Category Archives: Essays

Bibliotherapy: The Girl’s Guide to Books for Every Phase of Our Life

BibliotherapyIt can happen to even those of us with the tallest of to be read piles. Looking for something to read, but nothing sounds good. Maybe you’re just trying to find the perfect literary snack and failing. Or maybe you’re just in a mood.

Bibliotherapy offers a perfect guide when you just can’t find that thing to read, with chapters all neatly sorted out by mood. Whether you’re in crisis (existential or mid-life), you need help getting over that bad boy, you need a kick in the pants or maybe just a bit of encouragement to embrace your inner bitch, there’s a category and a title here to help you out.

Perhaps my favorite parts of the book are the ones labeled “Books to be thrown with great force,” where the authors take to task books that don’t live up to the hype—or that may take their hype too seriously. Here you’ll find some pop culture phenoms (remember The Rules?) and write ups that will make you giggle, even if you blush a little at remembering your love for said tomes.

I was able to revisit some old loves, like A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and The Awakening just to name a few), and see some of my former literary heroes with fresh eyes. One section calls out the Morrison biography No One Here Gets Out Alive and its author Danny Sugerman for his idealization of Jim Morrison, boldly stating “Jim Morrison didn’t die from an excessive thirst for life or death. He died from an excessive thirst for bourbon.” Because yes.

My TBR pile, precariously prodigious already, just got a little bit taller thanks to this fun book.

I Just Want To Be Alone Is Hilarious Husband One-Upmanship

Cover 300x250Hubby, The Hubs, Sir Stinks-Alot, My Hero, The Hotness – These are all nicknames I’ve heard my friends use when referring to their husbands. No doubt there is a story or two behind these monikers. I call my husband The Colonel, because at times he’s a bit like a drill sergeant in cargo pants.

In the new book, I Just Want To Be Alone, by Jen from the no-holds-barred blog, People I Want To Punch in the Throat, women are opening up about their husbands and sharing stories that are usually reserved for gatherings around bowls of queso and jumbo margaritas.

For the anthology, Jen hand-picked the best stories submitted by some of the most kick-ass, honest, funny, raw bloggers in bloggy-blog world.

I had the pleasure of spending time with Jen last year when we were fellow cast members  in the Listen To Your Mother show in Kansas City. Her debut anthology, I Just Want To Pee Alone, was a huge success. If Jen is involved, you want to be part of it.

When I found out she was putting together a collection of stories, I pictured her walking through the streets of bloggy-blog world playing a flute, attracting the attention of fellow writers like a petite foul-mouthed pied piper.

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An Ode to the Mix Tape

Cassette From My Ex: stories and soundtracks of lost loves (edited by Jason Bitner)

by Mari Farthing

cassettes from my exI love falling into a good book. I found this one when I was surfing the aisles at my local used-book store, and as I am a woman of a certain age, the cover art captured my heart. Oh, cassette tapes; how I love thee!

This book is basically a collection of short essays wrapped around the theme of mix tapes, where the various contributors share their stories of love and loss and the mix tapes that preceded them. In some cases, portended them. Pretty much what you expect from the title of the book, but like a good mix tape, it delivers much more when you really listen.

The essays of heartache and breakup and longing and happenstance are not just stories, they’re memories from a magical, moody time of life when it was easier to speak our big emotions through someone else’s songs. The mix tapes here represent the lost art of the tape, and oh, that makes me sad. I took a trip through my own memories while reading this collection and pondered the sheer volume of mix tapes in my own past.

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