Title: Snakes, Squirrels & Bears, Oh My!: Finding Humor Amid Life’s Frustrations,
by Greg Peck
Genre: Humorous memoir
Date Published: 2023; Self-published.
Reviewed by: Doris Green
Greg Peck’s latest book, Snakes, Squirrels & Bears, Oh My!: Finding Humor Amid Life’s Frustrations, walks the reader along the high road in dealing with the irritations and sometimes surprising craziness of modern life.
The reader will recognize the more common challenges—from marauding wildlife to computer malfunctions and IRS issues. When describing grocery checkout lane frustrations, sports mishaps, and DIY projects gone astray (and overbudget), Peck points to the humor in the provocations of everyday experience.
Less common challenges—consider the burning cleavage cake, an effort to sell (profitably) bushels of unhusked walnuts, and a trophy bullsnake preserved in the home freezer—exceed the most outlandish imaginings. All are grist for Peck’s lighthearted humor mill.
No whining here. Peck reliably responds to every pothole or crevasse along the road with a grin and usually an appropriate tongue-in-cheek ending. In an essay on yard work, a minor diatribe against poorly maintained neighborhood lawns, Peck concludes with a creative idea for the name of his next walking companion. He might just call his next dog, Peeve—so he’ll then “be walking [his] pet, Peeve.”
Like a brandy old-fashioned or a stroll, Snakes, Squirrels & Bears, Oh My! offers a relaxing chuckle at day’s end and a sure cure for many irritations of daily life. This is particularly true if the reader has ever lived in Wisconsin. Packer Fever? Fishing and bowling? Snow and ice? Peck covers them all. And softens any hard edges with a wink and a nod to the image in the rearview mirror.
Reviewer Doris Green authored Elsie’s Story: Chasing a Family Mystery and Wisconsin Underground: A Guide to Caves, Mines, and Tunnels. Her newest title is Minnesota Underground: A Guide to Caves & Karst, Mines & Tunnels, co-authored with Greg Brick. Contact http://henschelhausbooks.com, Amazon, or your local bookstore.