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I'm Sorry You Feel That Way: The Astonishing But True Story of a Daughter, Sister, Slut, Wife, Mother, and Friend to Man and Dog

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Meet the men in Diana Joseph’s life: “The boy,” Diana’s fourteen-year-old son, who supports the NRA and dreams of living in a house with wall-to-wall carpeting; Diana’s father, who’s called her on the telephone twice, ever, and who sat her down when she was twelve to caution her against becoming a slut (she didn’t listen); Diana’s brothers, or, as her father calls them, “t Meet the men in Diana Joseph’s life: “The boy,” Diana’s fourteen-year-old son, who supports the NRA and dreams of living in a house with wall-to-wall carpeting; Diana’s father, who’s called her on the telephone twice, ever, and who sat her down when she was twelve to caution her against becoming a slut (she didn’t listen); Diana’s brothers, or, as her father calls them, “the two assholes”; Diana’s ex-husband, a lumberjack with three ex-wives, yet he’s still the first one she calls when she’s in a jam; and Diana’s common-law husband, Al, an English professor who’s been mistakenly called mentally challenged. Ostensibly organized around the various men in Diana’s life, this is really a memoir about what it’s like to be a modern, smart woman making her way in the world.


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Meet the men in Diana Joseph’s life: “The boy,” Diana’s fourteen-year-old son, who supports the NRA and dreams of living in a house with wall-to-wall carpeting; Diana’s father, who’s called her on the telephone twice, ever, and who sat her down when she was twelve to caution her against becoming a slut (she didn’t listen); Diana’s brothers, or, as her father calls them, “t Meet the men in Diana Joseph’s life: “The boy,” Diana’s fourteen-year-old son, who supports the NRA and dreams of living in a house with wall-to-wall carpeting; Diana’s father, who’s called her on the telephone twice, ever, and who sat her down when she was twelve to caution her against becoming a slut (she didn’t listen); Diana’s brothers, or, as her father calls them, “the two assholes”; Diana’s ex-husband, a lumberjack with three ex-wives, yet he’s still the first one she calls when she’s in a jam; and Diana’s common-law husband, Al, an English professor who’s been mistakenly called mentally challenged. Ostensibly organized around the various men in Diana’s life, this is really a memoir about what it’s like to be a modern, smart woman making her way in the world.

30 review for I'm Sorry You Feel That Way: The Astonishing But True Story of a Daughter, Sister, Slut, Wife, Mother, and Friend to Man and Dog

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lee Anne

    Just because you have writing skills, and even teach writing for a living, does not mean you have a life that is memoir-worthy. I know memoirs sell like crazy these days, and this one got a glowing review in Entertainment Weekly, but literally NOTHING HAPPENS. She's divorced; she has an uncommunicative teenage son; she has a dog that humps things; she knows people who drink. So what? This is what I have friends for--everyone has this life in some variation. This is not what I read books for. Just because you have writing skills, and even teach writing for a living, does not mean you have a life that is memoir-worthy. I know memoirs sell like crazy these days, and this one got a glowing review in Entertainment Weekly, but literally NOTHING HAPPENS. She's divorced; she has an uncommunicative teenage son; she has a dog that humps things; she knows people who drink. So what? This is what I have friends for--everyone has this life in some variation. This is not what I read books for.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    I was able to talk to the author last night (she called into our book club discussion)to clarify some questions we all had. It was great to get perspective and immediate feedback which made me like the book even more. It's brutally honest, gritty, funny, tender, uncomfortable and questionable throughout the read...although I found myself turning the pages wanting to read more and finishing the book. I can see how some people would not be amused by some things written but that's where the brutal I was able to talk to the author last night (she called into our book club discussion)to clarify some questions we all had. It was great to get perspective and immediate feedback which made me like the book even more. It's brutally honest, gritty, funny, tender, uncomfortable and questionable throughout the read...although I found myself turning the pages wanting to read more and finishing the book. I can see how some people would not be amused by some things written but that's where the brutal honesty comes in....we've all felt these things at one time but have not been truthful enough to admit it...Diana Joseph does and that's what makes this book compelling. It's written very "out of the box" and not tied up with a ribbon at the end to make it all nice. This is a compilation of short essays within a book...pieces of her life primarily through her relationships with the men in her life. You would think she's defining herself through these relationships with these men but not true - just a lot of lessons learned (some she passes on to her son...or tries to). She keeps his anonymity by calling him "the boy" so his name is never mention which gives the feeling of disconnect. Some men have first & last names being called that throughout, other men have just first names mentioned to give a feeling a distance and closeness respectively. I found after the discussion with the author I was more understanding of her choices rather than critical so this was a very special treat to get the other side of what was not written.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Nette

