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Fox, Author, Michael J.

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Fox, Read by , read by the author. More By and About This Author. Buy this book. Zeebra Books. Show other formats. Discover what to read next. The Most Anticipated Books of Fall Michael J. Fox lives a different life than the average person and even with Parkinson's it is hard to relate to his experiences. What I like about children's books on disabilities, such as "Wonder" or "Paperboy," is that I can relate to the main characters and their feelings. In the end, they are just kids with feelings most kids experience - myself included.

I can't do this with Fox.


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In the end, he's a This story is more like looking at merchandise through a store's glass window than owning it. In the end, he's a celebrity with feelings that show a well-grounded, smart man but a man who has to deal with a public image and disability as he hobknobs with presidents, politicians, actors, singers, and athletes; a reminder to the reader that he is anything but "average.

There are parts where he talks about family and I enjoyed these the most. It's a tough balancing act as an author tackling a disability and being able make his or her experiences relative to the reader while at the same time revealing a disability that the reader will not have. Of course, I'm comparing this to fiction and this is a nonfiction book so maybe I'm not being fair, but for me, the fiction stories that are memorable rise above the disability to present the character so I forget they have a disability and see the person as having the same feelings as me.

I didn't get that for most of this story. While it was entertaining, I won't remember most of it come six months from now. Fox is funny and describes the Parkinson's symptoms humorously and in a self-deprecating way such as being like a "human whirligig" or trying to listen to Barack O'bama while unsuccessfully controlling "arms wheeling like a board-game spin-arrow.

Fox touches a bit on the phases he went through when dealing with Parkinson's such as denial, hiding the problem, then moving forward with a positive attitude. He covers the politics of stem cell research and the roadblocks encountered with the Bush administration. I thought I'd like the chapter on "Faith" the least but it was actually interesting because it didn't deal with his disease so much as look at the inclusive and exclusive nature of religion in different denominations.

Fox has no bias toward any particular one and I found his factual, honest look at religion somewhat interesting. My favorite parts were the funny phrases he'd use describing his children. Again, I could relate to this working with kids and having a child of my own. He quips, "Kids are like Labrador retrievers - show them a car with the motor running and the back door open, and giving no thought to the destination, they'll scramble in and hang their head out the window in anticipation of the wind blowing back their hair and whipping the spit off their dangling tongues.

Jan 07, Nikki-ann rated it it was amazing Shelves: auto-biography. Always Looking Up is a very fitting title to this, the 2nd autobiography by Michael J. He's a short man, so he's "always looking up", but it's not just that He's also eternally optimistic and full of hope.

Fox is Parkinson's Disease. But he's decided that he isn't going to let that stop him! While acting is increasingly difficult to do with the symptoms of PD Parkinson's Disease , Michael p Always Looking Up is a very fitting title to this, the 2nd autobiography by Michael J. While acting is increasingly difficult to do with the symptoms of PD Parkinson's Disease , Michael puts his time and effort into campaigning for stem cell research in the hope and optimism that it will one day result in a cure for those suffering with PD and other diseased.

Always Looking Up charts the last 10 years of Michael J. Fox's life I hadn't realised it had been that long since his first autobiography "Lucky Man". The book is seperated into themes. It doesn't start in and end at now, instead it is split into the following subjects: Work, Politics, Faith and Family but with more imaginative titles! There is one theme which runs throughout the entire book - Parkinson's Disease - and this is only to be expected.

Michael J Fox - Adventures of an Incurable Optimist

After all, Michael has no choice but to deal with this disease every single day While you might expect a book which is riddled with diseased to be boring and asking "Why Me? There isn't a moment of "Why me? I liked the bit in the Prologue of the book in which Michael describes his start to the day and what is involved.

I thought getting myself up in the morning was difficult, but it's nothing to what Michael goes through. He describes how his right hand has "started up again, rotating at the wrist in a circular motion, perfect for what I'm about to do". He says it "compares favourably to the most powerful state-of-the-art electric toothbrush on the market". I have to admit I laughed when I read it!

