Barrington resident and Bristol native Anthony Rondeau has been collecting his thoughts in notebooks, journals, and in digital files, certain that one day he would have the opportunity to share it all in a book. Now he has.
It has been a long time in the works.
For years, Barrington resident Anthony Rondeau has been collecting his thoughts — ideas, observances, advice and more — in notebooks, journals, and in digital files, certain that one day he would have the opportunity to share it all in a book.
That day is here.
Recently, Rondeau published “What I Know (so far)” and is hoping the book will connect with readers of all ages. It offers a little bit of everything, as is evident with section titles such as “Brain Pain,” “Women as Defenders of the Galaxy and Principles,” and “Sloth — The Gray Area of Laziness.”
“It’s a collection of things — nearly 30 years writing things down,” Rondeau said during an interview.
The book is divided into four sections: 1. I am who I am, your dad; 2. Intimate and other relationships; 3. My best guesses; and 4. My best advice.
And it is interspersed with humor and plenty of life experiences.
“The writing is unequally self-deprecating, authoritative, and humbling—kinda like the role of a father,” Rondeau writes in the book’s introduction. “It is a compilation of ponderables and pseudo-reflections throughout my life—as a know-it-all twenty-something who viewed the world as his oyster, to a stunned dad who cannot believe the cost of everything like clothing, education, food, and especially those same oysters that looked so good in my more youthful days…”
Rondeau said he spent the last two years working on “What I Know (so far)” and enjoyed the process of turning his notes into the book.
He said his cousin, the late Natalie Swift, was tremendously helpful in the process.
Rondeau said his cousin faced a difficult battle with ALS and he would visit her each Tuesday, delivering a meal to her family. He would also bring along his stories and discuss them with Natalie. He said she loved the humor packed inside the different tales — at one point, she suggested he become a standup comedian. She settled for helping him put together the book.
“I think she was very proud,” Rondeau said.
The Tuesday visits provided much of the motivation Rondeau needed to move forward with his plans for the book.
In his book, Rondeau shared a passage about Swift, who passed away before the book was published: “I am protective and jealous of my time with her. She inspires me, supports me, and challenges me. Her spirit has not withered like her body has. ALS does not define her. The word ‘indomitable’ was probably invented for her.”
Some of Rondeau’s book is based on his advice as a dad, lessons he has learned and then shared with his children (they’re grown adults now).
“The coolest thing to me is when you see something in action,” he said. “‘Holy crap! They were paying attention.’”
He also credits his inquisitive personality for providing much of the information shared in the book.
“I like to learn stuff,” he said. “I like to learn perspective.”
Rondeau, who grew up in Bristol, said he is hopeful readers will find his book interesting, informative and entertaining.
“Anybody can tell their kids to eat their vegetables and go to bed, but this (book) is the important stuff,” Rondeau said.