I've said it before,and I'll say it again: I'm a sucker for a memoir. I. Loved. This one.
Leap Days: Chronicles of a Midlife Move is Katherine Lanpher's collection of essays about her decision to leave her familiar life to live in New York City. The move came after Lanpher's divorce from her actor-husband (who was "married to the theatre") and several years as a Midwestern journalist.
(Those of you who are fans of Air America, the progressive talk-radio network, may recognize her name. She was Al Franken's co-host on The Al Franken Show/The O'Franken Factor.)
Lanpher discusses a variety of issues in the book -- her brother's accidental death, her marriage, her parents, her love of reading, and her time as a newspaper journalist, to name a few. Every chapter is a complete joy to read. She's a witty, intelligent, strong woman who reminds me a lot of Lauretta Hannon (whose memoir The Cracker Queen I reviewed back in July).
Lanpher writes beautifully, which is not surprising since she's a successful journalist, but that kind of writing is a different ballgame. She's got lovely phrasing and knows how to make you smile, even when she's discussing something depressing. Another thing that really struck me about her writing is how well she ties the beginning and endings of chapters together. She often begins chapters with a seemingly obscure anecdote or reference, and then at the end, she'll string everything together beautifully. It makes a bigger impact than you'd expect.
This is way up on my recommendation list.
Read from November 1, 2010 to November 5, 2010
Sidenote: I tried really, really, REALLY hard to read Frankenstein by Mary Shelley Wollstonecraft during the week of Halloween, but I failed miserably. I spent/wasted several hours staring at my Kindle trying to make myself enjoy the words I was reading, but I couldn't do it. I've always said that I'm one of those people who can read anything (I really thought I was after four Twilight books...), but apparently I'm not. I so am not.