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Jenn

Hi Josh!

You're in my hometown Detroit, Michigan - I grew up in Grosse Pointe a close suburb to where you are.

I want to tell you that I bought your book Sat and finished it Sunday. It was wonderful. There are many things I liked about it. The imagery you created when you wrote about the father holding his weeping daughter like a sash ...to name one.

One of the scenes that Really stood out to me was the one with the father and Jacob - the father was hugging Jacob so hard & smothering him - he was literally laying on him!! That really stood out to me because it encompassed so many emotions at once. Jacob was in shock and grieving and he also wanted to help soothe his father but at the same time the father was so selfish and out of control - he was outrageous in what he was demanding from Jacob. It really came across clearly that Jacob felt badly and wanted to help his father but that the father was literally sucking the life out of him so he had to leave. That's really powerful stuff. I experienced some emotional situations like that when I was growing up and it's nice to see someone relate all of those feelings and more at once. Amazing job with the whole book!!!!

I grew up in an all-female household so it was great to get a guys perspective on the "wonder years". I felt sort of through reading "Unthinkable Thoughts" that it was like I had an older brother & was seeing his perspective on what he would have done in situations like that.

Thanks for the reading suggestions and the writing techniques.

And thanks for writing this wonderful book!!!!

Caleb

-Man, you are traveling all over the place. I wish I could go-a-traveling, but I am stuck in high school. I hope you like seeing new places and new people. Good Luck in Atlanta.-

Chloe

hey josh!

My name's Chloe and I live in Danville, California and I'm a 14 year old frosh at Monte Vista High School (GO MUSTANGS!). :P I'm ashamed to say that I haven't read ur book, but I WILL! I swear. As soon as I wake up. I'm incredibly lazy, just so u know.
I think it's so awesome that you and your brother have this whole famous...thing....going! I know, I know, u probably get tired of hearing stuff about ur brother, I do too. Stupid Trevor. Always gets the attention just cause he plays football.....ANYWAY, just wanted to tell u that I think ur both AWESOME and I WILL read ur book! Eventually. Ok. :P
Mucho Lovo (Yeah...failing spanish.)
Chloe

P.S. Check out MY blog! It's pathetic, I know, but try to bear it. :P

Liz

Hi Josh,

I finished your book on the weekend and I was truly touched by it. I can't wait to read your next one even though it will be a while. In the meantime I will take some pics from your suggested reading list so keep that up as I am always looking for something good:) I wish I was back in Ontario and I would drive to see you in Detroit but I am on the west coast these days so I will have to catch you when you make it out here. I have passed Jacob on to a friend of mine for her trip home tomorrow so I am spreading the word.

I hope you are having a great trip,

Liz

Hillary Reitman

Hi Josh,

Thanks for posting again, it's great to hear from you. Glad to know the tour is going well, this all must be very exciting (although tiresome) for you!

I know exactly what you mean about the writing exercises, they really are a work out. Sometimes I don't feel up to actually doing them, but once I get started, I'm so glad to be writing. They help so much. Which reminds me...I really need to take a creative writing class here...

Anyway, I've read your book, of course, as I've said in my other posts and emails. I'm still a bit disappointed about not being home when you come to my town (Livingston, NJ) but I have a few people going in my place! hehe

I wanted to just commend you (again) on a job very well done with "Jacob". I'm trying to get my roommate to read it and I think I've told just about everyone I know about it. (:

'Tis all. Thanks for being so cool and inspirational and whatnot.

1:07 AM,
Hillary Reitman

Molly

Tim O'Brien is awesome. He's from around here (I believe he's a teacher now?) and I recently read a small portion of one of his books called "The Man I Killed". It was pretty intense.

Another excellent book is Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden. I've never seen a man write as a woman or through the thoughts of a woman so well. Amazing book.

I had the pleasure of meeting you (briefly) in Austin. I doubt you'd remember me, but I was forgetful and lame and forgot to bring my book to sign. But you were gracious as could be, of course and every bit as nice as I expected.

I also really enjoyed hearing you read from Jacob Green. Hearing the author read their own book is pretty incredible because it gives the reader the chance to hear the tone the author intended. The room of 200-something women also seemed to enjoy.

So thank you for being a part of the Book Lover's Luncheon. I had a good time and I hope you enjoyed, too.

