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20 Times a Lady
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20 Times a Lady

4.1 63
by Karyn Bosnak

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“Bosnak writes with a charming and original voice.”
Chicago Sun-Times

A smart and bubbly romp, soon to be a major Hollywood motion picture starring Anna Faris, Chris Evans, Zachary Quinto, and Andy Samberg, What’s Your Number? by Karyn Bosnak asks—and answers—the provocative question, how many men are too


“Bosnak writes with a charming and original voice.”
Chicago Sun-Times

A smart and bubbly romp, soon to be a major Hollywood motion picture starring Anna Faris, Chris Evans, Zachary Quinto, and Andy Samberg, What’s Your Number? by Karyn Bosnak asks—and answers—the provocative question, how many men are too many? When Delilah Darling exceeds her magic number of twenty ex-lovers without finding “Mr. Right,” she sets out on a hilarious road trip to discover what went wrong. Originally published as 20 Times a Lady, Bosnak’s What’s Your Number? has got the number of chick lit romantic comedy fans who are looking for a sassy read with true wit as well as brains.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Bosnak, the woman behind the popular "Save Karyn" Web site (she also penned a book by the same title), makes her fiction debut with the tepid tale of Delilah Darling, a woman on the cusp of 30 who loses her job and sleeps with her heinous former boss in an entanglement that's the 20th notch on her headboard. It's a painful realization, as she'd just read in the New York Post, that the average person has 10.5 partners in their lifetime. Fearing she has more than reached her quota, Delilah takes off on a cross-country trip, determined to find "the one" among the 20 of her former lovers. But she soon discovers that the men of her romantic past-an inmate, a rehab patient, a dog-obsessed Amway salesman and a Muppeteer among them-aren't exactly life-partner material. Clever chapter breaks that feature maps and voice-mail transcripts are fun additions, but the story-hobbled by limp humor, razor-thin characters and phoned-in prose-takes too long to find its inevitably happy ending. (July) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Delilah wakes up in bed with her boss. Why is that a problem, besides her having been fired just yesterday and her boss being kind of disgusting? Because it means she has now hit her self-imposed limit of sleeping with 20 men. Refusing to up her number, Delilah tracks down her previous 19 conquests, convinced that she has to make it work with one of them. As she begins a cross-country trek, she finds one in jail, one who has become a priest, and more than one who won't speak to her. Is Delilah doomed to a life of celibacy? Making her fiction debut, Bosnak, who first attracted attention when she solicited online donations to pay down her credit card debt (recounted in Save Karyn), writes with a keen eye for comedy. The result is absolutely hilarious. [New Line Cinema has acquired the movie rights.-Ed.] Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Young Manhattanite panics when she realizes she has already slept with 20-the first novel from the plucky online panhandler of Save Karyn (2003) fame. Waking up in the bed of her smarmy (former) boss the day after losing her job, Delilah Darling realizes that he is her 20th man, taking the spot she was saving for her future husband. This moment of clarity is supplemented by the news that her younger sister Daisy is about to get married to only her fifth! Not even 30 years old, Delilah is so appalled by her poor romantic history that she hatches a hair-brained scheme to somehow reconnect with one of her exes, rather than go above her self-imposed 20-man limit. So, armed with her severance check, a list and a rental car, she takes to the road in search of her former loves. She is aided in her quest by her hunky neighbor Colin, an Irish aspiring actor-and amateur PI-she pays to help her track down the guys. A charmingly inept stalker, Delilah's quirky adventure nets one priest, an Amway salesman who tries to recruit her and an oddball manchild obsessed with Muppets. There is, naturally, a gay man, a Spanish chef and a guy in jail. But perhaps her lowest moment comes when she admits herself to rehab to get closer to an ex-lover, who's recovering from a bad peyote trip. Along the way, with regular phone chats with Colin (hint, hint), she realizes that perhaps the number itself is less important than whether or not one is really, truly, ready for love. What happens to Delilah next, while unsurprising, does offer a positive message on taking risks and owning up to one's mistakes. Frequently funny, Bosnak's debut suffers from too many comic scenes that act as set-ups for punch lines. Saucychick-lit.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
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5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.83(d)

