Disaster Preparedness: A Memoir [NOOK Book]

Overview

A memoir from a writer who's "smart, hilarious, unique-just terrific" (Anne Lamott).

A thoughtful, funny memoir about surviving the real and imagined perils of childhood and early adulthood, Disaster Preparedness charts how the most humiliating and painful moments in Havrilesky's past forced her to develop a wide range of defense mechanisms, some adaptive, some piteously ill-suited to modern life. By turns offbeat, sophisticated, uproarious ...
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Disaster Preparedness: A Memoir

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Overview

A memoir from a writer who's "smart, hilarious, unique-just terrific" (Anne Lamott).

A thoughtful, funny memoir about surviving the real and imagined perils of childhood and early adulthood, Disaster Preparedness charts how the most humiliating and painful moments in Havrilesky's past forced her to develop a wide range of defense mechanisms, some adaptive, some piteously ill-suited to modern life. By turns offbeat, sophisticated, uproarious and wise, Disaster Preparedness is a road map to the personal disasters we all face from an irresistible voice that gets straight to the unexpected grace at the heart of every calamity.


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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal - BookSmack!
Salon.com writer Havrilesky stumbled through a childhood and adolescence marked by divorce, stultifying part-time jobs, cheerleading, and bad romance. Her sweet and witty examination of these and other aspects of a 1970s suburban upbringing focuses on lessons learned along the way. Havrilesky's reflections on the damage and the growth caused by living through life's myriad little disasters, and her enthusiastic conclusions about the value of our efforts just to live our lives, are encouraging and designed to remind us that we are, in fact, OK.What I'm Telling My Friends: I think Heather would like to meet us for dinner. It would be fun, we'd all laugh, and you guys should really read the book before we go. Therese Purcell Nielsen, "Memoir Short Takes," Booksmack! 10/7/10
Kirkus Reviews

Generic family memoir about growing up in North Carolina in the 1970s.

ForSalonstaff writer Havrilesky, as for most, childhood was a mix of ups and downs. The youngest of three, she was at the mercy of her older brother and sister—though, despite claims to the contrary, the abuse seemed to stop at minor offenses, like serving her an unappetizing cocktail of tomato juice and seltzer. Her parents' fights and eventual divorce were a major turning point in the author's childhood, invoking an understandable amount of instability, fear and strange vacations with other families who had different ways of looking at things. Adolescence came with the usual angst and awkwardness—a shining example of which was when she lost her virginity to a Paul Bunyan wannabe who was secretly pining after her best friend, and who, much to Havrilesky's shagrin, told the entire school about their tryst, which came back to haunt her even years later at a reunion. Finally, when her siblings had shipped off to college, the author looked forward to quiet time at home with her mother after what felt like years of chaos. But the relative peace was soon broken when her elderly grandmother could no longer live on her own and moved in. As an adult, Havrilesky tried to analyze memories with her therapist, delving into complicated feelings toward her father, who is no longer living, her mother, who still tries to control many things about her life, and other experiences. Now married and a mother of two, she tries to make sense of how her childhood influenced the adult that she has become.

Havrilesky's life is relatable but unremarkable—a pleasantly told story, but not compelling enough to sustain a full book.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101446065
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 12/30/2010
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 870,237
  • File size: 209 KB

Meet the Author

Heather Havrilesky is a staff critic for The Daily. She was a TV critic at Salon for seven years, and co-created the cartoon Filler for Suck.com. Her writing has appeared in New York magazine, the Los Angeles Times, Bookforum, the New York Times, and on NPR's All Things Considered.
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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1 Cousins 72

2 Fear Itself 21

3 Faculty Wives 37

4 Jesus Must Die 59

5 D-l-V-O-R-C-E 71

6 Sting Like a Bee 89

7 Bobos 103

8 Cheer 115

9 With or Without You 135

10 The Toad Work 149

11 A Tree Falls in the Forest 169

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Customer Reviews

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