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.
Forum rules
You must limit each topic thread in this section to only one book or only one series. Make the title of the topic the name of the book, and if possible also include the author's name. If you want to allow spoilers, you must include the word spoilers in the title of the topic, otherwise spoilers are prohibited.
User avatar
bookowlie
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 6544
Joined: 25 Oct 2014, 09:52
2017 Reading Goal: 52
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 50
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 267
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-bookowlie.html
Latest Review: "Friends" by Bonita Treasure Murungi Arinaitwe

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

Post by bookowlie » 06 Jul 2017, 10:57

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "If I'd a Knowed" by Tom Beattie.]
Book Cover
4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review


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
View: on Bookshelves

Like bookowlie's review? Post a comment saying so!
As you slide down the bannister of life, may the splinters never point in the wrong direction. - Irish blessing

User avatar
gali
Site Admin
Posts: 25293
Joined: 22 Oct 2013, 07:12
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 7
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 105
Currently Reading: The Cat Who Blew the Whistle
Bookshelf Size: 1768
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-gali.html
Reading Device: B00I15SB16
fav_author_id: 2484
Location: Lost in a good book

Post 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)

User avatar
bookowlie
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 6544
Joined: 25 Oct 2014, 09:52
2017 Reading Goal: 52
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 50
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 267
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-bookowlie.html
Latest Review: "Friends" by Bonita Treasure Murungi Arinaitwe

Post 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.
As you slide down the bannister of life, may the splinters never point in the wrong direction. - Irish blessing

User avatar
kandscreeley
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 3571
Joined: 31 Dec 2016, 20:31
2018 Reading Goal: 115
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 6
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 94
Currently Reading: End of the Last Great Kingdom
Bookshelf Size: 137
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kandscreeley.html
Latest Review: "No Child Left Behind" by Claudia Casser

Post 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!
“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
― Ernest Hemingway

User avatar
Modou Lamin Sowe
Posts: 4
Joined: 06 Jul 2017, 16:00
Currently Reading: Escape
Bookshelf Size: 25
Reading Device: 1400697484

Post 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.

User avatar
ebethina
Posts: 328
Joined: 01 Jul 2017, 20:47
Currently Reading: Homeport
Bookshelf Size: 129
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-ebethina.html
Latest Review: "Temptation Trials Part II" by B. Truly

Post 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.

User avatar
bookowlie
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 6544
Joined: 25 Oct 2014, 09:52
2017 Reading Goal: 52
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 50
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 267
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-bookowlie.html
Latest Review: "Friends" by Bonita Treasure Murungi Arinaitwe

Post 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.
As you slide down the bannister of life, may the splinters never point in the wrong direction. - Irish blessing

User avatar
Ermonda meshi
Posts: 1
Joined: 07 Jul 2017, 13:24
Currently Reading: The Last Long Night #5 (The Bregdan Chronicles)
Bookshelf Size: 0

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

This book is amazing.I read that for two days it's really kinda helpfull.

User avatar
terryann
Posts: 2
Joined: 19 Jun 2017, 03:53
Currently Reading: The Expansion
Bookshelf Size: 2

Post by terryann » 07 Jul 2017, 15:11

Absolutely nice one,i read for 2 days,keep it up

User avatar
BestReviews
Posts: 60
Joined: 03 Jul 2017, 04:02
2017 Reading Goal: 20
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 30
Favorite Book: Walking In Blind: A Collection of Poetry
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 15
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-bestreviews.html
Latest Review: "That Place of Knowledge" by Philip Alan Shalka

Post by BestReviews » 08 Jul 2017, 23:02

Nice review right there. I am glad you liked it.
BestReviews

User avatar
raikyuu
Posts: 230
Joined: 28 Jun 2017, 21:19
2017 Reading Goal: 30
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 116
Favorite Book: The Republic
Currently Reading: A History of Western Philosophy
Bookshelf Size: 42
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-raikyuu.html
Latest Review: "Sho-Rap Highway" by Robin Whiteplume

Post 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).
What should I do with my life?

"You don't have to do anything."

User avatar
bookowlie
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 6544
Joined: 25 Oct 2014, 09:52
2017 Reading Goal: 52
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 50
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 267
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-bookowlie.html
Latest Review: "Friends" by Bonita Treasure Murungi Arinaitwe

Post 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.
As you slide down the bannister of life, may the splinters never point in the wrong direction. - Irish blessing

User avatar
Jeconiaomolo
Posts: 213
Joined: 23 Jun 2017, 10:23
2017 Reading Goal: 10
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 60
Favorite Book: Heaven and Earth
Currently Reading: Can I Be Frank?
Bookshelf Size: 111
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-jeconiaomolo.html
Latest Review: "The Road to Redemption (And Blessings)" by Andy B Nakagawa

Post 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 --
"Employ your time in improving yourself by other men's writings so that you shall gain easily what others have laboured hard for"-
Socrates

User avatar
raikyuu
Posts: 230
Joined: 28 Jun 2017, 21:19
2017 Reading Goal: 30
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 116
Favorite Book: The Republic
Currently Reading: A History of Western Philosophy
Bookshelf Size: 42
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-raikyuu.html
Latest Review: "Sho-Rap Highway" by Robin Whiteplume

Post 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.
What should I do with my life?

"You don't have to do anything."

User avatar
CODvorak303
Posts: 1
Joined: 01 Jul 2017, 13:10
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post 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!

Post Reply

Return to “Non-Fiction Books”