Title: Reading Lips: A Memoir of Kisses
Author: Claudia Sternbach
Release Date: April 5, 2011
Publisher: Unbridled Books
Genre: Memoir, Essays, Non-Fiction
Rating: 4 out of 5
In this book of essays from Claudia Sternbach, the author frames important experiences and relationships in her life through the memory of kisses.
In Reading Lips: A Memoir of Kisses, Claudia Sternbach reflects on a life of kisses: some wanted, some not. Some on the lips, others on the cheek or head. Highly anticipated kisses, and those that symbolize more than just a simple gesture. She starts with her childhood, sharing a bedroom with her younger twin sisters, and eager for some semblance of privacy in her life. School is not much better - her best friend seems to always be a step ahead of Claudia, knowing exactly what to do and say and wear in order to garner attention and look “cool”. All Claudia has is the promise that one boy might want to kiss her, and it’s that thought that keeps her going.
As she grows up, kisses take on a new meaning. The essays in Reading Lips cover Sternbach’s life thus far, and events of all types, from first dates to the funeral of the author’s beloved cousin. But this isn’t a book about the pivotal moments, at least, not in and of themselves. Many of the major events of the author’s life are likely represented here, but so are many quieter and smaller remembrances.
The author’s writing style is sharp and pitch perfect for a collection such as this. Sternbach is witty and injects humor and warmth into these stories. It’s clear she looks back fondly over the course of her life, and that sentiment shines through in Reading Lips.
I enjoyed Reading Lips and definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a quiet, quick read that will leave you feeling a fuzzy warmth. The publisher, Unbridled Books, has never steered me wrong in the past, and they definitely have continued that course with this slip of a book.