Have a Nice Guilt Trip
  • Have a Nice Guilt Trip
  • Have a Nice Guilt Trip

Have a Nice Guilt Trip

4.8 4
by Lisa Scottoline, Francesca Serritella

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Everyone's favorite mother-daughter writing duo is back with a new collection of warm and witty stories that will strike a chord with every woman. With twenty-something Francesca navigating New York City, Lisa holding down the fort in the suburbs, and Mother Mary making frequent and always entertaining appearances, there are plenty of opportunities for…  See more details below


Everyone's favorite mother-daughter writing duo is back with a new collection of warm and witty stories that will strike a chord with every woman. With twenty-something Francesca navigating New York City, Lisa holding down the fort in the suburbs, and Mother Mary making frequent and always entertaining appearances, there are plenty of opportunities for family-induced guilt, fighting, laughter, and love. As Lisa says, "Bottom line, if you're a mom, you'll feel guilty all the time, and this is true because you're a daughter as well, and God only knows how many times you failed your poor mother." So come along for the ride as Lisa and Francesca continue on the road of life acquiring men and puppies…Ok, to be honest, Lisa is acquiring the puppies, while Francesca is lucky enough to have dates with actual men. They'll leave it to readers to decide which is more desirable and/or or easier to train.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Popular mystery writer Scottoline and her Philadelphia Inquirer columnist daughter Serritella team up for the fourth time to offer a lively collection of 80 short essays on everything from raising puppies to the proper way to make eggplant parm. Though Scottoline penned the majority of the essays in this volume, 27-year-old Serritella’s contributions display her own brand of humor and sweetness. Scottoline—prone to comedic one-liners—makes the pages fly by in a flurry of laughs. Serritella’s ode to her 90-year-old grandmother (affectionately referred to as Mother Mary) and her writings about her dog Pip are especially endearing. Scottoline is on-target and hilarious, whether she’s writing about politics (her piece on Anthony Weiner is a standout), ex-husbands (“Thing One and Thing Two”), or what it’s like to sleep with five dogs. While Serritella deals with dating, rollerblading, and Facebook, Scottoline, whose “butt is already on social security,” considers joining AARP. Their close-knit, outspoken Italian family is also the subject of a number of laugh-inducing selections. (July)
Kirkus Reviews
The Italian mother-daughter team is back with another series of amusing commentaries on life.Readers familiar with the Scottoline-Serritella (Meet Me at Emotional Baggage Claim, 2012, etc.) duo are in for another mostly entertaining ride. Ping-ponging back and forth, using mostly one-paragraph sentences, the two writers converse on such diverse topics as the therapeutic benefits of rearranging the furniture on a regular basis, what happens when one forgets to pay bills on time, and why it's best to let your mother buy her own sheets, preferably white—on white sheets, she "can see the bugs better." The authors cover nearly all subjects in 50 narratives, with nothing too personal or taboo receiving scrutiny. Chapter titles include "The Married-Ex Milestone," "Third Month's the Charm," "Rolling Without Homies" and "Call of Jury Duty." Scottoline on gardening: "perennials are supposed to be automatic, in that they come back every summer. Like a yeast infection." On nature: "Let's just say that we're frenemies. Because it turns out that Mother Nature is the ultimate mean girl." Serritella on wish lists: "I love using wish lists, because then the [website] notifies me if the price of my chosen items gets discounted from totally-ridiculously-expensive to get-real-you-still-can't-afford-it." Throughout, the conversations are sarcastic and often snarky, and the short essays revel in the ridiculous and hit the heart of life in a boisterous Italian family. For many singles, Valentine's Day might mean moping, "depression, shame, and chocolate cake," but for Scottoline, it was a day to receive a beautiful engagement ring from herself. A fascination with an electric toothbrush led to the purchase of an electronic face washer. The authors also discuss the pros and cons of twerking and dancing on tabletops.Short and snappy, these comic essays are best read in small doses.

Lisa Scottoline and her daughter Francesca don't just have some of the best titles (Meet Me at Emotional Baggage; My Nest Isn't Empty, It Just Has More Closet Space), they also have some of the best books. For five years, the Edgar Award-winning novelist mom and her Harvard grad daughter have shared "Chick Wit" columns and bylines in The Philadelphia Inquirer. Their pieces, sometimes poignant and often playful, remind us that growing up and growing older are ultimately part of the same fascinating puzzle.

bestselling author of Sister Mother Husband Dog Delia Ephron

Lisa and Francesca, mother and daughter, bring you the laughter of their lives once again and better than ever. You will identify with these tales of guilt and fall in love with them and fierce (grand)Mother Mary.
former editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan and author Kate White

Whether Lisa and Francesca are contemplating mommy guilt, puppy love, or baby fever, this fabulous book is that rare mix of LOL wit and exquisite real-world wisdom. Perfect for a day at the beach, a night in the bathtub, or anytime life makes you say (in Lisa's words) ouchie!
bestselling author of Ladies' Night Mary Kay Andrews

Have a Nice Guilt Trip is a hilarious look into the modern woman's mind. This duo's ponderings on contemporary life and sometimes stormy family ties are always entertaining. Fasten your seatbelts for the good times ahead.
author of Science…For Her! Megan Amram

