WIN A COPY OF UP FOR RENEWAL! See the review for details. CONGRATS to JESS of Book Reviews by Jess; She’s the winner!
Title: Up For Renewal
Author: Cathy Alter
Publication: Atria Books; July 2008/Washington Square Press (re-release); July 2009
Rating: 3.5 BOOKMARKS
A year in the life of a woman who has committed herself to change, taking advice from glossy magazines on the big Fs: fashion, fitness, food, finance, and, ultimately, FINDING herself.
I’m a huge fan of essays and memoirs–Jen Lancaster, Bill Bryson, David Sedaris–are some of my favorite nonfiction writers. I have laughed my way through so many memoirs that deciding to review Up For Renewal was a no-brainer–it was a memoir AND the premise hooked me!
At the age of 37, Cathy Alter’s life wasn’t exactly going according to plan. Recently divorced and spiraling down a bleak pathlittered with sexual conquests and take-out food containers, Alter commits herself…to change.
Over the course of one year, Alter focuses on improving herself. Each month she tackles a different aspect of her life–fitness, finance, fashion, relationships. Using the magazines as her holy grail and life map, she charts a new course for herself and learns that sometimes it’s necessary to cross choppy seas to get to a safe harbor.
An entertaining read, Alter doesn’t sugarcoat her bad behavior, nor does she apologize. She takes responsibility for her actions–good and bad–and is able to learn and move on. Though I had difficulty relating to some of Alter’sbehaviors, I enjoyed the memoir and found her writing to be witty and easy to read. Her tirades against Saran wrap had me snorting with laughter.
That said (and since there is a giveaway associated with this review), some readers with more Victorian sensibilities might be a bit put off by profanity and adult situations. Consider this fair warning. For the rest of you corrupt little scoundrels, carry on!
For a chance to win a copy of Up For Renewal, simply leave a comment and tell me which magazines you love to read. Contest ends Friday, September 4th at 8pm EST.
Thanks to Minjae Ormes for the review copy!