Category Archives: What I am Reading

What I Am Reading – A Full House – But Empty

I’m on page 48 of a wonderful memoir by Angus Munro called A Full House – But Empty. I can’t go on enough about how talented this author is. I am fully enjoying this book and wish it wouldn’t end.

This guy is 77-years-old and his memory is better than mine! I am so enjoying his stories of when he was young during the depression.

But what really astounds me is the character of the man which shows up in his book. If I were to ever write a memoir, his book would be a good teacher.

Let me give you an example. On page 48, he tells about living with an aunt for awhile until he is to join his sister in the Spring. He is young, I’m thinking maybe 14 (I’m forgetting) and has left home, much against his father’s wishes but I’m thinking he wanted to explore life a little.

So, he’s staying with different relatives, but this one particular aunt who he stayed with briefly, he just adored. Now, when I quote him from his book, keep in mind that this is the Depression years and even pennies were looked upon like gold.

He has been caring for the aunt’s children and the aunt said she wanted to pay him for the time he spent watching over them. Look, this is what he writes:

“…in those days, all farms had root cellars – either within the home of adjacent to it – where they stored their larder. It was a natural place for storing fruits and vegetables. I checked their root cellar, came back with a quart of preserved peaches, and laughingly said, ‘This is my fee.’ My aunt responded with laughter and it became a joke between the two of us, as that was my remuneration each time. By the time she returned home the quart jar was always empty. And all consumed by me, the skinny babysitter (Apart from a workplace, I would never ever charge anyone for babysitting or performing other chores. I always volunteered just to be helpful).”

Now, the guy probably didn’t have too many expenses back then, but food was a pretty good payment I presume since that was hard to come by. But, I’m thinking he was doing it as an act of kindness and this was all part of his character.

Wouldn’t it be neat if politicians thought this way?

Anyway, back to reading…signing out…

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I started on this book a few days ago and because of work commitments, I haven’t been able to pick it back up but let me tell you, this is one of the best books I have read in a long time. Little Angus Munro was brought up by his father because his mother left the family when he was just three. I have to tell you, I cried on the first page…and this is only because I was relating because it’s not a depressing book at all; in fact, it’s quite an uplifting book.

It’s set in the Depression years when food was scarce and poverty was at an all-time high, but somehow the families, including the Monros’, survived and made the best of it using what resources they had or could get. It’s quite a remarkable story and I’m really enjoying it.

I have talked to the author and I told him how much I was enjoying the book and I think it made his day. I’ll be discussing this book more in detail, but I do have to mention that he will be on a virtual book tour next week and you can find out more about him and his book then.

Meanwhile, more book talk coming up on…

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