The symptoms of the disease must be incredibly annoying and irritating, yet Michael puts a happy spin on things. His first autobiography, Lucky Man, has always been one of my most favourite autobiography books and Always Looking Up is a brilliant follow-up. I hope there will be a third autobiography from Michael J. Fox in maybe another 10 years time if this is possible and maybe his hopes will have come true and a cure will be on the horizon. Also published on my Dooyoo account. Dec 24, Marla rated it did not like it Shelves: i-own , abandoned , , hardcopies.

It's decided. After seeing this book sit on my shelf for over a year and half unfinished, I'm closing shop. I hate to say it, but I can't bring myself to finish it. Fox's defense, I enjoyed most of the first few chapters.


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  • Fox wrote in detail his struggles with Parkinson's disease, and it granted me a view of a completely different world. This I do appreciate about his book. However, after Fox explains the progress of establishing his foundation another interesting part I enjoyed re It's decided. However, after Fox explains the progress of establishing his foundation another interesting part I enjoyed reading , he quickly jumped into the politics of the matter. Of course, politics play into nearly everything these days, but it was just a bit too much for my taste.

    I normally take politics in small strides, but Fox uses a large chunk of his book explaining his political views and how they fall in line with his medical research views. After a few chapters of this mantra, I just couldn't read anymore. His words were more like resounding drums in my ears rather than convicting of my heart. I hate to put it that way, especially since Fox is a good writer. For that reason, I may still read his book Lucky Man. Maybe I'll enjoy it more than Always Looking Up. Aug 20, Alana rated it really liked it Shelves: biographical , political.

    If Lucky Man: A Memoir was a coming-of-age tale, then Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist is the story of a man learning even more about who he is not only as a man, but his place in the world as a human being. It's more "adult," insomuch as Fox more fully fleshes out his thoughts on those touchy subjects politics and faith in particular and he continues to reveal more of his heart on all subject important to him. Regardless of more recent events, seeing the inspiration a If Lucky Man: A Memoir was a coming-of-age tale, then Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist is the story of a man learning even more about who he is not only as a man, but his place in the world as a human being.

    Regardless of more recent events, seeing the inspiration and guidance Fox received from Lance Armstrong demonstrates the power of encouragement that can be received from another. Fox's descriptions of the many people, famous and not-so-famous, who have taking such an active role in his cause and the cause of helping others in general, is inspiring.

    He candidly talks about his political focus on scientific research and in this book, though he clearly states his position on some controversial topics, he also more eloquently states his respect for those who have differing opinions and his support of individuals whose convictions and beliefs are sincere and not only politically motivated. His thoughts on faith and God are also more fully expressed, with deference to others that have differing views.

    I particularly enjoyed reading about his cross-country road trips and other adventures with his family, as I have so many of those memories myself. I can also relate to the spread-out-across-the-continent family, not being able to see each other as often as we'd like, and the increased joy of the times we ARE able to be together. Of course, underlying it all is the aspects of daily life with Parkinson's. The vivid descriptions of how those symptoms manifest themselves and how he has incorporated them into his daily routine is fascinating. The comic descriptions and ability to laugh at himself cover over how challenging it truly must be to live every day with such extreme, life-altering symptoms.

    The difference in this book is that, instead of his efforts going into hiding his symptoms, he describes how he has now incorporated them, and they are now a part of his life rather than owning it. Thus, the disease is an underlying current of Fox's life, rather than the entire focus of the book. In a way, it takes a back seat to the stories of family and everyday life. That is the key difference, the difference between being controlled and learning to alter one's perspective to take the good with the less-obviously-good.

    Thinking as an optimist. May 02, Amanda rated it really liked it. Fox intrigues me simply because he went the opposite direction with his Parkinson's diagnosis than my dad did with his. After reading this book, I'm more impressed than ever. Fox began exhibiting symptoms of PD when he was 29 but brushed them off as overexertion. The actual PD diagnosis brought a some depression and a time of keeping it to himself. He continued to act on Spin City until the symptoms just couldn't be contained anymore. This book is divided up into 4 sections: Work, Politics, Faith Fox intrigues me simply because he went the opposite direction with his Parkinson's diagnosis than my dad did with his.