Lisa and Francesca's writing is so fun, funny, warm, sharp, and emotional that I wish I could both adopt and be adopted by them. Is that legally possible? Good thing Lisa's a lawyer. She'll know.
Booklist on Meet Me at Emotional Baggage Claim

Readers can count on an ab-toning laugh session, a silly giggle, a sympathetic sigh, and a lump in the throat as life's moments are rehashed through the keen eyes and wits of this lovable mother-daughter duo.
Cosmopolitan on Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog

The perfect present for moms, grandmas, and aunts.
People on Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog

Scottoline savors every last bit of her life, and so will you.
Occasional Enemies Booklist on Best Friends

Feels like one big gabfest with your best girlfriends, whatever their age.
It Just Has More Closet Space Booklist on My Nest Isn't Empty

A clever compilation from two generations of women reflecting on family, love, dessert, and everything in between.
Library Journal
Thriller fans love Edgar Award winner Scottoline's fiction, while readers of humor and heartfelt narrative nonfiction enjoy curling up with the books Scottoline writes with daughter Serritella, who won a stack of awards for her writing at Harvard. This fourth book from the mother-daughter team addresses issues like acquiring puppies (Scottoline), attempting to date (Serritella), and figuring out whether men or canines are more difficult. Lots of book club outreach and pitched as the perfect summer read.

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Product Details

St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)

Read an Excerpt

Homely Remedies

By Lisa

I hate it when Mother Mary is right, which is always.

We begin a zillion years ago, when I’m a little kid with a bad cold, and Mother Mary goes instantly for the Vicks VapoRub. As a child, I had more Vicks Vapo rubbed on me than most consumptives. My chest was as shiny as a stripper’s and even more fragrant.

Camphor is still my favorite perfume.

Which could be why I’m single.

Another favorite home remedy of hers was the do-it-yourself humidifier. By this I mean she placed a Pyrex baking dish full of water on every radiator in the house.

I never knew why, and neither did my friends. None of them had radiators, because they had nicer houses. They had something called forced air, which sounded vaguely scary to us. The Flying Scottolines never forced anything, especially something you needed to breathe.

And in the summer, those same people had central air, which was something else we didn’t have. Our air lacked centralization. The only central thing in our house was Mother Mary, and that was how she liked it.

But back to the do-it-yourself humidifiers, which sat like an open-air fishbowl on every radiator. As a child, I understood that this would cure something dreadful called Dry Air, which we had in spades. I didn’t really understand why Uncle Mikey had to move to Arizona for the Dry Air, when he could’ve just moved to our house, but be that as it may, I was grateful that I had an all-knowing mother, who understood that air came in forced, central, and dry, and that everything could be cured by Pyrex.

The only time this was a problem was on Sundays, when Mother Mary actually wanted to bake ziti or eggplant parm, and there were no dishes available except for the ones cooking water on the radiators. She would dispatch me to get a Pyrex dish off the radiator and wash it out, and I would do so happily, if the end result was eggplant parm.

I will still do anything for eggplant parm.

Make a note, should we meet.

But back to the story, cleaning the baking dishes was a yucky job. Often the water in the dishes would have dried up, leaving a scummy residue, and even if there was some water left, it wasn’t a pretty sight. Dog and cat hair would be floating on the surface, or ash from a passing cigarette.

According to Mother Mary, smoking was fine for air quality.

You win some, you lose some.

So fast-forward to when I become a mother myself, and baby Francesca gets sick, and of course Mother Mary advocates Vicks and Pyrex, but I reject these ideas as old-fashioned. I am Modern.

Enter antibiotics.

I had that kid so pumped up with amoxicillin she could’ve grown mold. In fact, I had her on them prophylactically, so she’d never get another ear infection, and if I could have her on them now, I would, so she’d never get pregnant.

I’m kidding.

It’s a joke, okay?

But then recently, I got the worst cold ever, and I called the doctor, who told me that antibiotics weren’t such a hot idea and what I really needed was Vicks VapoRub and a humidifier. I couldn’t believe my ears. I wanted the magic pill to make it all better but he says that it’s a virus and all that, and no.

I didn’t tell this to Mother Mary. Don’t you, either.

I suppose I could just get a Pyrex dish and put it on the radiator, but I am still Modern and I refuse. Also the doctor says I need a cool-mist humidifier, and not a warm-mist humidifier, and once again, I feel lucky to learn more about the mysteries of air, which now comes in mist.

Who knew oxygen could be so complicated?

So I go to the drugstore, buy the requisite cool-mist humidifier, and bring it home. I spend exactly one night with this thing and want to shoot myself. It’s thirty degrees outside, and in my bedroom, it’s twenty. An Arctic chill blasts from the cool-mist humidifier, and I’m up all night.

So I go back to the drugstore and buy a warm-mist humidifier. I take it home, and it frizzes my hair, but you can’t have everything. Also, it comes with a little slot for a stick that’s impregnated with Vicks VapoRub, and you know what I’m thinking.

This is the revenge of Mother Mary.

Copyright © 2014 by Smart Blonde, LLC, and Francesca Scottoline Serritella

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