Read an Excerpt

20 Times a Lady

A Novel
By Karyn Bosnak

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Karyn Bosnak
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060828358

Chapter One

A List by Delilah Darling

Friday, April 1

A list. Tony Robbins is telling me I need to make a list. A list of things that are wrong with me. Issues. Problems that need fixing. You see, I don't have a therapist, so I rely heavily on self-help books (usually the audio version, downloaded into my iPod) to work out my problems. I wouldn't make a list for just any self-help guru, but Tony's my favorite, not only because he uses sexy phrases like "pathway to power" and "avenue of excellence" but also because he's freakishly huge and has really white teeth. According to him, if a man with artificial hands can play a piano (which apparently, he can), then a perfectly healthy woman such as myself can overcome a few issues. But first I need to come up with a list.

Since I'm at the office I probably shouldn't be doing this, but it's late Friday afternoon and a mandatory staff meeting is beginning in twenty minutes so it's useless to start a new work project. What's not useless, however, is to start a personal project, so I grab a piece of paper and begin writing. Time is tight, but I think I can finish my list before the meeting begins; I just need to focus.

There, finished. To be honest, this is usually where I stop. Although I sayI "rely heavily" on self-help books, I usually just read/listen to whatever the guru has to say and nod in agreement, like "Yep, that's me. I sure am a mess!" I don't actually take the necessary steps to fix whatever problem I'm addressing; I usually lose interest by that point. It's part of the first thing on my list, not being able to focus. But today is the day I'm going to change all that. Today is the day I'm going to explore these issues a bit further.

Okay, one, the focusing problem. I think the reason I can't focus is because I have a mild case of undiagnosed ADD. I'm not sure if ADD just didn't exist when I was younger or if my doctor was a complete moron, but whatever the reason, I'm pretty sure I have it. For example, I can simultaneously play computer solitaire, read Glamour, instant message multiple people, paint my nails, talk on the phone, and work better than anyone else I know. I call this multitasking. I also have a hard time finishing things I start, like projects, for example. Considering my job title is "project manager," this can be a bit of a problem.

I work at a company called Elisabeth Sterling Design (ESD for short), a company that designs and manufactures a popular line of household products. Elisabeth Sterling, a woman from humble beginnings, started her now-public company just fifteen years ago in a small Harlem studio apartment. She's an artist who painted modern geometric designs on dishes that she sold through neighborhood boutiques. The dishes became all the rage in New York City, so much in fact, that she couldn't keep up with the demand. Being the savvy businesswoman she was, rather than just hire an apprentice to help keep up, she hired a publicist to create some more hype and then a manufacturer and distributor to produce the dishes in mass quantities. Soon thereafter, Elisabeth Sterling Design was born.

To make a long story short, the line that began as dishes today includes just about every household product you can imagine--from cleaning to decorating to gardening--and is available exclusively at Target stores across the country. Four years ago, in what has become one of the biggest IPOs in history, Elisabeth took the company public and became a billionaire. Elisabeth Sterling is a household name. Elisabeth Sterling is an icon.

But let's get back to me not focusing.

In addition to multitasking and not finishing projects, I tend to go off on tangents and speak in circles. (I sometimes speak in parentheses too.) And also, footnotes.*

Okay, now that I've explored one, let's move on to two. Yes, I feel like I'm being held back at work, but after rereading what I wrote about my boss being a lying fat pig, I feel like I should address the fact that I'm a tad judgmental first. I know it's wrong to judge others, but when it comes to people like Roger, I feel like doing so is justified because he's a slime ball who once tried to steal an idea from me. About six months ago, I had to come up with a unique color name for a pair of light green oven mitts that my team had just designed (to Elisabeth nothing is ever just orange, it's pumpkin or persimmon or harvest moon) and was looking out the window, staring at the Statue of Liberty when suddenly, it came to me. "Oxidized copper," I said aloud. Although "oxidized copper" might initially evoke thoughts of something rust-colored, copper turns green when it oxidizes, which the Statue of Liberty so beautifully demonstrates. "Oxidized copper." It's a smart and clever color name, and I knew Elisa beth would love it because she's smart and clever herself.

