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Three Weeks With My Brother

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The day the brochure came was a typical one. With a wife and five small children, a hectic schedule, and a new book due to his publishers, Nicholas Sparks was busy with his usual routine. The colorful mailer, however, described something very different: a tour to some of the most exotic places on Earth. Slowly, an idea took hold in Nicholas's mind and heart. In January 200 The day the brochure came was a typical one. With a wife and five small children, a hectic schedule, and a new book due to his publishers, Nicholas Sparks was busy with his usual routine. The colorful mailer, however, described something very different: a tour to some of the most exotic places on Earth. Slowly, an idea took hold in Nicholas's mind and heart. In January 2003, Nicholas Sparks and his brother, Micah, set off on a three-week trip around the globe. It was to mark a milestone in their lives, for at thirty-seven and thirty-eight respectively, they were now the only surviving members of their family. And as they voyaged to the lost city of Machu Picchu high in the Andes. . . to mysterious Easter Island. . . to Ayers Rock in the Australian outback. . . and across the vast Indian subcontinent, the ultimate story of their lives would unfold. Against the backdrop of the wonders of the world and often overtaken by their feelings, daredevil Micah and the more serious, introspective Nicholas recalled their rambunctious childhood adventures and the tragedies that tested their faith. And in the process, they discovered startling truths about loss, love and hope. Narrated with irrepressible humor and rare candor, and including personal photographs, Three Weeks with my Brother reminds us to embrace life with all its uncertainties. . . and most of all, to cherish the joyful times, both small and momentous, and the wonderful people who make them possible. Did You Know?--- Three Weeks With My Brother is Nicholas's second work of non-fiction? (The first was Wokini, written with Olympic Gold Medalist Billy Mills.) Nicholas and Micah Sparks wrote the book together from separate coasts by talking on the phone and faxing drafts back and forth? The trip around the world was part of a Notre Dame alumni package?


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The day the brochure came was a typical one. With a wife and five small children, a hectic schedule, and a new book due to his publishers, Nicholas Sparks was busy with his usual routine. The colorful mailer, however, described something very different: a tour to some of the most exotic places on Earth. Slowly, an idea took hold in Nicholas's mind and heart. In January 200 The day the brochure came was a typical one. With a wife and five small children, a hectic schedule, and a new book due to his publishers, Nicholas Sparks was busy with his usual routine. The colorful mailer, however, described something very different: a tour to some of the most exotic places on Earth. Slowly, an idea took hold in Nicholas's mind and heart. In January 2003, Nicholas Sparks and his brother, Micah, set off on a three-week trip around the globe. It was to mark a milestone in their lives, for at thirty-seven and thirty-eight respectively, they were now the only surviving members of their family. And as they voyaged to the lost city of Machu Picchu high in the Andes. . . to mysterious Easter Island. . . to Ayers Rock in the Australian outback. . . and across the vast Indian subcontinent, the ultimate story of their lives would unfold. Against the backdrop of the wonders of the world and often overtaken by their feelings, daredevil Micah and the more serious, introspective Nicholas recalled their rambunctious childhood adventures and the tragedies that tested their faith. And in the process, they discovered startling truths about loss, love and hope. Narrated with irrepressible humor and rare candor, and including personal photographs, Three Weeks with my Brother reminds us to embrace life with all its uncertainties. . . and most of all, to cherish the joyful times, both small and momentous, and the wonderful people who make them possible. Did You Know?--- Three Weeks With My Brother is Nicholas's second work of non-fiction? (The first was Wokini, written with Olympic Gold Medalist Billy Mills.) Nicholas and Micah Sparks wrote the book together from separate coasts by talking on the phone and faxing drafts back and forth? The trip around the world was part of a Notre Dame alumni package?

30 review for Three Weeks With My Brother

  1. 5 out of 5

    Chari

    I learned that: Life is not fair... God works all things out in the end, even if to us it doesn't seem right.... A family must stay together through it all....NO MATTER WHAT! Noone is perfect...we should try looking at ourselves first.. Investing in your children and their future is priceless... We all must get away sometimes to sort through our bag of trash and emotions that we have picked up along life's journey.... A man and wife are truly a team and I need to figure out how to have that kind of par I learned that: Life is not fair... God works all things out in the end, even if to us it doesn't seem right.... A family must stay together through it all....NO MATTER WHAT! Noone is perfect...we should try looking at ourselves first.. Investing in your children and their future is priceless... We all must get away sometimes to sort through our bag of trash and emotions that we have picked up along life's journey.... A man and wife are truly a team and I need to figure out how to have that kind of partnership before children come along.. Brothers have a unique bond....sisters do too!... That siblings have experienced things together that will shape who they are and how they treat others to come... Death and Dying are not anything to be afraid of, if we live out every day with the best of intentions.... Autism and other behavioral disorders cannot always be diagnosed by doctors or corrected with medication alone, parents must be involved in the process of training, learning, and growing....LOVE can conquer all things! I need to travel the world and try to get on the Amazing Race so that I can afford to have the kind of experiences that Nicholas and Micah experienced for themselves in 2003. That I love my brother, Ross, so much and enjoy watching him learn the joys of parenthood and fatherhood for himself... My mom and dad understood how to raise children...and although not perfect, they understand that perfection only came from the sacrifice of one man for all of our imperfections....JESUS...thanks for showing me God's love... I could go on forever...I learned so much and reinforced so many learnings that I have acquired throughout the last 30 years....and YES I CRIED LIKE A BABY....MORE THAN ANY OTHER SPARKS BOOK BEFORE.... THIS IS A MAN'S TRUE STORY ... WHAT IS YOUR STORY? DO YOU LIVE YOUR LIFE THE WAY YOU WANT TO BE REMEMBERED? WHAT IF YOUR LIFE WAS PUT TO PAPER WOULD YOU LIKE WHAT YOU SEE? EVEN IF YOU DON'T LIKE EVERYTHING, HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM YOUR MISTAKES? HAVE YOU ENJOYED EVERY MOMENT, MAYBE NOT ALWAYS IN THE MOMENT, BUT AS YOU LOOK BACK, ARE YOU THANKFUL?

