Pops
“Magical prose stylist” Michael Chabon (Michiko Kakutani, New York Times) delivers a collection of essays—heartfelt, humorous, insightful, wise—on the meaning of fatherhood.For the September 2016 issue of GQ, Michael Chabon wrote a piece about accompanying his son Abraham Chabon, then thirteen, to Paris Men’s Fashion Week. Possessed with a precocious sense of style, Abe was in his element chatting with designers he idolized and turning a critical eye to the freshest runway looks of the season; Chabon Sr., whose interest in clothing stops at “thrift-shopping for vintage western shirts or Hermès neckties,” sat idly by, staving off yawns and fighting the impulse that the whole thing was a massive waste of time. Despite his own indifference, however, what gradually emerged as Chabon ferried his son to and from fashion shows was a deep respect for his son’s passion. The piece quickly became a viral sensation.With the GQ story as its centerpiece, and featuring six additional essays plus an introduction, Pops illuminates the meaning, magic, and mysteries of fatherhood as only Michael Chabon can.

Pops Details

TitlePops
Author
ReleaseMay 15th, 2018
PublisherHarper
ISBN-139780062834621
Rating
GenreWriting, Essays, Nonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Parenting, Biography Memoir

Pops Review

  • Darwin8u
    January 1, 1970
    "Once they're written, my books, unlike my children, hold no wonder for me; no mystery resides in them."- Michael Chabon, PopsFundamentally, this seems like a leaner, thinner, Manhood for Amateurs, (Part II: Fatherhood). It was good, and some of the essays were great even. But like a lame, awkward untwisting of the old the Woody Allen joke from Annie Hall: "Boy, the stories in this book weren't bad," "Yeah, I know; and such small portions." Well, that's essentially how I feel about the book. I l "Once they're written, my books, unlike my children, hold no wonder for me; no mystery resides in them."- Michael Chabon, PopsFundamentally, this seems like a leaner, thinner, Manhood for Amateurs, (Part II: Fatherhood). It was good, and some of the essays were great even. But like a lame, awkward untwisting of the old the Woody Allen joke from Annie Hall: "Boy, the stories in this book weren't bad," "Yeah, I know; and such small portions." Well, that's essentially how I feel about the book. I love love Chabon (not a completest, but the horizon is close), adore his prose, his outlook, and his wacky metaphors. I sometimes even got the serious feels with these stories as a husband and father. But, alas, just about when I'm getting all Chaboned-up, the book is over. Anyway, the thin book contains the followings stories, just in time for father's day:1. Little Man (in GQ as 'My Son the Prince of Fashion')2. Adventures in Euphamism3. The Bubble People4. Against Dickitude5. The Old Ball Game6. Be Cool or Be Cast Out7. Pops (in the New Yorker as 'The Recipe for Life')
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  • Scott
    January 1, 1970
    This was another impulse grab at the library's new (accent on new - like only five days old!) release shelf which turned out to be quite the unexpected pleasure. I had never read anything by Chabon before - although his The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is a 'to-read' and has gathering dust on my bookshelf for a few years - I'm now kind of curious about his other work.Pops: Fatherhood in Pieces pretty much lays it out right there in the title. It is a collection of essays - some prev This was another impulse grab at the library's new (accent on new - like only five days old!) release shelf which turned out to be quite the unexpected pleasure. I had never read anything by Chabon before - although his The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is a 'to-read' and has gathering dust on my bookshelf for a few years - I'm now kind of curious about his other work.Pops: Fatherhood in Pieces pretty much lays it out right there in the title. It is a collection of essays - some previously published in the magazines GQ and Details - about the responsibilities of being a father in America, raising good children in this society, and also touches on being a son in the 'sandwich generation.' Chabon's style is conversational and fairly straightforward, and he is equally humorous and sincere. I think the only negative thing I can say is that I wish it were three times longer than its scant 125 pages. Now excuse me while I go hug my kids and then phone my dad.
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  • Rachel León
    January 1, 1970
    A slim book that has some great essays in it. It's only 127 (tiny) pages though, so it feels pretty incomplete and not like a real book.
