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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life

Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life
by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Recently our family has been loving picture books by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. Namely the three titles, Bedtime for Mommy, Little Pea, and Little Hoot.  The prose is spare in all three, yet they manage to delight us with their wit.  So when I heard about a book for adults by her, I decided to check it out.

Encyclopedia of an Ordinary LifeIS actually an encyclopedia type thing. (One never knows with all the novels named "how to..." this days. heh.) It begins with a Readers Agreement, which I loved, goes on to give a time-line of Rosenthal's ordinary life, and finishes up (after the Pause) with alphabetical entries (some illustrated).  These I read somewhat out of order, but then went back to A again to make sure I had got them all.  How could I not, when I might run into a gem like this?

The entry for 15 Minutes (as stolen from the website):
Entries like this cracked me up.  It's not all funny though, a range of emotions colors the book.  And I have to say that despite all the funny bits, I hope the author's ordinary life is a happy one.  I mean, there is a big difference between reading a regular encyclopedia and experiencing the world.  I wonder what the differences and discrepancies are between this encyclopedia and her life (or another "ordinary" life).  

Still, this is my kind of non-fiction.  I loved reading the little musings, the tiny anecdotes, and especially the descriptions of social experiments she performs. 
Recommended.

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