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I Have to Tell You Something

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What I did know was that I had waterproof matches in my tackle box and how to start a fire, so that’s what I did. One year, a sturgeon jumped out of the water about fifty yards down from where I was standing in the middle of the river. The way they raised us was neither hands-off nor controlling, which allowed me to develop my independence in a genuine way without feeling totally on my own or without good guidance. The sun would set, we’d build a bonfire and grill some fish, and Uncle Gene would drive out to camp to tell us scary stories about man-eating wolves, close encounters with bears, and the occasional camper-abducting alien. I can’t understand why they do it, but then I look at the reviews on Goodreads and see that loads of people have given this five stars, so clearly there must be a market for these padded waffles.

m. to roll the dough out onto the counter and cover it to let it rise once more before the sticky buns were tossed into the oven as we opened presents around the tree. Just as a small plume of smoke became visible on the horizon, Dad came rushing out of the cabin, grabbed a jug of water and a shovel, jumped onto another ATV, and zipped off into the woods. The book covers his upbringing in Traverse City, Michigan; his senior year of high school in Germany; coming out; stints at multiple universities; teaching; moving to South Bend; and a presidential campaign. At times gut-wrenching and always honest, Chasten’s story makes us laugh and root for ourselves in this profoundly personal yet necessary story about hope, inclusion, and allyship. And it reminds us that by telling our stories and showing up for one another, we can empower others to find value in telling their stories as well.

It’s not uncommon for me to have to repeat my name over and over again at the coffee counter until it is ultimately shouted back as “Chastain,” “Justin,” or “Charles. He wasn’t trying to hurt my feelings or scare me; he was simply testing me because he thought I was mature enough to be tested. I don’t usually read crime/drama novels of this type but I thoroughly enjoyed this as it had such a terrific twist to the story towards the end. In the winters, my parents operated a Christmas tree lot, where they would sell evergreen trees and wreaths. With unflinching honesty, unflappable courage, and great warmth, Chasten Buttigieg relays his experience of growing up in America and embracing his true self, while inspiring others to do the same.

To be fair, the book is in no way graphic and we are rarely taken inside any of the well-used bedrooms, but, oh boy, even when Jay’s not actually doing sex, she spends an awful lot of time thinking about it.

One simple slip and the beast would come tearing through my guts, flop onto the floor in front of the classroom, and shout, HE’S GAAAAAAAY! The machine would scan a piece of paper (such as an invoice), and the phone line would carry that scanned image in the form of code to the other person’s fax machine. Though we’ve had our hard times, certain phrases ring true: my parents always “wanted the best for me,” and they absolutely “made me who I am today. In a very mom way, she decorated our kitchen with those wall hangings that stated things like IT IS AROUND THIS TABLE WE UNDERSTAND BEST THE WARMTH OF BEING TOGETHER, and there is always a nice-smelling candle burning in the house.

The writing is good, and while all the characters are terribly middle-class in a trendy liberal sort of way, they’re reasonably well drawn. My bedroom was right next to the back porch, so by the time I’d jumped out of bed and sprinted to the living room, the Dogman had also shifted positions and was visible outside the porch door.My husband’s father immigrated to the United States from Malta in the 1970s, and I liked the name, so I decided to take it when we got married. Their son Rob, once destined for a high-flying legal career, is now involved in the family business. Numerous times I just had to stop reading and stare at the ceiling for a little while because her prose really hit me where I needed it most. I was lucky to come home to a clean and safe home, a warm homemade meal, my bedroom with books I loved on the shelf, and two parents who loved me very much and wanted to see me succeed. C., and every time I come back to the Midwest, I am reminded just how special our little slice of paradise is.

I didn’t have any gay role models, I never saw myself reflected in the characters I read about in books, and there weren’t many characters in movies or television shows living a happy, gay life. The young adult adaptation of the “hopeful” ( Kirkus Reviews) and refreshingly candid bestselling memoir by the husband of a former Democratic presidential candidate about growing up gay in his small Midwestern town. They didn’t seem to like me occupying any of their spaces, and the spaces I occupied—like the library, the bowling alley, and the stage—didn’t make any sense to them.Dad would send me to pump water from the well, then we would fillet and clean the fish, toss them in some batter we had brought from home, and fry them in a skillet over the campfire. We slept in sleeping bags on bunk beds made out of old lumber, with Dad sleeping closest to the cabin door with a gun propped up near his bed just in case a bear or wolf came too close to camp. Best known as the husband of erstwhile presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, Chasten Buttigieg proves that he is very much his own man in this arresting memoir.

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