Waiting on Wednesday: Life Itself

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine.

My wishlist is usually insanely long. I’m like a kid in a candy store when it comes to books. But I’m going to select a book that’s due out next month that I saw mentioned a couple of times yesterday, Life Itself: A Memoir, by Roger Ebert.

Now, I’m not the biggest Roger Ebert fan, that title belongs to my friend Mary, but how his has carried on in the face of his illness has been inspirational. I follow him on twitter and he manages to find some of the most interesting content. And it’s not just limited to movies which is why I am looking forward to reading his memoir next month.  (Look at that gorgeous cover!) 

Roger Ebert is the best-known film critic of our time. He has been reviewing films for the Chicago Sun-Times since 1967, and was the first film critic ever to win a Pulitzer Prize. He has appeared on television for four decades, including twenty-three years as cohost of Siskel & Ebert at the Movies.

In 2006, complications from thyroid cancer treatment resulted in the loss of his ability to eat, drink, or speak. But with the loss of his voice, Ebert has only become a more prolific and influential writer. And now, for the first time, he tells the full, dramatic story of his life and career.

Roger Ebert’s journalism carried him on a path far from his nearly idyllic childhood in Urbana, Illinois. It is a journey that began as a reporter for his local daily, and took him to Chicago, where he was unexpectedly given the job of film critic for the Sun-Times, launching a lifetime’s adventures.

In this candid, personal history, Ebert chronicles it all: his loves, losses, and obsessions; his struggle and recovery from alcoholism; his marriage; his politics; and his spiritual beliefs. He writes about his years at the Sun-Times, his colorful newspaper friends, and his life-changing collaboration with Gene Siskel. He remembers his friendships with Studs Terkel, Mike Royko, Oprah Winfrey, and Russ Meyer (for whom he wrote Beyond the Valley of the Dolls and an ill-fated Sex Pistols movie). He shares his insights into movie stars and directors like John Wayne, Werner Herzog, and Martin Scorsese.

This is a story that only Roger Ebert could tell. Filled with the same deep insight, dry wit, and sharp observations that his readers have long cherished, this is more than a memoir-it is a singular, warm-hearted, inspiring look at life itself.

I may just need to get the audiobook since the narration is by Edward Herrmann. You can listen to a chapter off of Ebert’s website.

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