Notes from a Reading Journal:Uncommon Type, Some Stories,” by Tom Hanks. Yes, THAT Tom Hanks! This was a November Book of the Month Club selection.

The man is obsessed with typewriters, and great fun can be had by identifying how the typewriter is mentioned in each short story. For this reader, “These are the Meditations of My Heart” was worth the price of admission. My other two top picks are: “The Past is Important to Us,” and “Stay with Us.” In “Past” the reader is introduced to a man who has everything, but still tries to cheat time. He had everything, but he still wasn’t satisfied. In “Stay” the reader is led on a nostalgic road trip that is reminiscent of Route 66. 

Set out to find America…

I dare you to read these stories, and in particular, “Meditations” and resist the urge to go buy a typewriter! I found myself pricing options last night after I finished reading this book! After reading “A Junket in the City of Light,” you just have to wonder if this is based on a true Hollywood story.  

Quotes I Collected in my Reading Journal:

  • Page 6: “I am one of those lazy-butt loners who can poke my way through a day and never feel a second has been wasted. In fact, as soon as I sold my mom’s house and parked the money in investments, I walked away from my fake businesses and settled into the Best Life Imaginable. Give me a few loads of laundry to do and a hockey game on the NHL channel and I’m good for an entire afternoon.”
  • Page 79: “The hotel had been recently renovated in Hipster-Millenial.”
  • Page 99: “And the Martians, as they called themselves, had all gotten older, mellower. Except for a couple of asshole lawyers.”
  • Page 180: “Think about what? Sue studied her new professional call sheet. She liked herself more because of what Bobby had typed.” — Ah yes, the magic of words! 
  • Page 234: “I’m not one who types between sips from a tumbler of booze and drags from a pack of smokes. I just want to set down what few truths I’ve come to know.”

Happy reading! Really, is there anything that Tom Hanks doesn’t do well? — Jamie Whitmer