Take care!
Molly

Bill

Hi, so to be honest I haven't read your book and I'm not really a writer yet in any significant sense so maybe my pretenses seem a bit false. But I'm a college student trying to reconcile myself to the university system I've discovered in the last couple of years, considering the role that fiction writing should play in my life. Just the other day after an amusing and even interesting attempt at beginning a serious short work of fiction (you have to submit something to be accepted into the creative writing school here in Boulder) I decided that I, personally, must at all times write with a sense of overarching purpose. Of course I've got certain specific ideas in mind, but it could be anything really, just so long as the writing represents a sincere discussion of your world, your life, your thoughts, so it goes (I get that phrase from Kurt Vonnegut, the "so it goes" that is, he said it all the time, but the last chapter of Slaughterhouse-Five did it for me).
Anyway, I'm a curious person and in this case also very inexperienced and so I've got a question for you. I wonder what you consider to be your purpose in writing, or maybe even just what it is that you think and feel that makes you sit down and compels you to write it all down. I don't know, this might be a bit absurd, I would think that the best way for me to find an answer to it would be to just read your book. But this blog represents an interesting opportunity to me in that it gives me (maybe) the chance to talk to an author directly.
So if you end up emailing me back or whatever, I appreciate it, otherwise thanks for reading this and good luck.
Bill

P.S. Music is really important to your brother's movie (yeah that’s how I got here) and I wonder if it plays a significant role in your life as well... If so then I've got another question: What is your favorite Beatles song of all time? No cop outs, just pick one. Its one of my favorite questions, I think James Lipton should include it in that little questionnaire he always does at the end of his show “Inside the Actors Studio” ( sorry if you don't get the reference), Nick Hornby would approve heartily I’m sure… not sure how Garp would feel about it. One more thing, I don't know if you can see my email address from when I typed it in above, but if not: william.wolfe@colorado.edu. Thanks again.

jeffery shackleford

Hi. I just picked up the book today and am about 100 pages in and must say I am rather enjoying it. Wish I could get out to the book signing today in west bloomfield but alas I have to work. Bummer.
Can't wait to finish the book!
-Jeff

Kelly

Have you really read all those books, or are you just joshin' us? (pun intended) How did you like Austin? I've been four times and find it extremly sticky! Granted I only went during August, but I almost fainted when going outside.
Glad the tour is going well!
-kelly

Melanie

Well, I'm in the middle of The World According to Garp only because my library here in Naples, Italy doesnt have your book yet. I have to say, from the point I am at right now, thank you for the recommendation. I'm hooked. I was hooked the first 20 pages. It's a long book mind you but I do enjoy his writing style and his development of the charachters. I even loved reading about him giving the manuscript to his 12 year old son to read. (as i do love memoirs, they are the fuel that keep me reading)
Your book is on the way through amazon.com and I cant wait.
Thanks also for the tip of advice. I was sitting yesterday feeling bogged down about writing and not knowing where to begin and that does help.
But i have one small question for you. In starting from scratch, Do you pick a situation first or do pick the charachters first? Im deathly afraid that if i pick charachters first the story wont go anywhere and I will just be rambling about the person. get my drift?
Thanks for taking the time for your fans.
Melanie

Seth

I've been reading some of the old posts and I think I may be one of the only people not to have heard about you from your brother. Hopefully that makes you feel cool, I know it would me. Anyway, your book is wonderful. Really, wow is about all I can say. It's so real and alive in a way I've seen in very few books. Anyway, have a good week and keep up the book recommendations, Life of Pi was great.

Palabra.

cersten

Hiya Josh!

Sounds like the book tour is going great. Too bad you couldn't swing by Oklahoma for a book tour. Your writing advice is most appreciated. I will take it to heart in my own writing.

Here's a great book: Tom WOlfe "I Am Charlotte Simmons" Can a 73 year old man really write a novel about college life that chronicles such things as dirty-dancing frat parties, athlete hero worship and conversations laced with four-letter words? Either way makes a great story, don't you think.


All the Best,
Cersten

Holly


Hi Josh

I don't know how much you know about Scottish authors but Ian McEwan is one of the greats! i seriously suggest you check him out. Enduring Love is amazing (they have made a film but read the book - don't kid yourself the book is always better, i think the Harry potter movies are a prime example of that)

Anyway read Enduring Love the beginning is so powerful, so harrowing that i wanted to put it down, but i couldn't i was completely hooked!

Another thing what the hell does URL mean? Anyone who has read this and knows i would sincerely appreciate being told!

Thanks

*read Enduring Love*

Love holly

Steph

The Things They Carried is such an amazing story! Thanks for recommending that one...I definately think it's a good one to read.

Have you ever read A Slow Walk In a Sad Rain, by John McKafee? An absoultely amazing book about the Vietnam War. It's told from the perspective of one soldier and he does an amazing job of putting the face of humanity on war (good and bad).

Anyway, yeah...thanks! (c:
steph

neda

hey josh,
thanks for the writing tip, man! i guess it helps a lot, but your characters do develop a large amount throughout the story, too. sometimes their personality compeletly changes in my stories! that's not a bad thing, is it?!

still dying to read your book, but school doesn't let me!!

peace!

