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Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life

By Rachelle Bowden in Arts & Entertainment on Jan 25, 2005 4:59PM

Chicagoist got a copy of the Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life and cannot stop paging through it. The book, which goes on sale today, was written by fellow Chicagoan Amy 2005_01_ency_ord_life.jpgKrouse Rosenthal and is a memoir on what it's like to be.. well.. ordinary. Chicagoist leads a pretty ordinary life and probably if we sat down and made an encyclopedia of it, no one would read it, but Amy does this in a way that makes you keep going back for more. Just one more entry then we'll get to work. Ok, just one more. Ok, one more.. you get the picture.

Arranged alphabetically, her personal encyclopedia is complete with cross-referenced entries and illustrations that ponder over the small, trivial details in life. Like have you ever wondered what you'd look like in a Wanted poster? And do you, like Amy, have to lean out your window EVERY TIME you pull up to the gas tank? One bit that we really enjoyed was some back & forth correspondence she had with the City of Chicago in which she contested a parking ticket on the grounds of karma. And she won!

Another interesting thing, aside from the content of the book, is how it's being marketed. Between today and February 1st, hundreds of copies of the Encyclopedia will be intentionally left in random places around the city, like in taxis, public bathrooms, laundromats and phone booths. So keep your eagle eyes on the lookout to get your free book. If you find one you see that each book is inscribed with a note from the author and you'll be encouraged to report back to the Encyclopedia's site when and where the book was discovered. You can also watch a "Lost & Found" video by Steve Delahoyde documenting Amy's test run.

Amy's also doing a bunch of readings, so check the schedule to see her read from the book live & in person.