A collection of daily reminiscences in e-mail form, this casual collection will delight those who know its author.
Bill Faulhaber’s memoir, An Unconventional Lifetime Journey: My 269 Daily E-mail Stories, is best summed up in the author’s own words: “I want a book to give to all of my family, my kids, grand kids, there [sic] wives and husbands, great grand kids, all my cousins, so they may enjoy this history of a book written by some old man who many will not remember in any other way.”
Daily writing requires enormous discipline, so Faulhaber deserves kudos for consistently chronicling his life; it took no small effort for him to produce this seven-hundred-page book. During that process, approximately one hundred family members, friends, and coworkers received Faulhaber’s daily e-mails. “Everyone was encouraging me to keep the stories coming,” the author says. However, as publishers often caution, anecdotes beloved by kith and kin may not be of major interest to the general public.
An Unconventional Lifetime Journey focuses on reminiscences of mostly commonplace experiences: life in the corporate world, golf outings and country club events, marriage and childrearing, family gatherings, job changes, uprooting and putting down roots, and even bingo. Primarily, Faulhaber writes about his career with the Spalding Company’s sales and sales management divisions, focusing on his involvement with the golfing industry. He speaks fondly of his years with the company and expresses gratitude for opportunities he had to meet luminaries in the entertainment industry.
Faulhaber’s e-mails include some interesting factoids, particularly regarding industry practices, both current and bygone. He discusses, for example, the step-by-step process “ladies sitting on a stool” employ to sew covers onto baseballs and softballs. He also recounts the precise method young people use to quickly reset pins in two forms of bowling: ten pin and duckpin.
Because his memoir is organized as daily e-mail communications, the author’s tone is understandably casual. However, lax editing makes it difficult to concentrate on substantive content; the text is rife with typographical errors, misspellings, and grammatical blunders. And occasional sexist comments may give offense: “Not only are these ‘Girls’ arms built up, there are other certain parts of their body that are built up as well. Get the whole picture?”
Faulhaber speaks not to the erudite, but to Everyman. Reading his memoir is like participating in an archaeological excavation of one’s own backyard, where old coffeepots, pottery shards, and rusty golf clubs are unearthed alongside the occasional gem.
In addition to Faulhaber family members and business associates, sports aficionados, particularly those who are interested in the details of sports equipment manufacture and marketing, are most likely to enjoy reading An Unconventional Life Journey.
Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the publisher will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.