Published by Dutton on August 9, 2016
Genres: Biography & Memoir
Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review consideration.
IndieBound | Barnes & Noble | Amazon
The bestselling author of Encyclopedia an Ordinary Life returns with a literary experience that is unprecedented, unforgettable, and explosively human.
In the ten years since the publication of her beloved, groundbreaking Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life, #1 New York Times bestselling author Amy Krouse Rosenthal has been quietly tinkering away. Using her distinct blend of nonlinear narrative, wistful reflections, and insightful wit, she has created a modest but mighty new work.
Why the title Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal?
• Because the book is organized into chapters with classic subject headings such as Social Studies, Music, Language Arts, Math, etc. • Because textbook is an expression meaning “quintessential,” as in, Oh, that wordplay and unconventional format is so typical of her, so textbook Amy. • Because for the first time ever, readers can further engage with a book via text messaging. • Because if an author’s previous book has Encyclopedia in the title, following it up with a Textbook would be rather nice.Not exactly a memoir, not just a collection of observations, Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal is an exploration into the many ways we are connected on this planet and speaks to the awe, bewilderment, and poignancy of being alive.
“What can the writer give the reader that they have not already received elsewhere?”
Somehow, Amy Krouse Rosenthal found a way to deliver such a gift. Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal is probably the most contemplative, unique reading experience I’ve ever had.
“It takes a snowflake two hours to fall from cloud to earth. Can’t you just see its slow, peaceful descent?”
I wanted to write in this book (I never want to write in books). There’s so much blank space. You could meditate on many of these pages, journal right alongside the parts that inspire you, if you wanted. Not only does AKR encourage readers to interact with the book via texting, she encourages readers to think more deeply about themselves, the people in their lives, and our communities in general.
“Just look at us, all of us, quietly doing our thing and trying to matter. The earnestness is inspiring and heartbreaking at the same time.”
There’s a lot of wordplay in Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal, and AKR’s delight in it is infectious! Just like a textbook, this book contains graphs, charts, compare/contrast, short answer, outlines, illustrations, and more. The interactive texting aspect is purely supplemental. If you don’t use it, the book is still great. But texting includes surprises like sound files, participating in projects with an online community, a short story by John Green, and a poem by Kenneth Koch (narrated by the poet himself).
I love this description of the book, from the back cover:
“A book about the awe, bewilderment, and poignancy of being alive.”
AKR is like that eccentric, lovable friend whose mind may spin a mile a minute, but who recharges you, making you feel more alive and happy whenever you’re with her. Loved this book.