Friday, March 22, 2013

The Best of Mary Schmich: Selected Writings by the Tribune's 2012 Pulitzer Prize Winner by Mary Schmich

I do not always make time to read Mary Schmich's columns in the Chicago Tribune, but when I do, I often appreciate her wit and insight. So, when we signed up for the Digital Chicago Tribune, which was free with our print subscription, I chose her The Best of Mary Schmich as the first free Tribune ebook to download.

Over the course of about a month, I have been reading a few columns a day, usually at the beginning and end of the day. I've enjoyed revisiting events of the past twenty years, many of which took place in or around Chicago, and learning about Schmich and her family. Being her age and growing up somewhere else but now living in the Chicago metropolitan area, I find I have a lot in common with her and can identify with much that she says. I am the perfect target audience.

Schmich has had a more challenging life than I have for sure. My Texas family did not have a lot of money either when I was young, but there were not so many of us, so we never had to actually pinch the pennies as hard. Still, I can remember not wanting to pass on notes from school asking my mom to make a couple of dozen cookies for a bake sale. Could we afford that? It turns out that we could, and I should not have worried so. As Schmich's dad explained to her, we were not actually poor, having more than the people who really were.

Her columns about her mother and her sister Gina are the pieces that I found most touching. She always writes respectfully and with the intension of informing readers about life in general. Though she uses the personal as her foundation, she and her family are not the real focus.

Wondering whether readers other than Tribune subscribers can get this collection, I discovered that it is available digitally from Amazon and Barnes & Noble, but not Google Play. It will be coming out in paperback later this year.

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