If you want a hilarious read that will have people looking at you funny on public transportation, then this should definitely be on your list. I was having a bad week when I started this and within the first 10 pages I was smiling and noticing small things around me that made my week 100 times better.
I first heard of this book in one of the final Books on the Nightstand episodes (Podcast link) and thought it sounded intriguing. So when someone from Dutton reached out to me about a review copy I jumped at the opportunity.* But first a brief aside.
I must say Dutton is hitting it out of the park with books I enjoy! I have at least one, but probably two more upcoming books that I’m planning to read from them on my shelf. This doesn’t count for the numerous I’ve already responded to including Ally Hughes Has Sex Sometimes from late 2015 and Fool Me Once and The Stranger from earlier this year. And I haven’t even said yes to all of them, some of the others didn’t fit what I wanted to read at the time, but overall I’ve enjoyed them! Now on to my response.
From the philosophically mundane,
“It takes a snowflake two hours to fall from cloud to earth. Can’t you just see its slow, peaceful decent?” (47)
to the awkwardly hilarious
“Hmmm. that woman stepping out of the shower sure is hairy—my last thought before realizing I had walked into the men’s locker room.” (51)
Amy K.R. has a new fan.
I wish I could put my finger on exactly what it is that made me enjoy this book so much but I can’t. I know it wasn’t the structure, didn’t make too much sense to me, but it didn’t have to really. And I know it wasn’t the content, it was a bit random and only loosely tied together by the structure.
I think part of it is that I very much want to be friends with Amy K.R. and to discuss the many thoughts she has about mundane things. [She even talks about this and people’s reactions to meeting her – how meta right?] When she wrote about her Craigslist post (see additional quotes), I couldn’t help but smile. It’s one of those little things that everyone thinks about doing, or at least I do, but no one does.
It was hard to tell if Amy K.R. takes herself and her life seriously, or if she sees it as one big art/literary project. There’s nothing wrong with any answer to that speculation because we get joys of simple observations like
“The “I” fell off the sign on the storefront stoop. It now spelled NO SITTING ON STA RS. But dang, wouldn’t that be the best place of all to sit?” (247)
While at the same time enjoying the beauty of her video creations:
And I didn’t even touch on the interactive aspect of this book which reminds me of many of the new-age self-help books where there’s some activity required. Seriously, check out the Short Collective Biography Amy K.R. talks about on her Facebook page.
Recommendation: Definitely worth a read. Amy K.R. has such a unique perspective on the world and she brings it to you in such a different way that you can’t help but smile. I definitely need to go back and check out her first memoir Encyclopedia of a Normal Life because I am sure I will enjoy it as much as I did this.
*I received a copy of Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal from the publisher in return for my honest opinion. No goods or services were exchanged.
Opening Line: “I would like to acknowledge that the following have earned extra credit.”
Closing Line: “Thank you.9; 9Ending of Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal. (Not whited out as this is a work of nonfiction.)
Additional quotes from Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal
“My favorite Craigslist experience started with a simple posting: I’ll wish you luck in exchange for you wishing me luck. The offer was sincere, not one bit silly or coy, but I wasn’t sure how it would come across, how people would interpret it. But they totally got it. People emailed back asking for me to wish them luck on their divorce, luck with their new boss, luck finding a new job, luck finding an apartment. I asked them to please wish me luck with my children, and with my latest book. I had several meaningful and sweet email exchanges. Some time later—and you’d really have to be digging backward to have found the posting—I received what turned out to be the final email. I don’t know if you still need it, but I wanted to wish you the best of luck. You can do it. He asked for nothing in return.” (64)