  2. 5 out of 5

    [Shai] Bibliophage

    I've read a lot of books by Nicholas Sparks in the past and I am quite curious on the life of this author. When I saw this book, I was intrigued not only by the title, but it piqued again my curiosity about Nicholas Sparks' childhood and family. This was on my to-read list for quite a while and recently I was checking on what book I should read next. I grabbed right away the opportunity to read it and it didn't disappoint me. If you are fan of Sparks' works and also curious on his life, you shou I've read a lot of books by Nicholas Sparks in the past and I am quite curious on the life of this author. When I saw this book, I was intrigued not only by the title, but it piqued again my curiosity about Nicholas Sparks' childhood and family. This was on my to-read list for quite a while and recently I was checking on what book I should read next. I grabbed right away the opportunity to read it and it didn't disappoint me. If you are fan of Sparks' works and also curious on his life, you should check this out so you can take a glimpse of it.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Nate

    This one's specifically for John: look I know you don't respect Nicholas Sparks, but you've got to admit that if someone presented you with the opportunity to make millions upon millions of dollars by writing books you'd probably take it, even if all you could write were romance novels. Nevertheless, this book has absolutely nothing to do with The Notebook or Message in a Bottle and I guarantee if you read it, you will appreciate it. So do it, just like I read Game of Thrones for you.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Shanna

    Thanks to my mom for introducing me to this book, it is totally different than any other Nicholas Sparks book. It is actually a memoir written by his brother and himself. Tells the story of his life in a very personal way as he takes a 3 week trip around the world with his brother. Warning: it is a very sad book! I loved it though - couldn't put it down. Makes me want to go read all his other books now that I know where he got his inspiration.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

    I wasn't reviewing when I read this! Loved it. Obviously they are in a position of privilege, but the moral themes discussed I enjoyed.

  6. 4 out of 5

    bookczuk

    To any of my reading buddies, it's no secret that I pretty much loathe the novels of Nicholas Sparks. I have tried them, and nope, not for me. There's a history and a story there, which I've recorded elsewhere, but the main part of that story is that I do have personal respect for the man, after a chance encounter with him at a Books-A-Million years ago. A huge crowd of women were fluttering around an author. He was a clean cut, preppie-ish kind of guy (I remember that his blue shirt had an unfor To any of my reading buddies, it's no secret that I pretty much loathe the novels of Nicholas Sparks. I have tried them, and nope, not for me. There's a history and a story there, which I've recorded elsewhere, but the main part of that story is that I do have personal respect for the man, after a chance encounter with him at a Books-A-Million years ago. A huge crowd of women were fluttering around an author. He was a clean cut, preppie-ish kind of guy (I remember that his blue shirt had an unfortunate white collar.) Normally, I like to meet authors, but when I found out it was Nicholas Sparks, doing a book-signing, I tried to skirt around the crowd. His handler stopped me. "Don't you want to meet the author?" "No thanks," I replied. "But he's rather good. Have you read his books?" "Umm. Yes, but I'd rather not meet him." "You've read his books and don't want to meet him? Why not???" "I'd rather not say," I said, trying to break the iron grip she had on my arm. "He'll sign one for you." "No thank you." At this point, my struggling to get free caught the author's attention. He rose from his signing table, the red sea of women clustering around him parted and he came over to me. He was quite polite, and attentive, and inquired why I was so adamant about not participating in the book signing. Again, I demurred. He insisted. Did I like his book? Well-- no, not exactly. He pushed for details. I'd had enough and let loose with what I thought. To give him credit, he didn't blanch though his handler did, and I actually heard a hiss from one of the ladies in the crowd. He thanked me for my opinion, and said he would rather have someone who vehemently disliked his book that someone who said it was so-so. At least he'd stirred a strong emotion in me. For a long time, that was the only thing I liked about Nicholas Sparks. Now, there's this book. Three Weeks With My Brother tells more than the story of two brothers on what would, by any counts, be a fabulous trip. Mr Sparks takes the reader back to the beginning, invites us into his home, warts and all. The Sparks children had a unique upbringing: laissez-faire in some senses, but with certain iron-clad principles and a lot of love, that held the structure together. That the family was financially strapped is somewhat of an understatement. That they were resourceful, is another. In some senses, I was reminded of my husband's childhood in upstate New York. But the bonds in the family were strong, as became apparent when tragedy struck, again and again. This story, of the Sparks family, interwoven with the brother's story of a round-the-world trip fascinated me. I thought so much of my two brothers finding both similarities and disparities. There's a lot of humor and honesty in the telling. Sparks' faith is evident, as is his strong love for his family. Clearly it was what has carried him through the deaths of the rest of the family and other obstacles that would have felled many others. I can relate to that handing on that combination of love and faith, because it got me through my own periods of grief. And now, like Nicholas Sparks, I am grateful for the love of a phenomenal spouse and the love of the only remaining member of my family, my older brother. I'll probably never take a round the world trip with him, but thanks to this book, I can read of one. Though it's hard for me to believe, I really liked this book. I still won't read his fiction, even knowing from this narrative where the inspirations were. But remember that respect I felt after our brief encounter in that Books-A-Million? It's skyrocketed. I hope some day to have the chance to tell him that in person -- just as long as I don't have to read The Notebook again to do so.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jeannette

