Book Reviews, Contests / Giveaways

How to Build a Fire: And Other Handy Things Your Grandfather Knew by Erin Bried

Update: This contest is now closed. Congratulations to Emmy, lucky number 39!

You may remember around this time last year that I glowingly reviewed a book by author Erin Bried. I couldn’t say enough about How to Sew a Button: And Other Nifty Things Your Grandmother Knew and I’m certain that those of you who picked up a copy felt exactly the same way.

In the spring, Erin Bried tweeted about looking for grandfathers to speak to for a follow-up book. As soon as I read the message I contacted her. I had the perfect candidate in mind: CK’s lovely grandfather. A flurry of emails ensued and eventually an interview was scheduled and I’m exceedingly proud to report that charming Grandpa Kelly is quoted on numerous occasions throughout the book.

My grandfather passed away when I was only 5 years old so I only had a brief period of time to collect memories of him and I. I cherish those I have though. When CK and I started dating I was so incredibly nervous to meet his family but his grandparents were the epitome of gracious hosts. These days I love talking about cooking and flipping though food magazines with Sandra and look forward to cocktail hour when Grandpa Kelly mixes a seriously delicious Manhattan. Then he tells wonderful stories about being a pitcher in the major leagues and socializing with Sam and Marilyn Sheppard back in the day.

But, while I’m partial to Grandpa Kelly, all of the gentleman featured in the book have an abundant amount of advice and tips to offer including: how to make a toast, how to buy a suit, how to comfort a loved one, how to handle bad news, and even how to write a love letter. For my foodie friends there are tips on how to make killer ice cream, homemade root beer, season a cast-iron skillet, and how to grill a steak (I’ve dog eared that page for later).

Needless to say Erin has outdone herself once again. While reading How to Build a Fire I can’t help but feel incredibly nostalgic for the time that these wise men lived in and I feel unendingly grateful to be in a relationship with someone who was influenced by a man who can relay a tale as romantic as the following:

My friend and I were talking about who would be your favorite wife. I said I would marry Sandy Nussel and worry about falling in love with her later. She was so beautiful, and I admired her all through high school. A week later, I got a postcard from her. We went to dinner and then to the ball game. Two dates later, I proposed, and she said yes! That was in June or July and we got married that November. It was a quick courtship, but when you know, you know. And how! I picked her up and we went to have a bite to eat. We just sat there looking at each other and we couldn’t even find words. We couldn’t even breathe. I feel it even now. — Bob Kelly (Page 207 on “Finding the One”).

I’d sincerely love for you to have the opportunity to read and reminisce with this book on your own. If you’d like to win a copy of How to Build a Fire simply leave a comment on this post; perhaps a memory of your own grandfather?

You can also receive up to two additional entries in the contest (for a total of three chances) if you become a fan of Erin Cooks on Facebook, tweet about the contest, or simply add Erin Cooks to your favorite RSS reader. Don’t forget to leave additional comments on this post alerting me to each action. By the way, if you already subscribe to Erin Cooks in some manner just let me know that in your comment(s).

All winners will be selected via the nifty random number generator on Friday, December 17th at 10:00 AM EST, and then I’ll promptly arrange to have this wisdom filled book mailed to your home. Best of luck!