Jana's Reviews > Life Itself

Life Itself by Roger Ebert
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Oct 27, 11

bookshelves: 2011, non-fiction
Read from October 21 to 27, 2011

I have been on a memoir kick this year, and Life Itself might be my favorite of the year. I have always been a fan of Roger Ebert's work, mostly because I grew up near his hometown of Urbana, Illinois, and it was so delightful to read his charming and heartfelt stories about the area where we both were born and raised.

The storytelling in this book really blew me away. The attention to detail, the descriptiveness about meals and conversations of his past, and the anecdotes about his personal and familial relationships were really interesting. In fact, there is an entire chapter dedicated to Steak-N-Shake (a Midwestern delicacy that I insist upon visiting every time I'm in the Champaign-Urbana area), and he makes it sound like a five-star establishment. (Which it is, to a local.)

My favorite, and perhaps the most heartbreaking, parts of this book were the stories about his wife Chaz and his colleague Gene Siskel, and the section at the end, where he talks about losing the ability to eat, drink, and speak. I cried through all of those parts (often while riding the train to work) without shame.

I don't think that this is necessarily going to be the best memoir of the year for a lot of people, but Ebert's ability to tell a compelling story is pretty incredible.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Carla Thank you for providing such insightful reviews. I'm always looking for new books to read, and I appreciate your comments/reviews because I know they will lead me into a good read. (It also helps that we share similar likes). :)


Jana Oh, you're so sweet. I always pay attention to your books as well since our tastes are so similar! I can't wait for winter break so that I can make more of a dent in my to-read list.


message 3: by Rebekah (new)

Rebekah Steak-n-Shake is a delicacy for me, too! (Though I'm afraid they'd ruin it if it came to New England, like what happened with Sonic.)


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