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Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life Paperback – December 6, 2005
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“Entries are consistently amusing, revelatory, poetic, or strike that “That’s exactly how I see/experience it!” synapse in the brain…A+.” —The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)
“[Rosenthal] shines her generous light of humanity on the seemingly humdrum moments of life and shows how delightfully precious they actually are…a marvelous memoir.” —The Chicago Sun-Times
“Encyclopedia has miles of pillow book charm…Rosenthal’s humor is generous and endearingly scattershot.” —The Village Voice
“Reading it, you get the feeling that not only would you like Amy to be your best friend because she’s so thoughtful and endearing but because the most ordinary of moments do not escape her own unique sense of profundity.” —The Detroit News
“The perfect postmodern memoir, collecting the bits and pieces of a so-called average life and filing them into a clever narrative that reveals “ordinary” is anything but.” —Sun-Sentinel (South Florida)
From the Inside Flap
How do you conjure a life? Give the truest account of what you saw, felt, learned, loved, strived for?
For Amy Krouse Rosenthal, the surprising answer came in the form of an encyclopedia. In Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life she has ingeniously adapted this centuries-old format for conveying knowledge into a poignant, wise, often funny, fully realized memoir. Using mostly short entries organized from A to Z, many of which are cross-referenced, Rosenthal captures in wonderful and episodic detail the moments, observations, and emotions that comprise a contemporary life. Start anywhere--preferably at the beginning--and see how one young woman's alphabetized existence can open up and define the world in new and unexpected ways.
An ordinary life, perhaps, but an extraordinary book.
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My only complaint is that the structure of the book is such that I didn't really want to sit down and read it for more than a half hour or so, because there isn't really a narrative flow. This would be a great book to keep in the car for those moments when you have to wait for someone or kill a few minutes at a time.
That said, the idea is so innovative and it is so charmingly carried out that I'd definitely recommend it. I enjoyed it all the way through, and the way she made the mundane things of life so interesting, gave me some new ways of looking at the mundane things of my own life.
very interesting, however many of the girls thought this book boring. As usual I
tried to keep an open mind while reading this. While, I think it was not terribly
exciting it still was a respectful attempt at writing in her own unusual way.