Official Review: It's All Good: Times and Events I'd Neve...

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Cecilia_L
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Official Review: It's All Good: Times and Events I'd Neve...

Post by Cecilia_L » 21 Nov 2019, 19:38

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "It's All Good: Times and Events I'd Never Want to Change" by Charles Sacchetti.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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It's All Good: Times and Events I'd Never Want to Change is a collection of 27 essays by Charles Sacchetti. The collection begins with Sacchetti's experiences growing up in an Italian-American family during the 50s-60s and spans more recent decades of his life. The entertaining stories are infused with humor and are inspired by the meaningful people in his life. The collection is heartwarming; some of the stories will amuse you while others may bring a tear to your eye.

If you are in the mood for a collection of feel-good stories, look no further. The photographs at the beginning of each chapter enhance the nostalgic vibe of the book. Sacchetti's storytelling skills are reminiscent of the popular series, The Wonder Years or the classic movie, A Christmas Story. For instance, he fondly recalls family traditions, such as Sunday Mass, followed by a delicious pasta dinner and concluding with the men of the family playing cards. Sacchetti describes watching his father, grandfather, and uncles hurl good-natured insults while critiquing the others' skills. While no physical violence or money was involved, he found the post-mealtime ritual every bit as entertaining as watching TV.

The first chapter fittingly chronicled a series of significant firsts for Sacchetti, including his first Phillies game with his father and his first experience on a baseball team. Although the eight-year-old initially spent most of the games as a benchwarmer, he fondly remembered his mother's chat with the coach as the turning point when he was given a chance to play. Incidentally, Sacchetti went on to have a baseball career and even a "stint with the Phillies Organization that was shortened by basic training with the National Guard during the Vietnam War." However, it was his acknowledgment of how his mother's act of love affected his career that tugged at my heartstrings.

In the tenth chapter, Sacchetti told a humorous tale about answering an ad for a $500 1960 Alfa Romeo convertible. Unfortunately, he didn't heed the wise advice of his father; he correctly assumed that there was something wrong with the car given its price and offered him his Fairlane instead. Sacchetti refused the offer and admitted his good judgment was replaced with "..a scene from the classic movie, The Graduate, when Dustin Hoffman races down that California highway in his red convertible, pursuing Katherine Ross to the tune of Simon and Garfunkel's 'Mrs.Robinson'." As a college student, Sacchetti reasoned that perhaps the sporty car was the key to getting a "girl like that." In hindsight, he lost money on the car but learned a valuable life lesson; his friend's mother bought the Fairlane and drove it for an additional five years. To be honest, Sacchetti hooked me with the movie and song references.

I most like the themes of family devotion, faith, and community that are consistently woven through the collection. Sacchetti mentions going to the same barber as a boy and into adulthood, receiving a flawless haircut the day before his wedding. Likely, he would still be retaining "Maestro's" services, but Chris passed away shortly after the wedding. Sadly, the sense of neighborhood community that Sacchetti experienced seems less common now.

I found nothing to dislike or improvements to suggest, and the editing is exceptional. For readers who consider "hell" borderline profanity, I will note that the word is used twice. I rate It's All Good 4 out of 4 stars. Many of the stories will resonate with baby boomers, but the collection may also appeal to younger generations who appreciate stories about nostalgia and family.

******
It's All Good: Times and Events I'd Never Want to Change
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Post by spencermack » 27 Nov 2019, 09:43

It sounds like this read would be equivalent to flipping through family photo albums. I love doing that. Great review!
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Post by Scott » 27 Nov 2019, 12:55

Great review!

Incidentally, an earlier edition of this book was reviewed by other reviewers who liked it and gave it a good rating, but who also suggested it could be improved with another round of editing to get it to have that highest quality polished feel. The author/publisher then edited it based on the feedback from our team and re-submitted it for review, earning this full 4/4 rating. I think this is really cool for a few reasons. For one, our own community has had a small indirect hand in helping craft this excellent top-rated book, which is pretty cool. Also, I think we should appreciate the author for highly valuing and acting on the feedback from our Review Team. :)
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Post by Cecilia_L » 27 Nov 2019, 13:13

spencermack wrote:
27 Nov 2019, 09:43
It sounds like this read would be equivalent to flipping through family photo albums. I love doing that. Great review!
Thank you. :tiphat:

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Post by Cecilia_L » 27 Nov 2019, 13:21

Scott wrote:
27 Nov 2019, 12:55
Great review!

Incidentally, an earlier edition of this book was reviewed by other reviewers who liked it and gave it a good rating, but who also suggested it could be improved with another round of editing to get it to have that highest quality polished feel. The author/publisher then edited it based on the feedback from our team and re-submitted it for review, earning this full 4/4 rating. I think this is really cool for a few reasons. For one, our own community has had a small indirect hand in helping craft this excellent top-rated book, which is pretty cool. Also, I think we should appreciate the author for highly valuing and acting on the feedback from our Review Team. :)
Thank you! I appreciate the feedback, Scott. I have wondered how many authors heed our advice when additional editing is suggested. I admire the author's willingness to act on the advice of previous reviewers. Thanks for sharing.

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Post by kandscreeley » 27 Nov 2019, 19:47

A series of essays about the author's life? That's a bit different. It sounds like he had some good times growing up. I just don't enjoy this style much.
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Post by Wyland » 28 Nov 2019, 05:35

Looks like a great book because of the "feel good aspect" to the flash back stories. I'll definitely consider reading the book. Thanks for the wonderful review.

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Post by La Cabra » 28 Nov 2019, 07:45

This sounds very lovely and wholesome! As a very nostalgic person, I can see the appeal of this book. Brilliant review, this - thanks!

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Post by Wamakima » 28 Nov 2019, 10:39

I am generally interested in other people's lives. I am glad that he was able to put his in a book. Great review!
But the path I’ve chosen has always been the right one, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. :)

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Post by Aniza Butt » 28 Nov 2019, 11:17

Sounds great for historical fiction readers. I would pass this one as i know nothing about italian american culture.
Thanks for the review Cecilia ☺
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Post by Cecilia_L » 28 Nov 2019, 15:26

kandscreeley wrote:
27 Nov 2019, 19:47
A series of essays about the author's life? That's a bit different. It sounds like he had some good times growing up. I just don't enjoy this style much.
Thanks for your comment.

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Post by Cecilia_L » 28 Nov 2019, 15:27

Wyland wrote:
28 Nov 2019, 05:35
Looks like a great book because of the "feel good aspect" to the flash back stories. I'll definitely consider reading the book. Thanks for the wonderful review.
Thank you. I appreciate your comment.

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Post by Cecilia_L » 28 Nov 2019, 15:28

La Cabra wrote:
28 Nov 2019, 07:45
This sounds very lovely and wholesome! As a very nostalgic person, I can see the appeal of this book. Brilliant review, this - thanks!
Thank you. It sounds like you will enjoy the book.

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Post by Cecilia_L » 28 Nov 2019, 15:29

Wamakima wrote:
28 Nov 2019, 10:39
I am generally interested in other people's lives. I am glad that he was able to put his in a book. Great review!
Thank you. :tiphat:

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Post by Cecilia_L » 28 Nov 2019, 15:34

Aniza Butt wrote:
28 Nov 2019, 11:17
Sounds great for historical fiction readers. I would pass this one as i know nothing about italian american culture.
Thanks for the review Cecilia ☺
Thanks for your comment. To clarify, the book is non-fiction, and the essays are based on the author's experiences.

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