    Sparks beautifully weaves stories from his childhood with a trip around the world with his brother. Have tissues on hand. It'll make you cry.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    I definitely liked Nicholas Sparks’ autobiography more than I thought I would (and considering I am only giving it two stars, that doesn't say much). This book is kind of two stories wrapped together: the first being Nick’s 3-week trip around the world with his brother – the only other living member of his family; the second story is how they got to be the only living members in their family (aka their family life and the separate deaths of their mother, sister and father). I found myself much m I definitely liked Nicholas Sparks’ autobiography more than I thought I would (and considering I am only giving it two stars, that doesn't say much). This book is kind of two stories wrapped together: the first being Nick’s 3-week trip around the world with his brother – the only other living member of his family; the second story is how they got to be the only living members in their family (aka their family life and the separate deaths of their mother, sister and father). I found myself much more interested in the second, flashback-style story about their lives. I think much of that interest has to do with the fact that you are told in the beginning that Nick and Micah had parents and a sister who are no longer living, and so out of curiosity, you keep reading to find out what happened to them. The other story about their trip was pretty close to a meaningless distraction for me. Some of the transitioning between the two parts was a little cheesy. Still, I will give the Sparks some props on portraying their family in an interesting way so as to encourage the reader to invest his or her time in finding out more about them, but the writing definitely seemed kind of cautious as opposed to the raw-depth I’ve admired in other memoirs.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Joe Krakovsky

    When I started reading this book I quickly came to the conclusion that I did not like it. The main reason being was that it seemed like there were two different story lines here that the author kept jumping back and forth between. It was if he couldn't make up his mind which story he wanted to tell. He starts out by telling about going on a trip around the world with his brother (and not the wife? come on!) and then just when they get to some exotic setting, and starts to describe what is there, When I started reading this book I quickly came to the conclusion that I did not like it. The main reason being was that it seemed like there were two different story lines here that the author kept jumping back and forth between. It was if he couldn't make up his mind which story he wanted to tell. He starts out by telling about going on a trip around the world with his brother (and not the wife? come on!) and then just when they get to some exotic setting, and starts to describe what is there, he changes the subject and starts to reminisce about an early event in his life. So then I continued to read and say to myself, "Now that is interesting," but no sooner that I think that he then goes back to talking about the trip! And the story continues in this fashion for the first 300 or so pages. Like that one girl I knew in high school, it was one tease after another! In all honesty I had to admit I was quite a bit jealous of this whole trip. I mean, he needs a break? Come on. I have worked since high school supporting my family and the first real vacation I took was with my wife on our 20th anniversary. I never took a sabbatical like some I knew. I didn't say, "I think I'll quit and go back to school." No, I worked at some crappy job for some jerk because I had bills to pay. On the other hand, I can see why men (and some women) would rather work than stay home and raise kids. A mother/wife 's job is 25 hours a day. Luckily, there were more than 300 pages to this story. Had I not finished his story I would not have discovered how the two completely different stories came together. Spoiler alert To begin with, I didn't read the jacket to find out what the story was about. I rarely do with book club books for I find it more interesting that way. The story was not so much about the trip itself, but rather the events in their lives that brought them there. He ties it up beautifully, like a surgeon restoring an injured face. Boy was I wrong in my assessment of the man and his life! Not only having to deal with deaths in the family but having a child with a serious health issue are just some things I could not imagine, let alone possibly deal with. He deserved that break, and I can understand his wife's reason for letting him go. Her decision itself said a lot about her. And his parents, as cruel or as uncaring as they seemed to the reader, he saw them for what they were, on the inside, and how they raised their kids in their own unique way. I started out giving it 3 stars, but by the time I finished it I upgraded it to a 5, even without the sympathy points. It was a great story, and even though it was sad at times, I found it remarkably inspirational.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    I'm old enough now that I no longer apologize for anything that I read; I certainly no longer feel that I have to justify my reading selections to anyone or feel bad if I read popular fiction, etc. With that said, I read Sparks fiction regardless of the disdain I receive from some of my peers. I picked this book up expecting the same cliched, romantic, overdone plot of his fiction books. I was pleasantly surprised that this book was different. I have a complicated relationship with my family, an I'm old enough now that I no longer apologize for anything that I read; I certainly no longer feel that I have to justify my reading selections to anyone or feel bad if I read popular fiction, etc. With that said, I read Sparks fiction regardless of the disdain I receive from some of my peers. I picked this book up expecting the same cliched, romantic, overdone plot of his fiction books. I was pleasantly surprised that this book was different. I have a complicated relationship with my family, and this book made me feel good and hopeful for reconciliation.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Zenki the Hermit

    This book was such an adventure.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kathrina

