26 June 2010

A Review of My Funny Dad, Harry...

photo of book cover for my funny dad harry

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to win a giveaway at Red Pine Mountain. The prize was an autographed copy of the book, My Funny Dad, Harry. For just over two years, I have been blogging friends with the author, Karen Zemek, and have been wanting to read her book for some time. Well, this past weekend I was able to get the chance.

This book talks about her relationship with her father, Harry. I sat down and began reading her book and I soon found that I couldn't put it down. The book is written as a series of short stories which highlight her relationship with her father. We quickly discover that he is a true jack-of-all-trades; from carpentry to locksmithing, he could do it all. This reminded me of my own grandfather who at one time was not only a judge, but also built and sold his own houses.

Harry grew up during the Great Depression and this is what undoubtedly prompted his habit of not throwing anything away. We find that Harry kept everything from broken appliances to empty cat litter boxes. Now, at first this may seem somewhat strange, but he actually made good use out of those boxes. He built shelves in his basement and used the boxes as drawers to store old hardware items such as door knobs. He would even save his junk mail, which he would turn into note pads. Harry also had a soft spot in his heart for stray cats and Karen tells us that he even built a “Kitty Motel” for them to stay in. Through various stories, she introduces us to the cats and how they soon trained Harry to be at their beck and call.

I was amazed at how personable the stories were and it seemed as if I came to know Harry as well. Some of the stories are humorous; some will bring back memories of when you were growing up, and some stories are emotionally hard, but they all combine to give us a sense of who Harry was.

Karen, I would like to thank you for sharing your stories and giving us a glimpse into your life. I know that there are many out there that are taking care of aging parents and your book lets them know that they are not alone. In closing, I want close by saying that I highly recommend this book and I am sure that you will enjoy it as much as I did.


  1. Harry sounds a bit like my own dad. This sounds like a good read.

  2. Great review! I read this book last year and really enjoyed it too. Karen did a wonderful job sharing her memories of her dad and her relationship with him and of course I liked how he cared so much for all his cats!

  3. Thanks for posting this nice review of my book on your blog, Tim. I'm so happy you enjoyed it and would recommend it. I'll be mentioning this review in my Friday post of "Things I Learned This Week" with a link back here.

  4. Ann: It's an excellent book. I know you would enjoy it.

    BeadedTail: Thank you. I couldn't have thought of better way of spending my weekend.

    Karen & Gerard Zemek: Thank you. I truly enjoyed reading it.

  5. This sounds like a good read! It reminded me of my Grandpa who also saved everything...Harry sounds much more creative.

  6. My Grandma and Grandpa have both crossed the RB, they saved everything too...some memories are hard to give up!

  7. I won the book and I also started reading it and could not stop the book is great

  8. Cinnamon-Girl: It really is. I had a hard time putting it down.

    Brian: That is so true. I have a lot of good memories of my grandparents.

    Lucky Lady: I totally agree! It didn't take me very long to finish it, because I just kept going from one story to another and wouldn't put it down.

  9. I'm glad you got to read the book. :) I liked it, too.


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