    This book is divided up into 4 sections: Work, Politics, Faith, Family. These are the 4 areas of his life that keep him going. The Work section describes his decision to give up his acting career and basically step aside. What he didn't know at the time was that he would create a Foundation that would take the place of his acting career. He eventually wants his Foundation to go out of business because that would mean that PD was cured. The Politics section describes how he placed himself in the area to advocate on the behalf of the millions of PD patients and the millions of other patients who could benefit from stem cell research.

    He has crisscrossed the country backing politicians who support stem cell research without regard for party lines he can safely take a stand as the MJF Foundation receives no government funding. Chris Reeve couldn't because his Foundation did receive government funding. Most people will probably remember the Rush controversy, ie. Rush making an ass of himself by mocking Fox's commerical for Claire Gaskill and saying that Fox is acting or deliberately not taking his medicine.

    How Fox looked in his commerical looked like a good day. The Faith sections expounds on Fox's childhood religious views there weren't many and how things have evolved since marrying Tracy, who is Jewish. They raised their children as Jewish but Fox has kept an open mind about all regligious aspects, being more curious than anything. The last section delves into his Family. He talks about his kids, how they bond and how they handle "Shaky Dad".

    Fox is a good storyteller and makes you laugh about the issues he has had to deal with having PD. It's a nice change because as I said, my dad has taken the opposite tack. No humor with lots of self-pity. Fox's story is inspiring and the work he has done for stem cell research is amazing. His Foundation, in the short time it's been open, has done more for stem cell research and PD research than any other Foundation or government-sponsored program. Aug 24, Boundless Book Reviews rated it it was amazing Shelves: beth-s-reviews , biographical , memoir.

    I am amazed by his beautifully optimistic perception of life; as he shares personal stories from his career as an actor, life as a husband and a father of 4. Readers and fans see the genuine Michael J. Fox, as he passionately shares his stance on Stem Cell Research, political views, religious beliefs, and friendships ups and downs; including a few stories including personal friends we recen In Always Looking Up, Michael J.

    MJF shares stories about his friends, also fellow celebrities, as real people. He talks about how they spend their free time, and money, to support their beliefs, and the many charitable organizations; helping everyone from all walks of life, with a variety of unfortunate diagnosis, or life situations. I particularly liked a story he shared about an interview he had with Katie Couric to speak for Stem Cell Research. Instead of wasting time on him and his comment, Michael simply moves on to more important statements he wants to share.

    I have to admit, I was one of those teenage girls; yes, I was into short guys back then. Just look at all my formal dance pictures for proof.

    Always Looking Up by Michael J. Fox | Hachette Books

    He is a beautiful person; after this book, I have a completely new respect for Michael J. Fox, and his family Jan 28, Jinky rated it really liked it Shelves: read-in This is the second autobiography that Mr. Fox kinda weird to be so formal considering I had posters of him all over my bedroom wall as a giddy teenager wrote.

    The first titled Lucky Man , which I haven't read.

    This one basically memoirs his life after retiring from his hit TV sitcom, Spin City in He divided this book into four parts: work, politics, faith, and family. Non-fiction books can be a tedious read so finding an interesting subject becomes essential. Needless to say, Michael J. F This is the second autobiography that Mr. Fox was an interesting "subject" for me.

    Then having read this book, I find him even more interesting. He's quite a stand up guy. Inspirational, funny, intelligent, philanthropic, and yes, optimistic. Most of his adventures were a delight to read. It was a refreshing look at his personal life. I most enjoyed his stories involving his families His story of his sister K.

    Moreover, his relationship with his wife and kids jumped out as sincere love and devotion. I'm such a sucker for stories reflecting solid marriage and parenting. Of course, he discussed his adventures with having Parkinson's disease. He went through a grieving process but quickly turned it into a fight and built a Michael J.

