I admit that I am as enthralled with the idea behind Amy Krouse Rosenthal's book as I am with the book itself.
Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life is her memoir, of sorts, presented in the form of an encyclopedia...A-Z. So we have entries such as Answering Machines; Anxious, things that make me; Monopoly (like me, she hates the game); the relief of a Rainy Day; memories of a Red Gingham Tablecloth; and Writing Tools - hand, typewriter, computer - and what influence they may have on a writer's style.
There are plenty of entries detailing some of her quirks that I can identify with:
**She fantasizes about getting rid of everything in her closet except for an outfit or two.
**She not only eats when she is hungry, but also if she is worried that she will be hungry. For instance, if she determines she will be in the middle of watching a film at dinnertime, she grabs a sandwich before she goes to the theater, even though she is not yet hungry, to eliminate any future hunger discomfort.
**She returns again and again to the photo/bio of the author on the flap of a book she is enjoying.
I have done all those things.
The entries are almost all short which appeals to my diminishing attention span. I swear, I found myself laughing out loud at an entry, nodding my head in agreement at another, and getting misty-eyed at the next one.
It seems I am always on the quest for a way to record my life,
(see this post) and looking at it in the form of an encyclopedia certainly has its appeal.
Perhaps my first entry could be:
Encyclopedia - A word I learned to spell from a little ditty that was sung on Mickey Mouse Club. Jiminy Cricket taught us to chirp EN CY C LO PEDIA. To this day, I have to sing the letters to myself whenever I write or type the word.
And although Ms. Rosenthal didn't make an entry for Z, I would have to write:
Zero tolerance - for barking dogs, cigarette smoke, heat and humidity, rude service people, radio and television commercials, and magazine advertisements.
Anyway, I adored this book. And as I sometimes do, I fell in love with Amy (which is why I now feel obliged to call her by her first name). She would make a wonderful best friend! I found out more about her via a couple of her Ted Talks and her short films on YouTube.
She loves a bit of wordplay, watches out for synchronicity everywhere, and wants to save the world by Beckoning the Lovely.
She also has created a journal just for us - An Encyclopedia of Me: My Life from A to Z - so we can write our own record of an ordinary life.
Amy - woman to thank.