I grew up about fifteen minutes away from Ray Bradbury’s hometown of Waukegan, Illinois. He’s one of those writers I associate with the period in my life when I really started to love books. Obviously there’s Fahrenheit 451, which I read and loved during that time, but the first Bradbury book I’m always going to think of is his semi-autobiographical Dandelion Wine. The teacher who gave me a copy of the book was one of the great influences on my life, and she told me that even though she respected Bradbury as a great science fiction writer, Dandelion Wine was her favorite book by him. I promised I’d read it right away, but for some reason or another it took me close to a decade to get to the book, but somehow the same copy the teacher gave me survived countless moves to new apartments and sits right above my desk to this day.