If you like memoirs, or you’re a struggling writer, of if you’re just looking for a compelling, father-son story, Kirkus Reviews has a suggestion for weekend reading and last minute gifts. This week they’ve named Tin House’s Mentor by Tom Grimes one of the top 25 nonfiction books of the year.
The book reveals Tom’s journey from waiting tables, to marriage and a few published short stories, to entrance into the exclusive Iowa Writer’s Workshop. His unlikely teacher, the gruff, smoke-billowing Frank Conroy is at the center of Tom’s life. He helps Tom navigate “the incestuous logrolling of academic writers” and teaches him how to succeed in the world of publishing. Mentor offers plenty of lessons, about writing as well as life.