Synopses & Reviews
Kisses, even the ones that dont happen, can be the trace of whats constant when life changes. In childhood, when what seems to define everything is competitionfor style, for knowing, for experiencea kiss is the first first. When a girls father moves out and chooses a new family, a kiss on the head from him may be the trace of constancy that she wants most.
Later, such things take on a different flavor. Sometimes the kiss she wants doesnt come. Sometimes the one she wouldnt have is forced upon her. From time to time, the one she has kissed before is lost to her.
Some kisses are final. When things are most hectic a kiss can be a celebration. And when circumstances grow threateningto a woman, her family, her sistera kiss becomes the reassertion of the most vital connections.
The rich story in these essays rings with good humor and with moving wistfulness. Throughout, Sternbach maintains a perfect balance between them as her story moves from the bittersweet desires of childhood on through loss and love.
Reading Lips is the tale of one woman who is just trying to get life right.
"A woman's life recalled through kisses: the blissful, the unwelcome, and those she longed for that never came."People Magazine
"Moving....what makes this book so easy to love is its offbeat execution...her breezy prose has a natural, effortless quality that is surely the result of great care."Newest.net
Small moments and large tragedies are handled with unselfconscious delicacy and humor in this sweet read.”Library Journals Booksmack
is an impressive stylist and a candid guide through her life. Although the reality of kissing serves as the connecting thread, each essay is grounded in one of a wide variety of complementary topics, such as the first love as an adolescent, best friends, parents, sisters, birthdays, tennis, summer camp, air travel, marriage, divorce, cancer, rape and deathamong others. Sternbach has carefully considered how to make a life story interesting through unusual yet approachable formatting, and she throws humor, sarcasm and self-deprecation into the mix
.A memorable, laugh-out-loud, cry-out-loud essay collection for both genders and all ages.”Kirkus Reviews
Excellent memoir, Reading Lips, reveals a life, one kiss at a time”Good Times, Santa Cruz
"Tells of the kisses that shaped her life and uses them to tell of her search to get life right in a sharp, funny memoir, ideal for other women seeking the same thing."bookviews.com
"Witty, insightful, and full of promise. Sternbach goes through her own tragedies and has seen fit to share them with us in a way that makes life seem like an adventure; something to be taken advantage of and embraced. This book is recommended for women, but men could learn a thing or two as well."Tulsa Books Examiner
In each chapter, Claudia Sternbach treats a single moment when a kiss was proffered or should have been, or would have been had it been possible. Together, the chapters combine humor, worry and wistfulness in a perfect balance as the book moves from the bittersweet tensions of childhood into the graver matters that have touched the author in her middle age.
In this most gently human of memoirs, she traces the connections romantic kisses to pecks on the cheek that have defined her life so far.
This is the sweet, episodic story of one woman just trying to get life right.