I Miss You When I Blink by Mary Laura Philpott
What’s it about?
This collection of essays is arranged in chronological order so it read a little like a memoir. Maybe a memoir in essay form? Mary Laura Philpott shares that as a child she learned she was a 'type A' personality. "It's an exhausting way to live, but try as I might, I can't turn it off. My brain seeks tasks to check off, i's to dot and t's to cross (not to mention x's to slash, e's to loop, and z's to zag), the way a sort-of-but-not-really reformed smoker sucks in deep lungful of nicotine when walking past a crowd of smokers outside a bar. Like any high-functioning addict, I have learned to sneak a hit wherever I can. When the pediatrician gives my kids' growth charts, I look for percentages first. When the water meter guy handed me a report with our latest meter reading, I scanned it for a score and asked, 'Is that good?' I can sustain a buzz for hours after anyone tells me that something I've done was 'the best'- even if it's just a colleague at the bookstore where I work saying, 'Hey Mary Laura, you're the best at changing the toilet paper roll in the employee bathroom.' Bam. Better than a shot of tequila." We see her move through her life to the forty something year-old woman she is today.
What did it make me think about?
I love reading a thoughtful author that still doesn't take herself too seriously.
Should I read it?
So maybe Mary Laura Philpott is the Gen. X version of Nora Ephron... It was so interesting to hear the voice of a woman in her forties who is willing to honestly share her struggles with the rest of us. If you like essays with a little humor and a little wisdom then don't miss this book.
"In school we're taught to do our best, but we're limited by the bounds of what we understand to be right- and 'right' looks different to everyone, apparently. Maybe we all walk around assuming everyone is interpreting at the world the same way we are, and being surprised when they aren't and that's the loneliness and confusion of the human experience in a nutshell (er, lobster shell)."
If you like this try-
And Now We Have Everything by Meaghan O'Connell
Maeve in America by Maeve Higgins
The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher by Hillary Mantel
favorites from 2020 winter,spring, summer
some favorites of the last decade
best of winter 2020
best of summer/fall 2019
best of winter/spring 2019
best of summer/ fall 2018
best of winter/spring 2017-18
best of spring/summer 2017
best of winter
best of summer 2014
last spring favorites
on my nightstand
edge of your seat
― Charles William Eliot
3 to 4- I found some aspect of this book redeeming but would not recommend it.
5 to 6- I really enjoyed something about this book (characters, plot, meaning etc.) but it was uneven. Some aspects were stronger than others.
7 to 8- It was a good book. I liked lots of aspects of this book. I would recommend it.
9 to 10- I was sorry to turn the last page. I highly recommend this book!