    This is what happens when prisons don't employ librarians...a bunch of male offenders pick dreck like this. Now I want to read The Notebook, only to figure out how to sell a novel in one week for a million dollars. If this guy can do it, anyone can. I'm thinking the secret is: exploit tragedy to its extreme, and continually refer to what a good Christian you are. And be a huge UGLY AMERICAN and then be kind of proud of it. Yes, Micah, you definitely deserve to be the one guy in centuries they all This is what happens when prisons don't employ librarians...a bunch of male offenders pick dreck like this. Now I want to read The Notebook, only to figure out how to sell a novel in one week for a million dollars. If this guy can do it, anyone can. I'm thinking the secret is: exploit tragedy to its extreme, and continually refer to what a good Christian you are. And be a huge UGLY AMERICAN and then be kind of proud of it. Yes, Micah, you definitely deserve to be the one guy in centuries they allow to have his photo taken on ancient sacrificial stones, making fun of an entire civilization. You are that cool. ************************************************************************* So it's a few days later, and I've now attended our book group discussion. I was also honored to attend IMCC's First Annual Volunteer Appreciation Event, in which all volunteer programs were invited to a lovely ceremony, with food and drink, and an opportunity to socialize with offenders that valued the volunteer opportunities made available to them. What an awesome experience. IMCC is lucky to have a community of generous and intelligent support, ranging from an insider/outsider chorus and songwriting group, Job Club, Writers' Group, Master Gardeners, Incarcerated Veterans, Parenting Group, AA, and Stories for Dads, not to mention lots of spiritual/religious support. There was so much love in that room, so much pushing and striving for a better life, over 200 volunteers were honored, and 200 offenders were present to give their thanks and show the work they were so proud of. One offender, presenting a certificate to Stories for Dads, spoke of how, because of that program, his three-year-old child had her only opportunity to hear his voice, and how that was enough to push him to be a better father upon his release. It was truly a moving event, and has inspired me to keep working for this community, knowing that whatever benefits we can bring are truly appreciated. The offenders that were present are not just people determined to take charge of their own lives, but work everyday to inspire their peers to do the same, and they are really the people that deserve an appreciation ceremony. So, with all this in mind, is it any surprise that my book group colleagues found a lot of value in this book (remember, this is a review of Three Weeks With My Brother?). A couple of them couldn't finish it because it hit too close to home. What they identified with is Sparks' feeling of loss, losing his parents and sister. Many of my colleagues have no family to return to upon their release -- loved ones have either died during their incarceration, or abandoned them as lost causes. Through this perspective, I can appreciate what they see in the text, and Sparks' optimism and values can be a real balm for someone who is seeking a new take on life. And if this book helps a man feel less lost in the world, than I'm glad it's out there. I don't retract my criticisms, but I'll concede this -- every book its reader, and hallelujah for the power of narrative.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Karchmer

    I read this fabulous book in one weekend, zipping through it cover to cover.* It was one of the first books I read on the Kindle and found myself making "notes" on the electronic device at both funny and poignant moments. The writing is conversational, the dialogue true to life, and as an autobiographical account of Sparks' relationship with his brother, very touching and sweet. In one scene, Sparks tells us about his attempt at the famed 'wooden-rocket powered by CO2 cartridge' feat in the Cub I read this fabulous book in one weekend, zipping through it cover to cover.* It was one of the first books I read on the Kindle and found myself making "notes" on the electronic device at both funny and poignant moments. The writing is conversational, the dialogue true to life, and as an autobiographical account of Sparks' relationship with his brother, very touching and sweet. In one scene, Sparks tells us about his attempt at the famed 'wooden-rocket powered by CO2 cartridge' feat in the Cub Scouts (I vividly recall my father helping my brother in 1977 with this very same experiment...). Although, Nicholas Sparks did not win the race, he was convinced he tanked as the ribbon he received said "Horrible Mention," a lexicon mistake on the part of a youngster. In my Kindle notes I wrote, "Hilarious! It brings me back to kid years when I read the word "awful" as "awonderful." The book includes sensitive and loving moments too, when as adults big brother Micah shares with Nicholas: "You're choosing to let life control you, instead of the other way around. That's the big secret. You choose the kind of life you want to live." Another fun scene he recalls as kids depicts Nicholas and Micah eating their father's entire stash of Oreo cookies and the old man getting huffy over it calling the boys "vultures." Again, Sparks' true to life writing had me putting in the Kindle margins: "cracking up here!" Purchase this book, give it to a loved one, and if you have siblings let them know they mean more to you than you've ever said. [*Part of the impetus for me in flying through the book so easily was that, at the time, I was going through a failed romance with a man who has one brother and I imagined he would identify with many of the sibling scenes.]

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jan

    I have never read a Nicholas Sparks book before in my life. Nor have I seen any of the movies based on his books. To tell you the truth, his stuff has always looked very cheesy, generic, and melodramatic to me. However, this is not one of his fiction books. This is a two-part memoir, written with his older brother Micah. One part of the memoir is about their childhood. The other part is about a 3-week trip around the world that they took together in 2002. Each chapter starts with a certain phase I have never read a Nicholas Sparks book before in my life. Nor have I seen any of the movies based on his books. To tell you the truth, his stuff has always looked very cheesy, generic, and melodramatic to me. However, this is not one of his fiction books. This is a two-part memoir, written with his older brother Micah. One part of the memoir is about their childhood. The other part is about a 3-week trip around the world that they took together in 2002. Each chapter starts with a certain phase of their lives (i.e. the first chapter starts with birth) and then leads into a part of the trip they took. I won't say that this book isn't without a healthy dose of cheese. But it's still gripping. The Sparks brothers' lives weren't exactly charmed. They had happy childhoods, even though they grew up desperately poor. Stories of their early years are funny, alarming, and bittersweet all at the same time. And later in life, while they both saw great fortune come their way, they also saw a lot of tragedy. In the end, I really came to admire their strength and perseverance. I also laughed out loud multiple times. Not quite 100% heartwarming, but 100% enjoyable.

