Published by Andrews McMeel Publishing on March 4th 2014
Genres: Humor, Nonfiction
Source: the library
The Amazing Thing About the Way It Goes takes on the amazing in the ordinary in this side-splitting series of short commentaries. Pearl-McPhee turns her trademark wit and perspective to everything from creative discipline to a way you would never think about fixing your email situation. This book looks at everyday problems--and honestly won't do much to solve them--but at least you'll be laughing.
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee is a very funny lady, and she manages to be funny about knitting, which is even more impressive (if you don’t happen to be a knitter. Knitters know all about how funny – not to mention frustrating – knitting can be.) In her newest collection of essays, however, knitting is pretty much in the background, as she takes on topics as diverse as the overflowing email inbox, dodgeball, parenting, overseas dentistry, and a skunk under her porch. A few of the essays had me laughing out loud – the one about the skunk is particularly funny, though like most humorous stories, I’m sure it didn’t seem so at the time. I cringed while reading about her experiences with dodgeball, a game I particularly hated in school. I chuckled ruefully as she talked about how her husband Joe denies that he’s always late even though he’s always late, and nodded in painful recognition as she wrote of the boy whose cruel words left her convinced, as a teen, that she wasn’t pretty.
The essay that hit home the hardest, though, was “Snap.” In it, Pearl-McPhee talks about photos of her well-loved grandmother, who died when Pearl-McPhee was still a child. And she talks about how, because she isn’t photogenic, she has avoided having her own picture taken, and how that has left a huge gap in the family record. Oh my gosh, I thought with a sinking in my gut, she’s right. And that’s me, too. I don’t think I’m photogenic, and I rarely let anyone take a picture of me, so there are whole years in which I hardly appear. What’s that going to mean to Robin when I’m gone, or to her children (if she has them)? Do I really think that looking (or thinking I look) imperfect or overweight or (God forbid) every one of my fifty-mumble years means I’m not worth looking at or remembering? I made up my mind then and there to make sure I’m in the family photos from now on, imperfections and all.
And if that’s not the mark of a successful essay, I don’t know what is.
CHALLENGES: 2015 TBR Pile Challenge; Take Control of Your TBR Challenge; Popsugar #26: a memoir (because all the essays here are based on McPhee’s own life)
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2015 TBR Pile Reading Challenge
- PopSugar 2015 Reading challenge
- Take Control Of Your TBR Pile Challenge - March 2015