Alysa Salzberg

Alysa Salzberg
Paris, France
December 31
Writer, copy editor, translator, travel planner. Head servant to my cat.
A reader, a writer, a fingernail biter, a cat person, a traveller, a cookie inhaler, an immigrant, a dreamer. …And now, self-employed! If you like my blog and if you're looking for sparkling writing, painstaking proofreading, nimble French-English translation, or personalized travel planning, feel free to check out


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NOVEMBER 15, 2011 10:52AM

Fell in love with a 'Boy'

Rate: 20 Flag



 (image source and for more information)


Ever since she joined OS back in February, Ingrid Ricks has been sharing elements of an extraordinary life story – her own.

Born to a devout Mormon mother and a father who can’t resist the call of the open road, Ingrid grew up in poverty and a certain amount of oppression.  Things only got worse when her parents divorced and her mother married a man who ended up being the epitome of a wicked stepfather.

Luckily for Ingrid, her dad’s wanderlust didn’t keep him from his kids; she often travelled with him along the country’s highways, hawking tools, eating at fast food places, and spending the night in motels – or even their car.  The contrast between her home life and her life on the road is astonishing.

In posts like this one, Ingrid has told us about how she’d dreamt of turning this time in her life into a book, and how, finally, she did it.  Hippie Boy: A Girl’s Story is the result. 

I’ve been reading and relishing Ingrid’s OS posts since she started here, and I found that same voice in Hippie Boy – direct, honest, and incredibly effective.  Even the most subtle emotions are as sharply defined as highway markers in car headlights as you race through the pages. 

The book is a fantastic read – I can sincerely say I had a hard time putting it down.  But it’s not just a joyride: Ingrid has an impressive talent for plunging you into powerful experiences like the tensions of family life with a cruel step-parent, or the exhilaration of being out on the open road.  Though her journey is a personal one, she takes us along for the trip, explaining things like Mormon religion and culture, and her and her father's life on the road in such a natural way that we feel like we fit right in. 

I’d recommend this book, which is available in digital and paperback formats, to just about anyone: adults, adolescents, armchair travelers,  those who had a difficult childhood, and those who didn’t, people who’ve been stuck in one place most of their lives, and people who can’t stay tied down.

Like Ingrid’s summers driving with her dad, Hippie Boy: A Girl’s Story is an unforgettable experience.


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It's always great to discover an OSer's book. If you're looking for more great reads, I'd suggest heading over to OS blogs you love, to see if their authors have also published novels/memoirs/essays/poetry, etc. These could be great gift ideas for the holidays....
This sounds really great Alysa.. I never read her blog before.. One more thing to do.
Good on you for doing this.
Thanks for the link. She sounds like a thoughtful writer. The story of our lives is such an interesting journey. I like a little fiction thrown in too for good measure.
Thank you, Alysa for pointing me in Ingrid's direction.

I'm so touched by your generous words that I'm at a loss for words. Thank you so much for reading Hippie Boy and for sharing your thoughts re: my story here. I so appreciate this -- and you. xoxoxo - Ingrid
This will be the second ebook I've bought, and I'm very much looking forward to reading it. Thank you for letting us know about Ingrid's book.
I could be mistaken, but I take this for a rave review.
guy stuck in one place, here,
saying anything u recommend gotta be worth at least a

mormonism is a serious virus in the Body Politic.
i have done many biopsies on it & yet
see it as benign.

but what is benign,
as a credo? weak. robots they are. swarming pro
creating monsters.
who look talk & smell nice.

a theology not to be believed once ya grasp it.

oh let e m take over. i care not a whit.
as long as i got a safe room and brainspace.
the outside world grows more insane daily .
I don't know how I have managed to miss Ingrid's blog. Thanks for the heads up, Alysa!

OOh this sounds like a great read, thanks for the tip!
Thanks for this, Alysa. I looked for this when Ingrid first posted about it here, but there was not yet a paperback edition and I have neither a Kindle nor a Nook. Now I can get it!
Sounds interesting. Well done review.
Alysa, if you say so, I'm headed to right now. Thanks.
Diwnloaded on my nook already
Nice of you to do. I don't think I've ever seen Ingrid Rick's comments on any blog ,but could have just missed it.
I've read & loved the book and done a review myself. I agree with you Alyssa - it was a great read.
First of all, wtf was up with how many times I used "great" in my first comment here? Sorry about being so redundant, though I guess it shows that I sincerely think it's gr - er, wonderful - that we can read and enjoy books by so many talented OSers.