  15. 4 out of 5

    K.D. Absolutely

    This is my third book of Nicholas Sparks. I bought this because this is his only non-fiction book and it is partly his biography as well as a travelogue so it is like buying 2 books at the same time. I remember that the reason why I bought Message in the Bottle was that I saw the movie and I wanted to read and further enjoy the letters in the bottle. I bought his other novel The Lucky One last year in LAX because I saw that it topped the New York Times Bestsellers List and I had to kill time in This is my third book of Nicholas Sparks. I bought this because this is his only non-fiction book and it is partly his biography as well as a travelogue so it is like buying 2 books at the same time. I remember that the reason why I bought Message in the Bottle was that I saw the movie and I wanted to read and further enjoy the letters in the bottle. I bought his other novel The Lucky One last year in LAX because I saw that it topped the New York Times Bestsellers List and I had to kill time in the airport. Sadly, I am still not a fan. Okay, I shed a small tear in the part when Dana (his sister) and Micah (his brother) were talking after all (medicines, chemotherapy, etc) had failed to cure the former’s brain tumor. The scene was brief but moving and it was early this morning (around 5 a.m.) so I was tired reading this and was in a hurry to finish this in less than two days. One is a slow-reader if you do not finish a Nicholas Sparks book in a couple of days. The reason why I am saying this is that there is nothing complicated in terms of plot and no big words in all the three books that I read so far. I never had the chance to pick up the dictionary and expand my vocabulary courtesy of Nicholas Sparks. I think this is exactly what I hate about the books of Nicholas Sparks. You feel moved, your heart felt warm, you might shed a tear but after you have closed the book and think it over, you will feel cheated. The story feels false. Then reading this book, you understand the reason why. - Nicholas Sparks was not born with the talent in writing. He was a A student and it was because has the middle-child syndrome, i.e., he wanted to get the praise and attention of his parents. He also read novels (didn’t I write in my The Great Gatsby review that the character Noah of The Notebook constructed a house for his lost love just like what Gatsby did for Daisy?) but his career prior to hitting it big with The Notebook was that of a medical representative. He was hardly making ends meet and he had to take his share in taking care of his 5 kids so he had to look for a way to earn money while staying home so he tried writing novels. His novels have been topping the New York Times Bestsellers list. Why? Because he writes so simply that even morons can understand. Then he makes sure that he has the formula that worked in the Notebook. (His two earlier unpublished novels were not with that formula as the first one was the usual whodunit). There must at least one character who is dying or sick and there must be love in all the characters. Then there must be some positive family values that must give that good feeling for all women and Republicans. No wonder, Nicholas Sparks has made his first million with just The Notebook and continue laughing on his way to the bank! This same formula is here in this book. All the 3 children, Nicholas included, are just cry-babies and he is not ashamed to tell that. They just all cry and cry. Then tragedies and sickness are all in the family. Then there was Micah rebelling in his high school days and the parents still had to love him no matter what. It just feels so contrived. Too formulaic. As a consolation, even if Nicholas Sparks has been earning million from his books, unless drops this formula, I am sure that he will not win any Pulitzer, Booker Man or Nobel Prize. His novels will never land in any Must Read Books that will be considered as classics that will transcend generations. Common, before reading this book, I read and enjoyed every page of Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kitteridge, and the comparison is too obvious. This book is a just disappointing.

  16. 4 out of 5

    John Paul Mahofski

    I sit back and listen to many in our field "librarianship" destroy this man. He writes chick books (not my words), he has no talent, he uses software templates, every story is the same, his career has been handed to him, he's so lucky. While what is true is that what sparks does is what many of us wish we could do; he finishes novels. He doesn't just start them. And now that I've read this memoir I have come to realize that the man behind these novels that make me cry and laugh out loud has overc I sit back and listen to many in our field "librarianship" destroy this man. He writes chick books (not my words), he has no talent, he uses software templates, every story is the same, his career has been handed to him, he's so lucky. While what is true is that what sparks does is what many of us wish we could do; he finishes novels. He doesn't just start them. And now that I've read this memoir I have come to realize that the man behind these novels that make me cry and laugh out loud has overcome extreme poverty, unimaginable heartache, rejection, many failures, only in the end to succeed. But his success is realizing what matters and constantly reminding his readers. This book does that unlike no other one I have read by him. It is not five stars. I thought the historical content was forced and often placed in because the content demanded it, but often interrupted the flow. I often though he oversold some of his struggles anyone sensible realizes his family wa sout of the poverty woods sooner rather than later, but he still felt he had to remind us of the humble beginnings.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Glenn

    I've made a vow...that I won't read any "other" books by Nicholas Sparks. I'm not a romance novel kinda guy. I'm just not. It's not that I have an unusually gruff exterior or anything like that. It's just that they bore me and if I'm up for some romance, I'd rather migrate that energy into toward my wife than read about it and spend the energy, then treat her like a "buddy" later. So, when I read this book, it appealed to me on different levels. I related to the author's family life. My parents d I've made a vow...that I won't read any "other" books by Nicholas Sparks. I'm not a romance novel kinda guy. I'm just not. It's not that I have an unusually gruff exterior or anything like that. It's just that they bore me and if I'm up for some romance, I'd rather migrate that energy into toward my wife than read about it and spend the energy, then treat her like a "buddy" later. So, when I read this book, it appealed to me on different levels. I related to the author's family life. My parents died when I was young. I'd love to throw my cares to the wind and take a three-week "soul-searching" excursion. Although I don't have siblings, I'd find the right person to do it with, and have many to choose from. Given that, this book delivered. Nicholas is a good writer, giving detail when needed and background to whet the appetite. So, although I'll never close one of his staple books and wipe a tear, I did that on a few occasions with this one, and learned about some far off lands as well.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Teri