  • Brandon Forsyth
    January 1, 1970
    Michael Chabon's been one of my favourites for years, but I don't think he was in my top 5 until a couple of years ago when I read his piece "The Old Ball Game" on his website. It's a beautiful piece about baseball and family that always brings a tear to my eye, and firmly established him in my mind as a writer of another calibre. I'm so excited it's been included here. Chabon's not a sentimentalist, but his writing is shot through with compassion, especially in regards to his family. The beauti Michael Chabon's been one of my favourites for years, but I don't think he was in my top 5 until a couple of years ago when I read his piece "The Old Ball Game" on his website. It's a beautiful piece about baseball and family that always brings a tear to my eye, and firmly established him in my mind as a writer of another calibre. I'm so excited it's been included here. Chabon's not a sentimentalist, but his writing is shot through with compassion, especially in regards to his family. The beautiful warmth and humanity of his writing here will make you smile and bring those close to you even closer.
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  • Scott Foley
    January 1, 1970
    Pops is a very slim collection of nonfiction essays.  I particularly enjoy Chabon's nonfiction because he is unafraid.  He addresses topics that would scare most authors.  Specifically, he has no issues admitting that fatherhood, and manhood for that matter, is a bit of a work in progress for him.  Even though none of us have it figured out, he readily admits that fact.Remember, Chabon is a world-renowned Pulitzer Prize winner.  He should have an ego the size of a mansion, but he doesn't.  His h Pops is a very slim collection of nonfiction essays.  I particularly enjoy Chabon's nonfiction because he is unafraid.  He addresses topics that would scare most authors.  Specifically, he has no issues admitting that fatherhood, and manhood for that matter, is a bit of a work in progress for him.  Even though none of us have it figured out, he readily admits that fact.Remember, Chabon is a world-renowned Pulitzer Prize winner.  He should have an ego the size of a mansion, but he doesn't.  His humility is both refreshing and inspiring.At just 127 pages, Pops succinctly delves into Chabon's adventures in fatherhood.  If I'm not mistaken, each of his children serves as the focus of an essay.  The themes range from discovering the true nature of a child to seizing upon missed opportunities to trying to teach boys not to act like assholes.  There's much more, of course, but the unifying factor throughout is Chabon admitting to his own mistakes and simply trying to do the best he can.The book ends, interestingly enough, with Chabon writing an essay about his own father.  If you are a consistent reader of Chabon, you understand that this is well-covered ground.  He is not mean when it comes to his own father, yet he also isn't sugarcoating anything.  It's obvious that he loves his own dad, but it's also apparent that he didn't always like the man.If find it fascinating that in a book about his own trials, tribulations, and triumphs as a father, he ends on a note that helps us to understand the events that forged the sort of father he would one day become.  Now, I trust Chabon completely.  I've been reading him since 2004, and I've never had reason to doubt his honor or sincerity.  However, it is worth noting that in all his recollections regarding his father, we've only had his unique perspective.  And now, in writing about himself as a father, we only have his point of view.  What would his own children say about these essays?  Will they find Chabon's writing compatible with their own personal experiences?Chabon is incredibly intelligent.  It would not surprise me at all if he were to have his children participate in a podcast or an interview or something to serve as a companion piece to this novel.  It simply struck me as an interesting thought.As always, Chabon delivers beautiful prose describing his escapades in parenting.  If you love his writing, you'll love this book.
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  • Lori L (She Treads Softly)
    January 1, 1970
    Pops: Fatherhood in Pieces by Michael Chabon is a very highly recommended collection of seven short essays. It is a sheer pleasure to reads these essays all thematically linked to fatherhood. There are poignant, funny, contemplative, and universal moments in this short collection that will leave a lasting impression on the reader. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole collection.Contents include:The Opposite of Writing: Chabon, father of four, contemplates the advice given to him by a successful writer Pops: Fatherhood in Pieces by Michael Chabon is a very highly recommended collection of seven short essays. It is a sheer pleasure to reads these essays all thematically linked to fatherhood. There are poignant, funny, contemplative, and universal moments in this short collection that will leave a lasting impression on the reader. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole collection.Contents include:The Opposite of Writing: Chabon, father of four, contemplates the advice given to him by a successful writer when he was young. The man told him to not have children if he wants to write great books.Little Man: A wonderful piece about taking his youngest son, Abraham Chabon, to fashion week in Paris. Abe is a young man who just loves clothes and wants to do something in fashion.Adventures in Euphemism: Reflections on editing out offensive words and replacing them with a substitute word when reading a story to his children - something many parents have struggled with.The Bubble People: While we may refer to living in certain areas as living in a bubble, the truth be told, we are all living in a bubble - for exactly one.Against Dickitude: Thoughts about teaching his son to not be a jerk to girls.The Old Ball Game: Chabon muses about when he tried to talk his son out of playing baseball, and why he did so, even though he personally loves the game.Be Cool or Be Cast Out: Thoughts about the stress a group of socially repressive twelve-year junior high students can inflict on each other.Pops: Chabon shares a memory about his own father.Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of HarperCollins.http://www.shetreadssoftly.com/2018/0...
