People interested in Michael J. Fox, or how anyone (with resources) handles chronic illness.
In a nutshell:
Michael J. Fox shares some of the challenges he has recently faced over the last decade or so.
N/A (Audio book)
Why I chose it:
My partner and I watched ‘Still,’ the documentary on AppleTV+ that just come out about Michael J. Fox. It was a well done, unique documentary, and it made me interested in learning more about the actor.
What it left me feeling:
When I was watching the aforementioned documentary, I realized that I haven’t seen much of Fox’s work. I’m sure we watched Family Ties while I was growing up, and I’ll always stop and watch any of the Back to the Future movies when they are on. But I’ve not seen his other films, or really his other TV work. But I am familiar with his Parkinson’s disease diagnosis, and that he and his family and friends built the Michael J. Fox foundation.
This is the third (or possibly fourth?) book Fox has written, so it isn’t a full-on, birth-to-now memoir. While he does reference parts of his childhood and coming up in acting, the focus is mostly on his family life, his career, and the surgeries, injuries, and recoveries he’s experienced in the 2010s. For many of us, I’m not sure a ten year span would be enough to warrant a full memoir, but Fox has plenty to share.
He discusses the serious spinal surgery he had that, if it had gone wrong, could have left him using a wheelchair for good. He discusses some of the specifics about Parkinson’s that makes him more prone to falls, and his frustration with just wanting to do things himself, at his own pace. He discusses at length how he feels about his relationships with his wife and his four children and how his physical challenges play a part in that.
Fox is a great writer (and a great story-teller; I listened to the audio version and am glad I did). The story flows, and is full of both vulnerability, honesty, and gratitude. I couldn’t help but think about the people who have similar diagnoses to him but who don’t have the monetary resources or the strong family and friend support network, and I got the sense from this book that he’s well aware of how much that financial and emotional support matters to him.
If you only have room for one Fox-related bit of pop culture this month, I’d say go with the documentary, but if you have room for two, this book is worth picking up.
Recommend to a Friend / Keep / Donate it / Toss it: