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Skywriting: a life out of the blue


Description: Skywriting: a life out of the blue
File name: Skywriting: a life out of the blue

In this autobiographical exploration, Jane Pauley, the network news and features commentator, records her memories of the years she spent climbing the ladder to the heights of daily TV. She explores her own psychological problems, as well, including her psychological breakdown and diagnosed bipolar disorder, speculating about the effects of her experiences—her family, childhood, teen years, and career. The narrative is unassuming, and that presents the problem. Her life, a life meeting and inter In this autobiographical exploration, Jane Pauley, the network news and features commentator, records her memories of the years she spent climbing the ladder to the heights of daily TV. She explores her own psychological problems, as well, including her psychological breakdown and diagnosed bipolar disorder, speculating about the effects of her experiences—her family, childhood, teen years, and career. The narrative is unassuming, and that presents the problem. Her life, a life meeting and interviewing and writing about premier contemporary leaders, both political and cultural, comes across as ordinary, even trivial, because of the way she views herself and her experiences. The narrative is pleasant, and the reading painless, but it is not gripping writing. The story begins with her psychological problems and hints at causes in her childhood, but the beginning is more exciting than the rest, so the book ends up a bit disappointing. ...more

Rick Ludwig

Having suffered from severe, suicidal depression myself, I found great resonance in jane's experiences. her ability to view things with a writers detachment while still clearly conveying the impact on her life made this a very compelling read and should help others to face their own issues with depression.

Sydney Avey

There are many gems in this accessible memoir. From her first reveal--the onset of a bout with bi-polar disorder--to the Mihaly Csiksgentmihalyi quote on the last pages--"Many people don't know which elements of their lives cause stress and which they actually enjoy."--there is much the average person can identify with in Jane Pauley's experience. The book is full of hope and points to ponder. She shares words to help us frame our experience (purposeful wandering) and concepts to grapple with as There are many gems in this accessible memoir. From her first reveal--the onset of a bout with bi-polar disorder--to the Mihaly Csiksgentmihalyi quote on the last pages--"Many people don't know which elements of their lives cause stress and which they actually enjoy."--there is much the average person can identify with in Jane Pauley's experience. The book is full of hope and points to ponder. She shares words to help us frame our experience (purposeful wandering) and concepts to grapple with as we try to make sense of our own lives. I especially liked her reference to the things that seemingly fall from Heaven at times when we are not looking for them. An easy, satisfying read. ...more

Lucimar

Lucimar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Loved this very honest account of her life and finally realizing she was bipolar. I totally appreciate the fact this book debunks alot of myths about what living with that diagnosis means.

Cyndy

I was kind of disappointed...she seemed to allude to a revelation about her family that never really happened. It was ok.

Jeff Crosby

Jeff Crosby rated it really liked it

"Skywriting" by the well-known NBC broadcast journalist Jane Pauley is an interesting read - especially for someone like me, who grew up in central Indiana and remembers her at the beginning of her career at WISH-TV Channel 8 in Indianapolis. The literary quality is impressive, and the vulnerability (especially about mental health) was somewhat disarming. If you've read her latest book "Your Life Calling" and enjoyed that, you might want to pick this earlier title up. The rare memoir of a celebr "Skywriting" by the well-known NBC broadcast journalist Jane Pauley is an interesting read - especially for someone like me, who grew up in central Indiana and remembers her at the beginning of her career at WISH-TV Channel 8 in Indianapolis. The literary quality is impressive, and the vulnerability (especially about mental health) was somewhat disarming. If you've read her latest book "Your Life Calling" and enjoyed that, you might want to pick this earlier title up. The rare memoir of a celebrity that finds one liking and relating to the person more after the reading than before. ...more

Louise
While bi-polarism introduces the book and recurs, the theme is really Jane's career.

Jane was catapulted to fame not by experience, her knowledge of public affairs, or even her rolodex, but by her looks, youth, midwestern charm and ability to make interesting conversation. She tells the story of this unmerited rise in a straight forward fashion. I remember Jane and Bryant as unrehearsed, positive, informed and amazingly entertaining. Despite the lack of a resume, she clearly rose to the occasion. While bi-polarism introduces the book and recurs, the theme is really Jane's career.

Jane was catapulted to fame not by experience, her knowledge of public affairs, or even her rolodex, but by her looks, youth, midwestern charm and ability to make interesting conversation. She tells the story of this unmerited rise in a straight forward fashion. I remember Jane and Bryant as unrehearsed, positive, informed and amazingly entertaining. Despite the lack of a resume, she clearly rose to the occasion.

The photos of her family, childhood house and home made clothes show the simplicity of her roots. The text reveals that she never lost this quality. Despite my enthusiastic read, I didn't give it 5 stars because Jane gives the issues all too light a treatment. Ironically, I held back 2 stars for the very simplicity I admire in Jane.

One of these issues is the zeitgeist of Jane's rise. It illustrates role of women in news in the 70's. A sweet non-threatening personality was preferred over experience not only by the network execs, but also the audiences. She describes the fairy tale but the analysis is inadequate.

Jane gives us some old fashioned values in discussing her style which is not to create gotcha moments or invade an interviewee's privacy. She alludes to the competition to "get". She does not discuss how this change is driving the personalities of today's journalists, and ultimately the character of the news, nor the outlook for a future personalities such as Jane.

I'd like to know more about the issues raised in Jane's "brush" with Princess Diana. The American from the Great Plains and the British Aristocrat indeed had a lot in common. Both were plucked up at young ages and put before cameras with little training or preparation. Jane relates the story and the feeling in her plainspoken way ... and that is that.

It looked like the Today show was to be a marriage of 3. All the signs and rumors were there and there was no straight talk from the execs with Jane. Jane, writes about juggling and guilt of a mom with a career. She did a pleasure/pain calculus and had the resources stay home. With career drop out of successful women being a hot media topic, I'd be interested to know if uncomfortable situations like the one Jane found herself in (Jane, not Bryant, Willard or Gene) are the common trigger for this reported phenomena.

Jane writes of her children, but not of her marriage. This is provocative, because it seems so out of character... or out of the character that I believe her to be. Gerry is not just any cartoonist, but, one of the most controversial ones in my lifetime.

There is more to know about Jane's bout with bi-polarism too. It is the stated theme of the book. It appears as an isolated thing in her life, which it surely could not have been. ...more

Ice
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This beautiful and surprising memoir, in which beloved broadcast journalist Jane Pauley tells a remarkable story of self-discovery and an extraordinary life, from her childhood in the American heartland to her three decades in television.

Encompassing her beginnings at the local Indianapolis station and her bright debut–at age twenty-five on NBC’s Today and later on Dateline–Pauley forthrightly delves into the ups and downs of a fantastic career. But there is much more to Jane Pauley than just th This beautiful and surprising memoir, in which beloved broadcast journalist Jane Pauley tells a remarkable story of self-discovery and an extraordinary life, from her childhood in the American heartland to her three decades in television.

Encompassing her beginnings at the local Indianapolis station and her bright debut–at age twenty-five on NBC’s Today and later on Dateline–Pauley forthrightly delves into the ups and downs of a fantastic career. But there is much more to Jane Pauley than just the famous face on TVs.

In this memoir, she reveals herself to be a brilliant woman with singular insights. She explores her roots growing up in Indiana and discusses the resiliency of the American family, and addresses with humor and depth a subject very close to her heart: discovering yourself and redefining your strengths at midlife. Striking, moving, candid, and unique, Skywriting explores firsthand the difficulty and the rewards of self-reinvention.

...more

Scott

Scott marked it as to-read

I always liked her and did a wikipedia search because i was wondering whatever became of her. Didn't know she wrote a memoir about depression/bipolar so i'm adding it to my reading list

from wikipedia:".

