Friday, August 19, 2016

Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal is not so much a book as it is an experience. Oh, sure, it has a hardback cover, pages, and spine. But, as you read along you come to instructions to text a certain phone number to hear, among other delights, a recording of Amy reading a list of vocabulary words from a notebook she started in her twenties, three renditions of Humming Wine Glass, and the musical accompaniment to the final section of the book. 

At one point she asks the reader to hop onto the book's website and write a few words about what he or she is doing at that very minute. She calls them Purple Flower Moments. I happened to be reading the book the other morning at two o'clock and did exactly that. You can read my contribution here along with those of other readers.  Mine is titled 'The 2 a.m. miracle'.

The book, just released ten days ago, comes a decade after her Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life (that I wrote about here). I was crazy about that book and thought the idea of writing autobiographical sketches in the form of encyclopedia entries was brilliant. And I love how she dreams up projects that allow her to include and interact with strangers. 

A sketch from Textbook

This 'textbook' is designed with nine subject headings including Geography, Social Studies, Math, and Music all of which give Ms. Rosenthal a chance to tie in her musings (loosely) with each division. 

The book is full of her meditations and memories, incidences of coincidences, anagrams, mathematical formulas using words instead of numbers, an assortment of short essays, charts, blank pages, sketches, photos, and an effusion of other clever goings-on. 

Like I say, this book is an experience. I hope it is one that you will share with Amy. And me as well. 


  1. I quite enjoyed her previous book, and will definitely look for this one--how fun it sounds.

    1. Hi, Kathy. Well, this is not really a book you sit down and read. It's more of a book you sit down and play with. I thought it was very clever. Now I think I will go back and experience it again.