Review: Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist by Michael J. Fox

always looking upWhen I was six years old, before I knew what a crush was, I had a crush on Alex P. Keaton. Family Ties was my favorite television show growing up, and to this day, if see it on Nick at Nite, I’ll feel a swell of nostalgia as the pencil-drawn canvas of the Keaton family is painted in with colorful brush strokes and becomes a photograph. “What’ll we do baby… without us … sha-na-na-na.”

Michael J. Fox could do no wrong in my book. He starred as Marty McFly in the Back to the Future trilogy, another beloved piece of my childhood. I’ve seen the first movie dozens of times, the other two sparingly, as they don’t live up to the original in my estimation. But still, those films define the 80’s and my formative years.

His posters adorned my bedroom walls in my tween and pre-teen years. My tastes in my teens may have matured (or immatured) to boy band members and bad boy actors like Kiefer Sutherland, but Michael J. Fox always held a special place in my heart.

In Always Looking Up, Fox chronicles some of his triumphs in the past ten years, all of which involve his efforts to battle Parkinson’s disease, of which the actor suffers. A memoir of sorts, Always Looking Up strives to show how positivity and strong family values has helped him through the tough times. Fox jumps around in time, using anecdotes from his family life, political and religious beliefs to illustrate his concepts. Slightly tongue in cheek at times, and using an impressive vocabulary, I enjoyed hearing Fox’s point of view and glimpse into his personal life.

This is one of my heroes, and the fact that he is bravely facing down a disease and trying to help secure stem cell research to help countless others, only serves to raise the pedestal upon which he has stood my entire life. Though he is no longer a pin-up, he is a role model and an inspiration.

*Read for the 2014 TBR Pile Reading Challenge

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