Pauley is known for revealing very little, if anything, of her private life, which made the disclosure of her bipolar disorder all the more unexpected. The timing of her announcement coincided with the release of her autobiography, Skywriting: A Life Out of the Blue (2004) and the launch of her da I always liked her and did a wikipedia search because i was wondering whatever became of her. Didn't know she wrote a memoir about depression/bipolar so i'm adding it to my reading list

from wikipedia:".

Pauley is known for revealing very little, if anything, of her private life, which made the disclosure of her bipolar disorder all the more unexpected. The timing of her announcement coincided with the release of her autobiography, Skywriting: A Life Out of the Blue (2004) and the launch of her daytime talk show.

In October 2006, Pauley and her lawyers filed a lawsuit against The New York Times for allegedly duping her into lending her name and likeness to an advertising supplement popular with drug companies. Pauley maintains she believed she was being interviewed by a Times reporter.

Pauley is married to Doonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau, and they have three children: twins Ross and Rachel, born in 1983, and Thomas, born in 1986." ...more

Roxanne

Roxanne rated it really liked it

This book is about the broadcast journalist Jane Pauley. She started out very young at a local station, then she was on NBC Today show and Dateline. She also hosted her own show. This is not just a book about her career but about the strong values and strenghts that kept her moving forward. She has suffered from bipolar disease and reminds us to keep things in proportion , and be aware of our health. Self knowledge can lighten our load in life.

Phyllis Jennings

Phyllis Jennings added it

Her last sentence sums it up: "There are no charmed lives,only lives."

It may be comforting for the rest of us mere mortals to know that a contemporary woman of Jane Pauley's stature has had her own challenges in life. It is fascinating to read about her almost accidental stumbling into the tremendous television network career she followed, along with raising a family. She's a genuine person through and through.

Ann Hein

Ann Hein rated it liked it

After hearing Jane speak a week ago, I found this very interesting. Written some time ago it tells of the early part of her career which started at nBC when she was 25! She'll be 65 soon. She became bipolar in her forties which was certainly significant in her life story.

Kathy Dieter

Kathy Dieter rated it really liked it

I enjoyed reading this book as I grew up with Jane Pauley. Interesting to hear about her childhood on Indiana and rise to a TV fame. Very surprising her experiences with bipolar.

CJ
I like Jane Pauley, always have. I thought it might be interesting to learn a little more about her. She's the only other person I know of who has suffered from the same thing I have for almost my whole life - chronic idiopathic urticaria (unexplained hives).

Sometimes when I read a biography of someone, I end up liking them less. I actually like Jane Pauley more. She seems a bit baffled about why she's so well-liked/respected. Jane - people like you because you seem like someone who could live I like Jane Pauley, always have. I thought it might be interesting to learn a little more about her. She's the only other person I know of who has suffered from the same thing I have for almost my whole life - chronic idiopathic urticaria (unexplained hives).

Sometimes when I read a biography of someone, I end up liking them less. I actually like Jane Pauley more. She seems a bit baffled about why she's so well-liked/respected. Jane - people like you because you seem like someone who could live next door. You're one of us and we can connect to that.

It's a quick read and entirely enjoyable. ...more

Ann Adams

Ann Adams rated it liked it

An "inside" look at Pauley's life with a mention of herbs-polar disorder

Peggy

Peggy rated it liked it

Jane Pauley's autobiography is an OK book. I am glad I read it, because it talks about her battle with depression and bipolar disorder brought on by being given steroids for an allergic reaction. Since I have experienced the same problem with steroids, it was nice to know that someone like Jane had this probem too. You will learn a lot about Jane's childhood, teenage years, her stint on the "Today" show and a lot about her family. It isn't the best written or most interesting book I have read bu Jane Pauley's autobiography is an OK book. I am glad I read it, because it talks about her battle with depression and bipolar disorder brought on by being given steroids for an allergic reaction. Since I have experienced the same problem with steroids, it was nice to know that someone like Jane had this probem too. You will learn a lot about Jane's childhood, teenage years, her stint on the "Today" show and a lot about her family. It isn't the best written or most interesting book I have read but it was useful to me. ...more