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  • Robert
    January 1, 1970
    There is no question in my mind that Michael Chabon is our nation's finest writer, writing today. He is incapable of writing anything that is banal or half-hearted. This tiny book (only 127 pages) is another example of originality, empathy and self-awareness that astonishes me. It's not the first time that he has written about fatherhood, but his son is now 13 and the "show-stopper" at the Men's Fashion Show in Paris (while Chabon is supposed to be writing an article on the show for GQ). For tha There is no question in my mind that Michael Chabon is our nation's finest writer, writing today. He is incapable of writing anything that is banal or half-hearted. This tiny book (only 127 pages) is another example of originality, empathy and self-awareness that astonishes me. It's not the first time that he has written about fatherhood, but his son is now 13 and the "show-stopper" at the Men's Fashion Show in Paris (while Chabon is supposed to be writing an article on the show for GQ). For that story alone, you should run out and buy this book. But then keep reading and you will love "Against Dickitude:" and the rest of the singular (but associated) articles. Then, if you haven't read it, for heaven's sake go back and read "The Mysteries of Pittsburgh," that first book that showed all of us what was to come from this writer, who was to go on to win the Pulitzer for Fiction - and who knows what and how many books yet to come.
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  • Lillian
    January 1, 1970
    Reading Chabon is like listening to a symphony. His prose washes over and through me and fills me with happiness. He is such an amazing writer. Much like his previous collection of essays, Manhood For Amateurs, he is deeply serious and reflective about fatherhood. Yet this portrait is more intimate such that by the end I felt his children and I had become friends.The signature piece written initially for the September 2016 issue of GQ magazine where Chabon accompanied his thirteen year old son t Reading Chabon is like listening to a symphony. His prose washes over and through me and fills me with happiness. He is such an amazing writer. Much like his previous collection of essays, Manhood For Amateurs, he is deeply serious and reflective about fatherhood. Yet this portrait is more intimate such that by the end I felt his children and I had become friends.The signature piece written initially for the September 2016 issue of GQ magazine where Chabon accompanied his thirteen year old son to Paris Men's Fashion Week is just as enjoyable now as it was initially.Six additional essays round out the collection all in Chabon's magical, iridescent prose.Thank you HarperCollins for the advanced reader's edition.
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  • Grace
    January 1, 1970
    “After he’s gone into that all too imaginable darkness— soon enough now— I will have found another purpose for the superpower that my father discovered in me, one evening half a century ago, riding the solitary rails of my imagination into our mutual story, into the future we envisioned and the history we actually accumulated; into the vanished world that once included him.”Precisely the book that I needed to read at this moment in my journey. I only wish that my dad was around to read this one “After he’s gone into that all too imaginable darkness— soon enough now— I will have found another purpose for the superpower that my father discovered in me, one evening half a century ago, riding the solitary rails of my imagination into our mutual story, into the future we envisioned and the history we actually accumulated; into the vanished world that once included him.”Precisely the book that I needed to read at this moment in my journey. I only wish that my dad was around to read this one too; he would have loved it!
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  • Zachary Houle
    January 1, 1970
    I once heard a remark, presumably attributed to Canadian writer Margaret Atwood, that you can do two out of three things in life: be a writer, have a job that supports your writing until you “make it,” and have children. You can be a writer and have a job, but cannot have children at the same time. You can also have children and have a job, but cannot sustain yourself as a writer. I’m not sure if that’s true or not, or if Atwood is indeed the source of that paraphrase, but Pulitzer Prize-winning I once heard a remark, presumably attributed to Canadian writer Margaret Atwood, that you can do two out of three things in life: be a writer, have a job that supports your writing until you “make it,” and have children. You can be a writer and have a job, but cannot have children at the same time. You can also have children and have a job, but cannot sustain yourself as a writer. I’m not sure if that’s true or not, or if Atwood is indeed the source of that paraphrase, but Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon recounts a similar conversation he had with another writer many years ago in the introduction to his upcoming essays collection, Pops, that left him with the same impression: that he could not write and have children. Well, Chabon has made a career for himself and is the father to two sons and two daughters, so that pretty much makes that anecdote moot.Pops is a stop-gap collection that is relatively brief: at about 140 pages, it took me an hour and a half to devour its contents. All of the essays are about the relation he has with his children, save for the final self-titled essay which is about his relationship with his doctor father. At the book’s centerpiece is an article that Chabon wrote for GQ magazine about his then 13-year-old son attending Paris Fashion Week. The son was in his element, but the father (known in the essay as the son’s “minder”) was bored out of his skull. However, Chabon comes to realize his son’s passion for clothing, and comes to a sort of understanding about his son. That piece went viral, and it probably merits the publication of this book: to milk extra revenue from it. (To wit, Pops has a first printing run of 150,000 copies.)Read the rest here: https://medium.com/@zachary_houle/a-r...
