In Marin / READING LIST
MM: What draws you to memoirs
as a genre? KC: I have been writing
longhand in journals since I was 12.
It’s my most natural state. Coming
out of college, I didn’t even understand that memoir was an option — I
got my master’s in English literature,
which doesn’t expose you to that
genre. Even when I heard the term, I
thought it was the sort of thing aging
movie stars wrote. When I was 28,
someone handed me Anne Lamott’s
Operating Instructions and I fell in
love with the form.
MM: What’s the most important
lesson you learned from your
mother? KC: Love is an action verb.
She has no interest, to this day, in
talking about feelings. She doesn’t
care about words and in fact, might
be disinclined toward expression.
For her, it’s all about actions. If a
person can’t feel your love, don’t
start talking. Start doing.
MM: Do you think it’s important
to have one parent who holds it all
together, or can everyone be glit-
ter? KC: No question, kids need
glue and it’s the harder job. But
what my mom made very clear to
me as I was writing this book is that
she never resented her role. Given
their dispositions and their sched-
ules, she had no choice but to be
the glue to my dad’s glitter. My dad
had just enough time to get to the
lacrosse field to watch our games
and then rally the troops on the
ride home. He made us feel good;
she made us feel safe.
MM: How has your battle with
illness affected the way you view
relationships within your family?
KC: When you’re in chemotherapy,
people show you their very best,
their most beautiful, patient, kind,
compassionate selves. It’s when
you return to real life that people
start complaining and interrupting again. Illness brings our
humanity to the surface in a way
that little else does. I’m very grateful to know how much goodness
there is, even if we can’t access it
all the time. I have surprisingly
fond memories of my family during that time. CALIN VAN PARIS
Author Talk Glitter and Glue by Kelly Corrigan, Random House,
$15. How do we learn from our parents and teach
our children? Kelly Corrigan, the best-selling author
of The Middle Place, takes readers on a sometimes
painful, often hilarious look at her life as a daughter, mother, traveler and woman. Glitter and Glue
is an honest, smart look at the winding roads of life, navigated by
Corrigan’s wonderful writing and insights.
The Beautiful Unseen by Kyle Boelte, Counterpoint
LLC, $14.95. This debut memoir focuses on Kyle Boelte’s
time living in San Francisco, where he is enchanted with
the city’s omnipresent fog. The book is a masterful tell-
ing of two parts — an investigation into what causes
the city’s fog and an exploration into what led Boelte’s
brother, Kris, to take his own life at a very young age. Appearing at Book
Passage San Francisco February 11, 6 p.m.
Honoring Grief: Creating a Space to Let
Yourself Heal by Alexandra Kennedy, New Harbinger,
$16.95. Written by psychotherapist and grief expert
Alexandra Kennedy, Honoring Grief provides a col-
lection of inspirational wisdom and compassionate
self-help tips for dealing with loss. Compatible with
any religious or spiritual orientation, this book is a meaningful, com-
forting gift for a friend, family member or anyone recently touched by
loss. Appearing at Book Passage Corte Madera February 7, 4 p.m.
What We Say Matters: Practicing Nonviolent
Communication by Judith Hanson Lasater, Perseus
Book Group, $14.95. In What We Say Matters, yoga
teacher Judith Hanson Lasater offers new and nur-
turing ways of communicating, blending the yoga
principle of satya (truth) and the Buddhist precept of
right speech with Marshall Rosenberg’s groundbreaking techniques
of nonviolent communication in a fresh formula for promoting peace
at home, at work and in the world. Appearing at Book Passage Corte
Madera February 10, 7 p.m.
The Forgetting Place by John Burley, HarperCollins,
$14.99. A female psychiatrist at a state mental hospital
finds herself at the center of a shadowy conspiracy in
The Forgetting Place, a dark and twisting tale of psycho-
logical suspense. In his chilling follow-up to The Absence
of Mercy, author John Burley — a master at medical and
psychological detail — showcases the many ways in which the dangers
of the outside world pale in comparison to the horrors of the human
mind. Appearing at Book Passage Corte Madera February 19, 7 p.m.
Local Page Turners
Book picks by Book Passage’s Zack Ruskin.
We sat down with Kelly
Corrigan to discuss
her new memoir
Glitter and Glue.