Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist

Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist

by Michael J. Fox
3.7 217

Hardcover

$5.38 $26.00 Save 79% Current price is $5.38, Original price is $26. You Save 79%.
View All Available Formats & Editions

Temporarily Out of Stock Online

Eligible for FREE SHIPPING

Overview

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

There are many words to describe Michael J. Fox: Actor. Husband. Father. Activist. But readers of Always Looking Up will soon add another to the list: Optimist. Michael writes about the hard-won perspective that helped him see challenges as opportunities. Instead of building walls around himself, he developed a personal policy of engagement and discovery: an emotional, psychological, intellectual, and spiritual outlook that has served him throughout his struggle with Parkinson’s disease. Michael’s exit from a very demanding, very public arena offered him the time–and the inspiration–to open up new doors leading to unexpected places. One door even led him to the center of his own family, the greatest destination of all.

The last ten years, which is really the stuff of this book, began with such a loss: my retirement from Spin City. I found myself struggling with a strange new dynamic: the shifting of public and private personas. I had been Mike the actor, then Mike the actor with PD. Now was I just Mike with PD? Parkinson’s had consumed my career and, in a sense, had become my career. But where did all of this leave Me? I had to build a new life when I was already pretty happy with the old one.

Always Looking Up is a memoir of this last decade, told through the critical themes of Michael’s life: work, politics, faith, and family. The book is a journey of self-discovery and reinvention, and a testament to the consolations that protect him from the ravages of Parkinson’s.