    This is a tough book to review. It was really fascinating to me to hear about Nicholas Sparks' life. It was emotional and unbelievable that anyone could go through so much sadness in their life. As with most of his books, this one got me teary eyed a few times. The story itself goes through his trip around the world with his brother, most of which I found a little boring. Then, intertwined is the story of his life, that part was good. I found myself skimming, or skipping all together, a lot of t This is a tough book to review. It was really fascinating to me to hear about Nicholas Sparks' life. It was emotional and unbelievable that anyone could go through so much sadness in their life. As with most of his books, this one got me teary eyed a few times. The story itself goes through his trip around the world with his brother, most of which I found a little boring. Then, intertwined is the story of his life, that part was good. I found myself skimming, or skipping all together, a lot of the trip part. It's kind of ironic that a trip around the world would make someone feel better, and be closer to their brother. If I were a millionaire, I would probably feel the same way. It seems a bit unrealistic for regular people to ever get to experience that type of adventure. Sadly, I would have probably enjoyed the book more it I were just hearing about his life growing up. Overall, I think he needs to stick to fiction. That's where his true talent lies.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Angie

    This book for me had me going from laughter to melancholy, from sad and upset but overall I enjoyed this book and I can highly recommend it. It covers 3 weeks wheree nick and his big brother Micah go on a group trip around the world, visiting among other places as lalibela,Ethiopia, machu picchu, the temples of Cambodia, the inka pyrimids, Easter islands and other places like that. In between he writes about his life growing up and all the strains and loss that he and Micah had to cope with. After This book for me had me going from laughter to melancholy, from sad and upset but overall I enjoyed this book and I can highly recommend it. It covers 3 weeks wheree nick and his big brother Micah go on a group trip around the world, visiting among other places as lalibela,Ethiopia, machu picchu, the temples of Cambodia, the inka pyrimids, Easter islands and other places like that. In between he writes about his life growing up and all the strains and loss that he and Micah had to cope with. After the loss of their parents the loss of their sister hit them hard, and Nick also had troubles at home with his second son. They got through all the loss and heart ache, by the brother s becoming even closer and with the help of their wives. The book though was filled with humour and its gives a frank and honest view of the way his family grew up,

  20. 5 out of 5

    Smrithiraj Puli

    I am grateful to have selected this book during my 4 days of vacation. I just couldnt resist the book. With the pace I was reading, I knew it would be finishing in a day and it did. The book starts off with Nicholas making plans to go on a trip with his brother and when they finally start out on the journey, its not only mesmerizing but also leads Nicholas to introspect on certain aspects of his life. I have had the privilege to have the wonderful places described by my famous author in this book I am grateful to have selected this book during my 4 days of vacation. I just couldnt resist the book. With the pace I was reading, I knew it would be finishing in a day and it did. The book starts off with Nicholas making plans to go on a trip with his brother and when they finally start out on the journey, its not only mesmerizing but also leads Nicholas to introspect on certain aspects of his life. I have had the privilege to have the wonderful places described by my famous author in this book. At the same time was disappointed to know that Nicholas dint like India, though I must say he cannot know India by visiting just Jaipur and Agra. However, I must say that after reading this book, I would never miss a chance to visit Guatemala to see the Mayan civilization. And Cambodia with its Hindu temples at Angkorwat has also caught my attention, the way a visitor explained the meaning of what was depicted in the frescoes and paintings. It kept me wondering that what history we know may never be completely true, but it would definitely tell what the civilizations in that era did with their time, and they revealed to us what they wanted us to know. This book has made me laugh, cry, remember my childhood days, and most important of all, I have known how my favorite author has grown up. And one interesting fact I found out is that he is the middle child of his parents just like I am. Some of the attention seeking moments from the author's life, were similar to that of mine. Trust me when I say, I also used to get A grades all through out my schooling, and used to do things to be that "not so troubling child" to my parents. Some of the interesting facts like Nicholas has written two horror genre novels which never were meant for publishing, and that his first romantic novel has been "The Notebook" which changed his economic conditions too and this made me feel that this author, of all the authors I might know, has deserved this moment and much more than that. I have always thought that the books a person writes reflects his personality and his perspective of life, and it is true in every sense when you get to read this book. Nicholas, nick named as Nicky, is a true romantic at heart. All the characters in his life are so understanding and he surely deserves them. The same reflects in all his books. Knowing that the character of Jamie Sullivan(from the book "The Walk to Remember") has been based on the character of his little sister, "Dana", I was overwhelmed with that moment which is rare - tears and smile at the same time. If you people knew how much I adore this book and the movie, you would know how much I wished I met his sister if she was alive now. As I write this review, I still have to read 4 more books of this author. 1. A Bend In The Road 2. The Rescue 3. The Best of Me 4. True Believer After knowing that the book "The Rescue" is based on his kid, Ryan, this is the next book on my list and consecutively the other books. I dont want to leave any book unread written by this author. In some ways, I have learned and felt deeply about the one feeling that is important in everyone's life - and that is "LOVE".Three Weeks With My Brother

