Sugar Milk Tastes Good to Me

What doesn’t kill you will make you stronger.

If the old adage is true, no wonder author Ron Mattocks doubles as Superman on his popular blog, Clark Kent’s Lunchbox. Because after losing a wife to a divorce, his sons to a custody battle, and his high-paying job to the economy, Mattocks has somehow become stronger than ever. He chronicles his amazing story of change in Sugar Milk–What One Father Drinks When He Can’t Afford Vodka.

Three things become evident about Mattocks within the first few pages.

Number one: In a world filled with phonies, Ron Mattocks is the real deal. He hides behind nothing as he details insecure feelings of fatherly failure which overtook him while he watched his family ship sink thanks to his painful divorce.

Number two: Ron’s writing is next level, powerful enough to actually bring his readers aboard that ship with him, leaving them lost and forlorn as they go down alongside the captain, himself.

Number three: Ron is uncommonly funny and the possessor of a razor-sharp wit–able to seamlessly blend humility and humor, as evidenced by his sinking ship metaphor, which he turns on a dime:

I didn’t view myself as a ship captain, but rather, something closer to a shift manager at a Long John Silvers.

Each of the next fifteen chapters tells a tale–the end result, a beautiful collage which was destined to rise from the wreckage, every picture painted by the author’s evolving perspective. Mattocks’s versatility is on full display, both as a writer, and as a man, as he transforms from newly divorced dad, to dot-com dater, to single-mom suitor, to stepdad, and finally, to stay at home dad. Readers will devour every word as they go on this wild ride with him, pausing only to laugh.

But between the laughs, Mattocks will also make his readers think by deftly turning hysterical accounts of mundane fatherly experiences into something else entirely. On the one hand, the chapter “This Isn’t Kindergarten Anymore,” is about his older stepdaughter preparing her younger sister for kindergarten, while simultaneously developing an aversion to the comparatively difficult first grade. But on the other, it’s about transitions in general, Mattocks’s own in specific.

The reality of first grade had hardened in her mind like concrete: the whimsy of last year was now paved over by new challenges that replaced those golden papers asking happy questions about her day. It was her sister’s turn for all that now. But that’s how the cycle works–we take what we know to the next level, leaving behind past memories as we go on to face those yet to be lived. I could have said something to that effect, But Allie didn’t need any reminders that she wasn’t in kindergarten anymore.

At that instant we drove by the office building of the company that had laid me off six months ago. I knew how she felt.

Me personally? I’m glad Ron lost his corporate job. Because this hilarious collection of well written stories define him far better than any six figure job ever could. Sugar Milk can be purchased on Amazon, as well as in select bookstores across the country. It comes with my highest recommendation.

Oh, and if you’re on the fence for the upcoming M3 Summit in Atlanta, perhaps this will sway you. Ron will be on a panel alongside other authors / bloggers, and will be sharing his experiences on topics ranging from social media to fatherhood.

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About john cave osborne

John Cave Osborne is a writer whose work has appeared on such sites as DisneyBaby, Babble, YahooShine, TLC and the Huffington Post. He was also referenced by Jezebel one time, but he’s pretty sure they were making fun of him. He and his wife, Caroline, live with their five children and spastic dog in Knoxville, TN. Nothing annoys him more than joke-heavy bios written in the third person, with the possible exception of Corey Feldman.

  • http://clarkkentslunchbox.blogspot.com/ Clark Kent’s Lunchbox

    John, thank you for such a glowing assessment of the book. (I had to ask myself if that’s what I really wrote. Ha). Seriously, though, I greatly appreciate all of your support and help with the book. I only hope I can do the same in return. You’re a helluva dad and a writer.

    And I’m very glad that you are speaking on the M3 panel too.

  • http://clarkkentslunchbox.blogspot.com/ Clark Kent’s Lunchbox

    John, thank you for such a glowing assessment of the book. (I had to ask myself if that’s what I really wrote. Ha). Seriously, though, I greatly appreciate all of your support and help with the book. I only hope I can do the same in return. You’re a helluva dad and a writer.

    And I’m very glad that you are speaking on the M3 panel too.

  • http://www.reallyareyouserious.com Krystyn

    Great write up and review.

    And, wait this “men’s” panel is in Atlanta? Why is it that the men are the only ones coming close to me? Well, maybe you’ll look me up while you are here!

    • http://www.johncaveosborne.com johncaveosborne

      you should come and meet up w/ us one night. (that is if you’re up for hanging out w/ old folks!) lovie will be on board!

  • http://www.reallyareyouserious.com Krystyn

    Great write up and review.

