Monday, June 15, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Always Looking Up by Michael J. Fox



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ABOUT THE BOOK (from Amazon):

At the turn from our bedroom into the hallway, there is an old full-length mirror in a wooden frame. I can't help but catch a glimpse of myself as I pass. Turning fully toward the glass, I consider what I see. This reflected version of myself, wet, shaking, rumpled, pinched, and slightly stooped, would be alarming were it not for the self-satisfied expression pasted across my face. I would ask the obvious question, "What are you smiling about?" but I already know the answer: "It just gets better from here." 

-- from Always Looking Up

MY REVIEW:

I listened to the audiobook format of this book, and I almost cried through the entire first chapter.  I have fond memories of Michael J. Fox from my childhood -- watching him in Family Ties, Teen Wolf and all of the Back to the Future movies.  I remember when the news came out about him being diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease (or "PD" as he refers to it throughout the book).  It was shocking and sad.  What made me cry through the first chapter, though, was not the sadness of it, but instead my own guilt over his optimistic outlook on life.

Despite suffering from PD since the age of 29, Fox is upbeat about life and thankful for everything he has (including a beautiful wife and 4 children, fond memories of his childhood and an amazing career).  His attitude is simply infectious.

After the first chapter, Fox delves into the politics of stem cell research, which was something I knew nothing about previously and it seems to be a pretty controversial subject.  He also talks a little about his religious beliefs, but then goes back to more autobiographical content.  The stories kind of jump around to different times in his life, so they are not in chronological order, but more theme-based.  Overall, the book is quick and lighthearted and very inspirational.