Tuesday, August 16, 2016
"Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal" by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
If you have kids, you may know Amy Krouse Rosenthal for her children's books. You may not know she also writes charming memoir-ish non-fiction for adults. Her newest, "Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal" came out last week & was a delight and ponder this morning in my favorite coffeeshop.
Krouse Rosenthal's first memoir-ish book, "Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life" collected witty, endearing observations about the author's typical, everyday life. She emphasizes that she has not had anything extraordinary occur in her life that would typically result in a memoir. Instead, she chronicles the quotidian thoughts and experiences to which much of middle class America can relate. That was back in 2005.
Now, over ten years later, Krouse Rosenthal has returned with a similar sentiment in a new format. Her first book was alphabetized entries; her new book is organized, textbook-style, around thematic subjects you'd find in school. Textbook here has a double meaning: the book takes author-reader interaction to a new level, inviting readers to text certain messages to a specified number while they're reading for accompanying sounds, to participate in a poll, or to share an experience or suggestion with Krouse Rosenthal and other readers. The book's website houses readers' submissions and the text responses in case you're not able to text from your own phone. If I'm being honest, I vacillated between thinking the texting was gimmicky and enjoying it. But the music composed for the end notes was beautiful and quite fitting, so it left me thinking of the text participation on a good note.
Above all, Krouse Rosenthal excels at capturing the random thoughts and feelings we all have as we go about our daily lives, and in celebrating the quirk and whimsy and serendipity that surround all of us. Reading her books reminds me to enjoy the tiny, happy moments in life, and "Textbook" encourages you to celebrate some of them with her and others.
Verdict: Affirmed. This and "Encyclopedia," are fast, enjoyable reads for someone looking for a break from deeper, depressing works & for something that may encourage a new spring in their step.
"Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal" by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, published August 9, 2016 by Dutton Books.