Connie Vogelgesang

not interesting to me. had to give up

Wendy Eastman link

Wendy Eastman link rated it it was ok

I understand she wrote this book to revel her journey about receiving her diagnosis of bipolar but... I found it to be disjointed. I never understood her relationships with her families and what that had to do with being bipolar. When she described her hospital stay inn New York, all I could think about was "Oh, the life of the privileged." As someone that has had first hand experience with bipolar disorder, I didn't really enjoy this book as much as I had hoped.

Sharon Faith

I thought this would be interesting since I love news and had written for a newspaper. Journalism is a wonderful career, and journalists are very interesting people. So I thought until I read this book. Jane Pauley was NOT as interesting as I had imagined, and the book was clearly boring, listless, and empty. I wish she had written more about her work and career and less about her 'illness'.

subterraneanhomesickalien

subterraneanhomesickalien rated it did not like it

An awful book by a terrible writer with nothing to say. Why did I read it? I guess because it was there. In my defense I was mentally ill at the time. The only thing about it I enjoyed was watching a once fairly respectable reporter completely embarrass herself with her self-absorbed drivel, her description of her psychotic break was amusing too, but only because it was so freaking pathetic.

Sue

Sue rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

I found this book at the D.I. for .75 so thought I couldn't lose.

I enjoyed it but found it a bit disjointed. I am a big fan of Jane Pauley who now writes for AARP. How did she and I get this old?

Anyway, it's a quick read, a nostalgic trip through her childhood and provides insight into her insecurities and personal struggles with medical induced bi-polar.

Margaret

Margaret rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

I wanted to read this as I heard Jane had bipolar disorder and I was impressed that she was able to achieve all that she had achieved despite her condition. He bipolar disorder was brought on by hives (or the treatment of hives) when she was well into adulthood. There was alot of info about her childhood.

Susan

Susan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

I've always admired Jane Pauley. From her story I learned that the treatment she received from a serious case of hives medically induced depression and bipolar disorder. Who knew? Favorite quote from the book:
"It's good to keep things in proportion. Awareness is healthy; alarm is not."

Leanne Hunt

Not being an American, I found all the references to American TV programmes uninteresting and lacking in substance. I read the book with a view to finding out about the author's experiences of bipolar disorder and was disappointed at how little there was about this after the opening section.

Nicki

Nicki rated it it was ok

I found this book frustrating. Jane Pauley was one of my favorite newscasters but this book showed a passivity I did not expect. I was disappointed in this account of her life and difficulties. I felt like she held back emotionally and did not fully embrace the truth of her experiences.

Polly

Polly rated it really liked it

This readable book was hard to put down. Pauley begins with her incident of hospitalization for bi-polar disorder and works backwards, examining her early life and her family with a reporter's eye and a daughter's affection. A fine read.

Steve Garvin

Really enjoyed reading Jane Pauley's memoirs. Her book was as personable as her on-air personality seems to be. Genuine, empathetic, and open about her strengths and weaknesses. She is amazed by and grateful for her blessed life.

Catherine

Catherine rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

I read this book expecting a good story about someone who found she was not who she thought she was. The bipolar incident in her life was downplayed and the book was basically fluff, not what I thought it would be.

J. Lassar

J. Lassar rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

Jane Pauley is a wonderful writer, but I would have liked to know more about her bipolar disorder and how it affected her life. She brought it up in the beginning but didn't really explore the matter further.

Kristen

This book is supposed to be about Jane Pauley's experience with bipolar disorder, but she barely even talks about the mental illness, and there is very little else of any interest in the story.

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