    Fox Foundation with an initial pitch of "I need you to help me go out of business. His determination to find a cure eventually lead him to be in the political arena, namely pushing for the stem cell project. There he found hurdles but some good news in the long run came. This was an overall lovely read. A good man sharing his hopeful journey with upbeat perspective. Aug 14, Michael Bond rated it liked it. Always Looking Up by Michael J.

    Fox was a novel that reflected on the life of this incredible man. Split up into four parts, this book breaks down the parts of his life that many readers can relate to. The four toipics are Work, Politics, Faith, and Family.

    Publisher Description

    Fox, as most people know, was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, or PD. All of these topics somehow are affected by this horrible disease, and the ways Michael hurdles the obstacles ahead of him inspire many. Work, if it isn't obvious, touches upon his work life as an actor. He explains his struggles to change jobs because of his PD and how he finds ways to work around it.

    Politics touches more on the topic of his work with ads, commercials, and books because of his PD. Faith describes how his wife is Jewish, and also goes deeper into his relationship with his son. And, finally, family explains his family relationships and vacations. Overall the novel, no matter the topic, always had one main topic, his Parkison's Disease. Anyone who reads this, with sickness or without, is inspired to take a stand. Fox, with the help of many standing behind him, has given hope to millions of people. He has, through his books and television series, shown people that nothing is stronger than hope.

    The novel taught me about Michael's life, yet it taught me much more than that in reality. I would highly recommend this book, great read about a great life. Apr 04, Irene rated it really liked it Recommends it for: people interested in Parkinson's. Shelves: biography-memoir. A really easy and satisfying read. Always Looking Up picks up where Lucky Man leaves off, both in content and time.

    Once again, I am struck by Michael J. Fox's writing abilities. He writes with grace and wit, even humor especially when he writes about being a father. As in Lucky Man , he jumps around chronologically, so you really want to read the date at the beginning of each passage, if you want to put events into context. This book focuses primarily on Fox's experiences with Parkinson's Disea A really easy and satisfying read. This book focuses primarily on Fox's experiences with Parkinson's Disease, and he does a remarkable job describing the symptoms and helping the reader to understand what a PD patient goes through.

    For Fox, it's not so much a "battle" with PD; the way he explains it, it's more like a journey. Through his chapters on work and politics, Fox illustrates why celebrities are so uniquely positioned for philanthropy: besides bringing attention to whatever particular cause they support, they also have the money and means to fundraise and simply "get things done. I was impressed with his self-awareness and insight. The kind of acceptance and inclusion he writes about spoke to me in terms of my own religious outlook.

    Overall, an uplifting book. In his late 40's, Fox is younger than the age at which most patients are diagnosed with Parkinson's, yet, having Young Onset PD, he's lived with it for 18 years already. Still, he seems genuinely appreciative of every piece of good fortune in his life. View 2 comments. Feb 20, Ken rated it liked it. One of a handful of celebrities with the misfortune to be stricken with PD, he has turned his situation into a battle cry to fight the disease.

    This short bio explains what this journey has meant to his career and family, while forcing him into the unfamiliar territory of politics. It's amazing that he's able to stay positive and keep his humor, but after finishing this book it becomes much clearer. He obviously loves his family and is a determined soul. It's the same determination that drove h One of a handful of celebrities with the misfortune to be stricken with PD, he has turned his situation into a battle cry to fight the disease. It's the same determination that drove him to TV then film stardom without even finishing high school.

    This same determination helped drive him to build his foundation well detailed here and become a high profile spokesman for stem cell research. The most enlightening part of the book is when he discusses the symptoms and progression of PD. As a public figure his continual challenges are enormous. You may remember that Rush Limbaugh even made fun of Fox's excessive PD body language, claiming that he was "acting" or "exaggerating. Overall a good read. Inspiring and informative. Apr 27, Nichole rated it it was amazing Shelves: memoirs. If only I could be as clear-headed, positive, open, and thoughtful in my every day life as this author is as he battles a deadly disease.