With the humor and wit that captivated fans of his first book, Lucky Man, Michael describes how he became a happier, more satisfied person by recognizing the gifts of everyday life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781615511228
Publisher: Hyperion
Publication date: 03/31/2009
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Michael J. Fox gained fame playing Alex P. Keaton on the sitcom Family Ties. His many other acting successes include the Back to the Future trilogy, and his award-winning lead role in Spin City, from which he retired in 2000. That same year, he launched the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, which has leapt to the forefront of the effort to find a cure. He is the author of a previous book, the #1 bestseller Lucky Man, and lives with his family in New York City.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Always Looking Up 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 217 reviews.
Alla_S More than 1 year ago
In "Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist", the follow up to his original bestselling memoir "Lucky Man", Michael J. Fox-famous for starring in hits like "Family Ties", the "Back to the Future" trilogy, and "The Secret of My Success" among other successful roles included in his lengthy acting resume-explores the last decade of his life according to themes that are most important to him: Work, Politics, Faith, and Family. As someone who has maintained a high profile despite a very public battle with PD, Fox comes across as an inspirational, strong, and intelligent role model as well as a symbol of hope for people fighting debilitating diseases. In his newest memoir, Fox describes leaving "Spin City", founding the Michael J. Fox Foundation, becoming a political activist for stem cell research, obtaining faith in the face of life-changing circumstances, and raising his young family despite fear that PD would prevent him from becoming the husband and father he wanted to be. True to his faith, Fox tries to be optimistic and even has a humorous commentary on otherwise grim events. Despite no longer being a working actor, except occasional guest spots on TV shows, Fox's life is still a whirlwind of activity. An especially entertaining part of the book is Fox's various celebrity encounters-such as his and Robin William's cheering of Lance Armstrong during his second victory of the Tour de France, Fox's comedic infomercial with Mohammed Ali, his sad relationship with Christopher Reeves, and his candid interview with Katie Couric following radio host's Rush Limbaugh's controversial statements. Fox also shares some deeply personal childhood memories, experiences raising his children, and becoming accustomed to his new post-acting lifestyle. Overall, Fox comes across as extremely likeable and painfully honest about his daily struggles. Referring to his height, he jokingly notes that it's not about the size of the dog but about the size of the fight in the dog. And the size of the fight in Michael J. Fox is certainly impressive. His foundation is currently number one in private funding for Parkinson's research. As a public figure, Fox does not hide behind his condition but is doing everything he can to beat it. He confesses his involvement in politics was solely to support the passing of federal funding for research against debilitating diseases like Parkinson's, to hopefully one day cure them-something practically impossible during the last eight years due to the strict laws in place. Fox's courageous efforts to live his life to the fullest and persevere in the face of frequent obstacles are closely documented in this book, which is hard to put down. Michael J. Fox's integrity deserves to be applauded and his inspirational book should be a highly enjoyable read for anyone struggling with life's circumstances and trying to find the strength within to carry on.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love MIchael J. Fox. He is truly an inspiration, and his tireless work for Parkinson's is impressive. I was really hoping to enjoy this book more. A great deal of it is a detailed accounting of the political and fundraising aspect of his life. While I recognize this is, of course, a major part of what he does, I was hoping for more on the personal side of his life. The book is broken into sections, and I enjoyed the "family" chapters so much more than the "dry" political parts. His personality shines through, and you can hear his humor when he relates his feelings about his family! I would rate this 2-3 stars for the first 1/3 of the book, 4 stars for the rest.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Inspiring, moved me to my core. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is facing obstacles in their own lives. Truly amazing read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is overall a good book. It got a little boring during the part where he discusses politics and stem cell research. I actually skipped through that part as it seemed to go on and on.
ElleLK More than 1 year ago
I have always enjoyed Michael J. Fox; his command of physical comedy and comedic timing is still such a pleasure to watch as they live on in DVD and reruns. I was, likewise, extremely taken and cheered by the love story of Tracy and he. However, my enjoyment and admiration hit new heights after reading this amazing look at his life now. As his "new normal" was laid bare, page after page, I found myself impelled to put the book down and offer up a prayer, not for this incredible man, but for myself, asking that I may feel gratitude and thanks for the blessings I have been given. Anyone who feels they have been dealt a crappy hand needs to read this unflinching look at choosing one's attitude. The reader aches for Michael as he wakes each morning and begins the torturous journey to start his day. I will never again take brushing my teeth, showering or even putting on my shoes, for granted. It is incredibly easy to feel anguish for him, however, it is clear that he would welcome neither your sympathy nor your pity. Page by page, Mr. Fox peels away the public "Devil may care" impish grin that we have welcomed into our homes for two decades, replacing it with a maturity and strength that we hope never to need. I was especially touched that his decision to end his run on Spin City tortured him, not for himself, but for the miscellany whose lives would be affected by his departure. As a woman with many health problems that have led to bouts of depression and self sorrow, I found myself chiding my inner voice for its negative speak when this man is unable to even get out of bed or smile at a friend without forethought and tremendous concentration. This compendium should be required reading in every English class, in every school, especially now when disenfranchisement pollutes our world and the credo, "It's All About Me" prevails. Even more striking, to those of us who think of Marty McFly, rendering a primer for living in the moment, Mr. Fox's verisimilitude and command of the English language has allowed him to provide an intellectually stimulating read for those of us who savor the rich magic of words. May we all aspire to possess a fraction of the fortitude that Mr. Fox displays on a daily basis. Reading this book about his anguish and vexations, I challenge you to NOT find yourself looking at the world around you with a renewed sense of thankfulness.
ABW12 More than 1 year ago
