From its colorful cover, and its unusual presentation, one knows that Encyclopedia of An Ordinary Life will be something out of the ordinary. Amy Rosenthal is an author of adult and children’s books, and a contributor to magazines and NPR. Rosenthal claims she is writing neither a memoir nor an autobiography, but a personal encyclopedia of her own ordinary life. Her ideas are refreshing and the presentation is clever as she tells her story, with often funny and dark humor, of her life from A – Z. Illustrated with photos, drawings, and reproductions, Rosenthal speaks about everything from broken items to encyclopedia spines to laundry baskets, to thanking a stranger for taking your picture. The idea is novel, and her sense of humor has moments of greatness. Her unusual humor and insight make this book a fun read.
Barbara S. Cohen is a trial attorney in Los Angeles who specializes in child abuse cases. She is a member of NAMI and a supporter of NARSAD, and is an advocate for those who suffer from mental illness.