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In Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life, Amy Krouse Rosenthal has ingeniously adapted the centuries-old format of the encyclopedia to convey the accumulated knowledge of her lifetime in 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.
Cross-section of ordinary life at this exact moment
A security guard is loosening his belt.
A couple is at a sushi restaurant with some old friends. They are reminiscing. In the back of their minds, they are thinking of being home.
A woman is trying to suck on a cherry Lifesaver but will end up biting it in six seconds.
A little boy is riding the train home with his dad after spending the day together at his office.
A man is running back into a grocery store to look for a scarf he dropped. He will leave with the phone number of a woman who will become his wife.
Words the author meant to use
Flair, Luxurious, Panoply, Churlish, Dainty, Folly
Wines that go nicely with this book
reds: Marcel Lapierre Morgon (France), Alario Dolcetto d’Alba Costa Fiore (Italy)
whites: King Estate Pinot Gris (Oregon), Landmark Chardonnay Overlook (California)
Book, standing in the bookstore holding a
If I am standing...
Amy Krouse Rosenthal is, alphabetically, an author of adult and children’s books; contributor to magazines and NPR; host of the literary and music variety show Writers’ Block Party; and mother of some kids. She lives in Chicago.
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