Tuesday, September 1, 2015
Review: Life Is Short (No Pun Intended): Love, Laughter, and Learning to Enjoy Every Moment by Jennifer Arnold and Bill Klein
I ran out to get this book right away mostly due to Jen and Bill's amazingly positive attitudes. They do not see the world through rose-colored glasses--they certainly understand that bad things happen and challenges happen--but they power through with an attitude of positivity and calm. I am really drawn to that. It's unusual to see people who embody both optimism and realism simultaneously, particularly when they've had rough lives that would lead most people to being pretty pessimistic (they've both had dozens of surgeries starting as toddlers among other health issues and also just the general problems of being teased, bullied, and underestimated.) I wanted to see how they did it--how exactly they kept smiling in the face of obstacles.
There is no magic formula of course, except that after lifetimes of overcoming everything so far, there's no reason to doubt they'll overcome something else. I did wish for a little more depth in the book, but as it was relatively thin, and is a joint memoir (they alternate chapters), it's inevitable that it wasn't overly deep. The writing is pretty pedestrian, although their voices come through. Even if you didn't notice who was writing the chapter you're reading, if you're familiar with the show, their voices do come through loud and clear (especially Bill's.) It was nice to get so much background. The show is only mentioned in the last two chapters (one each) which makes sense as, if you're a fan or interested in their lives since then, you should just watch the show. No reason to recap what's already on TV. I was interested in how the show came about, and how they held out for an agreement that really strongly understood their positive outlook and committed to portraying that, and not looking for drama, which I appreciate. If you're a fan, you'll like this book.
I checked this book out of the library.