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.
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.
This book was terrible! There was zero direction. It's like starting 30 or 40 books and never finishing them! There was no connection between chapters, no flow. This is probably one of the only books I have ever considered putting down and NEVER picking back up again.
Just another girl with too many books and not enough time for them all.
I haven't been a GWG (girl with glasses) and I thought this would be a look behind the lenses but nope. I didn't any unique or different perspective on being a woman growing up wearing glasses and how the world response to you. I got the history of frames and frame picks. What is the point?
An old broad that enjoys books of all types. Would rather read than write reviews though. I know what I like, and won't be bothered by crap.
Quirky tale of a girl who wears glasses. It's cute and short but there were some times in the listening I was thinking, "Is there a point to all this?"
This is a memoir of her love life for the most part and it is charming and being a gal who's worn glasses since 3rd Grade, I could emphasize with most of her thoughts.
It was a fun read, nothing special but a good way to kill some time.
The narrator did a fine job.
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.
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.
"Girl with Glasses" was not meant to be read aloud all of a piece like this. It's a collection of essays and sketches and vignettes and lists; a few have a beginning, a middle, and an end, but more have just a beginning and a middle and left me saying "wait, what about -?" A few seemed like just beginnings that broke off. The lists were entertaining. But for the narrator – who did a very nice job overall, and to whom I would be happy to listen again – to just read this from start to finish, with little pause between essays or sections or whathaveyou, was awkward. There was one bit where it talks about how the author hired a homeless man to help her shift her luggage, which was immediately followed by a statement along the lines of "I had planned to sleep with him that night", leaving me wondering if the homeless man was an extraordinarily talented luggage shifter. On paper (or pixels) I'm sure there were line breaks that made that make sense, but read aloud I believe there was no more than the usual sort of pause between sentences. Audiobooks have directors, right? I don't think this director did a swell job.
This was an almost coy sort of a memoir, a tease – "I will reveal a bit, and you will expect more, and you'll never get it". In places (probably the places that wouldn't result in lawsuits) there was detail; in other places no detail at all, including names (though why if she was concerned about the Bad Room-mates' or Bus Guy's reactions she couldn't have just done a names-have-been-changed-to-forestall-the-litigious sort of thing, just to maintain a consistency of *using* names, I don't really understand.). The part that irritated me most was the mention of a college relationship that never got beyond flirtatious emails, about which she wonders if glasses might have been part of the reason (along the lines of people of that age group were still learning to kiss, and kissing with glasses poses special challenges), and in the whole brief essay she is annoyingly vague, down to never using pronouns. If the person she was attracted to was a woman, why on earth not just say so? She'd already (in a roundabout way) said her first real kiss was with a woman, so...?
As what she would call a fellow GWG (Girl With Glasses) – since second grade, I don't know how many pair without sitting and researching, and similarly having briefly worn and walked away from contact lenses – it was inevitable that I nodded a lot while listening to this, and found that "oh, you too?" sort of smile on my face quite a bit. It was a little like when I started discovering that I wasn't the only young geek to be completely obsessed with Star Trek; it's oddly unsettling to find that someone else has felt exactly the same thing you have. With something like the universal dilemma of "I have to pick out new frames, but I can't see what I look like in any of these frames because I'm blind without my glasses", or the shocking agony and terror of being sent out into the sunlight with dilated eyes. (How eyecare offices justify sending people out to drive home in that condition is beyond me. How I've made it home some half dozen times without dying in a fiery wreck is also beyond me. I have found there is no good meteorological situation for trying to function with dilated eyes; bright sunlight is obviously bad, but overcast or darkness is equally bad because streetlights become damn near fireworks, and oncoming headlights are twinned points of horror. And then there was that snowy evening I had to drive some ten miles to get home...) But I never really thought about anyone else eschewing contact lenses in part to avoid the sheer nakedness of not wearing this framework on my face. I hated it; I hated being able to feel wind in my eyes (car windows couldn't be down, suddenly, no matter how warm it was); hated the exposure.
One thing where we differed a bit was in the skittish question of someone else taking off one's glasses. She mentions it as a level of intimacy, and controlling how and when is happens (and who by). I've never yet met the person I'd allow the liberty. It's only happened to me once, or nearly (I dodged back in time to avoid it), and I was never so outraged in my life by the invasiveness of it. Like the author, apparently, I am legally blind without my glasses (and wasn't that an odd thing to be told not all that long ago), and so not having glasses means I am extremely vulnerable (and can never time travel anywhere glasses would be anachronistic, alas). For someone I barely knew to reach out to take my glasses off was tantamount to having him start unbuttoning buttons. In other words: don't do that.
The main area where we two GWG's differ, though, and this actually annoyed me, was when she blithely tossed off the information that she had never lost or broken a pair of glasses. I've never lost a current pair (backup, yes, but not current) - for the simple reason that if I am awake they are on my face, almost without exception (and sometimes when I am not awake). By "never", she - and I - mean "never apart from those times when they get knocked off the night table and end up taking an excruciatingly long groping time to find" - the I-need-my-glasses-to-find-my-glasses moments that punctuate my life with panic … she states that that only happened to her once. I'm not sure I buy that. It's a bit like having a Kindle. It's a rather expensive little apparatus (depending on the type), which becomes such a vade mecum that one becomes more careless of it than one ought. My glasses are literally always with me, and it's easy to forget that they cost the earth (over $500, last pair). I broke my frames a few months ago - and I loved those frames; they were the first ones I ever cared about - and because I haven't had an insurance in years that covered glasses (have I ever?) I had to wear old ones while the current lenses got put into the closest frame I could find, which have a ridiculous loud print on the earpieces... Ah well. Hopefully I'll get a new pair this summer. But that wasn't the first time I've broken a pair. It's happened a few times - once dropped onto concrete-underlaid flooring at work; this last time carelessly left beside me in bed while mostly asleep only to be squashed in the morning. There is nothing quite like the sick feeling of holding in two hands two separate pieces of what used to be one's glasses, and trying desperately figure out a way to jury-rig them back together (preferably without looking like an idiot), wishing desperately for Hermione to come along and say "Oculo reparo", trying desperately to remember where the old pair are, so that one can drive to - hopefully - get them fixed, or, more likely and more expensively, replaced. (When the frame snaps at the nosepiece, the reaction to "can they be fixed?" is basically "ha ha ha no".) She's apparently never had to keep wearing the same glasses for years because of financial reasons; go her.
TL;DR = cute idea; not great execution.
I should have listened other reviewers and not wasted several hours of my time listening to this. It reads like a teenage girls diary. the books is basically the author remembering incidents in her life that really don't have much to do with wearing glasses. They could have happened to people that don't wear glasses too. The author also has a tendency to throw in a few sentences about people here and there that seem to be unrelated to what she had been talking about in that chapter. Then there is the narrator. She reads like she is reading a childrens books with overzealous expression. Make a bad book even worse. Same your time if it is free and save your money if you have to pay for this!
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