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There’s nothing quite like a good coming-of-age-story.

Literature is riddled with great tales of young men and women dealing with that shift in circumstances between worlds, that transition from childhood to adulthood and the expansive gray area in the middle of it all. There’s something primal and undeniable about it all.

Dave Patterson’s “Soon the Light Will Be Perfect” (Hanover Square Press, $25.99) tells the story of two young men growing up in small-town Vermont. The pair must navigate the strictures of their family’s Catholic faith while also coming to terms with their own gradual (and not-so-gradual) changes. As personal and professional problems threaten to overwhelm the family, the boys are left trapped by unappealing choices and hungry for a deeper understanding of the world – the world around them and the world within them.

Published in Style

Here in 2018, the television entertainment options presented to us are truly staggering. Between broadcast networks, cable channels and an ever-increasing number of streaming services, it feels as though there are nigh-infinite options for new content.

And yet, for many of us, the choice is to look back. Whether it is a nostalgia trip or a youthful discovery of a show from before our time, we use the Netflixes and Hulus of the world to watch what was beloved a generation ago.

We watch “Friends.”

Why does this sitcom about six, well … friends living in New York City from the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s still resonate? Why is it still among the most watched programs in both streaming AND syndication, even well over a decade after the final new episode aired?

That’s the central question behind Kelsey Miller’s excellent retrospective “I’ll Be There for You: The One about Friends” (Hanover Square Press, $26.99). This thorough and thoughtful book goes deep on the beloved show, exploring the behind-the-scenes making of the show as well as the broader pop cultural impact it had during its decade-long run.

Published in Buzz

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