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.
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.
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.
If it had a warning label or rating system. I am adult but I am very careful about the books I read, I personally, don't like stories that contain cursing or sexual content. I wasn't expecting it, and had to stop the book it got so bad. I generally stick with G and PG things and this was PG14 or Perhaps R. Not my cup of tea
It started out so good! Then... downhill.
Good Narration, Friendly girl -next store.
It would be great if Audible had a rating system like they do for movies G,PG, PG -13. MA ect...
I received this book as a freebie from Audible in a Valentine's promotional. I listened to it on a 3-hour drive one afternoon, so it worked well for that. I found the story to be interesting enough to help the time pass but not interesting enough that I would have wanted to pay for it.
Always moving. Always listening. Always learning. "After all this time?" "Always."
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.
"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.
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!
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