Linda - You'll definitely enjoy Ingrid's blog. She has a fascinating story to tell, including more contemporary struggles that aren't in the book. But it never gets depressing - there's always a sense of hope and balance. Her recent posts have been full of joy and inspiration. Not only is she happy about realizing her dream of writing a book - she's encouraging other people to do what they've always wanted to do.

zanelle - I often like fiction in there, too - but Ingrid has the kind of story that normally would be in a fiction book! Her life really has been incredible.

Christine - My pleasure. Ingrid is a talented, entertaining, inspiring writer - and also a genuinely kind person, which is the icing on the cake.

Ingrid - I'm so glad you like my review. I truly loved "Hippie Boy" and I also appreciate so much how kind and supportive you are of anyone who has a dream of their own. I wish you the best of luck with everything!

heidibeth - My pleasure! You won't be disappointed - "Hippie Boy" is a great read - and though the circumstances are very different, I'd love to know what you think of the parts about Ingrid and her father's life on the road.

Brassawe - You are not mistaken at all, sir! :-) This is one of the best books I've read in a while - and I say that in all sincerity.

James - What's interesting is that Ingrid doesn't totally condemn Mormonism, but she doesn't praise it,either. It seems like it was just the culture she grew up in. Certain aspects of it, like it being a male-dominated religion, she had a huge problem with - but apart from issues like that, it's sort of this part of her life growing up, the same way poverty was. I thought that was one of the most interesting things about the book, actually: though it's clear Ingrid has a lot of problems with the religion/society she was raised in, she never just flat-out launches into a diatribe against it. But we understand. I think one of her greatest skills as a writer is to show us things, not tell us. And we understand, we feel the undercurrent, tiny ripples.

Lezlie - I know you'll enjoy reading Ingrid's blog - and, if you have time (I know you've been incredibly busy lately), her book.

Poppi - My pleasure. The book really was a wonderful reading experience.

Matt - I felt the same way! I couldn't wait for the book to come out, but since I don't have a way of reading digital books, I was bummed. I wrote to Ingrid to see if it was going to come out in book-form, and, if so, when. I was sooo happy when she told me it was going to be a book, as well.

Macco - I think you'll like Ingrid's writing. She's a great storyteller.

Sheila - Thank you. The review comes from the heart.

Bernadine - I'm so glad you downloaded it! I think you'll really enjoy it!

ASH - Thank you for the vote of confidence. It's a great book.

fernsy - Ingrid has been active in OS life but she had to take a few months' break here and there, to work on her book. I think it was definitely worth the sacrifice.

trilogy - Woo-hoo! A fellow fan! (Giving you a virtual high-five) :-)
Alysa, thanks for the heads up on Ingrid's book! On Amazon it looks like all the reviews are all in agreement that it's a wonderful book to read. I'll definitely order the book and I need to check out Ingrid's blog here on OS, as well!
Thank you all for your nice comments and thanks again, Alysa, for your incredible friendship and support.

James - agree completely with what you have to say re: Mormonism.

Fernsy - sorry we've not crossed paths before but great to connect now.

Linda - thank you! I look forward to checking out your blog as well.

Zanelle - I'm with you...I like good fiction too.

Christine - thank you. And thanks for your nice note on my blog yesterday.

Heidibeth - awesome. Thanks so much! WAS a really nice review. So cool of Alysa.

Leslie -- good to connect with you. Looking forward to checking out your blog.
Ok...back after sprinting in pouring rain to bus stop to get my daughter.

Lezlie...sorry for missing the "z" in your name:) thought I could squeeze in one more note before I was sprinting out the door.

Poppi -- thanks for your nice note (I think it's a good read...though I admit I'm a bit bias).

Matt, thank you! I thought I remember you saying a while back you have a book out and I looked for it on Amazon but couldn't find. I'll send you a separate note because would love to check it out.

Thank you, Macco. I hope you enjoy.

Thanks for your note, Sheila.

Bernadine -- thank you!!

Ash, thank you. And thanks for connecting yesterday.

Trilogy xoxoxo (can't wait to get together Sunday)

Designanator. Thank you for visiting my Amazon page. Great to connect and look forward to checking out your blog as well
Thanks for introducing Ingrid, very nice review, makes me want to read her.
rated with love
Thanks for posting this. I read the excerpt on Amazon and it looks great -- so I'll be getting it.

There are so many great book reviews that come across OS -- it would be nice if maybe one was featured once week as an EP.
RP - I'm so glad my review makes you want to read Ingrid's work - she's a great writer!

Cranky - Yesss! Enjoy! :-)

500 words - Thank you and I think you'll really enjoy the book. As for what you wrote about book reviews on OS, I agree - it would be really cool to have a feature on the cover - what a neat way to discover new books and people writing about them. But I don't know that that seems to be in the cards, alas...