Thursday, December 18, 2014

Straight Browsing From the Library: I, Kidney by Chris Six

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Chris Six will be awarding a $15 Amazon/Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


Joe Zizzi's childhood in the 1950s had everything a kid could want--pro athlete dad, wonderful mom, cool big bro. When the '60s kick in, this ideal life is violently shaken: a car crash claims his mother's life and his father's career, and brother Matt becomes distant and disturbed. Over the years, Joe learns to cope and carves out a niche for himself as a college sports star, and later as a coach and writer, but he can't quite shake the family legacy. Diagnosed with kidney failure, the semi-pro husband and devoted dad has life-and-death decisions to make--and life wins, though perhaps only by a slim margin.


Dr. Fabian—his first name, nobody uses his last name—referred Dad to Dr. Reilley, a nephrologist. Reilley’s got a brogue a mile wide and recognized Dad’s name from the Bruins.

First visit, he asked general health questions, kidney questions, and hockey questions, ending up by giving Dad an orange plastic urine collection jug in which to insert 24 hours’ worth, which has to be kept cold until next week’s visit. Imagine being confronted with this baby when you open the fridge for your juice.

Dad’s kidneys are functioning at thirty percent.

Next visit, Reilley reads the blood test results and gives Dad the list of the six foods to stop eating.


“What? I’ve eaten one every day since birth.”

Orange juice.

“What do I drink with breakfast?”


“You’re not making this easy, doc.”


“Wait, I’m still working on the spuds. Okay, I’ll eat yams.”

That includes yams. Chocolate.

“Doc, you trying to kill me?”

And tomatoes.

“Doc, you know I’m Italian, right?”

And he told him to lay off fried foods. Dad said, “As a frequent fryer, I’m gonna find this difficult.”

Outside: “How do I manage? How do I survive? He’s got my five basic food groups.

What was the sixth thing?”


Dad patted me and chuckled. “Good thing you’re not the patient.”


Chris Six is a writer, the chief everything officer of The Chris Six Group, and the recipient of somebody else's kidney: "I narrated the story onto tape before I ever wrote a word. I even brought my recorder to dialysis and upset the technicians. Nowadays, I'm in awe of indie authors doing hands-on marketing. I couldn't imagine doing this even five years ago."


a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Good morning, Librarian Judith! Straight from the Library is a great site--visually soothing with comic fonts--and it's making my day to be featured. I hope we can snag some readers today. Nah, ice that--I know we'll get readers. I hope we can get some folks to comment! Meanwhile, both the print and Kindle editions of I, Kidney are out, and they can be found at

  2. As I type this, I'm throwing around a story idea with a potential collaborator--genre stuff that I never thought I'd get involved in. We'll see! Don't worry--I'm still here to chat--

  3. Love the excerpt. Thanks for the giveaway!

  4. Thanks so much, Cali! Despite all the problems with my condition and dialysis while I was writing, it was the book that kept me sane. Other excerpts can be found at and the Look Inside feature on the book page: Happy holidays--be well!

  5. I'm signing off for now, but I'll check in tomorrow.

    Over the course of the afternoon, I ended up with a whole new approach to storytelling. I've suddenly got a collaborator, and we have plenty of work to do...

  6. Great excerpt, sounds like a book I would love to read. entering under the name of Virginia

    1. Thanks, Virginia, for your kind words! I hope you'll take another look, on the Amazon book page or the site, where one of our fellow authors posted some quirky/charming holiday stuff. Enjoy a merry Christmas--and be well!

  7. interesting characters

    1. Hi again, BN--does this mean I can count you as a fan? (Hope so.) All the best for the season--hope Santa leaves some good books under the tree!

  8. Replies
    1. Dear Rita, thanks so much--and if that was you who read the other excerpts, double thanks! Hope you'll put I, Kidney on your to-read list in the new year... Be well!