Since Roger is my immediate boss, I report to him, and then he reports to Elisabeth. When he told her about the color name for the mitts, she loved it so much that he somehow ended up taking credit for it. When I found out and confronted him, he started whining pathetically saying, "She didn't give me a chance to explain, and now it's too late . . ." and blah blah blah. Lucky for me, my best friend and coworker Michelle is a tough cookie from Queens who refused to let Roger get away with what he did. To help me get the credit I deserved, she and her frizzy red hair marched into Roger's office and demanded that he confess to Elisabeth, saying she had proof that I came up with the color name and not him.


Excerpted from 20 Times a Lady by Karyn Bosnak Copyright © 2006 by Karyn Bosnak. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Karyn Bosnak spent her early working career as a daytime television producer for various talk shows, including Jenny Jones and The Ananda Lewis Show. She is the author of Save Karyn, an inspiration to shopaholics and women in credit card debt everywhere. She lives in New York City.

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20 Times a Lady 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 62 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Chris Evans is hot !
NCD More than 1 year ago
This book was very enjoyable; a silly, easy read. 20 Times a Lady should have been edited more thoroughly! I was able to find at least two mistakes in EVERY chapter!
Mindy_Lou More than 1 year ago
I picked up the book for something a little from my normal reading.. I liked it. The plot was different and there was an underlined knowing to the story.. Like you knew what would happen but was not sure.. It was a light funny read.. Never fails love is always where you least expect to find it.. And it relates to some many people once you go forward with life it is often hard to take a step back.. I liked and would recommend the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Karyn Bosnak is a genius! She is the funniest person alive, and this book shows it. I laughed out loud the entire time I read it. If you don't approve of pre-marital sex or a lot of cursing, you won't enjoy this book, but if you are looking for a light, fun, and hilarious read, then you'll fall absolutely in love with Karyn Bosnak, Delilah Darling, and her 20 men! Hilarious!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In 2011 Delilah was 29/30 years old...how would she be in college in 1993?...the book says it was piblished in 2011. Is it older?
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was enjoyable reading at the first few chapters, a little bit dull at the end.,, 
Jade_LianeJE More than 1 year ago
I really love the movie.. Chris Evans is so so so HOT!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing! Yes there were moments where I felt embarassed for the characters and some typos, but as a story it was fast paced and extremely funny. Well worth the time and in my opinion much better than the movie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So cute. Better character development than the movie. Such a fun and hilarious read. Love!!
Ms_Rocio More than 1 year ago
Karyn Bosnak has a way of making you smile and remain a hopeful romantic in What's Your Number. It is cute, funny and easy read. Very predictable story line. A must read if you are a sucker for happy ending love stories.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. I loved it. It was honest and real and i love the characrer development. I felt that the characters allseemed really relatable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book, just recently watched the movie which was not as good!
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cage47 More than 1 year ago
Deliah is the most shallow, irresponsible, drunken, self-destructive character I've ever read of in a wanna-be comedy book. I never read Karyn Bosnak before and won't as she took an interesting premise and made it boring and wince-producing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you're looking for a story that's funny, entertaining, lighthearted and witty, this is it. I couldn't put it down! The main character is hilarious yet relatable. Loved it and will definitely read it again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read Karyn Bosnak's book "Save Karyn" and I enjoyed her writing so I decided to read this book. It is a quick read and decent chick lit. The ending is a little predictable but overall I enjoyed it.