    It took me a while to warm up to this essay collection/memoir -- one of the first stories describes her attachment to the worst boyfriend in history, and my initial reaction was Ick, this woman is an idiot -- but by the end I decided that she's a genius. I'd like to refrain from my usual David Sedaris comparison, but she and Sedaris share the ability to shape each story into a perfect bittersweet comic gem. It took me a while to warm up to this essay collection/memoir -- one of the first stories describes her attachment to the worst boyfriend in history, and my initial reaction was Ick, this woman is an idiot -- but by the end I decided that she's a genius. I'd like to refrain from my usual David Sedaris comparison, but she and Sedaris share the ability to shape each story into a perfect bittersweet comic gem.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kristy

    Well, this was a mess. A crazy, messed up mess and I mean that in the best way possible. It was hilrious and fun, yet sad and disturbing. I agreed with parts, but wanted to scream at others. The back cover states "somehow hard-boiled and warmhearted all at once". It's extremely accurate. I am conflicted on how to rate this one. I adored the way this author told stories. She was witty and interesting. But, it all felt so thrown together, like a rough draft almost. It was very random, almost like r Well, this was a mess. A crazy, messed up mess and I mean that in the best way possible. It was hilrious and fun, yet sad and disturbing. I agreed with parts, but wanted to scream at others. The back cover states "somehow hard-boiled and warmhearted all at once". It's extremely accurate. I am conflicted on how to rate this one. I adored the way this author told stories. She was witty and interesting. But, it all felt so thrown together, like a rough draft almost. It was very random, almost like reading essays from different authors. Yet, I still liked it. This isn't going to be for everyone... I would call it the knock off version of "The Glass Castle", it's the generic brand. I hope that makes sense??? Quotes I enjoyed, included but not limited to: "It would seem my little brother is headed for a life of bad boy-ness, becoming and enforcer for a chicago mob family, perhaps, or a white rapper.." "Well, if not nature, the what pretty thing do you like to look at? I told her the mirror" "That was part of the problem:Th wives never found me amusing, but the husbands thought I was a stitch, a spunky little number, full of sass and piss and vinegar." "I'm sorry you feel that way. The I'm sorry part makes it sound like a generous sentiment, empathetic and understanding, but when you think about it it's really a load of crap. It really means What you feel is stupid and wrong but the reason you feel that way is beacuse, regrettably, you're stupid and wrong. I think it's much more honest to say F*(& You. Up yours. Who cares. What's that got to do with me? Too bad, so sad. So what. Whoop dee do. Foo on you. Big deal. Bite me. You're so full of Sh*&. You don't know your ass from a hole in the ground. Tough Titty. No really, F*^& You." "Karl is a softy for children, and he will invent ways to make them feel better." "The puppy snarled at people on bicyles and rollerblades and skateboarders. He didn't much care for pregnant ladies, either, like the one who strolled by our house daily." For those of you who have read this: Here's what I think the poor humped dinosaur looks like "I'm the baby. I'm the baby." Read the book, i promise you at the very least a couple of smiles. 3.5 stars "What the hell do you want from me now? I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry! I adore you." Sidenote: i would seriously hate to be this mom's kid. Man, does she rag on him. It's funny. I laughed, but I couldn't imagine writing some of her comments about my child. I feel extremely scattered, but that is the way this book was... I'm just following it's path (excuse, yes)! Memior-type books are kinda hard to review...

