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An 'inventive and engrossing' memoir, 10 years in the making

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'The Glass Eye' by Jeannie Vanasco
'The Glass Eye' by Jeannie Vanasco
Courtesy of publisher

Every week, The Thread checks in with booksellers around the country about their favorite books of the moment. This week, we spoke with Jamie Thomas, of Women & Children First Bookstore in Chicago.

There's a bit of a battle among the staff at the Women & Children First Bookstore: They can't decide who gets to put Jeannie Vanasco's memoir "The Glass Eye" as their staff pick — too many of them want to recommend it.

Store manager Jamie Thomas said the staff has all different reading styles, yet they "can't rave enough about" the book. "It's one of the most inventive and engrossing memoirs I've read in a long, long time," she said.

The night before Jeannie Vanasco's father died, when she was just 18, she promised she would write a book for him. 

"She was only a freshman in college, but this book is the decade-long result," Thomas explained. "It starts out a love letter to her father and her childhood. But it becomes more and more layered."

"She suffered from deep grief, more than I can possibly imagine, and she is trying to figure out why she wasn't able to get past it." Then comes a diagnosis: Bipolar. Vanasco writes openly and honestly about her mental illness. 

"I've read the book a couple of times now and each time I discover more," Thomas said. "If you want to read something that will make you think and that will keep revealing more to you every time you read it, this is the book." 

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