Review & GIVEAWAY!!! Washing Cars & Wasting Time by John Oliva

December 11, 2013 Coming of Age, Humor, Memoirs 19

Greetings Bookworms!

I know, I know. I was MIA yesterday. I have a really good reason for going missing that has nothing at all to do with spending my evening having my hair dyed to camouflage my prematurely graying hair… Wait… I mean… Books!

I was recently contacted by John Oliva and asked if I’d be interested in reviewing his book Washing Cars and Wasting TimeI don’t often accept review requests from authors who contact me directly, but the premise of this book piqued my interest. Washing Cars and Wasting Time is the recounting of Oliva’s time working for his family’s business, a self serve car was on the south side of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


I was pleasantly surprised by this memoir! It’s a slim volume, but chock full of slice-of-life tidbits that make a car wash an oddly compelling place to work. Oliva’s eccentric father’s antics had me giggling, and the family’s elaborate system for counting and transporting quarters? Oh man. I’ll never look at a coffee can, a cookie sheet, or a closet the same way again… In fact, I’m a little disappointed that all the coffee cans, cookie sheets, and closets in my house are used purely for their mundane intended purposes.

At times this book reads a bit like a blog, though I say that in the most admiring way possible. (Well done blogs are a whole lot of awesome, dagnabit!) Oliva’s stories were entertaining, but it was his side commentary that really appealed to me. What can I say? I’ve BEEN to a Midwestern car wash in the winter… People are bizarre, and nobody wants road salt stains on their sweet rides, even when their “sweet rides” are held together with duct tape and chewing gum.

You know what the very best part about reviewing this book is for me, though? Getting to share it with you! John Oliva sent me a spare, autographed copy of his book to hand out to a lucky winner. Now get in there, and win yourself a fun, free book, y’all! This giveaway is limited to the US only. (International shipping is a beast, sorry guys!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*I received a copy of this book for review and giveaway from the author in exchange for an honest review. If you choose to purchase a copy of this book through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission. I almost never wash my car, even when it’s covered with road salt and grime. I also need a refill of washer fluid.*

19 Responses to “Review & GIVEAWAY!!! Washing Cars & Wasting Time by John Oliva”

  1. Rachel

    I’m looking for a new book to read. 🙂 This sounds like a fun distraction. Plus you could save money on shipping!

  2. Elizabeth Bevins

    I did my hair yesterday too! Yikes! I’m too young for all this gray.

    My first job was at Ivey’s Department store in Charlotte, NC. The most fun day was working Valentines afternoon in the lingerie dept. All those husbands buying last minute gifts…they were SO out of their element. I enjoyed their discomfort! It was so amusing.

  3. Quirky Chrissy

    I lied. NOW I followed all your rules.

    My first job was a babysitter. And I was very good at it. And I got paid LOTS of money to do very little work. Can I go back?

  4. Allison @ The Book Wheel

    Woohoo! I have a copy and some giveaways for later this month, too! I’m so glad that I can go into this expecting great things. I must say, the author of this book had THE BEST pitch for me to read his book in the history of my blogging career.

  5. Melinda

    I can imagine how interesting it would be to work at a car wash (although I have no interest in doing so!)

    Yay for giveaways!!

  6. Rebecca @ Love at First Book

    Hmmm my first job? I did office work so it’s nothing exciting at all. But teaching elementary school was my most interesting job because I left each day with STORIES! Like crazy stuff. . . hearing about what parents did at home, a misspelling of the word “focus” which was kind of pornographic, etc etc etc. . . I’d share more, but it’s prob a huge violation of ethics to do so.

    • John Oliva @Oliva_JC

      Rebecca…actually, the book I am working on now retells the stories from when I worked as a college professor for ~7 years. I know the crazy stuff the college students said and did…I can only imagine that for elementary kids!

  7. Rhonda

    I was a student teacher my future husband was a teacher 6 months later we were job ever.

  8. Christine L.

    My first paid position was as a tutor for a visually impaired high school classmate. I received compensation of $2 per hour to run darker photocopies of worksheets and provide help with assignments. Strapped as my state now is for cash, I doubt this program remains in place (though surely it was less expensive than paying certificated staff or other district employees to have performed the same tasks). I don’t recall the exact form of my classmate’s impairment (could have been astigmatism); I remember only that he suffered oculocutaneous albinism and was kind of a pill.

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