the next good book

I Miss You When I Blink

By Mary Laura Philpott


271 pages

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. Quote-“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).”

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