On a daily basis, I seem to think about what is and is not hard in my life. This book really forces the reader to take a good look at, and probably redefine what is really hard and what is truly a challenge. I have always enjoyed Michael J. Fox, and this writing is no exception. This is not a poor, pitiful me book in any aspect. Rather, it is a brave and humorous book about Mr. Fox's daily challenges. The reader can not help but laugh out loud and marvel at his perserverance. This is definitely a pick me up and fix my atttitude kind of book. My mom read it in the hospital as she prepared for the painful and long task of rehab after knee replacement. It really made a different for her too. I definitely recommend reading this book cover to cover.
CHAR51 More than 1 year ago
With all the challenges Michael has in dealing with Parkinsons I am inspired to deal with my disabilities with less complaining and more living.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm a Michael J. Fox fan and enjoyed this book. It is especially inspiring for anyone who has to deal with a chronic illness or disability. Very down-to-earth.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just loved this book, I have passed it on to some of my friends who are having a difficult time with cancer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Michael J. is an inspiration! I didn't read his first book I will have to get it. But this was really interesting. I grew up with Family Ties and have been a huge fan forever. But as I was reading his book I forgot about him as the hilarious big brother and was able to enjoy just getting to know the person. This is a wonderful book. Get it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm so thankful to Michael J. Fox for sharing his story. My mom was diagnosed with Parkinson's this year and she didn't get many answers from her neurologist about the disease. We found a specialist, but she had to wait two months to see him. During those two months, her symptoms were running full force and she was scared about her future. I bought my mom Lucky Man and Always Looking Up to help her realize she wasn't alone. My mom could relate instantly with so many things that happened to Michael. Though reading about the progression of his symptoms was tough at times, being more informed about the disease really helped her. I want to thank Michael J. Fox. My mom has never been much of an optimist, but he helped her become one. He not only showed her she wasn't alone, but with his fight for a cure he gave her hope for the future.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fox picks up his inspiring life story where his first biography left off. The Parkinsons' diagnosis was explored in his first book; now, some years later, his tv career pretty much a thing of the past; he finds himself at the fore-front of fund-raising for stem cell research. His bi-partisan support of pro-stem cell research politicians puts him directly in the cross-hairs of Rush Limbaugh. Through all of these challenges, his loving family keeps him centered; and he finds an expanded and renewed faith.
PrecisPete More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I was challenged to reevaluate some of the preconceived ideas I had of Mr.Fox. On the whole, it did not change my opinion of him. Michael J. Fox is an American story (by way of Canada) and while I don't share all of Mr. Fox's political views, I celebrate his spirit. His spirit has been sorely missing from this country for a long time. This book describes Mr. Fox’s struggle towards his own personal goal, but I feel anyone who gives this book an opportunity will walk away reenergized to pursue their own. Good guy, good read!
AlliBird More than 1 year ago
The beginning of the book was great. Funny and inspiring. I tried really hard to get through the rest, but here it is over a year later and I just couldn't. I kept waiting for it to get better, but it never did.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so great. You really get a good understanding of Michael J Fox is going through and how he copes. He is such an inspiration to so many people. I am living with a family member with Parkinsons disease and got a better feel of the disease from him............
luckymeme More than 1 year ago
What an eye opening read about Parkinson's Disease and the battles that people face who have the disease. Michael J. Fox truly is an incurable optimist, it was good to have the opportunity to see his world, struggles and opportunities, through his writing. A very interesting book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Self indulgence celebrity book
Boundlessbookreviews More than 1 year ago
In Always Looking Up, Michael J. Fox shares all aspects of his life, before and after Parkinson’s disease. 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 recently lost, Robin Williams to depression, and Mohamad Ali to Parkinson’s disease. 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. He brings everything to light in a positive way, with his wonderfully humorous personality; he even throws in a few jokes about his own “short comings” in several different ways.   I particularly liked a story he shared about an interview he had with Katie Couric to speak for Stem Cell Research. His purpose for going on the show was to explain the difference between the Stem Cell Research he’s promoting and the research some extreme religious groups believe to be an abomination. His interview seems as though it may be shadowed by an insensitively rude comment recently made by an outspoken radio talk show host whom MJF hasn’t even given a thought to. (in my opinion, this radio host has never really had an opinion of his own, but seems to have made a career of simply bashing the opinions and beliefs of others.) Instead of wasting time on him and his comment, Michael simply moves on to more important statements he wants to share. That’s class and professionalism at its best.    I also personally related to later in that same interview with Katie; in speaking with of his symptoms, he admits it’s not pretty when he’s having a “bad day” but he’s had his time of being pretty, all the teenage girls that had his picture on their walls gave him enough time of being pretty. 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. There’s so much more I can say about Always Looking Up, but instead I’ll just sum it up by saying. I LOVED LOVED LOVED this book; it’s a HUGE 5 Boundless Stars for me. I’m going back to get all his other books, and I’m not just saying this because of my teenage crush on him either. He is a beautiful person; after this book, I have a completely new respect for Michael J. Fox, and his family...Beth
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Isnt doc brown dead? Like in real life? Dd
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I find the book very interesting and informative. Mr. Fox tells of the difficulties he has but not to garner sympathy, more to inform others of this disease. I appreciate his candidness and for forming a fund for further research on this disease. My grandfather, a brother and brother-in-law all have Parkinsons and none of them are the same in their disabilities as Mr. Fox points out. I find this most important to know as some have a more debilitating form of the disease than others which I did not realize.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago