// 2016 Long Beach Mayor's Book Club Selection //
// 2017 Silver Medal Winner of the Independent Publishers Book Award //
// 2017 Gold Medal Winner in Humor from the Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards //
"THERE IS A LOT TO LAMENT ABOUT THE FOLDING OF NEWSPAPERS LIKE THE ONE GROBATY STILL WRITES FOR. THE WORST IS THE LOSS ONE DAY OF FUNNY, HUMANE AND UNPRETENTIOUS VOICES SUCH AS HIS."
— D. J. WALDIE, AUTHOR OF HOLY LAND: A SUBURBAN MEMOIR
Long Beach Press-Telegram writer Tim Grobaty was promoted to columnist at his newspaper back when it was still a glamorous and coveted job. In I’m Dyin’ Here: A Life in the Paper, the author means two things: He’ll likely die at the job (unless he lives too long) that he’s spent nearly four decades doing, and at the same time his profession, too, is seeing its last days.
Weaving together personal history and a selection of columns written over the course of his career, Grobaty offers readers a rare glimpse into the inner workings of a dying breed: the local columnist. With everyday life — fatherhood, holidays, suburbia, and random encounters with animals — serving as fodder for his column, Grobaty reveals his sources of motivation and vulnerability, all the while struggling to maintain relevance in a rapidly changing industry.
As the country forges its way through fundamental changes in how people consume journalism— increasingly based on complex metrics and instantaneous gratification and less upon reverence for the written word — Grobaty's book makes us long for the lost art of anticipation and, more significantly, invites reflection upon how we relate to one another and the world around us.
"A truly wonderful book. Both the fascinating history of a man, and the radical shifts in the newspaper world. It's beautifully written--by turns both humorous and equally moving. I wish I could give it a higher rating [than five stars]."
-- Robert Roberge, author of Liar
"A humorous love letter to a dying vocation."
-- Kirkus Reviews
"Tim Grobaty takes on a career's worth of trying to make sense of news papering in stories that are wry, honest, and mostly true from the big small town of Long Beach, California. The local weirdness is therein abundance, but just to show that all places, however ordinary, will surprise and mystify. The tragedies of an ordinary life are there too,with whatever redemptive power they can have. There is a lot to lament about the folding of newspapers like the one Grobaty still writes for.The worst is the loss one day of funny, humane, and unpretentious voices like his."
-- D.J. Waldie, author of Holy Land: A Suburban Memoir
"Tim Grobaty, one of these great city-side columnists [has written] a book-length meditation on the current 'optimistic' state of the print journalism industry in which he works."
-- David Kipen, founder of Libros Schmibros and book critic for KPCC's Take Two
"Over the years, a newspaper columnist develops a very special relationship with their readers: They become a favorite neighbor, a good friend,maybe even a family member. They don't deliver news; they tell us about life. Long Beach is lucky to have had Tim Grobaty in that role all these many years. He is the Bard of Big Town."
-- Russ Parsons, author of How to Pick a Peach: The Search for Flavor from Farm to Table
"One wanders through the passages of Grobaty's book like an accidental tourist in the town you thought you already knew. Often, discovering things a self-preservationist type wouldn't even think to investigate
without a 'cop across the street' by his side."
-- Thomas Wasper, author of Famous Killers for Early Learners