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mia

    If you’re in need to laugh, then this charming memoir is just the thing for you. Don’t mistake the adjective charming for endearing. This book is not for the faint of heart. Inside the pages you will find hilarious memories, dysfunctional families, poor decisions, tragic conclusions all woven together to form a delectable prose. Joseph is keenly observant and is able to make her quite ordinary, often disappointing life into a witty and fun tale that will leave you begging for more. Written in th If you’re in need to laugh, then this charming memoir is just the thing for you. Don’t mistake the adjective charming for endearing. This book is not for the faint of heart. Inside the pages you will find hilarious memories, dysfunctional families, poor decisions, tragic conclusions all woven together to form a delectable prose. Joseph is keenly observant and is able to make her quite ordinary, often disappointing life into a witty and fun tale that will leave you begging for more. Written in the perspective of a female whose life has been surrounded by males, the book has an almost peevish tone which helps illuminate the strength of her character. It’s an easy, quick, poignant read that will be gobbled up in one piece. It will leave you smiling. You’ll be thankful for never having to go through what Diana Joseph has; yet feel grateful that this life was lived by someone so gifted in writing. Nothing is of waste when another person is able to learn from it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mauoijenn

    Nothing much about this book. Just seems like an ordinary life.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Katy

    In "I'm Sorry You Feel That Way," Diana Joseph provides us with a peek into her comic/tragic, fascinatingly neurotic life. Her wry sense of humor shines through, as does her huge heart and her fears. I could really relate to her and was surprised frequently by how often our lives seemed to have touched upon the same issues - I then stumbled across a paragraph that mentioned she was born in July of 1970, same as I, which was really a surprise. Her essays range from the hysterically funny to the do In "I'm Sorry You Feel That Way," Diana Joseph provides us with a peek into her comic/tragic, fascinatingly neurotic life. Her wry sense of humor shines through, as does her huge heart and her fears. I could really relate to her and was surprised frequently by how often our lives seemed to have touched upon the same issues - I then stumbled across a paragraph that mentioned she was born in July of 1970, same as I, which was really a surprise. Her essays range from the hysterically funny to the down-right sad. I laughed until I cried at "Humping the Dinosaur" and later in the same essay almost cried in earnest because some of what she said so touched me. Ms. Joseph is NOT politically correct; she is often vulgar and makes statement that would make many people cringe. If you are a highly sensitive person, in the matter of political correctness, you probably should just skip this book. But if you are willing to open your heart and mind to what she has to say, I think you'll find Ms. Joseph's book a wonderful addition to your library.

  8. 5 out of 5

    eb

    I've spent the best Sunday in recent memory sitting on my futon, eating string cheese, and laughing uproariously at this gem of a book. I gobbled up the whole thing in one sitting, and now I'm desperate for Joseph to hurry up and write more stuff. If you are a girl--if you are a person--you should buy this memoir. I've spent the best Sunday in recent memory sitting on my futon, eating string cheese, and laughing uproariously at this gem of a book. I gobbled up the whole thing in one sitting, and now I'm desperate for Joseph to hurry up and write more stuff. If you are a girl--if you are a person--you should buy this memoir.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    I'm Sorry You Feel That Way is the catchy title of Diana Joseph's book of essays about her life. Subtitled The Astonishing But True Story of a Daughter, Sister, Slut, Wife, Mother, and Friend to Man and Dog, Joseph recounts incidents from her life that made her the woman she is. The book is an honest, funny and touching look at Diana's life. Her father, a man who preferred to be sans shirt most of the time, gave his twelve-year-old daughter some advice on boys: "Don't be a pig". Translation: Don' I'm Sorry You Feel That Way is the catchy title of Diana Joseph's book of essays about her life. Subtitled The Astonishing But True Story of a Daughter, Sister, Slut, Wife, Mother, and Friend to Man and Dog, Joseph recounts incidents from her life that made her the woman she is. The book is an honest, funny and touching look at Diana's life. Her father, a man who preferred to be sans shirt most of the time, gave his twelve-year-old daughter some advice on boys: "Don't be a pig". Translation: Don't be a slut. She didn't take his advice, and frequently her choices in men were questionable. She calls her now-teenage son 'the boy', and her description of raising a son mostly on her own reminded me of Anne LaMott's writing on the same topic. Single moms trying everyday to do their best, but struggling with not having enough money, exhaustion, depression and loneliness. She is not a martyr, just a human being. Joseph is remarkably honest in her assessment of herself and others, and that is the strength of her book. She has the ability to see the good and bad that exists in all of us, and expresses that in her unique way. The last essay of the book, 'Ten Million, At Least', is the most moving. Joseph lives with literature professor Al, a good guy who loves her and her boy. They love each other, but they also have their differences, which makes it difficult at times to cohabitate. If you don't tear up at the last two pages, you simply aren't human. Diana Joseph has spent much of her life around men- her dad, her brothers, lovers, and her son- and that has colored the way she sees the world. Her book is an honest look at how a modern woman deals with bad habits, depression, sex, love, crummy jobs, poverty, pets, loneliness, rock and roll and family. It's humorous and moving, just like life. If you are a fan of David Sedaris and Sarah Vowell, add Diana Joseph to your reading list.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer D. Munro

