Title: The Girl's Guide to Homelessness
Author: Brianna Karp
Published: April 26, 2011
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "'I am an educated woman with stable employment and residence history. I have never done drugs. I am not mentally ill. I am a career executive assistant—coherent, opinionated, poised, and capable. If you saw me walking down the street, you wouldn't have assumed that I lived in a parking lot. In short, I was just like you—except without the convenience of a permanent address.' Brianna Karp's account of her journey through homelessness immerses us in a timely, relevant topic that all too many Americans know about first hand."
My Two Cents:
You know, I always like books that challenge my beliefs and ideals. I picked up this book based on the blurb on the back from one of my very favorite authors, Augusten Burroughs. I had never heard of Brianna Karp or her blog. I live in a city where homelessness is a problem. In order to get from my home to work, I pass many of them each and everyday. The faces don't often change.
In the name of full disclosure, I will admit that I often get frustrated with these ones that I pass. I find myself questioning why they aren't taking a more active role in getting themselves off the street? Why would they spend money on Starbucks/cigarettes/cell phones/ laptops/ (insert other luxury item here) instead of doing something useful? This book kind of made me really sort of challenged my beliefs. While I still can't get away from being a true fiscal conservative (if I don't have money for something or a dire need, I don't buy it), I can understand that everybody needs an escape no matter what they're monetary status is. It may not be the choice that I make but that doesn't mean that I should be able to judge, something that I will definitely work on.
Brianna Karp tells a compelling story of hard knocks and how living in a trailer in a Walmart parking lot changed her life. She never sought to be homeless but she suddenly found herself having to live in the parking lot because of the things that happened in her life. It made me realize that something like this could happen to many people who never thought they could someday be homeless.
Bottom line: This is a very interesting book. It's been a few days since I finished it and I'm still pondering some of the issues that Ms. Karp speaks about in her book.
4 out of 5 stars