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Sage Advice

Michael Lewis pens a self-help book for his children.

Book Cover At some point, someone will probably fabricate one of those pop-sociology books about the generation that is averse to reading instruction manuals: The Dummies' Guide to Dummies. (Who is buying all those self-help books and keeping windbags like Tony Roberts in silk?) As I belong to that set and to the subset that reads nothing of a blatantly self-improving mode, I would not normally read a guide to fatherhood, accidental or not, like Home Game: An Accidental Guide to Fatherhood (W.W. Norton & Co.) by Michael Lewis. However, I have read Lewis's recent books, The Blind Side and Moneyball (which may or may not be made into a Brad Pitt film with Steven Soderbergh directing and a Steve Zaillian script. I asked Lewis about the film's status: "They don't tell me anything.") What with those alongside a number of his pieces for the New York Times Magazine, I am hard put to find a better reporter working today. (Jon Lee Anderson, Alma Guillermoprieto?)

Not to mention, he can write. This tome collects his bulletins to Slate magazine in which he frankly and relatively lucidly recorded his thoughts about his three children. The book's dedication is to those kids--"If you don't want to see it in print, don't do it"--sage advice for us all, especially in this YouTube life. Parenting (was it just in my lifetime that the word became a verb?) is of course serious business--so serious that some clear-eyed, honest humor is required, and which Lewis amply supplies.

Incidentally, Lewis made his bones doing financial reportage (Liar's Poker) a subject he revisited for the late Portfolio magazine.
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