    More an essay collection than a memoir. Each chapter is an essay about a male figure in her life. The last chapter killed me. Here are a couple of favorite passages. I've written about men and vacuum cleaner bags before. Here's her take: “Decades of bachelordom meant Al could run a vacuum. This impressed me, and that he knew that vacuums had bags, and that those bags occasionally needed changing, and which aisle in Kmart they keep vacuum cleaner bags, made me want to take my shirt off.” And her hon More an essay collection than a memoir. Each chapter is an essay about a male figure in her life. The last chapter killed me. Here are a couple of favorite passages. I've written about men and vacuum cleaner bags before. Here's her take: “Decades of bachelordom meant Al could run a vacuum. This impressed me, and that he knew that vacuums had bags, and that those bags occasionally needed changing, and which aisle in Kmart they keep vacuum cleaner bags, made me want to take my shirt off.” And her honesty and humor in regards to her son: "I said no. "He said why. "It used to be he didn't ask me why because we both already knew the answer. But I always enjoyed reminding him. I savored any opportunity that allowed me to point out I’m bigger than you, I’m stronger than you, I’m smarter than you, and I make more money, therefore, my wish is your command. There was a time when we both liked hearing me say this. I liked it because of the power that comes from oppressing a small child. It’s a rush.”

  11. 4 out of 5

    Stefanie

    There are those authors that can use material from their lives to comic advantage, such as David Sedaris, David Rakoff, Sarah Vowell, and Laurie Naturo. There are other authors that can create true and gritty or insightful and poetic memoirs (Bukowski). Unfortunately, Diana Joseph's life is not humorous, interesting, 'normal,' or enlightening. It is well written, but an unsatisfying and unrewarding read. This memoir is (non)fiction's equivalent to junk food. There are those authors that can use material from their lives to comic advantage, such as David Sedaris, David Rakoff, Sarah Vowell, and Laurie Naturo. There are other authors that can create true and gritty or insightful and poetic memoirs (Bukowski). Unfortunately, Diana Joseph's life is not humorous, interesting, 'normal,' or enlightening. It is well written, but an unsatisfying and unrewarding read. This memoir is (non)fiction's equivalent to junk food.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany

    Have you ever read a book and wished you were friends with the author? Well, that's how I felt after reading this one. Usually, memoirs reveal so much about the person you are left feeling a little bit like their far-removed therapist. This one had me laughing out loud, though. I loved her descriptions of the many men in her life, especially the chapters about her son. Have you ever read a book and wished you were friends with the author? Well, that's how I felt after reading this one. Usually, memoirs reveal so much about the person you are left feeling a little bit like their far-removed therapist. This one had me laughing out loud, though. I loved her descriptions of the many men in her life, especially the chapters about her son.

  13. 4 out of 5

    MaryElizabeth Williams

    Hilarious and unflinchingly honest. This glimpse into the world of men, from one woman's point of view -- is often dark, always real, and ultimately extraordinarily generous. Joseph is a beautiful writer, with a style that's so direct and clear the pure poetry of it sneaks up on you. Hilarious and unflinchingly honest. This glimpse into the world of men, from one woman's point of view -- is often dark, always real, and ultimately extraordinarily generous. Joseph is a beautiful writer, with a style that's so direct and clear the pure poetry of it sneaks up on you.

  14. 5 out of 5

    ╟ ♫ Tima ♪ ╣ ♥

    Labeled an "Astonishing but true" story is a misnomer. Nothing about this book is astonishing sans its mediocrity. Labeled an "Astonishing but true" story is a misnomer. Nothing about this book is astonishing sans its mediocrity.

