This year I committed to Roni Loren's Read and Watch Challenge. (You can get all the details here. ) Basically, every month has a word and the reader finds books and movies/TV shows based on the word.
February's word was RETRO.*
*Bonus retro pictures of me at the end of the post.*
I toyed with that a while and ended up choosing this memoir from the stacks and stacks of books that belonged to my mother and are still creating an odd bookscape skyline in my living room.
Set in the time of 8-track tapes and station wagons, it slid right under the retro category.
I devoured The Glass Castle in one day. I'd heard the first line used in writing workshops as example of hooking the reader.
"I was sitting in a taxi, wondering if I had overdressed for the evening, when I looked out the window and saw Mom rooting through a Dumpster."
Definitely hooked. The way Jeanette Walls carries the curiosity you have about a woman riding to a swanky New York party and passes her homeless mother through the entire book is quite impressive. Her writing style paints images so vivid of the world she grew up in, you can almost smell the cigarette smoke and feel the oppressive heat of the desert air.
What's also amazing is: if this book was fiction, I would've rolled my eyes and tossed it aside with the exasperated thought of, "That author is trying too hard. No one would ever make their children live that way."
But, it isn't fiction. It's the heart-piercing story of Jeanette Walls and her siblings growing up in poverty and neglect but told without self-pity or bitterness.
My mom used to always say, "Everyone had a childhood. Some were good. Some were bad. But, the one thing they have in common is they all end and you don't get to use them as an excuse to be a crappy adult."
Walls tells the story of her family with an almost casual detachment. As if she's shrugging her shoulders in a no-big-deal manner while the reader tries to lift their chin from the floor.
I'd highly recommend this book to just about anyone. There are some triggers to be aware of, mostly alcoholism, verbal abuse, and brief descriptions of sexual assault.
The watch part of this month's challenge was easy. Retro=80s. Totally.
I had a thing for Michael J. Fox and remember LOVING this movie when it came out. Watching it again, I realized how very little I remembered about it. Other than the car surfing which the mom in me immediately started admonishing my children about. "Don't you EVER EVER do that. It is incredibly dangerous."
13 year-old Dawn would be shaking her head in embarrassment at me now.
And, just FYI. this makeup absolutely was not prepared for the creation of HD TV. Just sayin'.
And, yes, I know they've remade it into some kind of angsty new series. No, I don't plan to watch it. Ever.
The other retro movie my family watched was this.
Oh, the Coreys...
I had such a crush on Corey Feldman. It was quite sad and pathetic. And, I'm pretty sure I had this poster or some version of it on my wall until I went to college.
My daughters LOVED this movie. Guess the theme of dying to get your license spans the generations.
And, as promised, pictures of what I looked like while watching these movies.