Saturday, July 17, 2010

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future by Michael J. Fox

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future by Michael J. Fox is a charming memoir by a Canadian actor/activist which would make a nice present for a recent graduate. Fox dropped out of high school to pursue his acting career, only returning to get his GED with the encouragement of his son. He sums up the lessons he has learned in life according to subject - comparative literature, economics, physics, political science and geography. A lifelong reader, Fox relates a story of almost being deported because of his Beverly Hills library card. He doesn't denigrate a college education, but rather acknowledges the hard work, commitment and financial investment it takes to achieve one. This memoir has a warm tone which makes it stand out from other memoirs of Hollywood excess. Fox refers to his Parkinson's in terms of what the disease has taught him. He talks about the personal progress he made when he decided to surrender to, rather than battle his illness.

After reading this memoir you are left with an overall feeling of happiness and gratitude. Another book in the bestseller list is The Happiness Project: why I spent a year trying to sing in the morning, clean my closets, fight right, read Aristotle and generally have more fun by Gretchen Rubin. Whereas Fox learned his life lessons while other things were going on, Rubin systematically sets out to find happiness in her life. "Each month, Gretchen pursued a different set of resolutions -- go to sleep earlier, tackle a nagging task, bring people together, take time to be silly -- along with dozens of other goals. She read everything from classical philosophy to cutting-edge scientific studies, from Winston Churchill to Oprah, developing her own definition of happiness and a plan for how to achieve it. She kept track of which resolutions worked and which didn’t, sharing her stories and collecting those of others through her blog (created to fulfill one of March’s resolutions). Bit by bit, she began to appreciate and amplify the happiness in her life." - publisher.

And in Whatever Makes You Happy by Lisa Grunwald "What does it take to be happy? How happy is happy enough? And what does “happy” mean, anyway? So asks Sally Farber–wife, mother, daughter, friend, working woman, and lover–in this wise and funny novel about a woman’s search for happiness in some of the right, and a few of the wrong, places. Summer in the city looms long for Sally Farber when she sends her two daughters off to camp for the first time. Suddenly freed of her usual patterns in a city that becomes a grown-up’s playground, she embarks on a journey unlike any she’s ever had–filled with guilty pleasures and guilty pains. Caught between the past (cleaning out her childhood apartment as her demanding mother offers edicts from South Carolina) and the future (facing her first semi-empty nest), Sally finds herself unexpectedly involved with a powerful, unpredictable man. And as she researches a book whose very topic is happiness, she must weigh the relative merits of prescriptions for its attainment offered by Aristotle and the Dalai Lama, Freud and Charles Schulz, scented candles and Zoloft, her mother and her best friend. The answer comes, in the end, from a surprising discovery, in this rich and original novel about how we can find, and ultimately embrace, both happiness and love." - publisher

No comments:

Post a Comment