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  • jeremy
    January 1, 1970
    i'd happily read anything from the pen of michael chabon (how has he not yet written a non-fiction book about baseball?!), though his new collection of essays, pops: fatherhood in pieces, is too slight an outing to be wholly satisfying. containing seven short pieces, all but one of which were previously published, pops finds the pulitzer prize winner musing upon his son's predilection for fashion (as recounted in the anchor piece which appeared originally in gq), reading huckleberry finn to chil i'd happily read anything from the pen of michael chabon (how has he not yet written a non-fiction book about baseball?!), though his new collection of essays, pops: fatherhood in pieces, is too slight an outing to be wholly satisfying. containing seven short pieces, all but one of which were previously published, pops finds the pulitzer prize winner musing upon his son's predilection for fashion (as recounted in the anchor piece which appeared originally in gq), reading huckleberry finn to children, individuality and weirdness, feminism and not being a dick, little league and baseball, teenage coolness (or not), and his own relationship with his father.chabon writes beautifully, of course, and pops has frequent flashes of his gorgeous prose, but the brief moments of insight, tenderness, humor, and self-reflection aren't enough to put this collection on par with his other works (frankly, it seems like it was assembled solely to capture father's day dollars). he was not flying his freak flag; he was sending up a flare, hoping for rescue, for company in the solitude of his passion.
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  • Clio
    January 1, 1970
    Goodish short essays on dadhood. I've been reading a lot about momhood since becoming a mom a year and a half ago. (I like the what-it's-like-to-be-a-mom books a lot better than the mom-advice-for-perfecting=yourself-and-your-children books.) This is like a what-it's-like-to-be-a-dad book. I'm not a dad but I love me some good dads, and I checked out the audiobook read by Michael Chabon himself from the library after hearing his interview with Terry Gross. I think I liked the interview just as m Goodish short essays on dadhood. I've been reading a lot about momhood since becoming a mom a year and a half ago. (I like the what-it's-like-to-be-a-mom books a lot better than the mom-advice-for-perfecting=yourself-and-your-children books.) This is like a what-it's-like-to-be-a-dad book. I'm not a dad but I love me some good dads, and I checked out the audiobook read by Michael Chabon himself from the library after hearing his interview with Terry Gross. I think I liked the interview just as much as the book honestly. If you like Michael Chabon and/or dads, why not listen to both?
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  • Karin Schott
    January 1, 1970
    On page 61 of my advance reader there is a stain from my lunch. So engrossed in Chabon's musings on living in the Berkeley Bubble, the food, a sweet potato, kale concoction, slipped from my fork and fell on the page. There might be a chocolate stain in the chapter "Be Cool or be Cast Out"Most definitely a coffee stain in the chapter "Little Man"I couldn't help myself. This little book has followed me through each meal, but so engrossed was I that I forget that I should put the book down and grab On page 61 of my advance reader there is a stain from my lunch. So engrossed in Chabon's musings on living in the Berkeley Bubble, the food, a sweet potato, kale concoction, slipped from my fork and fell on the page. There might be a chocolate stain in the chapter "Be Cool or be Cast Out"Most definitely a coffee stain in the chapter "Little Man"I couldn't help myself. This little book has followed me through each meal, but so engrossed was I that I forget that I should put the book down and grab sustenance.
