After reading the first couple of pages, I was worried The Tender Bar would not be my cup of tea. I usually don't like memoirs about boys and men. Typically these tales center too much on sexual exploits and violent episodes for my liking.But as I read along, I grew to love The Tender Bar more and more. J.R. longed for his AWOL father and sought out surrogate dads wherever he went. He was most successful in finding pseudo-dadness at the neighborhood bar. There were some sexual exploits and lots of violence and acres and acres of heavy drinking, but all of these felt like a genuine part of J.R.'s growing up experience, not a bragfest. This is a book I'd never have read, left on my own, but I'm happy I did.