Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Just Breathe Normally” as Want to Read:
Just Breathe Normally
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Just Breathe Normally

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  96 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Just Breathe Normally opens with a traumatic accident. Shattered perceptions and shards of narrative recount the events, from wreck through recovery and beyond. In lyric prose, the stories spiral back through generations to touch on questions of mortality and family, immigration and migration, legacies intended or inflicted. In the wake of her near-fatal cycling collision, ...more
Hardcover, 278 pages
Published September 1st 2007 by University of Nebraska Press
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Just Breathe Normally, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Just Breathe Normally

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Bonnie Brody
Mar 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful and insightful memoir. After being injured in a horrific accident, the
author reflects on her life as she recuperates. Between episodes of 'Law and Order' which
she watches incessantly during her recuperation, she peers deeply into her childhood and
adult experiences. I watched 'Law and Order' during a recuperation, too, and I wonder
what it is about this series that helps healing or works to abate the horrible boredom that
accompanies recuperation.

The book is both poignant and br
Sayantani Dasgupta
Nov 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Brief essays. Jewels.
Christopher Bishop
Jun 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
I still don't care much for poetry, but I somehow LOVE lyrical prose--and Peggy Shumaker can make some killer lyrical prose. I also love the formatting of this memoir. The short little flash pieces resemble that of a poem and make the reading feel light. All of the events and themes in this memoir are also very tightly tied. I didn't feel like much of anything was left unattended too and everything sunk in. At the end, I wanted more.
Hannah Comerford
Jan 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a disjointed memoir, but it works beautifully for the material. The story of the pulmonary embolism, however, is what impacted me the most. This is the first time I've found an account of one since I've survived one myself, and I could perfectly understand most of what she described. Not only was it well written, but it was also encouraging to hear the story of another "lucky" survivor.
Patricia Murphy
Jan 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir
A stunning memoir with a fluid approach to image and time. This is so carefully crafted--from the sentence level, to the intricate weave of story lines. The deep, thoughtful characterization here helps us learn what we need to know most about the author herself.

Volkswagen packed tight as a tick on a boxer’s dog’s flop ear, we set out toward the Black Hills, then Rocklake, North Dakota, the mythical place my mother was born, and where she lived in the time before time began. Five of us, mashed i
Mar 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: flash, memoirs, nonfiction
This is a poignant memoir by the former poet laureate of Alaska. Shumaker weaves her recuperation from a horrible bicycle accident with flashes of her childhood. The key word here is 'flash,' as the author layers flash nonfiction pieces (aka lyric essays or micro-essays) one on top of another to achieve the narrative arc of the memoir.
lexo philia
May 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a beautiful book of vignettes and essays, all written around the central event of a devastating bicycle accident Shumaker suffered. Though I found her occasionally whiny, there are also lines and phrases so beautiful and clear I had to stop, blink, and read them again. And again.

Bonus: the format lends itself well to readers with attention deficits, like myself.
Janelle Dunstan
Dec 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I found this memoir beautiful to read and quite haunting.
Kelly Buntin
May 02, 2012 rated it liked it
Worth the time invested. I like this author's recipe for a memoir.
Feb 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
Beautifully rendered memoir in short, fragmented pieces. very poetic and moving. clear, intuitive language.
rated it it was amazing
Jan 09, 2010
rated it liked it
Aug 26, 2009
rated it it was amazing
Jul 08, 2015
Vanessa Ramos
rated it it was amazing
May 08, 2017
rated it really liked it
Jul 02, 2008
Jill Kandel
rated it it was amazing
Jul 04, 2011
rated it it was ok
Aug 04, 2011
rated it liked it
Sep 16, 2015
Erika Anderson
rated it liked it
Dec 07, 2011
rated it it was amazing
Oct 19, 2012
rated it liked it
Sep 23, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Jun 17, 2018
rated it really liked it
May 23, 2013
rated it really liked it
Jan 09, 2015
rated it it was amazing
May 24, 2014
Aiya Sakr
rated it it was amazing
Jan 12, 2014
Suzanne Smith
rated it it was amazing
Sep 26, 2018
rated it liked it
Nov 18, 2015
rated it really liked it
Jul 07, 2008
rated it it was amazing
Mar 14, 2012
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »