TEXTBOOK by Amy Krause Rosenthal: A Review

This unusual (for lack of a better name) book is, as the front cover says, “not exactly a memoir”, but “a book about…being alive.”  Published in 2016 ten years after Rosenthal’s Ordinary Life, it is a mix of the author’s thoughts, musings, and feelings on “things” and life in general. The “text” in Textbook, the title, has multiple meanings.  The reader can actually send a text to the author, it is a textbook divided into nine different disciplines from “Geography to ” “Language Arts,” and it often has pictures of texts the author has received.  Sometimes there is only one sentence on a page; sometimes the page is blank, presumably to allow the reader to pause and think about what was just shown or written.  Sometimes the text is a record of thoughts that struck Rosenthal on a facsimile/picture as follows:

In curator style, the author has aligned on the page,

“Existential Napkin

ink printed on a disposable napkin

dispensed at a local restaurant, 1999”

A picture of the napkin where Rosenthal has written follows,

“Aren’t we just trying to leave one, good, lasting thing behind?”

 

And hasn’t the author written one, unique textbook here?

Author: Rae Longest

This year (2019) finds me with 50 years of teaching "under my belt." I have taught all levels from pre-K "(library lady" or "book lady"--volunteer) to juniors, seniors, and graduate students enrolled in my Advanced Writing class at the university where I have just completed 30 years. My first paying teaching job was junior high, and I spent 13 years with ages 12-13, the "difficult years." I had some of the "funnest" experiences with this age group. When I was no longer the "young, fun teacher," I taught in an elementary school setting before sixth graders went on to junior high, teaching language arts blocs, an assignment that was a "dream-fit" for me. After completing graduate school in my 40s, I went on to community college, then university teaching. Just as teaching is "in my blood," so is a passion for reading, writing, libraries, and everything bookish. This blog will be open to anyone who loves books, promotes literacy and wants to "come out and play."

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