BJ’s Standout Reads: October 2019

BJ Knapp author of Beside the Music enjoyed Maid by Stephanie LandMaid by Stephanie Land  This one was super interesting, it’s her memoir about being homeless and trying to crawl her way up from the homeless shelter to live as someone with a steady income and a roof over her head, all with a baby.  A very interesting look into what it’s like to subsist on assistance, and the humiliation that comes with it, and how to subsist on menial jobs and find childcare and decent housing.  She talks about events where people have said “you’re welcome” to her when she’s used her assistance to purchase groceries.  She talks about trying to get ahead, but when she does get ahead she loses her benefits and ends up further behind—and about how that hurdle is just about impossible to overcome.  A very meaningful read.


BJ Knapp author of Beside the Music enjoyed Bread Bags and Bullies by Steven ManchesterBread Bags and Bullies by Steven Manchester  This book is told from the perspective of middle son Herbie in 1984.  It covers the week of February vacation where 12 year old Herbie is learning more about the realities of his parents and their near poverty line way of life.  At the start of vacation his brother Wally was threatened by a bully as he was getting off the school bus to go home, and the week was spent wondering what would happen when they all got back to school.  Would the bully kick Wally’s ass?  Would Herbie tell the pretty girl he likes her?  Will he escape his family’s just scraping by mentality?  An awesome read and I could picture every bit of it from the perspective of 1984.



BJ Knapp is the author of Beside the Music, available for purchase here. Please sign up for the Backstage with BJ Knapp mailing list to get updates on events, signings, dog pictures and so much more.

added on 11.13.19

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