A funny, heart-warming portrait of an eccentric family and their attempt to run an eccentric business: a hand-built miniature golf course from the 1950s.
Told in 18 chapters — one for each hole on the course, with a theme inspired by the hazard at that hole–My Family and Other Hazards is a hilarious and touching story about putters and tourists, angst, cotton candy, windmills and frogs, (and not killing people with sno-cones), one castle, two clowns, and letting go of your childhood.
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Praise for My Family and Other Hazards
“My Family and Other Hazards is a winning, charming memoir about summers spent at a family-owned mini-golf course in Wisconsin. I would have loved this even if I wasn’t the former Junior Putt-Putt Champion of Chautauqua, New York. Funny and nostalgic without being sentimental, Melby deftly captures her family’s seemingly endless lakeside summers and the inevitable letting go of childhood. A perfect summer book.”
—Rob Spillman, editor of Tin House
“Enchanting . . . An outpouring of tender, witty memories . . . Melby showcases her corny, unaffected Midwestern humor in this inspired work.”
“I bet you’ve never picked up a memoir about miniature golf before now. Neither had I! But June Melby’s deeply funny and endearing book goes far beyond novelty to tell an evocative story about memory, family, and the perfection of Midwestern summers.”
—Wendy McClure, author of The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie
“Thanks to June’s witty and poetic recollections, you don’t just read this book — you become part of the Melby family. And that’s a helluva ride, because besides being wildly funny, the Melbys have a lot to teach us all about the meaning of the word ‘success.’”
—Mishna Wolff, author of I’m Down
“In this utterly hilarious and deeply moving memoir, June Melby recounts her unusual childhood growing up in a family who ran a miniature golf course. Impossible to put down for its witty and conversational style, you’ll turn the last page reminded that the places we call home are often carved from the times we feel the farthest from it. An impressive debut from a deserving writer.”
—Claire Bidwell Smith, author of The Rules of Inheritance
“My Family and Other Hazards is a perfect balance of wit and warmth: you start off laughing at a perfectly executed running joke about the forgotten youngest child or the portrait of a family’s competitive, compulsive generosity, but by the end you realize June Melby has been building a rich, generous, and loving portrait of her parents all along.”
—Michelle Wildgen, author of Bread and Butter