Bruce Goodman’s first autobiography, Bits of a Boyhood, charts his early years growing up in rural New Zealand. Due to popular demand, he wrote a follow up, detailing his adventures over the last twenty one years.
Blogged a chapter a day over 15 days, and now available as a free pdf download, My Neck of the Woods is full of photographs and focuses on where the author lived over the first two decades of the twenty first century.
It is undoubtable that Goodman has lived a rich and varied life, but it is also the way he views life that make his autobiographies so interesting. With a quiet sense of humor, rich intelligence and a kindness to all life (not to mention the humble way he refers to himself), Goodman makes the ordinary extraordinary. We’ve all encountered people like the characters in this book, but the author brings them to life so completely that you’re heartbroken over the likes of sweet Jed, whose greatest wish was to mow a lawn, or fuming at the landlords who decide to move in with their tenants (and eat all their food).
Unfortunately, Goodman’s brevity leaves you aching for more information. Health crises are covered in a sentence or two. Personal tragedies get even less page time. I understand the author’s desire to keep the book about other people rather than himself, and also to retain privacy, but it left this reader slightly dissatisfied as I was hungry for more.
If you haven’t read Goodman’s work, I encourage you to start with Bits of a Boyhood, progress to My Neck of the Woods, and then read his novel Passing Showers. All are available for free download on his website (linked below). You won’t be disappointed.
I award My Neck of the Woods…