Read the Pans

Praise for Brett Leveridge and
Men My Mother Dated and Other Mostly True Tales

"...a natural gift for capturing the absurdity of pre-sexual-revolution courtship....droll and effortless...As an essayist, Leveridge has an interesting voice. He belongs to the school of bemused dyspeptics that has produced such disparate observers as Calvin Trillin and Andy Rooney."
--Andrew Essex, The New York Times Book Review

"Mr. Leveridge's mother, whom I have not yet met but feel like I already know, would be proud of this collection, were she alive, which she very well might be. Leveridge's touch is soft, and his accounts of his mom's dalliances pitch-perfect and sublime."
--Dave Eggers, author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

"What's so appealing about these stories is how thoroughly they recreate the dreamy, idealized version of life that presumably floats through the head of Brett's mom. It's a loving and utterly original portrait of a mother who comes off as lively, appealingly sexy, and chaste -- all at the same time. It's amazing what an ingenious man can achieve with a high school yearbook, a word processor, and an Oedipal complex."
--Ira Glass, host of This American Life

"Men My Mother Dated was the name of the odd, sweet column written by Brett Leveridge in both the late Might and his own zine, BRETTnews. Now he's used them to get a book deal, and though he includes essays on other topics, it's Leveridge's gentle, throwback-y portraits of his mom's suitors that are most amusing. The chapter on Jack Kerouac is a knockout."
--Spin magazine

"This book really burns me, primarily because I had exactly the same idea, but a far less cooperative mother than Brett's. I'm also chapped because the execution is far better than mine would have been. Brett tells brief tales of the men (including Jack Kerouac!) in his mom's life in a gentle, understated tone that makes the stories completely hilarious. Damn him."
--Suzan Colón, Jane magazine

"Witty and thoughtful...[W]ith the wit of David Sedaris and the inventiveness of Dave Barry, Leveridge pushes the envelope of self-awareness toward its extremes."
--American Way magazine

"...[C]asts a spell over readers...a loving and hysterical tribute to his mother."
--Louisa McCune, Oklahoma Today magazine

"This is a strange and entertaining book, and the question of what is true and what is false in it is too scary to contemplate."
--Michael Sims, BookPage

"Taken together, the pieces in [the first half] of the book suggest a loving parent-child relationship that eased the transition from childhood to adolescence...Leveridge moves from a kid's fascination with the woman his mother was to something many adults never achieve with their parents: acceptance of the people they are."
--Charles Taylor, Newsday

"In these short, snappy and 'mostly true tales,' Mom comes across as a fun-loving gal with a knack for attracting suitors...the stories add up to a rounded portrait of a likable young woman with a zest for living that was unusual for her time and place. This slim volume might not be the kind of literature you'd pack for a two-week journey down the Nile, but it's the perfect heft for the flight home--especially if you're flying back to a place where the parents still amuse their children with more-or-less true bedtime stories."
--Joe Williams, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"...enthralling...the picture that emerges of [Leveridge's] mom is at once knowing and sweet, charged by a young woman's adventurous quest for love, all before finding her sweetheart. That none of these details makes her son uncomfortable somehow makes it all the more endearing."
--David Daley, The Hartford Courant

"...[A]n appealing, unflashy writer, relying on a pleasant combination of irony and civility that goes down easily."
--David Barton, The Sacramento Bee

"If Garrison Keillor and Dave Eggers (author of the bestseller A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius) merged into some freakishly funny media hybrid, Brett Leveridge would be it ... The humor is subtle, but distinctive."
--Samantha Puckett, St. Petersburg Times

"Leveridge is a FODE - a Friend of Dave Eggers - and it want to hate it because you're so sick of this snotty self-referentiality, but you can't, because Leveridge's tales of his mom are actually pretty darn funny."
--Jennifer Weiner, Philadelphia Inquirer

"Brett Leveridge doesn't spare his mother or himself in this highly readable book that may hurl him into the mainstream of American writing.... This book will give many chuckles and some causes for reflection. Read it!"
--Dennie Hall, The Daily Oklahoman

"[Leveridge is] an Oklahoman Garrison Keillor.... It's not hard to imagine that, with so much revolting subject matter in music, television and film today, readers may in Leveridge's work. And it's entirely possible that even those who don't remember these times will find themselves nostalgic for them."
--Kathleen Rizzo Young, The Buffalo News

"Leveridge is a masterful and companionable storyteller, and fans of humorous essayists like David Sedaris or Calvin Trillin will feel right at home."
--Rob Thomas, The Capital Times (Madison, WI)

