Free Chairs Review
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I was first introduced to John Sheirerís work almost a year ago -- when he first submitted one of his essays to the site. Ever since then, heís kept me entertained by occasionally sending another humor piece -- often on Monday mornings, when I need them most. So I was excited to hear that John had published a collection of his essays.

I started reading, not thinking that Iíd write a review of the book. After all, I do kinda know John (or at least I know him electronically), and I didnít want to sound biased (or to ruin our wonderful professional relationship by saying something to make him angry), but then I realized that Johnís a pretty tough guy, and he could take whatever Iíd say about his book. So there. Iím gonna review his book whether he likes it or not.

Free Chairs definitely isnít the book that I expected. I expected a whole bunch of the humor that Iíve come to know and love. But thatís not what this is about (though I did recognize several of the essays in the book -- and I got to laugh at them all over again). Itís not a neat collection of similar stories -- all in one genre. Instead, itís a collection of highly-varied essays -- all from the point of view of one person. And thatís a good thing -- because itís true to life. None of us are one-dimensional, so why should a collection of personal essays be one-dimensional?

This book is about John Sheirer -- John Sheirer the teacher, John Sheirer the writer, John Sheirer the philosopher, John Sheirer the awkward teenager, John Sheirer the guy with a great sense of humor, and a few more John Sheirers. The essays contained in this book arenít always funny. Instead, John mixes in every aspect of his life. He talks about what itís like to be a teacher -- and a writer. He talks about relationships and his own personal philosophies. But every single essay in this book is honest-to-goodness John Sheirer.

After reading this book, I really feel as though I know this guy who occasionally sends something to brighten up my Monday mornings. Iíve seen the joking side, the professional side, the pensive side, and the sensitive side. Iíve cried with him, and Iíve laughed out loud with him -- and there were also a few times when I thought, Wow... that was random. I like that.

And while Iíll admit that I still like Johnís humor the most, this book is a great collection of essays. Itís a thoughtful, honest compilation -- one that I could really appreciate.

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