  15. 5 out of 5

    V

    I’ll be honest, I grabbed this book because I was running out of things to read and thought “Ah its a short book at least it’ll give me something to read for a day or two.” But wow. I related to this woman. I know her, I’ve been her, I’ve seen her standing outside the hockey arena smoking. I know her kid, the gross smelling, video game playing teenager. I know her dad, the one who pretends he can hear when we all know he can’t. Read this book, seriously. It might not change your life but it might I’ll be honest, I grabbed this book because I was running out of things to read and thought “Ah its a short book at least it’ll give me something to read for a day or two.” But wow. I related to this woman. I know her, I’ve been her, I’ve seen her standing outside the hockey arena smoking. I know her kid, the gross smelling, video game playing teenager. I know her dad, the one who pretends he can hear when we all know he can’t. Read this book, seriously. It might not change your life but it might change your mind about the mom you see sitting on the bleachers smoking while her kid plays tball, or the girl in 9th grade that everyone calls a “slut” because of a story some boy told.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Claudia Putnam

    3.5 rounded up, mostly because the other neg reviews here are annoying. More later.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Julia

    No idea what I just read!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Schmacko

    Diana Joseph has entered into the glut of humorous memoirists that is currently dominated by gay men David Sedaris (Naked, When You’re Engulfed in Flames) and Augusten Burroughs (Running with Scissors). There have been other women; Mary Carr had some luck over a decade ago with The Liars’ Club. However, if you were to ask any modern reader about the genre, they’d mention these two men first. Is there any room for Joseph at the top of that list? I certainly hope so! Joseph does something very simp Diana Joseph has entered into the glut of humorous memoirists that is currently dominated by gay men David Sedaris (Naked, When You’re Engulfed in Flames) and Augusten Burroughs (Running with Scissors). There have been other women; Mary Carr had some luck over a decade ago with The Liars’ Club. However, if you were to ask any modern reader about the genre, they’d mention these two men first. Is there any room for Joseph at the top of that list? I certainly hope so! Joseph does something very simple and yet interesting with her first book subtitled “The Astonishing but True Story of a Daughter, Sister, Slut, Wife, Mother, and Friend to Man and Dog.” She cleanly profiles the males that have affected her life – her dad, old boyfriends, professors, bosses, her ex-husband, and her son. Some of these males are dogs in the figurative sense; some of them are literally canine. These profiles include short anecdotes, but mostly they are detailed outlines of these colorful personalities that Joseph has had the blessing or misfortune to cross paths with. Joseph and her milieu are not the classiest bunch of people. In fact, because she is from Minnesota and I am from Iowa, I recognize the men she sketches are the Midwestern version of rednecks. In fact, Joseph’s quiet writing is so sly and folksy; I didn’t get the humor until the third story in – the one about her much older ex-husband Kyle Bennett. And I admit I was so horrified and amused by backwoods Kyle Bennett that I went back and reread the first two stories, now understanding where Joseph was coming from. Kyle Bennett. When he was young, his redneck dad forced Kyle to shoot his beloved dog; the dog had turned to killing the neighbors’ chickens. The hayseed Kyle took the poor dog Sandy out into the woods and shot it, but he didn’t have the heart or the stomach to bury it. The next day, Kyle Bennett was weeping on the porch, when his bloody, half-dead Sandy crawled out from under the house to lick his master’s hand. Kyle Bennett thought Sandy the Dog just taught him something about love. Joseph remarks later that she “should have known from the story about Sandy that Kyle Bennett had some pretty screwed up ideas about love.” The rest of the stories are filled with strange and sick stories like that; yay for dark humor! Especially as a coping mechanism. Joseph tries to maintain her emotional distance in these biographies. But as the short book nears its middle, Joseph coyly starts showing her own culpability and vulnerability in always surrounding herself with these questionable characters. The mystery of who the author is as a personality propelled the book for me. By the time I was near the end, I realized that Joseph had carefully doled out clues in the most judicious and egoless ways possible. I also felt Joseph said something very human and personal about being a woman among these yoyos, and yet she never once even mentions that dreaded F-word that makes some men wince; “feminism.” I always separate the great books from the good ones by how I feel at the end: Do I want to reread it? I read I’m Sorry You Feel That Way twice in a row before I put it back on my bookshelf. But I didn’t put it on the “have read” shelf. I put it back on with “to read” books.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    I was Christmas shopping at the bookstore, and glanced at this title, which I thought I recalled from my "To Read" list. I took a quick look at the back, and saw this excerpt/blurb: "'Yesterday my son was turning the pages in his eighth-grade yearbook so we could play a game I came up with called Guess Which Kids Are Retarded. The boy thought the game was terrible, so cruel and so mean that I should have to pay a fine, I should have to pay him ten bucks every time I was wrong.' If you find that pa I was Christmas shopping at the bookstore, and glanced at this title, which I thought I recalled from my "To Read" list. I took a quick look at the back, and saw this excerpt/blurb: "'Yesterday my son was turning the pages in his eighth-grade yearbook so we could play a game I came up with called Guess Which Kids Are Retarded. The boy thought the game was terrible, so cruel and so mean that I should have to pay a fine, I should have to pay him ten bucks every time I was wrong.' If you find that paragraph offensive, you will hate this book. If you know you should find this paragraph offensive, but secretly find it hilarious, you should buy this book. Immediately." So you know where I fell! *****The above was, by far, the best thing in the book. It was OK, but just OK.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Laura Ender

