Author: Liz Weber
First copyright date: 2014
Type of book: dogs, growing pains, singlehood, playing the field, discovering how to satisfy self, parent/daughter relationships, sisterhood, friendships
General subject matter: Recently, Rufus, a thirty-seven year old woman's dog has passed away and she has to learn how to let go of him and how to make the life work for her instead of life making her work
Special features: N/A
A book for anyone who has loved and lost and found the space in that loss to become the person they were meant to be.
When Rufus, Liz Weber’s oddly proportioned but adorable dog dies of old age, her life begins to unravel. She is forced to let go of the one constant in her life and move forward. Memory Card Full is a memoir of her life as a bartender, model and aspiring writer in Manhattan before and after Rufus. Without him, she is alone and broken-hearted and her life spirals downward while her friends and family struggle to understand what she is going through.
Prior to Rufus’s death, Liz Weber’s life was far from dull. Whether serving drinks to a gaggle of quirky regulars at a bar or walking around in her skivvies for extra cash as a lingerie model, she fought hard to remain a self-proclaimed “professional free spirit” and aspiring writer, even it meant enduring a lush for a manager or a cranky, Israeli-folk-music-loving boss. None of it really mattered as long as she had Rufus, who taught her about unconditional love in an untraditional way.
Memory Card Full is the story of Liz’s journey through grief, which leads to an unexpected encounter with the long unheard voice of the woman inside of her. On water skis at an adult sleepaway camp, Liz realizes that there are important things in life that Rufus’ love had caused her to avoid. Embracing her power and strength, she is finally able to accept that letting go of him is the best way to go on and find love for herself and others.
Frank, funny, and deeply moving, Memory Card Full is a memoir for anyone who has loved and lost and found the space in that loss to become the person they were meant to be.
About Liz Weber
Liz Weber is a freelance writer living in Brooklyn. Her work has appeared online at Narratively, and Apartment Therapy. When she is not contributing to lifestyle websites, including Citypath and Bored and Thirsty or doling out dating advice to the urban female set on the popular website The Fat White Guy, she’s blogging about her past as a children’s party performer (she makes a mean balloon sword) and the time she drove her moped through a souvenir stand in Mexico. Her short story about working in a male strip club for women was featured in the 2009 Staten Island Arts Festival.
Visit Liz at her website.
"It was less about time and more about choice. When you lose something close to you, you have two choices: the first is to stay immersed in the pain and emptiness of the deep crater left behind by the absence. The second choice is more fluid and requires you to find the space in the loss. In that space, many other things can be gained or cultivated-love, creativity, a new dog, whatever you want. And for the fist time in a year, I could feel the possibility in my life." (231)
a. Why did the author write on this subject rather than on some other subject?
"Maybe I should celebrate. I was finally moving on and ready to create the space for something new. I knew Rufus would dig that-in fact, I'm pretty sure that was the reason why he finally let go in the end." (Prologue)
b. From what point of view is the work written?
The story is written in first person narrative from Liz's point of view.
c. Was the author trying to give information, to explain something technical, to convince the reader of a belief’s validity by dramatizing it in action?
For me personally its kind of difficult to say what she was trying to accomplish in the book. While I sensed that she did change and opened up spiritually, I often felt frustrated that some elements, such as her phobia of commitment wasn't really addressed in the book, or that she also wasn't a likable character for me.
d. What is the general field or genre, and how does the book fit into it? (Use outside sources to familiarize yourself with the field, if necessary.) Knowledge of the genre means understanding the art form. and how it functions.
The general field would be memoirs and how she is trying to learn to accept herself as well as trying to heal from Rufus's death.
e. Who is the intended audience?
I often think the intended audience would be dog lovers and those who are trying to get their lives together and expect a realistic ending instead of something supernatural.
f. What is the author's style? Is it formal or informal? Evaluate the quality of the writing style by using some of the following standards: coherence, clarity, originality, forcefulness, correct use of technical words, conciseness, fullness of development, fluidity. Does it suit the intended audience?
The author's style strikes me more as informal and is easy-going, which means that anyone can read it without a struggle. Although I didn't really find the book funny, I imagine that other people might find some humor in it.
g. Scan the Table of Contents, it can help understand how the book is organized and will aid in determining the author's main ideas and how they are developed - chronologically, topically, etc.
Basically the book is divided into 39 chapters plus epilogue and prologue as well as two parts. No table of contents are given. The chapters and the book are both short if you're pressed for time, and its arranged chronologically.
g. How did the book affect you? Were any previous ideas you had on the subject changed, abandoned, or reinforced due to this book? How is the book related to your own course or personal agenda? What personal experiences you've had relate to the subject?
Last year a sweet dachshund entered into my heart and refuses to leave. Since her entrance, I found myself changing in unexpected ways. She is six or seven years of age, born in 2008, I imagine that what the author writes about might be something I will struggle with when the time comes, and yes I dread thinking about it. In someways too I can relate to the author as well, since I'm also a creative and overly sensitive soul where you're being taught to reign in your emotions.
h. How well has the book achieved its goal?
I'm not really sure what the goal of the book was, and I expected for the book to be linked back to the prologue, and I felt that it didn't happen. If her goal is to show her moving on and healing, then yes the story has achieved its goal, but I'm still unsure of how Rufus's passing helped her grow, unless spirituality is counted?
i. Would you recommend this book or article to others? Why?
I am honestly not sure if I would or not, but I guess its because I feel that I didn't really get anything out of it.
a. Theme: The theme is the subject or topic. It is not necessarily the title, and it is usually not expressed in a complete sentence. It expresses a specific phase of the general subject matter.
Death can be a metamorphosis in life.
b. Thesis: The thesis is an author’s generalization about the theme, the author’s beliefs about something important, the book’s philosophical conclusion, or the proposition the author means to prove. Express it without metaphor or other figurative language, in one declarative sentence.
No matter the age, its possible to discover happiness and self.
While there are parts that I liked about the story such as the addictive writing style, and that in some points I could relate to Liz, especially when it comes to having a successful sibling and being creative and misunderstood, there are parts of the book where I tended to dislike her character, or where I felt frustrated that some issues weren't explored, such as why Liz is frightened of commitment? And the story could have benefited a lot more from Liz's background insertion. Last year I read a wonderful doggie memoir titled Short Leash where another author learns through dog walking to let go of her fears and so forth, and I had hoped that this book might be something along the line, but it wasn't.
This is for TLC Book Tour
Liz’s Tour Stops
Tuesday, October 21st: bookchickdi
Monday, October 27th: A Chick Who Reads
Monday, October 27th: Tiffany’s Bookshelf
Monday, November 3rd: Peeking Between the Pages
Tuesday, November 4th: Gspotsylvania: Musings from a Spotsylvania Dog and Bird Mom
Wednesday, November 5th: Ms. Nose in a Book
Thursday, November 6th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Monday, November 10th: Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Tuesday, November 11th: My Bookshelf
Wednesday, November 12th: 100 Pages a Day … Stephanie’s Book Reviews
Thursday, November 13th: Priscilla and Her Books
TBD: Champion of My Heart4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)