  21. 4 out of 5

    Nettie

    I loved this book because of it's relation to what I went through at the loss of my parents. Not with my brother but, alone. Yes, I have a step-mother & half sister but, i am alone now because those relationships are not bonds that hold me to them like the bond of my parents. There are no other siblings. That is why I feel so deeply the pleasure of our own family and thank God every day for giving us the family I enjoy & love with every fiber of my being. this is copied from another - I co I loved this book because of it's relation to what I went through at the loss of my parents. Not with my brother but, alone. Yes, I have a step-mother & half sister but, i am alone now because those relationships are not bonds that hold me to them like the bond of my parents. There are no other siblings. That is why I feel so deeply the pleasure of our own family and thank God every day for giving us the family I enjoy & love with every fiber of my being. this is copied from another - I could not say it better. I learned that: God works all things out in the end, even if to us it doesn't seem right.... A family must stay together through it all....NO MATTER WHAT! Investing in your children and their future is priceless... We all must get away sometimes to sort through our bag of trash and emotions that we have picked up along life's journey.... A man and wife are truly a team and I am blessed and grateful to have that relationship with my husband. Death and Dying are not anything to be afraid of, if we live out every day with what God has given us ... Parents must be involved in the process of training, learning, and growing....LOVE can conquer all things! I would love to travel the world so that I can have the kind of experiences that Nicholas and Micah experienced for themselves in 2003. and someday I will; if not, I'll be in heaven & it won't matter any longer. My mom and dad understood how to raise children...and although not perfect, they understand that perfection only came from the sacrifice of one man for all of our imperfections....JESUS...thanks for showing me God's love... I could go on forever...I learned so much and reinforced so many learnings that I have acquired throughout the last 50 years....and YES I CRIED LIKE A BABY.... THIS IS A MAN'S TRUE STORY ... WHAT IS YOUR STORY? DO YOU LIVE YOUR LIFE THE WAY YOU WANT TO BE REMEMBERED? WHAT IF YOUR LIFE WAS PUT TO PAPER WOULD YOU LIKE WHAT YOU SEE? EVEN IF YOU DON'T LIKE EVERYTHING, HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM YOUR MISTAKES? HAVE YOU ENJOYED EVERY MOMENT, MAYBE NOT ALWAYS IN THE MOMENT, BUT AS YOU LOOK BACK, ARE YOU THANKFUL?

  22. 4 out of 5

    Dana

    I read this book because it meant alot to my sons. They related to it and because of some tragedies in our lives.....I also could relate. It is the story of Nicholas Sparks and his brother and the importance of family. Even in the face of death and grief, there is strength to carry on when it is shared with loved ones. My main source of strength is Jesus and it is because of the hope I have in Him that I am able to contnue. I don't always thrive, as this book encourages.....some days it's just e I read this book because it meant alot to my sons. They related to it and because of some tragedies in our lives.....I also could relate. It is the story of Nicholas Sparks and his brother and the importance of family. Even in the face of death and grief, there is strength to carry on when it is shared with loved ones. My main source of strength is Jesus and it is because of the hope I have in Him that I am able to contnue. I don't always thrive, as this book encourages.....some days it's just enough to get by. In the loss of my daughter, Miranda, it helps me to read about other's losses and how they dealt. We all handle grief differently, Nicholas and Micah Sparks did also, but there is also a kind of unity that you feel with others who have been where you have.....you share an inner feeling of understanding with them. These two brothers have a great bond, as my two sons do, and this story meant alot to me, primarily because it touched them.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Maxwell

    I read this book about five years ago now. I read it while on a road trip with my family. I remember sitting in the back seat as we drove through Northern California into Oregon, while reading about Sparks' travels across the world with his brother. I have not, and probably will not, read a Nicholas Sparks novel. However, I did enjoy his non-fiction work. It was a nice blend of memoir and travel writing. I don't remember much of the details, as it's been so long, but something about it stuck with I read this book about five years ago now. I read it while on a road trip with my family. I remember sitting in the back seat as we drove through Northern California into Oregon, while reading about Sparks' travels across the world with his brother. I have not, and probably will not, read a Nicholas Sparks novel. However, I did enjoy his non-fiction work. It was a nice blend of memoir and travel writing. I don't remember much of the details, as it's been so long, but something about it stuck with me. To this day I remember reading this book, perhaps because I often remember books I read while traveling as associated with where I was, and that heightens my memories of it. Or because it was quite a nice, surprising read. I think I enjoyed it because it was about family and brotherhood, not about some cheesy romance relationship. I'd like to revisit this someday as I get older.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

    I absolutely loved reading about Nicholas and Micah's life. This was an emotional read that you come to expect from Nicholas Sparks. He was the first author whose words made me shed tears, and still to this day I indulge in his books like no other author. I wasn't expecting the same emotional connection as I would have with his novels, but quickly I gauged it would be and was not wrong. I lost both my parents and two siblings within a 5 year span and could really relate to his struggles. Great b I absolutely loved reading about Nicholas and Micah's life. This was an emotional read that you come to expect from Nicholas Sparks. He was the first author whose words made me shed tears, and still to this day I indulge in his books like no other author. I wasn't expecting the same emotional connection as I would have with his novels, but quickly I gauged it would be and was not wrong. I lost both my parents and two siblings within a 5 year span and could really relate to his struggles. Great book that I recommend to all.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jensownzoo

    Well, I read half of it, put it down to sleep then didn't pick it up again for a few weeks. Usually a bad sign, but not really in this case. It wasn't a riveting read, but it was very well-constructed. Went back and forth between the present world-spanning trip and memories of the past, but in a way that seemed fairly natural instead of forced. Made me want to check out another Spark's book to see how his fiction reads.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rex Fuller

    A great book. It is an autobiography that completely dispels any notion the author has had a charmed life - the need for which dispelling he admits.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ann

    I mostly enjoyed the book. I think his intent was to be uplifting, but I was a little depressed after reading it. It was a story of endurance through tragedy. I was born around the same time as the author. I too grew up "poor" while my dad earned his master's and doctorate. It does seem unusual that the author lost so many of his family members so young. None of my immediately family has passed-away. Now I see why he puts a tragedy in each of his books.

