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2016-08-22 07:03:40

an agonizing true story You know exactly where you put your glasses. Well, kind of. You remember that you put them down in the kitchen, but then you piled mail, a plastic fork, a magazine, and a pair of gloves on them. Your glasses are right where you left them: Under other things. And once you read "Junk" by Alison Stewart, you'll see those things differently. Five decades of stuff. That's what Alison Stewart and her sister faced when it came time to clear their parents' home a mess, the result of "50 years of life" that filled the entire basement, packed to the ceiling. Why, she wondered, do we hang on to the things we keep? How come we collect some items and toss away others? Why do folks often happily accept other people's castoffs? Stewart decided to find out. To begin, she defines junk Ray Ban RB4167 Sunglasses Shiny Black Frame Purple Gradient Lens
Ray Ban RB4167 Sunglasses Shiny Black Frame Purple Gradient Lens as "worthlessness." Stuff is something you don't want anymore but that someone else might find useful, and treasures "are any stuff or junk that appeals to you." A third of us collect something, Stewart says, though professionals "make a distinction between collectors and clatterers." Then there are packrats, while hoarders fall under a newly created psychiatric category all their own. At "a giant 250 mile long junk a palooza" rummage sale in the South, Stewart promised herself that she wasn't going to buy anything but, of course, she couldn't resist. In Austin, Texas, she visited The Cathedral of Junk and spoke with the man who created the "creative, chaotic colossus." She learned that humans weren't the only creatures to be inveterate collectors. In several different cities, Stewart rode shotgun with junk collectors, cleanup crews, and haulers, to get a feel for the kind of things people throw out and what's done with it. She met the World's First Official Spammer, she learned why we get so much "junk mail," she asked about space junk, spoke with professional clutter fighters and "freecyclers," talked with TV producers about pawn stores and picking, and she learned some good news: If you have just too much stuff, there's plenty of help available. When it comes to possessions, are you downsizing or oversized? Whichever direction you're heading, "Junk" can help you spot the bigger picture. And then, turning things around, we get a serious (yet lighthearted) look at other people's junk, how it's tossed, and where it goes once it's gone. In that, Stewart is respectful and doesn't pick on anyone, but who can resist peeking? Who doesn't want to see a happy ending to still useful things? Yes, this is interesting um, stuff. This is not a self help book. It won't tell you how to empty your crammed closets, busting basements, glutted garages, or stuffed sheds, but it's engaging and plenty fun to read which makes "Junk" a great book to put in your hands. Wrapped around her little finger. That's where you were, the first time your newborn grabbed you: As tightly as she was holding your finger, you were wrapped around hers. Right then, you vowed that she'd have what she needed for the rest of her life but, as in "The Girl Behind the Door" by John Brooks, how will you know what that is? After two years of fertility treatment and an attempt at domestic adoption, John Brooks and his wife, Erika, had resigned themselves to "an empty life without children " They were greatly saddened until they noticed in a brochure that children were available for adoption in Poland. Since Erika's family was from there, it seemed predestined. A few months later, the Brookses found themselves in a rickety car, on the road to the State Home for Children in Poland. Once there, they were handed a tiny, towheaded 14 month old they named Casey, and they were smitten. Though they'd been told that Casey was a "special needs child," the Brookses figured that good parenting and loving attention would help make up for lagging development. And it did: By age two, Casey had caught up with her peers. By eight, she'd charmed all her teachers with her intelligence and compassion. But the child who excelled at school was not the same child at home. From the beginning, Casey was prone to "meltdowns" and tantrums, which escalated as she got older. The Brookses tried disciplining her, grounding her, and talking it out. They took Casey to psychiatrists; allowed her to switch schools; medicated her; gave in to keep the peace; and they tried rule setting, which was often ignored. As she became a teen, they feared she was "cutting," and they found drug paraphernalia. Exhausted by episodes of screams and tears but bolstered by calms between the storms, the Brookses did everything they could to help their daughter. They thought college would be their light at the end of the tunnel. Casey seemed happy and eager to leave for school. But, in "The Girl Behind the Door," how everyone got to that point will really put you through the wringer. There's a very uncomfortable feeling in reading this book, something like witnessing a toddler's prolonged scream thrash in the middle of a restaurant. There also could be some controversy: Brooks admits to mistakes (including discipline he shamefully regrets), and certainly, there were perplexing mistakes made by doctors. Still, none of that negates the agony of what happened, so skillfully and poignantly told here. This is a book for parents, definitely, as well as for professionals, hotline volunteers and, with its final chapter of warnings, for prospective adoptive parents. With its anguished suspense like telling and lessons learnable, "The Girl Behind the Door" is a book to get wrapped up in. The Bookworm is Terri Schlichenmeyer. She has been reading since she was 3 years old and never goes anywhere without a book. Terri lives on a hill in Wisconsin with two dogs and 11,000 books.

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