The way I heard it Mike Rowe is a great writer. The way I see it after reading The Way I Heard It, Mike Rowe is a SPECTACULAR writer! Am I biased? Well, I don’t know him personally, though now that I’ve read his book, listened to his podcast, and having watched him host so many TV shows through the years, it feels like I do. He reminds me of my childhood hero, Paul Harvey—yes, I’m dating myself (again). To me, he feels like a brother. He feels like a friend. He feels like part of the family. No, I don’t know how he feels, just how I feel when I see his smile or hear his voice, live or in print. That’s what a spectacular writer can do—make you feel like he’s sitting there at the table with you, chatting it up, pouring another cup of tea. That’s Mike Rowe, my buddy, my pal whom I’ve yet to meet in person.
So, am I biased? I can’t tell.
The Way I Heard It is Mike's memoir, yet it embraces every quality I hunger for in a book. Humor—Mike’s a funny guy. Emotion—what a ride! Intimate sharing—with wit, whimsy, and wisdom. Both history and mystery—his crafty weaving of the often unknown or unfamiliar stories of historical figures and sly entanglement of two or more celebrity possibilities reads like a Who Dunnit, leaving you slapping your knee in a “Yes, I got it!” or your face in a “No way! How did I miss that?!” He’s a mischievous man! There are even stories in there about a couple of important people I didn’t know existed, but now I do—never too old to learn something new, including the various vocabulary words sprinkled surreptitiously throughout the chapters to challenge the reader's intellectual prowess or stimulate one's urgence à rechercher la définition.
As in everything Mike does in public view, his writing elevates and strengthens our intimacy with him. His personal stories, as he relates his life experiences to each luminary he elucidates, engage us in the ride of his own lifetime. And what a lifetime he has lived! Not that it’s over by any means, as he’s clearly discovered yet another blazing trail, enlightening readers and writers alike with the glow of his flaming quill.
Grampa had a little ol’ radio, maroon in color and no bigger than a loaf of home-baked bread, that sat square in the center of Gramma’s kitchen table, and backed up against the wall. It had two giant knobs—one for volume and one to tune into the station that played Paul Harvey’s The Rest of the Story. We all sat together, the old and the young, glued to those invisible electromagnetic waves, listening to the familiar voice of our distant “Uncle Paul” brought near to us by the magical box. To this day I can’t read or hear a news broadcast without wondering if I’ll ever know the rest of the story. Harvey is immortalized in our hearts. If you never knew him, you should google him and listen to some of his shows archived on youtube. History remembers him.
History will remember Mike Rowe as well, for he, too, is an inspiration to us all. The Way I Heard It is as much a treasure trove of gold nuggets for writers as for readers—authors, bloggers, and journalists, beginners and adepts. Something new can be done. Something new can be learned. Something brilliant can be created. The proof is in the pages.
Go ahead, buy the book and read it . . . I’ll wait.
P.S. Don't stay up all night! I tried to read just one chapter each night so I could savor it into the following day. Failing at that, I tried to limit myself to just two chapters each night. I was able to hold strong for a few nights, but then I fell off the wagon. Three chapters, then four chapters, and finally reaching the end of the book far too soon. Now I will have to read the entire book again, and probably a third and fourth time, because it really is that good! Perhaps you think you will be better at moderation than me—best of luck to ya!
© Jennifer Sweete, January 2020
Sweete Quote: “A book review is worth a thousand words, or thereabouts."
Blogging gives me a way to keep practicing my writing while keeping in touch with you! So please do post your thoughts, suggestions, critiques, and compliments (especially the compliments) in the Comments section. Just know that I'm too "frugal" to upgrade, so I can't comment on your comments unless you email them to me directly, which you can do on my Contact page! Or Tweet me!
Any typos found in this document are caused by sleep deprivation and/or watching Mike Rowe podcasts and videos while proofreading. The author makes no apologies for multitasking on this blustery winter day.
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Books I am already reading or am looking forward to reading in 2020:
Pre-suasion by Robert Cialdini – Taking my time & copious notes . . .
The Way I Heard It by Mike Rowe – Oh my! If you've been paying attention, this is my review!
Loserthink by Scott Adams – When I can pry it from my husband's hands.
The Emotion Code by Dr. Bradley Nelson – Just arrived today. (Recommended by Rebecca who loves it.)
The Gold Finch by Donna Tartt – On order. (Recommended by Doris who praises it above the movie.)
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens – On order. (Recommended by Jean with whom I never argue.)
Until we meet again, keep reading, keep writing, keep dreaming!