an ordinary life

Review :



I was listening to NPR one rainy day in my car and there was, I think, a This American Life segment that mentioned this and it stuck... Amy Rosenthal gets it. And I hate her for it. I hate her and I love her. I should BE her but that would require motivation and inspiration and for me to go back six years and kick her butt into NOT writing this so that I could.

Just from the cover 'I have not survived against all odds. I have not lived to tell. I have not witnessed the extraordinary. This is my story.' How cool is that And when you actually delve into the book wow. It's more than just a book, it's a collection. It's like scrap booking, but wicked cool (sorry scrapbookersit's true)

There are a few things that I really really want to do but fail at miserably.

Drinking tea. I so want to be a tea drinker. It looks sophisticated and homey and everything that I want to be. I even have a shirt that says 'Make Tea Not War' What a hypocrite I am! But, I've tried the stuff and the after taste is NASTY. I want to sandpaper my tongue just to get it out of my mouth. So uncool of me.

Knit. Okay, so I'm trying to remedy this. I have an incredible knitter buying me books and good yarn and good needles and being patient with me trying to get me to remember how to actually DO it (dig under and then AROUND then under Behind UGH!) I want to be the person who shows off her wicked awesome handmade socks. I want someone to comment on my incredibly comfy blanket. Yeah, I want to be freakin' Martha Stewart, okay Sue me.

Keeping a Journal. Yes, this is the big hang-my-head-in-shame moment. Why is this such a thorn in my side Obviously I love writing. Obviously I don't seem to have an trouble talking about myself. I think I know what it is it's the whole rigorously punctuality of it all. Seriously. I have issues with going to the gym and it literally takes threats of death to get me there so to ask me to log in details of my life, however easy that may seem it's so not.
What Amy does here is take ordinary people, places, things and events and writes an entry about it that's totally subjective yet could totally be relevant to you too. (Hate Her) Her insights to everyday musings (does that make sense) are incredible. She has a police sketch artist draw her with only the descriptions that her husband and her father gives him--what she looks like through their eyes. The entry about her husband made me weep (page 117)


This is her entry under 'Stupid Slow Driver':

"When I see a slow driver, I have to pull up alongside him to see what this person looks like, to confirm my suspicions. I am certain I will find a distinctly stupid-looking person. Ah yes, he looks totally stupid. Stupid slow driver."


And this one follows, it's for 'Sunday':

"Though this has never materialized, I still think of Sunday as the day I will stay home and make a large vat of chili for the neighbors, and also boil a sack of potatoes so we can use them in various ways throughout the busy work week."

This is exactly what good reading' is about. A story doesn't need a opening paragraph, plot, settings, summary. It doesn't have to even contain words. It has to jar you, it has to pull you in and make you laugh, cry and relate. And who can't relate to having an obsessive need for coffee and trying to balance that with raising children, listening to the radio, remembering that you need trash bags when you hit the grocery store and is it this week that your kid has yoga I walk that line daily.

If you liked this book you should definitely visit the website.

www.encyclopediaofanordinarylife.com


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