Acclaimed novelist Heather ONeill structures her book around several key lessons she learned in childhood from her father. Wryly humorous and generous, she shares memories and stories that illustrate why it is good to steal things, why one should learn to play the tuba, and why one should never keep a journal, among other things. Her unusual mentors went well beyond her janitor father to include ex-bank robbers and homeless men. These eccentric teachers taught her about the circuitous alleyways of semantics and the depth of moral philosophy. ONeills intimate recollections make Wisdom in Nonsense the perfect companion to her widely praised debut novel, Lullabies for Little Criminals (HarperCollins).