    I empathized with so much of this book, and as someone who's about to have a son, I felt I got a lot of insight out of it--not your crappy parenting book insight, but flawed-and-loving-and-neurotic mother insight, which is worth so much more. (Also, I love Joseph's tendency to string long series of words with hyphens, a quirk I share.) Though I meant to sit down to read a few pages, I ended up nearly reading the whole book in one sitting, only stopping when my schedule demanded it, and finished I empathized with so much of this book, and as someone who's about to have a son, I felt I got a lot of insight out of it--not your crappy parenting book insight, but flawed-and-loving-and-neurotic mother insight, which is worth so much more. (Also, I love Joseph's tendency to string long series of words with hyphens, a quirk I share.) Though I meant to sit down to read a few pages, I ended up nearly reading the whole book in one sitting, only stopping when my schedule demanded it, and finished it as soon as I could the next day. It isn't the story of some major event that will probably ever demand the wider public's attention, but it's funny and heartfelt without any of the cheese factor I often associate with memoir.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Farinella

    I could give it a three, but I waffled. Easy reading. Entertaining, yes. I really appreciate the author's character descriptions. i know these people well after a few simple lines (and she still keeps going). Her stories are even quite familiar and relatable in some cases (yes even for us non-mother never-been-marrieds). I giggled out loud a couple times. But nothing really profound here. She brushes an attempt at discussing feminism with a teenaged boy. She attempts a thought about religious fr I could give it a three, but I waffled. Easy reading. Entertaining, yes. I really appreciate the author's character descriptions. i know these people well after a few simple lines (and she still keeps going). Her stories are even quite familiar and relatable in some cases (yes even for us non-mother never-been-marrieds). I giggled out loud a couple times. But nothing really profound here. She brushes an attempt at discussing feminism with a teenaged boy. She attempts a thought about religious freedom. She reads like my 20-something-year-old self; something meaningful and poignant is buried here, but its never clarified before she quickly rakes over it with a cheap laugh and booze. She has potential. I'll keep my eye in her.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sonya

    Diana Joseph's funny, sweet, and sometimes cynical essays inhabit this collection about the significant men in her life. Joseph's stories add up to a wonderful recounting of love (and its necessary and complicated twin, pain.) Some of the reviews here complain that "nothing happens." But there is an arc that rides from the first essay to the last, and "what happens" is an awakening that comes from the author and channels right into the perceptive reader. Does every memoir have to have some extra Diana Joseph's funny, sweet, and sometimes cynical essays inhabit this collection about the significant men in her life. Joseph's stories add up to a wonderful recounting of love (and its necessary and complicated twin, pain.) Some of the reviews here complain that "nothing happens." But there is an arc that rides from the first essay to the last, and "what happens" is an awakening that comes from the author and channels right into the perceptive reader. Does every memoir have to have some extraordinary (and possible contrived) event that shapes the work? Or can a series of stories about fierce and messy love shed a recognizable light?

