My daughter wasn't even born on the day when my husband, Mark Kram Jr., drove out to Warminster, PA to meet a gentleman named Buddy Miley. Buddy's life, death, and legacy are the subjects of Mark's book, Like Any Normal Day, on sale now at Amazon.com and many fabulous independent bookstores near you.
Okay, I'm the dude's wife, so do you really expect me to say mean things about his brand-new book? Of course not! But you probably also would think that I might embellish the greatness of the tome in the interest of grocery money. Therefore, I yield the floor to a few reviewers, first among them Pulitzer Prize-winner Richard Ford:
"Like Any Normal Day looks piercingly beyond the
moment when the lights dim and the crowds go home in
any young athlete's life. Kram's acuity and
sympathies stretch far beyond his sportswriter's
practiced gaze -- indeed, all the way to the realm of literature.
It is not a happy story he has to tell us. But it seems to
me -- perhaps for that very reason -- it is an
essential and cautionary one."
And O, aka Oprah Magazine:
"Whether you agree or disagree with their decision, you'll be unable to turn away from the heartbreaking true story of a paralyzed man and the devoted brother who helps him die."
Also, Kirkus Reviews gave the book a star. If you're a librarian, you know how hard it is to get a star from Kirkus. I've seen claw machines that were far more generous.
Another review can be found in the April 20 issue of Sports Illustrated. Yeah, well, I know, I know ... SI ain't Oprah. Except that long-time readers of SI will recall Mark Kram Sr. and perhaps give an approving nod to the next generation.
As an assistant to my husband, I read that book in manuscript at least three times. I still cried when it went into final pages. Don't get me wrong: This isn't a book that's going to leave you with a bad case of the blues. Oh no. It's touching. You root for the hero, and he doesn't let you down.
Bookmark this page if you want more information and updates on Like Any Normal Day. I'll be keeping a diary of the book's progress, posting photos, and sharing interesting commentary on Mark and his book. Here's Mark's website:
And here's a really wonderful extended conversation with Mark, complete with a fabulous portrait done by his daughter:
If you are anything like me, you hate giving your hard-earned largesse to the big box booksellers, so here's a nice review of Mark's book and a link to a wonderful independent bookstore, Jackson Street Books.
Jimmy Miley has put a poster of the book on every side of his moving van. The large and lovely Miley family turned out for Mark's first-ever book signing on April 24, 2012. After decades -- I mean decades -- of attending other author readings/signings, it was surreal to actually see Mark in the author's chair. He handled it well, having practiced in the comfort of his home office.
Reviews are trickling in, almost all of them overwhelmingly positive. If you liked the book, please post something nice over at Amazon.