"The influential ironists of Might magazine continue to be heard long after the demise of their smug, sarcastic San Francisco zine. Now comes former Might columnist Brett Leveridge's offbeat Men My Mother Dated and Other Mostly True Tales...Like his former editor [Dave Eggers], Leveridge is not without his smart-aleck moments, but he also shares with Eggers a sensitivity that wasn't a hallmark of Might."
--Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Leveridge's essay about being awakened in the middle of the night by a group of tap dancers [is] magical ... This is a nice book to dip in and out of ... Think Andy Rooney, but more enjoyable and less acerbic."
--Susan Shinn Poe, Greensboro News & Record

"Leveridge writes with refreshing panache in a tone that's not the least bit condescending...There's nothing quite as satisfying as tripping down someone else's Memory Lane, and this little book offers humor and a bevy of insights by an author destined to become one of the great essayists."
--Michael Henningsen, The Albuquerque Weekly Alibi

"Simply looking at the cover of this book lets readers know they are in for a treat, and Brett Leveridge delivers...Leveridge turns his mother's dating life and his own view of the world into quite an enjoyable read. Let's hope this webmagazine writer will take to writing books for awhile."
--Christina Dwiggins, Ace Weekly (Lexington, KY)

"...the type of pithy observations on life in the city, advertising, and love that the word 'urbane' is perfectly suited to describe.... Leveridge's B-movie reinterpretation of a certain Saturn car commercial is priceless.... Men My Mother Dated and Other Mostly True Tales is an amusing trip through the contemporary zeitgeist as filtered through one man's Oedipal complex."
--Barbara Strickland, The Austin Chronicle

"Brett Leveridge offers insightful, interesting and often humorous glances into what it takes to impress a woman.... Men My Mother Dated is light and just sweet enough to please; each episode is perfect for a little nighttime reading before bed."
--Michaelangelo Monteleone, In Pittsburgh Weekly

"Men My Mother Dated is a gem...Leveridge's mother is portrayed as at once sexy and demure, independent and self-conscious...the portrait Leveridge paints is as real as one would expect from a female author."
--Jacquie Moody, The San Antonio Current

"...I call it witty, witty, witty and I can't say it enough so here it is again -- witty. 'Men' has that sort of rhythm to it that's just well -- enormously satisfying. The words roll, twist, turn on their little toes, twirl around, leap off the page, grab you and tickle away.... Each essay is a jewel and even when the writing takes on a more serious note, the end result is always something that prompts a rewarding, 'Aha.' "
--Shauna Lawyer Struby, The Oklahoma Gazette

"Everyone should have a friend like Brett Leveridge -- a skilled storyteller vigilantly holding the proverbial carrot before our twitchy hare proboscises, smugly making his way toward the surefire punch line, certain to earn a smile -- if not an audible chuckle -- from his audience."
--Bethany Klein, Philadelphia Weekly

"[B]y modern standards, many of Mother Leveridge's trysts wouldn't be considered dates. That doesn't make the 20 stories about her '50s exploits any less funny...The second half of the book contains short stories about his life as a single 30- and 40-year-old man in New York [that] are honest and just as funny as Mom's adventures."
--Shannon Sutlief, The Dallas Observer

"Leveridge has that knack. The same knack that shot his buddy [Dave] Eggers to the top of the lit world, an ability to take the ordinary and banal and make it quirky and charming..."
--Punchline (Richmond, VA)

"...consistently strong and engaging...the basis of Leveridge's humor is his ability to see the extraordinary in ordinary life."
--Eric Nuzum,

"...refreshing and nostalgic...truly original...Leveridge is an excellent storyteller. He has a good sense of what's funny or weird or worth mentioning."
--Amanda Wolfman, The Daily (Washington University)

"The publication of this funny and well-observed book should keep its author's team of psychiatrists very, very busy."
--Henry Alford, author of Big Kiss and Municipal Bondage

"Without BRETTnews, I would wander aimlessly through the cultural wilderness. With it, I enjoy enlightenment and the love and esteem of family, friends and strangers."
--Bob Costas

"Brett Leveridge proves himself a delightful writer...a great phrasemaker."
--Joe Bob Briggs

"Will Rogers meets Garrison Keillor meets Jack Kerouac."
--Virtual City magazine

"[Leveridge's] prose...goes down easy as single-malt or the Oklahoma blues of J.J. Cale."
--journalist Jesse Kornbluth

"Men My Mother Dated was one of Might's most popular features, inspiring in our readers a rather frightening sort of devotion."
-- Dave Eggers, former editor of Might magazine

"[BRETTnews] is, like his motto says, 'a pretty darned good read.' "
--New York magazine

"[Leveridge is] the sharpest wit on the Net."
--author Lisa DuMond

"[BRETTnews is] a Web favourite." magazine

"A nice oddness, a comfortable twistedness that's refreshing..."
--The Web 100

"It's easy to see why BRETTnews is so popular. it's a Web knockout!"
--Craig Marrano, Tap Online

"[Leveridge] always makes me laugh and sometimes he even makes me think."
--author Phil James