Your Life Oughta Be a Book
by Carol Petersen Purroy

A-Z Publications, 2004. ISBN 0-9764400-0-8.
Reviewed by Lee Ambrose
Posted on 01/16/2008

Nonfiction: Creative Life

Sitting down to read Your Life Oughta Be a Book, I found myself thinking about how much fun it would be, to be in one of Carol Petersen Purroy's classes. Her book is written in such a relaxed, upbeat way that readers are immediately put at ease as they are encouraged to begin thinking of themselves as writers. An evening curled up on the couch with this book is much like having a personal mentor at your side.

While Purroy's book deals in large part with the older writer and what he/she has to offer potential readers, it is actually a great primer for anyone who is considering writing his or her personal story. The author makes a point of saying so, but is quick to point out that the fact that people are living longer lends itself to having more life experiences about which to write as we age.

Your Life Oughta Be a Book offers autobiographical excerpts, writing exercises, and an abundance of encouragement to "just do it" [write, that is]. It is peppered with thoughtful quotes about writing, aging, and the importance of sharing one's life story. An excellent choice for the beginning writer, the book also easily serves as a bit of extra encouragement to those writers who are stuck or who have been listening to their internal critic far too long.

A previous description of this work as not only a "how-to" but also a "why-to" book seems to be a very true observation. Carol Petersen Purroy has done what many other authors of books on writing fail to do. She has not only provided technical information but has given the information a heart and soul. And, in doing so, she is able to spark new or renewed interest in the process of writing one's story.

Carol Petersen Purroy has held a variety of positions, including publisher/editor, writer, teacher, reading specialist, disaster relief worker, clinical hypnotherapist and psychotherapist. Born and raised in San Joaquin Valley, California, she holds a B.A. in Anthropology, Teaching Credentials and an M.A. in Psychology. Also a freelance writer, she writes a column for senior magazines. The author lives in Reno, and teaches a class (based on this book) at Trucke Meadows Community College in northern Nevada. Writers can find all sorts of services offered through her website, including the ability to offer their books for sale, a link to bookstores, a free monthly newsletter, and writing support and critique groups.

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