Impossibly sad. That's the immediate reaction to Life's That Way, a new memoir by actor Jim Beaver (Deadwood, Supernatural, Harper's Island), who shares the story of his wife's cancer battle while dealing with their baby daughter being diagnosed as autistic. However, the more you read this tragic story, the more the book has a huge emotional payoff as you share Beaver's nightly email updates to a growing list of friends and family. The incredible outpouring of support the family gets is truly uplifting, and Beaver's prose feels immediate and genuine. It's a hell of sad read, but beautiful, too. (Full disclosure: our kids have hokey-pokeyed together.) “I wanted to share this story for two reasons: I was unable to ignore the amount of encouragement I got from readers of the original emails, who impressed me deeply with the sense that, whether I fully understood it or not, there was something meaningful and helpful about what I had written and how I had written it,” says Beaver. “And I wanted the world to know Cecily for the extraordinary, passionate, determined, loving, and sparkling woman she was.” Also, all you Supernatural fanatics: here's your big chance to get Mr. Beaver's autograph for just the price of the book.

Thu., April 23, 7 p.m., 2009

LA Weekly