  28. 4 out of 5

    S.P. Aruna

    Moving and inspirational, and more revealing than any interview. If you really want to know the person behind the romance novels he's written and a fan of Mr. sparks, you gotta read this one.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Madie Larsen

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Three Weeks with My Brother is a heart-warming story about, well, two brothers. These two brothers, Nicholas and Micah, can not be more different. What I loved about Three Weeks with My Brother is that it had two plot lines. One was following the childhood of Nicholas and Micah. The other followed what the reader assumed to be "the present"- Micah and Nicholas's trip around the world. Threading two plot lines into one story can be a challenge to some writers because it is difficult to connect th Three Weeks with My Brother is a heart-warming story about, well, two brothers. These two brothers, Nicholas and Micah, can not be more different. What I loved about Three Weeks with My Brother is that it had two plot lines. One was following the childhood of Nicholas and Micah. The other followed what the reader assumed to be "the present"- Micah and Nicholas's trip around the world. Threading two plot lines into one story can be a challenge to some writers because it is difficult to connect the two tales. In Three Weeks with My Brother, the connection is seamless. You flow in and out of each storyline effortlessly. Some of the transitions are very matter-of-fact and entertaining. It takes a lot of skill to pull this type of writing off, but Nicholas Sparks sticks it. When one writes a memoir, there is a personal touch to it. Throughout the book, Nicholas gives us a portal into his life and let's the reader know what he thinks about in everyday life. We get to know his kids and how much he adores his wife. The readers get to peek into the life of an author: the deadlines, the editors, the ideas. We get to witness all of the behind-the-scenes action that goes into writing a best seller. At the end of the book, Nicholas explains the other books he has written. Jamie Sullivan in A Walk to Remember was based off of his sister, who had several cancerous brain tumors. Like A Walk to Remember, a lot of Nicholas's books were based on one of his family members. We also get to see Nicholas change throughout the book-and not just in his childhood. Before going on the three week long trip with Micah, Nicholas is stressed out and worried about things he can control, and even some things he can not control. By the end of the trip, Nicholas is relaxed, open minded, and more appreciative of what is around him. As the book goes on, I became fond of some of his family members. They all played a different, but crucial role in Nicholas's life and helped make him the person he is today. One reader said that the story of Nicholas's life was a distraction from the main plot line of the story. I say that the story of Nicholas's life added more meaning to the story as a whole and gave a better understanding as to what made Nicholas and Micah the way they are. Another reviewer said they found themselves more indulged in the story of Nicholas's life than the story of the trip. I agree, Nicholas's life story had more content and more of a story than that of the trip. All in all, Three Weeks with My Brother was definitely a good read that kept me interested and curious as to what would happen next. It is a book that makes you take a step back and realize how important siblings are and how much you should value them.

  30. 5 out of 5

    CC

    I don't often give 1 star reviews but this book was just terrible. The writing is just so-so but to be fair, I expected that. What I really didn't like was the author himself. In the book, Sparks starts out by relying to readers how "normal" his life really is and that he really is just like the rest of us, despite what people think. Of course, just a few pages later, he purchases tickets for his trip around the world and seems to have no idea that "normal" people cannot simply put their lives o I don't often give 1 star reviews but this book was just terrible. The writing is just so-so but to be fair, I expected that. What I really didn't like was the author himself. In the book, Sparks starts out by relying to readers how "normal" his life really is and that he really is just like the rest of us, despite what people think. Of course, just a few pages later, he purchases tickets for his trip around the world and seems to have no idea that "normal" people cannot simply put their lives on hold so they can go off and travel the world with their sibling. But hey, don't get me wrong, if I could do just that in order to do some soul-seeking, I probably world. Next, Sparks talks wonderfully about his wife and thats great. However, he makes many comments throughout the book and is very open about his role, or lack thereof, in raising his children and helping his wife out with household duties. He again seems to see no issue with this man-child type life he has, even simply telling readers that all his wife asks is that he handle the mail. Wow, Sparks, what a man. Of course, he soon leaves on what must be an incredibly expensive vacation while his wife and children wait back at home. My impression was that they probably wouldn't notice he was gone. Thirdly, while providing readers with the details, and I do mean details, of his trip, I cannot help but to feel like I am reading about a teenage boy on a trip with his brother, not a grown man on a trip with his grown brother. He even makes comments about field guides telling them they are "troublemakers" and gives us his stories of rowdiness. Throughout the book, Sparks shares all sorts of bland conversations that he and his brother had throughout the trip while then reverting back to his childhood where he grew up poor. Somehow, I believe readers are supposed to be captivated by all this but obviously, I was not. And the apparent "lessons" that we seem to be learning are things like...life is not fair, family is important, and God blesses those who love Him... but Sparks provides no substance here either. The book is simply boring even beyond the annoyance of reading about a man-child. I am ALL for people finding themselves and discovering what the world has to offer. In fact, I tend to REALLY like books centered around such subjects. However, this one is just oh-so bland and I could never get beyond the annoyances or pointlessness. It seemed to go absolutely nowhere and needless to say, I pitied his wife and kids.

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