If any of you follow my goodreads account, you’ll already know how I feel about this book (psst-you can keep track of what I’m reading currently through my goodreads widget at the bottom of this page as well). Ok enough with the suspense-I loved it! The book’s a national bestseller, and people have been talking about it for awhile, so it doesn’t come as a big surprise that it was good, but alas I still feel the need to sing its praises.* What’s another reason why you should buy it? Well it was published in 2012, which means it’s now available in paperback, which means it’s now cheaper than buying it in hardcover. Once again-you’re welcome!
The story takes place in Seattle, and doesn’t hold back when making fun of it’s residents. They are so starbucks loving and politically correct that it’s painful, which is part of the reason why the protagonist Bernadette decides to disappear. My favourite part of this book is the correspondence between the outlying characters (specifically the ones related to school and parenting), because the humor is so subtle, but genius. If you read between the lines in these emails and letters you will not only laugh at the circumstances, but you’ll laugh at yourself, because you’ll see a glimmer of your own life’s craziness in the conversations.
Another brilliant episode of the book is the play-by-play recounting of a TED conference, because although it sounds absurd, I’m sure everything depicted is closer to the truth than we all like to think. Would Al Gore be pissed that someone took his special seat, even though he doesn’t technically claim it each year? Of course he would!
I can’t say I know much about Maria Semple, but after looking at her website I now know that she worked on lots of funny t.v. shows like Mad About You, Arrested Development and Ellen before she started writing books. She also lives in Seattle, which is probably why she was never criticized for mocking it’s residents in the book, because quite honestly if you live there yourself you’re exempt from being called “petty” or “critical” when pointing out the annoying traits of a particular city.
I hope you find some valid reasons in the above train of thought to find this book and read it. You won’t be sorry you did, and it doesn’t take long anyway-a perfect summer weekend read, in my honest and humble opinion.
*You may have noticed by now that my reviews are a bit different than others you typically read-it’s because I don’t rehash what happened in the story, I simply pick out the reasons I liked it, plus things I didn’t like. Personally, I really don’t see the point to book reviews that summarize the book (some even forget/avoid to actually critique the book, they just write an extended explanation of the plot line). If you want to know what happens in the book, read the back of it or the jacket flap! Or, if you’re not sure you even want to pick it up, go to indigo.ca and read the summary yourself! It’s super easy, and you don’t have to wade through paragraphs of me trying to reword marketing copy and calling it a ‘book review’. You’re welcome.