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Wise Men and Other Stories by Mike O'Mary
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Wise Men and Other Stories

by Mike O'Mary

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I normally don’t like anthologies. That said, I found Wise Men and Other Stories engaging. The short stories (more like news column articles) are held together loosely by a common thread – the early life of author Mike O’Mary. The stories are warm, witty, and each one reminds us of a life-lesson we most likely have learned during our own childhood but have forgotten or overlooked. My favorite story in the book is Wise Men although each of the others captured my heart as well. I think I would have liked the stories to be more chronological and each a bit longer. Each story of the twenty-three in this book is perfect for use with an Advent calendar, bringing home a different life-lesson each day: gratitude, humility, caring for your neighbor, etc. Other than a general review it would be difficult to pick at any of the stories singly since each is unique.

I think Wise Men and Other Stories is a perfect little gift for that busy person who loves to read but around the holidays has limited time. It would be a great stocking stuffer or grab-bag gift. ( )
  AuthorMarion | Jan 3, 2014 |
I won my copy of Wise Men and Other Stories from the Goodreads Firstreads giveaway. This was a lovely book of short essays from O'Mary's past. I first cracked it open when I had a little layover time between classes. I kept it in my bag as my "emergency book" yet found myself reading it every chance I got. I especially like the story "Lucky Duck". It was one of the longer essays in the book and it really spoke to me. ( )
  sleeplessinsimi | Feb 11, 2012 |
Sorry but I just could not get into this book. Several of the stories were very interesting and some humourous but having to explain what the moral of each story was took away from the content of the story. To me, a good story doesn't need that explanation; the moral would be apparent to the reader. ( )
  millardd | Dec 12, 2011 |
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There’s room for compassion in this world. I know firsthand that the wisest of wise men stumble once in a while. And when that happens, it’s nice to have somebody around who will cover your rear. (from "Wise Men")
Things seldom go according to plan when we try to recreate our childhood. Some little variable always changes the equation, sometimes for the better, sometimes for worse. Such was the case that evening when I took Kathleen, my little six-year-old variable, out for a Christmas drive. (from "Heaven")
We had discussed Santa and God and heaven and death—a conversation I would not soon forget. And at the end of the evening, I was heading home while my daughter slept like an angel in the seat next to me. I would not trade that drive with my daughter for anything.

Just then, Kathleen opened her eyes a little. "Daddy?" she asked.

"Yes?" I answered. She didn’t answer right away. I looked over at her. She looked very warm and cozy—very peaceful—the way a child in warm pajamas and a blanket should look when out for a Christmas drive with her father.

"Yes," I repeated softly. "What is it?"

"Maybe this is heaven," she said.

I thought about that for a moment.

"Yes," I said. "Maybe it is."

(from "Heaven")
We are funny creatures. We usually know what’s important, but those things seem so weighty and imposing that we are easily distracted. We go bowling when we know in our hearts and souls that we should be spending time with our children. Or we don’t go bowling when we know in our hearts and souls that we need time to relax and be with friends. I think it was Aristophanes who first said that many of life’s mysteries would be solved if there were only some magic formula to accurately determine whether it is the right time or the wrong time in one’s life to go bowling. (from "Unwrapping Our Gifts")
When you are older...when I am no longer able to lift you up and feel your little arms around my neck, I will not be sad. Instead, I will look forward to each new hug from you, allow myself to feel it and enjoy it and love it every bit as much as I felt and enjoyed and loved your hugs when you were a little girl. And above all, I will hug you back. (from "Little Arms Around My Neck")
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Book description
This is creative nonfiction at its best. O'Mary tells stories from real life that blend humor and poignancy in the tradition of Robert Fulghum, Dave Barry, Bill Bryson and other great American humorists.

"It all started with a story called 'Wise Men,'" says Mike. "It was a story from my childhood about a poor kid from my old neighborhood and the lesson I learned when we were both cast as wise men in the school play." That story was published in newspapers across the nation and broadcast on National Public Radio's "Morning Edition" program, and so began a tradition of holiday essays from Mike O'Mary.

The essays in this collection were read by Mike as part of "Morning Edition" on Northern Illinois Public Radio, and published in the Sunday magazines of the Chicago Tribune, Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News, Baltimore Sun, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Detroit Free Press and elsewhere. Along the way, O'Mary developed a cult following for his holiday stories.

"O'Mary has a gift for simple, frank exposition of life's most poignant moments," says author Stephen Parrish (The Tavernier Stones). In Wise Men and Other Stories, O'Mary shares that gift with all of us.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0982579411, Paperback)

Wise Men and Other Stories is a collection of holiday-related essays that blends humor and poignancy in the tradition of Robert Fulghum, Dave Barry, Bill Bryson and other great American humorists.

This collection began with "Wise Men," an essay about the author's experience as a "wise man" in the St. Elizabeth Elementary Christmas play, and the lessons learned when he was asked to help another "wise man" who couldn't remember his lines. That essay was published in newspapers across the nation and broadcast on National Public Radio's "Morning Edition" program, and so began a tradition of holiday essays from Mike O'Mary.

Over the years, the essays in this collection were read as part of "Morning Edition" on Northern Illinois Public Radio, and published in the Sunday magazines of the Chicago Tribune, Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News, Baltimore Sun, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Detroit Free Press and elsewhere. Along the way, O'Mary developed a cult following for his holiday stories.

"O'Mary has a gift for simple, frank exposition of life's most poignant moments," says author Stephen Parrish (The Tavernier Stones). In Wise Men and Other Stories, O'Mary shares that gift with all of us.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:18 -0400)

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Mike O'Mary's book Wise Men and Other Stories was available from LibraryThing Member Giveaway.

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Mike O'Mary is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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Dream of Things

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