Alex

Hey Josh,

Enjoyed meeting you tonight at the Emory Conference Hotel. I was one of the few college students there (most of the crowd seemed to be middle-aged Jews...not that there's anything wrong with them of course...after all, my parents are them.) and asked questions about your writing process and editing style...anyway, again, thanks for dropping by Atlanta and good luck with the rest of your tour.

Jenn

Josh~
I just finished another great book (aside from yours - which I loved) that I highly recommend. It's called The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom. Good stuff!

alison

I took a photo at your reading at the JCC Houston the other night; it's up on my site now. I really enjoyed the reading, by the way. Your book is next on my list after I finish As I Lay Dying for the third time. How funny to see it mentioned here while I'm right in the middle of it.

Lacey

another book you should mention is "the perks of being a wallflower" by stephen chbosky. if you haven't read this book, you should. it will only take a few hours. and by "few," i mean less than five.

Holly


Thats so strange that someone strongly recommended The Five People You Meet in Heaven, when i was in Florida last April that was the one i was drawn to when i was in need of a book. I didn't buy it though because i wasn't sure about it and i was looking for Little Altars Everywhere by Rebecca Wells (seriously good book as is Divine Secrets...) Anyway maybe i should read it!!!!!!! i hope they sell it in London.

Anyway really must go and pack

Have Fun
Holly

Beth

I am so sad that you probably aren't coming to Boston until the spring! I am a librarian and was a creative writing major as an undergrad. Just wanted to say thanks for the book recommendations - we like a lot of the same writers. Loved Life of Pi and was thrilled today when I finally got my new B&T Advance magazine and saw that Yann Martel has a new book out.

If you have time on your tour to read backlist stuff, check out Last Days of Summer by Steve Kluger and Life at These Speeds by Jeremy Jackson - first books, great stories that combine letter writing and a mixed narrative style. Both are coming-of-age stories with humor and pathos. And I second Perks of Being a Wallflower - it's just about the only MTV book that was any good.

I loved Unthinkable Thoughts in all it's funny, racy honesty. The characterizations were wonderfully done and the voice real and sustained.

To the person asking what a URL is - the acronym stands for Universal Resource Locator. A URL is the string of characters that calls up, or locates, a webpage :) More info at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/URL

This post was brought to you by your friendly neighborhood librarian, the letters Q and X and the number 9.

ilana

dear joshua.. braff...

i feel weird calling you by the first name haha
so i hope you come to new york soon!

i just got your book back form a friend who borrowed it, so i'm gonna read it again.

reading through a few comments, i remembered parts of the book abd how absolutely angyr i got when the father was such a baby. but maybe i can read it with a more forgiving perspective this time.

did you ever know anyone like jacob's father? you did such a beautiful job knowing this character, like you were saying about the exercises, you knew this character so thoroughly that it's hard to believe you didn't know a real person like this.

do you ever feel like a lot of your characters are a lot like you? a lot of the time, i end up giving my own perspective on situations instead of getting inside another character's head. do you ever do that?

haha im going to go do a writing exercise right now.

patiently awaiting your next entry,
ilana

michelle

I just finished your book last nite...once i started it, i couldn't put it down. and i loved the ending. as i kept getting closer and closer to the last page, i was like, how the hell is he going to end this now - perfect! I really enjoyed the whole book...the characters were so real and there was something about the dad that honestly just got me so upset inside, at one point i almost wanted to just put the book down bc the dad's stuborness and selfishness was getting me upset! And the book was pretty damn funny too...it was an awesome read and I'm going to recommend it to all my friends...

I was reading someone else's post and they recommended The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom...I really enjoyed that book as well, and would second that recomendation.

Ok - well thank you for writing an amazing book!

Peyton

Hello, your book's plot reminds me somewhat of Chaim Potok's book "My Name is Asher Lev", which is a brilliant portrayal of Hasidic Jewish life and art. I recommend it to anyone who feels they can identify with your book and or has any interest in art or the makings of an artist. Thanks.

Justin

hey Joshua,

i just wanted to say your book was really amazing, i read it too fast and too soon it was over with before i knew it because i couldnt keep away from it on my breaks at school.. i heard about it from your brothers blog because being a big fan of his movie, and now i am a big fan of yours.. your family is really talented and has inspired me to keep writing my book, and hopefully you will be posting my title on one of your blogs one day.. you should read mine when its finished! but yeah other than that, you should come make a tour stop in Boston.. its quite amazing out here and i think you would enjoy the people.. and of course just knowing you are in the presence of the great RED SOX. but yes PLEASE come out to Boston or Worcester or somewhere in Massachusetts because i would really like to shake your hand.... Thanks again for making my breaks at school fun, and keep writing I want to read more!!!!

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