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Reviewed by Foluso Falaye for Readers' Favorite
In Bumpy Rides and Soft Landings: Stories of Coming Out, Flying High, and Not Learning to Play the Piano, James Pauley Jr. shares captivating stories and pivotal moments that shaped his personality from childhood to recent years. He writes about his struggles with hiding his sexuality, being pestered by aggressive female admirers, and finally coming out. Growing up in a broken home was tough on James as a child since he wished to see his mother and father living together harmoniously. However, his bond with his mother got stronger through the years as he became more comfortable with his identity and traveled the world as a flight attendant. School for James came with both challenges and wins. While he was being harassed for being gay, he performed excellently and even won the American Legion Good Citizenship Award. James has had a life filled with laughter, memorable experiences, and peculiar relationships.
It's amazing how it seems like I'm living another life when I read captivating books like Bumpy Rides and Soft Landings. The author's use of animated words and repeated statements creates a deeply engrossing experience. I felt like I was seeing the events unfold in real time. Also, the colorful characters are especially memorable. When you get letters from a friend who always asks for $50 at the end of the letters, you have to question the true nature of your relationship. Every story in Bumpy Rides and Soft Landings is told with humor, whether it's about his health challenges, a trip to India, or frustrating encounters with loud, pushy customers. Fans of LGBTQ memoirs will find it relatable and deeply enthralling. James' generous, heartwarming, and humorous story kept me smiling randomly throughout the day, long after completing it. Everyone should read this book.