Also of interest ... in new memoirs
<em>The Slippery Year<strong> </strong></em>by Melanie Gideon; <em>The Big Rewind</em><strong> </strong>by Nathan Rabin; <em>Everything Sucks</em> by Hannah Friedman; <em>The Impos
The Slippery Year by Melanie Gideon (Knopf, $25)“I was all set to dislike” Melanie Gideon when I first started reading about her married life, said Jane Juska in the San Francisco Chronicle. Gideon is a “champion worrier,” fretting about everything from the dangers of Pee Wee lacrosse to midlife’s seemingly ineluctable fading of passion. But The Slippery Year turns out to be “a funny book, often a wise book”—and a surprisingly happy one. Hers is a good life, and she “has the saving grace” to realize it.
The Big Rewind by Nathan Rabin (Scribner, $25)Pop culture was Nathan Rabin’s life raft during a difficult adolescence, said Dwight Garner in The New York Times. In his “mordant” and oddly affecting first book, the film critic uses Nirvana, Reservoir Dogs, and various other youthful obsessions to “pry open” some of the tougher chapters of his teenage years. The Big Rewind “goes badly off the rails” by dwelling too long on career minutiae, but there is “something real and scuffed and quite winning at its core.”
Everything Sucks by Hannah Friedman (HCI Teens, $13)Prep school isn’t what Gossip Girl makes it out to be, said Judy Berman in Salon.com. In this “impeccably honest” memoir for teenage readers, recent Yale grad Hannah Friedman recalls pressures that transformed her and her friends into “high-achieving anorexics, bulimics, and pharmaceutical addicts.” As Friedman details how senior year devolved into “a blur of binges, purges, and drug benders,” she also sustains “a self-aware wit that is all too rare” in young-adult fare.
The Impostor’s Daughter by Laurie Sandell (Little, Brown, $25)Magazine writer Laurie Sandell had suspected since childhood that her professor father could not always be trusted, said Doree Shafrir in Jezebel.com. In her “amazing” new graphic memoir, she tells how he went so far as to steal her identity to run up credit card debt. Watching as she unravels his untruths and struggles to decide whether to expose them, “I couldn’t put her book down.” His deceptions nurtured her investigative instincts, and we’re allowed to watch the two forces collide.