Friday, June 12, 2020

Meghan Recommends, "Wow, No Thank You"

If ever you were an angsty teenager in the 90s, now a person who *definitely* used to be cool (right?), but in middle age has to Google memes to keep up with “the kids” – you should check out Samantha Irby’s “Wow, No Thank You.”

This collection of essays follows 2017’s “We Are Never Meeting in Real Life,” after her marriage and move to Michigan. She writes with candor and humor about dealing with new problems like the stress of making friends as a grown-up, the issues inherent in owning a home, and learning to write for a TV show. Also old problems, like bills, her IBS, and how to bail on your friends without making them too mad.

I highly recommend the audiobook, which she reads herself. It’s like she’s making up each story as she tells it, fresh. (l learned in this book she spent years performing and hosting open mics in her native Chicago.) However, the major problem with the audio version is that you can’t mark the pages with the lines that are so delightfully funny they demand to be repeated to whoever will listen to you talk about how funny the book you’re reading right now is. So it’s a hard call.

I am clearly not the only person who wishes we *could* meet in real life, (even though she has made it abundantly clear that she’s not really into that):

“An irreverent, hilarious, and vulnerable dive into the author’s brain.... For all of Irby’s wit, depression over debts, and social awkwardness, there is a deep resounding warmth in her essays, too. A hard-won empathy, a stubborn acceptance of self that invites us to join her and revel in the chaos.” 

“Samantha Irby has an ideal comic voice for this particular moment in time: a little casual, fairly raunchy and always hilarious. Her musings on everything from marriage to bodily functions are eminently digestible even when the food she chooses to eat is not.”
Wall Street Journal

“No one utilizes hyperbole quite like three-time author Samantha Irby, who can make the most microscopic of indignities feel like atrocities and turn the smallest of details about her favorite show or song into resonant revelations.... To laugh at Irby’s retelling of her move to Michigan or a middle-aged girls’ night out is to laugh off our own fears of change; to worry about her place in a blue town in a red state is to consider a larger clash of cultures. You might never meet her in real life, but reading Wow, No Thank You. provides the most extensive look at Irby’s life yet.”
—A.V. Club, *New Books to Read in March*

Available as a book, eBook and eAudio.

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