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I Love You, Miss Huddleston


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Some kids were evidently not unhappy growing up, but they can still get pretty good childhood memoirs, especially if they are honest about exaggerating. Quaker pastor-author Gulley (the Harmony series) writes a low-key Hoosier who's who in this memoir set in Danville, Ind., where youthful acting out takes the form of hurling tomatoes and detonating cans of bug spray. Danville includes Quaker widows aplenty, pals named Peanut and Suds, an arthritic and deaf police dog and a mousery that provisions Indiana's homegrown pharmaceutical manufacturer, Eli Lilly. Gulley has no shortage of material, and the teenage years naturally bring an attack of hormones that prompts pathetic, doomed crushes. We even manage to learn a few facts about the humorist, such as that Gulley grew up Catholic. His chief object of fun is his youthful self, which takes the edge off his views of other characters from his youth, many of whom are relatives. Humor beats nostalgia and drama; this stuff is a laugh-out-loud tweaking of a not terribly misspent youth. (Apr.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

"Philip Gulley gives us the good laugh, the good cry and a good read of a world still in reach through faith and family."--Thomas Lynch, author of The Undertaking
"In the fashion of Mark Twain and Garrison Keillor, Gulley has crafted a book that is great fun, but fun with a message beneath the surface."--Indianapolis Star
"A laugh-out-loud funny tweaking of a not terribly misspent youth."--Publisher's Weekly
"Gulley has illuminated a childhood where risk and frivolity are combined into one. An engrossing and propelling story that never once lets the reader forget that it's our youth that makes us all what we are...."--Doug Crandell, author of Pig Boy's Wicked Bird and The Flawless Skin of Ugly People
"Philip Gulley's memoir is sweet and funny - funny enough that you're tempted to read parts aloud just to amuse yourself further."--Jay Allison, host and curator, NPR's "This I Believe"
"A wonderful account of the treasures, trials and plain old wackiness of growing up in small town Indiana. Gulley tells his stories with a bright intelligence, a wry wink and warm-hearted good humor, which are at the same time tender, thought provoking and downright hilarious."--Carrie Newcomer, singer and songwriter
"Flat-out hilarious."--Booklist
..".a positive, feel-good escape in times that aren't so simple anymore."--The Miami Herald

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