In her humorous memoir, Marissa Walsh uses the history of her eyesight and eye apparel as a lens (no pun intended) into her life. Listeners of a certain age will relate to her adolescence spent watching Nickelodeon, reading Judy Blume, and listening to Prince. Even as a GWG ("girl with glasses"), Walsh has a sharp eye for detail and a 20/20 memory that can still dredge up comic scenes from her past.
Margie Lenhart's winsome performance adds another layer of charm to Walsh's prose. Though the trials and tribulations of having poor vision might not compare to growing up in a war zone or an orphanage, this book's universal and timeless themes of teenage identity formation transcend its superficial focus.
Being a Girl with Glasses isn't just a style choice; it's a way of life. If you've ever had your specs steam up when walking into a bar, squinted into the sun on the soccer field, or laid eyes on a new haircut only after your locks are strewn across the floor, you know what it's like to be a GWG. Marissa Walsh has worn glasses since third grade. Now - 10 pairs of glasses, one pair of prescription sunglasses, and endless pairs of contacts later - she has fully embraced her four-eyed fate. As she recounts her optic history through the lenses of each pair of glasses - from the Sergio Valentes and the Sally Jessy Raphaels to the pseudo John Lennons and the dreaded health plan specs - at last she found them...the perfect pair. Marissa's comic look at a life behind glass is at once a poignant personal journey and a wry, canny exploration of just what it means to be a glasses-wearing kind of girl. Peppered with pop culture references and complete with appendixes of resources, classic GWG moments, and helpful tips on finding the right frames for your face, Girl with Glasses will give you reason to commiserate with your shortsighted sisters and celebrate your less-than-perfect vision.
©2006 Marissa Walsh (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
Ardent Audible listener with a long commute!
I'm not really sure what Marissa Walsh's "Girl With Glasses: My Optic History" (2006) was. An autobiography? Not really, I don't know where Walsh went to college except that it was probably one of the Seven Sisters, Is Walsh trying to do for glasses what Lisa Birnbach did for dock siders sans socks and polo shirts in "The Official Preppy Handbook" (1980)? Probably not - it wasn't advice l about which glasses work well with plaid skirts and blue blazers.
I've decided that no matter how Audible or Barnes & Noble categorizes GWG (Walsh's nickname for the type), it's a mildly amusing memoir framed by half a dozen pairs of glasses, interspersed with occasional forays into contact lenses. Walsh, in contacts, is literally a different person. She's aimlessly striving, uncomfortable in her own skin, annoyingly uncertain about clothes, and doesn't fit in no matter where she is. Wearing glasses, Walsh is a clever observer; wry and charmingly self deprecating; becomes a New York hipster; and doesn't care about blending . Walsh writing about being in contacts is forgettable; in glasses, she's got super powers.
I'm not sure what the text version looked like, but I suspect it has lots of lists, bolding, bullet points and italics. If that's the case, the narration worked fine. GWG was an okay enough way to pass a three hour traffic jam on the 405 South.
I thought the stories were genuine and relatable. Many stories brought back my own memories that I could chuckle at.
This wasn't my favorite book, but it was a quick and funny listen. I may try another book from the author, however this isn't my typical go-to-genre.
Anyone else could have read this and it would have been better. The reader lacked emotion in key spots, sounded like Siri, and was calculated while reading. I've listened to several other books that were well read and kept me engaged. This book, while funny, had me wishing it would end quickly, just so I could be done hearing the reader.
better distinction between the chapters or sections. I didn't know where one ended and the next began
I could get past the first 30 minutes
She was reading to fast. I couldn't tell where a paragraph ended and the next one began! Everything was strung together like a giant stream of conciousness.
I am a single, sixty year old woman who recently sold her home in the country, where I blissfully raised sheep and chickens. I am very intelligent, sensitive and emotional and I prefer books with these same qualities.
There IS no story. It's just a series of snippets about some unimportant, disconnected events that took place during the time the author wore different pairs of glasses. There was nothing to tie the 'stories' together. No plot, no sense of importance. Just meaningless glimpses into the author's past.
The narration was fine considering there wasn't much to work with.
I wouldn't necessarily say it was a "waste of time" since I listen while walking my dogs. But it is certainly nothing memorable or worth recommending to anyone else.
Don't waste your time.
It is a cute short story. not a dramatic book that I could listen to for days
it is not long
SHe was good
A book lover with a romantic soul, but willing to take a leap of faith. I LOVE to get sucked into a story and live there for a bit.
This book is cute! I would never have picked it out myself, but Audible had it on a Valentines day free list, so I bit, and I am very pleased that I did. Overall it was a sweet and charming listen. Not bad for a free book. Plus, the author is the exact same age as me, so I felt a kinship as I listened. It did jump around in some strange spots, for instance, I have NO IDEA what ended up happening to her teacher. I figured one of three things happened, 1) I either didn't pay enough attention (it happens),2) my phone didn't download it properly so it missed a section, or 3) the author just expects that you understand what she is getting at without her actually saying it. I am not sure which is the case, but none the less, the book was sweet, quirky and charming. You could definitely do worse!
A busy Mum and Accountant. Listen to books while driving to work or sunbathing is my guilty pleasure.
I have already listen to this book again, because the author and I are of the same age. Her descriptions of the different decades found me thinking back to the 80s, 90s and 20s.
I wouldn't normally choose this type of book, and don't have anything to compare it too.
I am please I did, thank you Audible to this freebie and I looking for more books by this author.
She made you beleive that it was her story and not the authors.
Yes, I would read another book of hers.
To many moments to list.
Just a really good story and moved at a good pace.
while he story is nice its seems a little too pressed to bring you a regular growing up story of a cute girl from the glasses POV.
It could have been just the same if glasses were not involved.
At some point mentioning the glasses was too much for me.
When I have a little money I buy books and if there is any left over, I buy food.
it was just so boring, like it was written for third graders, but I doubt I would have found it interesting back then even.
what genre? maybe that's why I didn't like it. I usually listen to historical fiction but I got this for free
Diane Sawyer can make ANYTHING sound amazing!
can i exchange it for another free book? Yesssss!
A school administrator and avid reader and listener of books. At least an hour of every day is spent in the car, and that's where the bulk of my listening is done. I tend to listen to books on "faster" mode so I can get through more books!
Girl with Glasses is just ok. Not bad, just ok. Parts of it rang true in my life as both a GWG and when the story took place; it sounds like we are about the same age. Generally I was more intrigued by the era than the chronicles of her glasses.
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