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  • Lovely Loveday
    January 1, 1970
    Pops: Fatherhood in Pieces by Michael Chabon is a touching read about a father who takes his thirteen-year-old son to men's fashion week in Paris. Michael is the typical father who shops at thrift stores for vintage western shirts or Hermès neckties. His son Abraham, is the complete opposite who loves fashion and famous designers. This remarkable story is sure to warm your heart and stay with you long after reading. A lovely father and son story that shows how two different people can bond over Pops: Fatherhood in Pieces by Michael Chabon is a touching read about a father who takes his thirteen-year-old son to men's fashion week in Paris. Michael is the typical father who shops at thrift stores for vintage western shirts or Hermès neckties. His son Abraham, is the complete opposite who loves fashion and famous designers. This remarkable story is sure to warm your heart and stay with you long after reading. A lovely father and son story that shows how two different people can bond over a common thread.
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  • Jordan
    January 1, 1970
    As ever with books by Michael Chabon, I had to lie down for a little while to contemplate just how brilliant and how unattainable his writing is. Honestly he could probably write out a shopping list every day for a year and I’d similarly laugh and wail through every word. This was so heartwarming and punctuated with distilled Chabon wit that had me grinning like a loon. My only problem with it was that there were only 126 pages, when I could have read ten times that.
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  • Miles
    January 1, 1970
    A good quick read, collecting several of Chabon’s non-fiction essays, mostly musing on different aspects of family relationships. “Little Man,” a piece about taking his son to fashion week in Paris, is the clear standout for me, although I enjoyed all of them. Chabon is a gifted writer with some well crafted insights about fatherhood and his children. I also enjoyed “Pops,” describing his childhood memories accompanying his father on his medical rounds (even though I’d read it before).
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  • Henry M. Haskell
    January 1, 1970
    OutstandingMy son Steve recommended I read some of Michael Chabon's writings. They were students together at UC Irvine and both live in Berkeley. They've never met but Steve knew I'd love his work. "Pops" is the first book I've read by Chabon. It is outstanding and, being a writer myself, I'm inspired by his writing and plan to read more. My own son was right.I especially liked ,Chabon's final essay, "Pops."
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  • Lindz
    January 1, 1970
    I will read anything that Chabon writes. I just love the way constructs a sentence, even the style of font. Even though it's a kind of an humdrum stretched out loose collection, that feels more like a peek at Chabon's note book than anything else. The stand out essays are the first and the last, two good essays do not make a collection, but I got to spend time with Chaon's prose, and more importantly I want to re-read Kavilar and Clay.
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  • Charlie Kubal
    January 1, 1970
    Quick read of previously published pieces, with anecdotes around Paris fashion week, little league baseball, Berkeley versus the midwest, and watching old movies with his father, with each told through a reflective lens of fatherhood and being a son. Really enjoyed it -- recommended if you're looking for something relatively light with moments of poignancy.
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  • Art
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this collection of essays about parent-child relationships. You certainly don't have to be a father or even a parent to appreciate them. You will be touched by memories of your own childhood, adolescence, and parents. There are also some wonderful reflections about being and feeling different. The book can easily be read in one sitting and is definitely worth a small chunk of one's time.
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  • Dina
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book. It was so nice to read more about Chabon’s personal life and about him being a father. I read this book in one sitting. I would have loved for it to be five times as long as it is. I will definitely purchase a physical copy of this book for my collection. Thanks to Above the Treeline and Edelweiss and HarperLuxe for the review copy.
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  • Mark
    January 1, 1970
    A pleasant way to spend a few hours, with a few truly outstanding essays (particularly a GQ piece about Chabon's clothes horse son attending men's fashion week in Paris). The pieces are short, so even if there is an essay you don't like, it'll be over quickly.
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  • Kristiana
    January 1, 1970
    Chabon writes with elegance and insight in this new collection of essays on fatherhood. His previous collection, Manhood for Amateurs, was influential and inspiring. Pops is a condensed wonderful collection.
  • Andy Grabia
    January 1, 1970
    The last essay...I have no words. Fathers and sons. Fathers and sons.
  • Andrew
    January 1, 1970
    Fantastic writing by Chabon, as usual, but I'm not certain that there is enough material in here to warrant a whole book.
  • Cynthia
    January 1, 1970
    Lovely writing, but this essay collection feels slight and a little unsatisfying.
  • Jeremiah
    January 1, 1970
    Michael Chabon's short stories about fatherhood of his teen sons and daughter is touching, poignant and funny. His relationship to his own father was equally memorable. he is a talented writer.
  • Leslie Basney
    January 1, 1970
    An unexpected delight.
  • Jon
    January 1, 1970
    An enjoyable collection of essays. Just don’t spend 20 bucks on it.
  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    Loved it.
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