This is the latest book by one of my very favorite bloggers, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, aka the Yarn Harlot.
The Amazing Thing About the Way It Goes by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. Andrews McMeel, 2014.
I think I’ve been reading the Yarn Harlot for almost ten years, just about as long as she’s run the blog. I’ve even managed to see her a time or two when she’s come to the Ann Arbor District Library. So I was deeply thrilled when I found out that her new book, rather than being just about knitting like her previous books, is a book of general essays. Of course I love knitting – that’s why I started following the blog in the first place – but a book of essays about life means that my non-knitting friends now have something to read to understand why all the knitters are so crazy about her. Also, it meant that for the first time ever, I could buy the book for the library myself instead of requesting that a colleague buy it, since essays are in the Dewey 800s, which is one of my collection areas. I bought two copies, because I knew we would need them.
Pearl-McPhee writes with a whole lot of humor and even more heart. There are stories about her trying to learn to ride a clip-in bike and her many, many falls, in her efforts to participate in PWA’s Rally for Life in support of AIDS research. (She’s doing the ride from Toronto to Montreal for the third time this year, and I can’t express the depths of my respect for this kind of effort. ) She writes about parenting teens – her husband’s secrets (threatening to take off his pants works better than direct commands!) and hers, including how her high school physics lessons are essential with teens, and not in the way you’d think. There’s an essay about the power of snapshots and how she learned to let people include her in the pictures, one about why she can watch asteroid apocalypse movies with pleasure but can’t get over the impossibility of zombies, and fearful drop in self-esteem that comes just before she gets sick. I come out of reading her books laughing out loud and feeling like a better person – not like I’ve been preached to, but like I’ve just sat down with a spell with someone who’s been through it before and come out of it with at least her sense of humor intact. If you’re a fan of the Yarn Harlot, you won’t want to miss this one (even if it has somewhat less yarn in it than usual). If you haven’t met her before, The Amazing Thing About the Way It Goes is a great starting point.