AUDIO BOOK REVIEW: The Things I came Here With by Chris MacDonald

Publication Date: December 27, 2022
Format: Audio
Genre:  Memoir 
Narrators: Max Lloyd Jones 

Publisher: ECW Audio
 7 hours 53 min
Buy: Kindle | Audio


“Does it hurt?” When you’re a tattoo artist, that’s the most universal question. For Chris MacDonald, the answer is simple: hurts less than a broken heart. Those words are painted above the entrance to his shop, Under My Thumb Tattoos, as a reminder.

Chris and his brothers were as wild as the wind, in their house among the fields of Alliston, Ontario, when their parents divorced. Shell-shocked, they were uprooted and brought to Toronto by their dad. Their mother’s mental illness worsened in the aftermath, and she disappeared. As a teenager, Chris left home and found himself immersed in the city’s underbelly, a world where drugs, skateboarding, and punk rock reigned. Between the youth shelters, suicidal thoughts, and haunted apartments, a light shined: and it was art.

He eventually found himself following the path of his brother, Rob, and pursuing life as a tattooist. Then, at the height of a destructive summer, everything changed: he met Megan, the girl who would become his rock of ages.


I received this book from the publisher through I am leaving this review voluntarily. 

I really liked this book.  I wish Chris had narrated the audio book but the narrator was engaging and really good.  Chris came from a very creative family.  His mother was always painting murals, walls, furniture with colorful picture.  They didn't always have much but they were happy.  

After his mother's mental illness worsened he and his brothers went to live with their dad. Wild and used to being out running around the woods being in a city brought with it drugs, mischief and chaos.  

After having his daughter Chris took stock of his life and realized that coming to terms with his past and staying true to himself led him to fulfill his dreams.  You can find his work at @underyourthumbtattoos 

I was very engaged by this book and while Chris's story is filled with ups and downs its a lesson on endurance, survival, and finding your passion.

I've got a huge respect for tattoo artists as my daughter is one.  Breaking into the field is not always easy and finding your voice in your art is a process.  You have to be determined and grow a thick skin to deal with the public and their ideas on what they want and where they want it. 

Click on the 3 lines at the top of the blog to view my sidebar where you can follow me on facebook, bloglovin, and amazon