The Truth About Luck

The Truth About Luck

What I Learned on My Road Trip With Grandma

Book - 2013
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Selected for The Globe 100 Books in 2013.

In The Truth about Luck, Iain Reid, author of the highly popular coming-of-age memoir One Bird's Choice, accompanies his grandmother on a five-day vacation -- which turns out to be a "staycation" at his basement apartment in Kingston. While the twenty-eight-year-old writer is at the beginning of his adult life, his ninety-two-year-old grandmother is nearing the end of hers. Between escorting his grandma to local attractions and restaurants, the two exchange memories and she begins to reveal details of her inspiring life story.

Told with subtlety, humour, and heart, this delightful comic memoir reflects on family connections; how we experience adversity, the passage of time, and aging; and most importantly what it truly means to feel lucky.

Publisher: Toronto : Anansi, 2013.
ISBN: 9781770892415
Branch Call Number: 306.8745092 REID
Characteristics: 257 p.


From Library Staff

List - EP Book Club 2014/2015
Dnz Feb 09, 2015

February 2015

From the critics

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Aug 27, 2015

I wish Iain Reid had decided up front which writing style to apply and then stuck to it. He starts off in an extreme degree of self-deprecation that quickly becomes so annoying that I was tempted to put the book aside. Perhaps he was trying to be humorous but no one can be that vapid, lazy, unfocused and sloppy and still write an intelligible sentence, never mind a whole book.
Once his conversations with his grandmother develop, it soon becomes clear that he is a different person entirely. His assumed fecklessness was just a pose, but to what end? An excuse for laziness?
His grandma's fine character shines through immediately, once he stops doting on her.
One reviewer compared the book with "Tuesdays with Morrie"; although the parallel is obvious, this one is hardly in that league. Iain is by no means changed by the encounter in any way close to the impact that Morrie had on Mitch Albom. A more apt comparison might be Patrick Dennis's experience with "Auntie Mame", although Reid certainly isn't the humorist that Dennis was.
The book gains in stature as it goes along, and as Grandma takes centre stage. Too bad we get too much of Iain along the way.

Mar 14, 2015

Funny and touching. Wonderful words of wisdom from the grandmother. This was a quick and interesting read.

Sep 28, 2013

I so enjoyed this book, and really glad to have discovered Iain Reid - can't wait to read his previous book now, One Bird's Choice. His writing is fresh, honest and totally without any pretensions. Whilst other readers found his preoccupation with self annoying, I found it refreshing, and very true of many of us!

LaughingOne Aug 23, 2013

Didn't care for the Iain presented in this book; he is a self-absorbed, hypochondriac. I found his self-deprecating comments annoying and only continued reading (skimming) because I enjoyed what I learned about his grandmother. Doubt I'll read anything else by him.

Aug 02, 2013

My second book(non-fiction) by this Ottawa,now Kingston, writer. He takes his 92 year old grandmother on a road trip; which really means to his apt. in Kingston for 4 days. It's a stay of discovery as he learns how wise and alive this 92 year old is. A charming, smart and interesting read. Recommended.

Jul 08, 2013

Fun and light-hearted memoir about a grandson who takes his 92 year old grandma on a "trip" that is more staycation than travel. Light and breezy read peppered with some touching and thoughtful moments.

May 15, 2013

This is an interesting account of what was supposed to be a road trip to Winnipeg, but ended up being a five day staycation in his apartment in Kingston for Reid and his 92-year-old grandmother. Reid learned more about her and her life in that visit than he had in his entire 28 years on earth. Even as they were getting comfortable with each other, they were still holding back - she ever conscious of not being a burden and he not wanting her to think badly of him. I think he was more taken by surprise at what he learned about her than she was about what she might have learned about him and his life. I suspect most pairings of the young and the old would be like this. The young are so anxious to get on with their own explorations while the old are able to look forward and back and around them, and appreciate the value of all experience in making a full life. This was a very quick read that let in a bit of light to the thought processes of a caring but having little clue young man.

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