Posts tagged ‘Family’

Book Review: The Middle Place

Cover of "The Middle Place"

Cover of The Middle Place

By Mandy Webster

The Middle Place. By Kelly Corrigan. New York. Hyperion, 2008.

O, The Oprah Magazine, calls Kelly Corrigan’s memoir, The Middle Place, “Funny and irresistibly exuberant.” Personally, I had some difficulty discovering exactly what it was that Oprah (or her current staff of book reviewers) found so amusing. The only exuberance came in the form of Corrigan’s salesman-for-life father, who she kept on a pedestal throughout the entire book.

One review I read on The Middle Place said, “Just past the second half of the book, the writer’s tone and the content becomes whiny, self indulgent, leaving the author sounding like a spoiled child who needs to grow up.” I was unable to find humor in this work, given the self-centered, overbearing nature of the main character. There were a few promising passages early on, but Corrigan’s obnoxious, “Pay attention to me!” attitude began to grate just a few chapters in. Read more…


Reading with Dad

A grandfather reads to his grandson from an encyclopedia.

My dad reads to my nephew from an encyclopedia.

By Mandy Webster

My dad read to us a lot when I was growing up. Some of my favorite childhood memories are of him reading the entire Little House on the Prairie series to us four kids as we gathered around him on his and our mom’s bed or in a circle on the living room floor.

Whenever we would ask Dad a question about something, anything really, he would say, “Go get the encyclopedia.”

Dad would make us think about what word we needed to look for, and which letter of the encyclopedia we needed to bring to him. And then, he would have us help find the word in the big, heavy book before finally reading the encyclopedia entry to us.

I remember our first outdated set of encyclopedias, and what a huge excitement it was when Dad decide it was time to replace them. Our encyclopedia sales rep was well known to our family, as she was a substitute teacher who had sat in for many of my own regular teachers. Read more…