  23. 5 out of 5

    Curtis

    I first discovered this book after reading a review of it in Entertainment Weekly. Several google searches later and numerous stellar reviews (of this book and her first book) I discovered that Diana Joseph once taught Creative Writing at Mesa State College in Grand Junction, CO (my old stomping grounds). I was intrigued and curious what would bring such a literary talent like Joseph to the western slope of Colorado. The answer to that question and many more are revealed in this fast paced memoir I first discovered this book after reading a review of it in Entertainment Weekly. Several google searches later and numerous stellar reviews (of this book and her first book) I discovered that Diana Joseph once taught Creative Writing at Mesa State College in Grand Junction, CO (my old stomping grounds). I was intrigued and curious what would bring such a literary talent like Joseph to the western slope of Colorado. The answer to that question and many more are revealed in this fast paced memoir, and even though I always talk about my cat at parties and often take my shoes off in public... I found Joseph extremely likable and relatable.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    It's funny how I have a whole huge stack of ARCs I've acquired and I don't have the interest to read a lot of them and yet I got this title about 10 days ago and it's done! Why? Because it drew me in by the title and the writing. Immediately I thought of at least two people who would like to read this one also and that's a good sign too. If I read a book and can't think of anyone to pass it onto, then that's a bad sign in my opinion. But her style of writing and the fact that she's about my age It's funny how I have a whole huge stack of ARCs I've acquired and I don't have the interest to read a lot of them and yet I got this title about 10 days ago and it's done! Why? Because it drew me in by the title and the writing. Immediately I thought of at least two people who would like to read this one also and that's a good sign too. If I read a book and can't think of anyone to pass it onto, then that's a bad sign in my opinion. But her style of writing and the fact that she's about my age (I'm guessing) made it all the more enjoyable.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lilybeth

    Diana Joseph's book of essays is well-written in spite of the subject matter not being particularly entertaining. At times she can be very funny with a dry sense of humor. I especially enjoyed the pieces relating to her son. Her simultaneous feelings of annoyance and love are totally relatable. Joseph writes honestly without worry of being depicted in an unflattering light. She has a great way with words. I only wish there was a little more heart/energy to this book. There wasn't much to emotional Diana Joseph's book of essays is well-written in spite of the subject matter not being particularly entertaining. At times she can be very funny with a dry sense of humor. I especially enjoyed the pieces relating to her son. Her simultaneous feelings of annoyance and love are totally relatable. Joseph writes honestly without worry of being depicted in an unflattering light. She has a great way with words. I only wish there was a little more heart/energy to this book. There wasn't much to emotionally connect to which prevented me from getting lost in the words.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    So sometimes you can't judge a book by it's cover...I mean look, how could you pick this up and not be intrigued. I was expecting hilarious since she was compared to David Sedaris, but...well...not so much. Didn't love it. Didn't hate it. Probably won't read it again. So sometimes you can't judge a book by it's cover...I mean look, how could you pick this up and not be intrigued. I was expecting hilarious since she was compared to David Sedaris, but...well...not so much. Didn't love it. Didn't hate it. Probably won't read it again.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    Great memoir that had me laughing out loud in places. I had to stop reading it at the beauty salon lest the other ladies think I was touched in the head. I'm not a chain smoker and I've never dabbled in drugs but I understand the love she has for her son very well. Great memoir that had me laughing out loud in places. I had to stop reading it at the beauty salon lest the other ladies think I was touched in the head. I'm not a chain smoker and I've never dabbled in drugs but I understand the love she has for her son very well.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Celia Hayton

    No story, no flow, no plot. Just self indulgent ramblings about the author's crappy little life, with a few oblique observations that (I guess) are supposed to pass for some kind of wisdom thrown in. Waste of time. No story, no flow, no plot. Just self indulgent ramblings about the author's crappy little life, with a few oblique observations that (I guess) are supposed to pass for some kind of wisdom thrown in. Waste of time.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Gina

    They need a new category: abandoned midbook. Just couldn't bring myself to care. They need a new category: abandoned midbook. Just couldn't bring myself to care.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Stacy Allison

    I couldn't even finish it. It was just really not interesting at all. I couldn't even finish it. It was just really not interesting at all.

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