    And, wait this “men’s” panel is in Atlanta? Why is it that the men are the only ones coming close to me? Well, maybe you’ll look me up while you are here!

    • http://www.johncaveosborne.com johncaveosborne

      you should come and meet up w/ us one night. (that is if you’re up for hanging out w/ old folks!) lovie will be on board!

  • http://www.blogonkevin.blogspot.com home and uncool

    Having finished the book, I’m pretty sure Ashely did most of the hard work for Ron. After all, she provided most of the source material in her two girls.

    Joking. Ron’s book is a hoot and a half for any parent to read.

  • http://www.blogonkevin.blogspot.com home and uncool

    Having finished the book, I’m pretty sure Ashely did most of the hard work for Ron. After all, she provided most of the source material in her two girls.

    Joking. Ron’s book is a hoot and a half for any parent to read.

  • http://wwwjackbenimble.blogspot.com/ Jack

    I guess that I have to stop being the hold out on these Sugar and Trip books. Either that or I have to read a ton more reviews so that I can discuss them intelligently. 😉

  • http://wwwjackbenimble.blogspot.com/ Jack

    I guess that I have to stop being the hold out on these Sugar and Trip books. Either that or I have to read a ton more reviews so that I can discuss them intelligently. 😉

  • http://undad.com Drew

    The book sounds solid, I will have to check it out.

    In this day and age I would have gone with a tumbler or pint glass rather than the martini glass (a dumb complaint, I know). When did men lose the martini as a masculine symbol? These days it’s way more Carrie Bradshaw than it is James Bond.

  • http://undad.com Drew

    The book sounds solid, I will have to check it out.

    In this day and age I would have gone with a tumbler or pint glass rather than the martini glass (a dumb complaint, I know). When did men lose the martini as a masculine symbol? These days it’s way more Carrie Bradshaw than it is James Bond.

  • http://www.dadtoday.com Stefan

    this is the day for sugar milk! my take live now too at: http://dadtoday.blogspot.com/2010/05/walk-in-fatherhood-woods.html. more rambling reflection than actual REVIEW like this nice one, john.

  • http://www.dadtoday.com Stefan

    this is the day for sugar milk! my take live now too at: http://dadtoday.blogspot.com/2010/05/walk-in-fatherhood-woods.html. more rambling reflection than actual REVIEW like this nice one, john.

  • http://www.edathomedad.com Edathomedad

    Sugar Milk was a great read. I really enjoyed it from start to finish. You and Mr. Mattocks have a great talent when it comes to the written word and blending humor with it. If I find some treasure in my back yard I definitely book a ticket for M3. It would be treasure well spent.

  • http://www.edathomedad.com Edathomedad

    Sugar Milk was a great read. I really enjoyed it from start to finish. You and Mr. Mattocks have a great talent when it comes to the written word and blending humor with it. If I find some treasure in my back yard I definitely book a ticket for M3. It would be treasure well spent.

  • http://www.dcurbandad.com DC Urban Dad

    I was one of the lucky few who got an advance copy and I had hard time putting it down. Ron is definitely the real deal and a dad to look up to.

  • http://www.dcurbandad.com DC Urban Dad

    I was one of the lucky few who got an advance copy and I had hard time putting it down. Ron is definitely the real deal and a dad to look up to.

  • http://joyco.wordpress.com joyco

    Thanks for the book rec, I was needing something new to read. Now I’ve got to go find out if my library has it…

  • http://joyco.wordpress.com joyco

    Thanks for the book rec, I was needing something new to read. Now I’ve got to go find out if my library has it…

  • http://liayf.blogspot.com Seattledad

    I am about 2/3 of the way through my copy and am loving it. It’s a great read and I agree with your glowing assessment.

  • http://liayf.blogspot.com Seattledad

    I am about 2/3 of the way through my copy and am loving it. It’s a great read and I agree with your glowing assessment.

  • http://www.loulousviews.com Loukia

    The cover of his book is reason enough to read it, but the author won’t even follow me back on Twitter! Hmmph.

    • http://clarkkentslunchbox.blogspot.com/ Clark Kent’s Lunchbox

      I’m sorry. But, I can fix this very quickly. =-)

  • http://www.loulousviews.com Loukia

    The cover of his book is reason enough to read it, but the author won’t even follow me back on Twitter! Hmmph.

    • http://clarkkentslunchbox.blogspot.com/ Clark Kent’s Lunchbox

      I’m sorry. But, I can fix this very quickly. =-)

  • http://www.loulousviews.com Loukia

    Well thank you! :)

  • http://www.loulousviews.com Loukia

    Well thank you! :)