Life Between Naps: Stories from a Full-Time Unemployed, Stay-at-Home Dad
Jim Noonan, author
life between naps is a humorous collection of stories and essays about a man and his ridiculous understanding of what it means to be a parent and husband. As a stay-at-home dad, Jim to tries to go with the flow, but when a urgent intestinal explosion is about to change the lives of everybody at the local grocery store, it gets a narrative unlike any you've heard before. His stories are light, funny and touch on the awkward experiences we all face: Gym memberships, doppelgängers, whales, Costco, false bravado and the uncomfortable questions of puberty.
In his first book, Noonan, a stay-at-home father and former jack-of-all-trades (actor, fitness instructor, landscaper, park ranger, salesman) strings together his conjugal and parental moments of high drama and self-actualization into a collection that’s more lighthearted and jokey than useful. Noonan’s stories and reflections center on surviving bodily discomfort, facing one’s fears, coping with devastating chagrin, and continually realizing the preciousness of family. Some of Noonan’s subjects are inherently entertaining. He describes getting stuck in the ocean surrounded by whales on all sides, receiving an emergency x-ray in underwear embarrassing enough to elicit the laughs of his nurses, and driving through holiday traffic with a fallen Christmas tree dragging behind his car. However, Noonan’s writing reads like a speedily written journal (“The intense pain suddenly shifted from unbearable to holy shit!”) that is occasionally overly sentimental (“I think of my own marriage and how my love and affection toward Cathy was strengthened during a time of crisis; my wife is my eternal mate”) and relies on evocative description (wading in the Nordic coast: “I couldn’t see my feet, my legs, my wiener space, or my hands! Where were my hands? The water was black. It was black-cold.”). Noonan’s collection is goofy but highly energetic and warmhearted, and best suited for awkward dads with a sense of humor. (BookLife)