a failure?” “How do I forgive and forget?”) with relevant anecdotes from his own experiences, and he doesn’t stint on the sharing of pain and of embarrassing moments.

It’s also got a large vein of humor running through, and oh the humanity. It’s a short and poignant arrow to the heart, very sharp on the need for self-examination, and very wise about love.

Quotes:

  • “I have found that things beginning with a bang don’t usually end with one. Most of the time they spread out and cool off as a matter of entropy, as part of the grand cosmic plan that all things have to eventually become still.”
  • “I was having unexpected pangs of nostalgia for things I had hated. I missed them, I guess because I knew them, and that’s all that nostalgia requires of us.”
  • “What if I missed the act of loving — the moving through life with loving, the way of seeing myself while loving, the splendid shapes love makes of the world, the way it takes the mundane and twists it into something altogether worthier?”

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