    It is considered journey through the past ten years of living life with Parkinson's Disease. But it isn't a downer or heavy on the medical details. Fox shows instead how living with PD has affected the way he views family, faith, life, and politics. And he writes eloquently and movingly on each topic and is a fantas If only I could be as clear-headed, positive, open, and thoughtful in my every day life as this author is as he battles a deadly disease. And he writes eloquently and movingly on each topic and is a fantastic writer-- every page is an easy pleasure to read.

    His voice is extremely likable, his approach to life is quite down-to-earth, and he presents his joys and concerns within a framework that applies to us all, not just a movie star with a debilitating illness. Highly recommended for anyone who needs a clear look at life and of course for anyone who suffers from or knows someone who suffers from PD.

    Aug 24, Sarah rated it liked it Shelves: non-fiction , popsugar-challenge , books , three-star-reviews. Always Looking Up was a bit hit or miss for me. The chapter about work was rather boring to me. Ive seen Spin City but I was too young back then and I can barely remember anything about it, just the general vibe of the show comes to my mind when I think about it.

    The second Part "Politics" was a mixed bag. It depended on how awake I was. If I was just a little tired I was prone to falling asleep while reading it. Fox talks about his involvem Always Looking Up was a bit hit or miss for me. Fox talks about his involvement with the jewish faith from him not converting to the religion, to him and his wive who is jewish deciding to raise their children in the faith.

    It was really interesting to read about. I also teared up quite a bit when he talked about his sisters death. It was truly heartbreaking and somehow uplifting at the same time. Part four deals with Family and was, again, a bit of a mixed bag but not as bad as Politics for me. Jun 12, Claudia rated it it was amazing. It is an unbelievably personal, poignant, and moving book.

    He describes four pillars in his life: Work, Politics, Faith, and Family. Each story, each place, each memory is replete with humor, grace, and truthfulness. He describes his personal daily struggles with Parkinso It is an unbelievably personal, poignant, and moving book. I found myself laughing out loud and crying uncontrollably at various points in his story, but I still left with the feeling of hope, promise of the future, and the ability to change our circumstances. Shelves: audiobooks , returned-to-the-library.

    It was a lot more political than I assumed it would be. There were also a number of unexpected religious passages. I got it hoping to be inspired. It doesn't disappoint. However, it was not the type of inspiration I thought I would receive. He doesn't offer colorful insights into how to live your life better. Instead, he openly discusses the transformation his life has taken: from being a reckless young Hollywood actor, to being a family man with Parkinson, to becoming a spokesperson for Parkins It was a lot more political than I assumed it would be.

    Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist

    Instead, he openly discusses the transformation his life has taken: from being a reckless young Hollywood actor, to being a family man with Parkinson, to becoming a spokesperson for Parkinson's research, to in the end, a man who is grateful for the love and support he receives from family and friends. I enjoyed the book most when he lets us into his family life. My favorite parts are sprinkled with humor, and openly describes his individual observations of his 5 children and how, through them, he has learned to let go and allow them to become who they inherently are.

    I'm glad I read this book and encourage you to share it with someone in your life. Nov 03, Emily rated it it was amazing. This book was even better because Michael J. Fox narrated it himself. It has witty humor and was incredibly personal. Apparently this is his second autobiography. I'm going to have to go pick up the first one. I knew very little about Michael J. Fox aside from the movies he was in and that he has Parkinson's and a foundation for research.

    Learning he was Canadian, the background of his childhood, his political background, and his family. I missed that the title of the book had a multiple meaning This book was even better because Michael J. I missed that the title of the book had a multiple meaning. I understood the optimist part, but as a very short person, I enjoyed his discussion of literally having to look up. His spirituality and the effect of religion on his life and family were intriguing. As a result of reading this book, I'm going to have to look and see what the current status of stem cell research is and how I can help.

    Absolutely recommend. May 24, Tami rated it it was ok.