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Summary

A memoir-in-essays from disability advocate and creator of the Instagram account @sitting_pretty Rebekah Taussig, processing a lifetime of memories to paint a beautiful, nuanced portrait of a body that looks and moves differently than most.

Growing up as a paralyzed girl during the '90s and early 2000s, Rebekah Taussig only saw disability depicted as something monstrous (The Hunchback of Notre Dame), inspirational (Helen Keller), or angelic (Forrest Gump). None of this felt right; and as she got older, she longed for more stories that allowed disability to be complex and ordinary, uncomfortable and fine, painful and fulfilling.

Writing about the rhythms and textures of what it means to live in a body that doesn’t fit, Rebekah reflects on everything from the complications of kindness and charity, living both independently and dependently, experiencing intimacy, and how the pervasiveness of ableism in our everyday media directly translates to everyday life.

Disability affects all of us, directly or indirectly, at one point or another. By exploring this truth in poignant and lyrical essays, Taussig illustrates the need for more stories and more voices to understand the diversity of humanity. Sitting Pretty challenges us as a society to be patient and vigilant, practical and imaginative, kind and relentless, as we set to work to write an entirely different story.

©2020 Rebekah Taussig (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers

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Unmissable

Honestly one of the best things I have ever read, thought provoking, funny, sad, clever, interesting & empowering.

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A worldview-changing book that we all need to read

I wish I was a writer just so I could express how much I loved this book. I thought it would be a book about disability - but while it does contain stories from Rebekah's experience of living and making her place in the world as a disabled person, it breaks down the imaginary barrier between "disabled" and "non-disabled". It shows how accessibility favours all of us; how adapting to the needs of disabled people (which needs to be done by the way, and isn't done nearly enough - stop using accessible changing rooms and install more ramps please, for starters!) isn't just about rectifying a wrong that exists in the world, it can also take us to a place where we begin creating a world that embraces our diversity, and by supporting the needs of our changing, suffering, ageing bodies, allows all of us to make our contribution to society from our unique perspectives. Everybody needs to read this book - it will be in all of my family and friends' Christmas stockings this year. Go read this book, now.

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  • Debo
  • 06-09-20

Sad it’s over!

I’m a longtime follower of @sittingpretty on Instagram. Knowing I didn’t have time to read this book, I signed up to auditable to listen to it, and did so in three day! I loved getting insight into Rebekahs everyday life, how she navigates the world and highlighting how disability rights are human (If you ended this book early, you’re missing the point).

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  • Nish
  • 01-09-20

AMPLIFY this type of constructive, imaginative, and uplifting voice!!

Taussig’s words obliterate the distance between a rich life of experiences that so many of us would never bother peeking into. “Disabled? Me? Never! Why do I need to add this perspective to my repertoire?!” As caustically impudent as that sounds, it’s simple truth. We think our bodies and capabilities as infallible except to age and why would us with able bodied fret about something as far away as old age?! Well, Taussig presents an emotionally accessible, humorous, and educational journey that removes any doubt as to why accessibility and disability belongs in society’s evolving dialogues of inclusion and representation. I am so glad my mind was stretched because her insights are embedded in my mind. Thank you, Rebekah!

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  • Ian
  • 31-08-20

Eh...

Had a great promise, but I felt that the same story was repeated over and over again. She tried to make some points, but the points kept being made and I had to stop listening after a while.

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  • Rita
  • 14-09-20

Thought provoking

This book offers a new way to look at the needed change. Rebekah uses her personal experiences to provide readers with a new way to inspect their own actions. reactions and motivations.

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  • Dawn M. Thomas
  • 06-09-20

important read for any one with a body

I really enjoyed listening to this book. Must read for every person. Taussig gives the reader an inside look at the current state of accessibility and offers her insight in the most delightfully well written (and narrated) way. It is very important for all types of bodies to be able to see themselves represented in an uplifting way that celebrates their unique abilities and empowers them rather than treating them as less than others.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 29-08-20

Worth every second and penny--and a world more

Hearing this felt like having an eloquent writer turn my jumble of thoughts and feelings into words

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  • R. Van der Lugt
  • 28-08-20

So good! :)

This book is fabulous because Rebekah truly allows the reader to slip into her skin and see the world through her eyes. I hope it is read far and wide! If more people come to understand the disabled experience, then we can finally all work together to create a truly accessible and inclusive world!

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  • James Eccles
  • 11-01-21

INCREDIBLE!

This is an incredible book. Taussig was thoughtful and purposeful in each chapter. She beautifully shares her story and sheds light on systemic problems. Appreciated her own narration. Absolutely recommend!

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  • jessie
  • 01-12-20

Best non-fiction of the year

What a book to read during the pandemic. There is no better moment to examine our world and how we place bodies/ health and ability within it. The author is so generous as she leads you humorously, gently and enthusiastically into understanding disability.

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  • Geri Flood
  • 11-11-20

incredible writing

so enjoyable to listen to. I always love an audiobook narrated by the author. Rebekah does a fabulous job. I feel like a better person after reading this book and the lessons are applicable in many parts of life. Her writing is just wonderful.