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Official Review: If I'd a Knowed by Tom Beattie

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any non-fiction books such as autobiographies or political commentary books.

Official Review: If I'd a Knowed by Tom Beattie

Post Number:#1 by bookowlie
» 06 Jul 2017, 10:57

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "If I'd a Knowed" by Tom Beattie.]

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4 out of 4 stars
Review by bookowlie
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If I’d a Knowed by Tom Beattie is a non-fiction book about the author’s experiences as a gay writer and other musings about his life. The title of the book was inspired by a quote from Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (quoted “as is,” including errors in grammar and word usage) - “If I’d a knowed what a trouble it was to make a book I wouldn’t a tackled it.” There is also a bonus travelogue mini-book about unique occurrences during the author’s international travels.

The author describes the rocky road of publishing and marketing his debut book, Ad Majorem. After the manuscript was rejected by mainstream publishers, Mr. Beattie decided to self-publish his book. His marketing methods included paying for a Readers Favorite review, having a giveaway on Goodreads, and sending copies to well-known individuals (e.g. - Rachel Maddow, former President Jimmy Carter). Although his efforts weren’t generally successful, Mr. Beattie learned a lot about the process.

There is an easy flow to the smart and witty writing. I often felt like I was chatting with a good friend over coffee. The essay-style chapters are very short and to the point, and there is even a humorous explanation given for the format. There is a philosophical, stream-of-consciousness feel to the writing, but nothing feels draggy. I particularly enjoyed the relevant quotes from various Mark Twain books that are included after each chapter. The quotes are humorous, insightful, or a combination of both.

My only gripe is that the author often goes off on random tangents, especially in the second half of the book. While it’s true that the individual essays are interesting, there is not much propelling the book forward. The chapters are one page or less, containing brief musings about a particular topic. As a result, I felt I was left hanging at times and would have liked a bit more depth. Still, many readers might like the sparse, casual tone rather than a more detailed account of the author’s experiences.

As much as I enjoyed this book, I absolutely loved the bonus mini-book, Places I Shouldn’t Have Been. The author recounts various happenings during his travels with his husband David. These sections were a joy to read and a testament to the old saying “truth is stranger than fiction.”

This book has earned a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. With the exception of one minor error (“Barns and Noble” instead of Barnes and Noble), the writing is excellent. Mr. Beattie has a perceptive eye that gets to the heart of whatever topic is being discussed. I would recommend this book to anyone who appreciates good writing, and to writers who would be able to relate to the author’s experiences. I look forward to reading other books by this talented author.

******
If I'd a Knowed
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Re: Official Review: If I'd a Knowed by Tom Beattie

Post Number:#2 by gali
» 06 Jul 2017, 14:21

A book about the author’s experiences as a gay writer sounds quite the read. It is cool that the title of the book was inspired by a quote from Mark Twain. Too bad that the author often goes off on random tangents, though. Not my cup of tea, but I am glad you enjoyed this book and the bonus mini-book. Thank you for the great review!
In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)
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Re: Official Review: If I'd a Knowed by Tom Beattie

Post Number:#3 by bookowlie
» 06 Jul 2017, 14:48

Thanks Gali. The mini-travel book was so good that I think the author should consider expandng it into a full-length book.
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Re: Official Review: If I'd a Knowed by Tom Beattie

Post Number:#4 by kandscreeley
» 06 Jul 2017, 15:08

I do like the idea of the mini-travel book. I also remember the book Ad Majorem. Sounds like a pretty good writer all the way around. Thanks for the review bookowlie!
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Re: Official Review: If I'd a Knowed by Tom Beattie

Post Number:#5 by Modou Lamin Sowe
» 06 Jul 2017, 16:18

Unlike The Sellout by Paul Beatty, here written a book by a gay writer inpired by Mark Twain, a literary material maturely ripe with drolls of wisdom to go down into the annals of American history and literature. Thanks for the review bookowlie.
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Re: Official Review: If I'd a Knowed by Tom Beattie

Post Number:#6 by ebethina
» 06 Jul 2017, 18:35

It sounds like an interesting but not my type. However, if I needed something to read to a different direction I would probably keep this in mind. Thanks.
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Re: Official Review: If I'd a Knowed by Tom Beattie

Post Number:#7 by bookowlie
» 06 Jul 2017, 22:18

Thanks Modou Lamin Sowe and Ebethina for the feedback. Welcome to the forums!

Thanks Kandscreeley. The author has such a nice, conversational style that I am sure any book he writes would be interesting.
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Re: Official Review: If I'd a Knowed by Tom Beattie

Post Number:#8 by Ermonda meshi
» 07 Jul 2017, 13:28

This book is amazing.I read that for two days it's really kinda helpfull.
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Re: Official Review: If I'd a Knowed by Tom Beattie

Post Number:#9 by terryann
» 07 Jul 2017, 15:11

Absolutely nice one,i read for 2 days,keep it up
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Re: Official Review: If I'd a Knowed by Tom Beattie

Post Number:#10 by BestReviews
» 08 Jul 2017, 23:02

Nice review right there. I am glad you liked it.
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Re: Official Review: If I'd a Knowed by Tom Beattie

Post Number:#11 by raikyuu
» 09 Jul 2017, 21:27

Interesting review. Judging from the summary and the book cover, I can't see how Tom Beattie's experience as a gay person add up to his adventures of publishing and marketing his book (unless I give the book a read).
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Re: Official Review: If I'd a Knowed by Tom Beattie

Post Number:#12 by bookowlie
» 10 Jul 2017, 08:24

Thanks everyone for the nice feedback. Raikyuu - since the author is gay and his first book was an autobiography, he is able to share his unique experiences about publishing and marketing his book.
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Re: Official Review: If I'd a Knowed by Tom Beattie

Post Number:#13 by Jeconiaomolo
» 10 Jul 2017, 08:34

I like such books because they really have impact on our endeavour to succeed in life. At least they prepare us psychologically to real life challenges. Otherwise I I appreciate this review, indeed it is great.

-- 10 Jul 2017, 08:36 --
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Re: Official Review: If I'd a Knowed by Tom Beattie

Post Number:#14 by raikyuu
» 10 Jul 2017, 08:42

bookowlie wrote:Thanks everyone for the nice feedback. Raikyuu - since the author is gay and his first book was an autobiography, he is able to share his unique experiences about publishing and marketing his book.


I see. Thanks for the clarification bookowlie. I didn't know the author's first book was an autobiography.
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Re: Official Review: If I'd a Knowed by Tom Beattie

Post Number:#15 by CODvorak303
» 11 Jul 2017, 20:47

Your review of this book leads me to believe that it's engaging and entertaining; tangents, streams of consciousness and all. I look forward to reading it!
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