Quite possibly the best how-not-to book ever written, Susan A. Sistare reveals the clumsy transition from a Southern Belle bursting at the seams to navigator of all things foreign in Living in Yen: How Not to Move to Japan Gracefully. With such tasks as remembering her train ticket, refraining from pressing buttons, and learning how to use a Japanese ATM labeled only with stick figures, Sistare must accomplish these feats and more with no more assistance than a Japanese phrase book and a little self-deprecating humor.
Having been informed that one can buy beer from vending machines in Japan, Sistare flies across the world armed with optimism, thirst, and a job teaching English. However, it’s a rocky start: the directions to her apartment are all in Japanese, her roommates were “as welcoming as a venereal disease,” and her mother back home still badgers her about wearing lipstick and not having boys over (even though she’s thirty years old and across the world from the curious eyes of her mother’s church friends). But a serendipitous train ride finds Sistare with a new Japan Adjustment Coordinator (who wiggles his way into her heart just before releasing her back into the wild) and a hilarious collection of coworkers are the best medicine for homesickness, heartache, and unprecedented hangovers.
Follow Sistare as she spends an unforgettable year living in yen, getting lost, laughing, surviving an illness, and miraculously hanging on to her passport through all of this. She will show you how it’s done.
Just not gracefully.
Susan A. Sistare is not a girlie girl. She hails from Spartanburg, South Carolina, where eligible men, forward thinking, and alcohol on Sundays are scarce. What is plentiful, though, is the amount of cat hair in her house and her humor about single life in a really small town. Having lived for a few years overseas followed by a life-altering breakup, Sistare finds herself back at her roots, contending with holiday depression, a finger-pointing family, “inbreed dating,” and a cast of genuine friends who are unafraid of reminding her that fanny packs and football shirts are not the way to a man’s heart. The result? A hilarious tale of self-discovery and a few southern-fried surprises.
Bawdy, a tiny bit vulgar, sweet and honest, Cats, Boys, and Booze; Or, How Not to Find Love in a Really Small Town redefines the modern southern belle. Follow Sistare as she shows you how to weed out the bad ones, how to heal, and how [not] to find love in a really small town.
And her cats had nothing to do with any of it. They swear.
There is a special feeling you have when you are a skydiver. It is a restlessness, a sense of defiance that comes from being held prisoner to the laws of science. It is the stark awareness that there is injustice in having no wings, tethered to gravity, while the superhero within you begs to be set free. But even superheroes with artificial wings need someone to look after them from time to time. When my ashes soaked into the airfield after that first good rain, about two days after they were spread during a skydive, part of my soul remained. It remained restless, in the sky, no longer tethered by gravity or subordinate to any Earthly laws.
It’s true that when you die, you can’t take anything with you. But if you’re really lucky, you can bring something back.
I got lucky. My name was Joey Wylie, and this is the story of the end of my death, and the start of my life.
TV cameras, girls in skirts, Elvis, Ricky Nelson, Jackie Robinson. Mix in two unlikely friends, and the rest is part of rock and roll history.
It was 1957 when Danny Sullivan first met Mike McCoy on the set of American Bandstand, just before Vietnam and Beatlemania pulsed through the veins of the nation. Danny, the chivalrous writer with a sheltered upbringing, was barely able to keep pace with the precocious street kid Mike, whose luck and instincts skyrocketed him to DJ stardom in the sixties. As different as two kids could find themselves, their friendship was beyond anyone’s comprehension, especially theirs.
Through the music and magic of the 50’s and 60’s, Danny and Mike remained thicker than thieves; that is, until they weren’t.
When Danny receives a sentimental letter from Mike decades later, the burning question is, what could Mike want after all this time?
Mike’s unusual request for his old friend to visit prompts Danny to begin a journey into the past. What he finds through reading Mike’s journal is much more than a few boyish memories from that unforgettable time; now well into his seventies, Danny discovers that the good old days weren’t always so good, and a street kid ain’t as bad as he seems.
Sing along and read… and as Mike McCoy would say, here’s wishing you Blue Skies and Green Lights.