“The World Was My Oyster but I Didn’t Know How to Cook” was the absolute best book that I could have read at this point in time in my life. Why? Because Christy Potter showed me how to be thankful for what I have, showed me which authors I need to know and recognize, and reminded me of the small things that I should never forget, and instead embrace. Full of inspiration in the form of short essays, short stories, a couple photo journals, interviews, etc. that will make your heart sing with creativity and put life back into your seemingly colorless day.
Christy Potter is an amazing and honest writer that will make you feel the changing of the seasons as they progress on paper. She pays homage to respectable writers that deserve recognition for their craft including, but not limited to: Edgar Allen Poe, Dr. Suess, Lois Lowry (also conducted an interview with her), and C.S. Lewis (who she affectionately refers to as Jack). The way Christy Potter talks about writing is incredibly inspirational. She’s an encouraging writer that convinces her audience to do what they truly enjoy doing as an individual. Some of my favorite chapters were when she talks about the different quirks of various writers, her interview with Lois Lowry, and a narrative essay called “Christy Goes to England: Searching for Jack” that gave me chills, and “To my unconceived child on Mother’s Day” that left me with a tear in my eye.
This book made me realize how out of touch I’ve been with my greatest hobby: reading. And it has inspired me to set goals to write more, attend book readings or even join a book group, take more pictures, read more great authors that I have yet to experience, learn and grow, spend more time in libraries, go abroad, and most importantly to realize that inspiration is everywhere.
This book is an excellent read for anyone with passion, a creative mind or spirit, or a writer at heart. Easy to be read by anyone Young Adult and older to spark that creative match that may or may not still be lit within you. This book made me feel very passionate about the craft of writing and left me with only one question in regards to Christy Potter: why won’t you love her Philip Roth?!
Some of my favorite quotes:
“Everything interesting and creative has to be called a hoax at some point by those with limited creativity.”
“Poetry is one of those things that seems to frighten and fascinate people in turn. A bit like marriage, really.”
“If there’s ever been a mental image that has encouraged me to keep going with my writing, it’s Janet Evanovich burning all her rejection letters.”
“There is such beauty in how uninhibited we are before the world teaches us to be inhibited.”
“The time I spend writing, or gardening, or sculpting, or playing my flute, are the moments that define me. They are the times when I am myself the most. I’m done fitting my art into my schedule. It’s time to start fitting my schedule into my art.”
Crystal Clean is the emotional and honest story lived and told by a mother struggling with meth addiction.
Kim had low self-esteem through her adolescence and started using drugs and alcohol at a very young age to help her cope with her depression. By the time Kim was in her late 30’s, she was using every day. Kim tells her story starting from the way she was treated at school at a very young age up until she was in her early 40’s and had been sober for 4 years. She tells the story openly sharing both the good things that she learned and all of the negative things that she had to pull herself out of in order to survive and be there for her son. She talks about denial, loving yourself, and taking care of yourself.
It was heartbreaking to read everything that Kim had to go through and the lessons that she had to learn the hard way in order to come out on top of her addiction. It was a tear-jerker when Kim retells her stories about her son Andy, and it truly touched my heart the relationship that she had with her son and how a mother should be willing to do anything to protect their children, including sobering up. The most emotional part was when Kim was talking about being in rehab and having to confront her parents about how she felt.
Crystal Clean is a must read for anyone in this generation due to it’s powerful insight on life provided by the wonderful author and mother that dealt with it first hand. It was the most honest work of art that I’ve ever read and would greatly recommend it to anyone. Hands down, 10/10.
“For some people, it only takes one time. Others may use for a few days or a week before it turns on them, but it always does. And the result is always the same. One hundred percent of the time. Meth will rip you apart and destroy you, no matter who you are, and by then it won’t matter how thin you are or how clean your house is because the whole picture is uglier than anything you can possibly imagine.”
“Getting sober is hard. It hurts, mentally and physically. Staying sober takes true courage. The courage to heal not only the pain caused by addiction, but also all the pain that led to addiction.”