my take: The subtitle tells it all: Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time.  Each chapter tells something about his experience as an EMT/first responder/volunteer firefighter in small town Wisconsin, which gets him to thinking about some larger issue. The voice in these essays is humble, strong, curious, reflective, witty.

After reading Coop and Pop. 485 I felt like I knew Michael and wished I could actually meet him. And I did! At the Festival of Faith and Writing in 2010. He wore a firefighter t-shirt and work boots to speak at Calvin College. He’s the kind of guy you want for your neighbor. Read this and meet him yourself.

Check out his website @

my source: Several family members had read first, Book Chicks group read, FF&W

my recommend: If you are queazy about medical things, this might not be for you … my mother thought it had too much blood and guts. I was fine with it. And I’m a queazy girl from way back. Truck: a Love Story is on my list for this summer; you should read Coop (most recent) with a tissue in hand.

my rating: tremendous