I have been so lame about posting reviews, but I swear, I’ve been reading.
I found myself at The Strand a few months ago and did far more damage than I would have liked. It’s an addiction, and not one I’m remotely interested in kicking.
One of the books I picked up was 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, by Diana Joseph. It’s as good as the title makes you expect it to be.
She begins chapters with sentences like, “My neighbor the Satanist goes up the stairs carrying groceries sacked in paper, not plastic.” I could probably stop the review right here, because anyone in his right mind wants to read a book with sentences like that.
Joseph is dry and funny. She writes about her family of origin, her ex-husband, her current partner, her kid, her colleagues, and her dog, not to mention the Satanist upstairs, all without making you feel like she’s taking advantage of someone else for the sake of humor. Her humor is edgy as hell, yet I was never uncomfortable for her or for those she was writing about. It’s the situations she ridicules, and that’s the secret. Her life is full of absurd situations, like everyone else’s. The difference between Joseph and everyone else? She manages to pick out exactly what is funny about her partner’s family Lay-Z-Boy or her own anti-depressants and express it in flat, matter-of-fact prose that makes the reader snort with laughter.
It’s a quick read and an easy read, but it’s not a simple text. She doesn’t pander. But you probably figured that out from the title.