Someone Will Be with You Shortly: Notes from a Perfectly Imperfect Life

Overview

Lisa Kogan is a forty-nine-year-old single mother who maintains that every human being deserves a great mattress, a comfortable pair of shoes, and a very smart shrink, and that no one has grown a decent tomato since 1963. She used to think the world wasn't all that complicated, but along came AIDS and crystal meth and the tankini, and she had to think again. Still, she's nostalgic for that time when you were forced to walk all the way across the room to change channels and there was no such thing as a spy ...

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Someone Will Be with You Shortly: Notes from a Perfectly Imperfect Life

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Overview

Lisa Kogan is a forty-nine-year-old single mother who maintains that every human being deserves a great mattress, a comfortable pair of shoes, and a very smart shrink, and that no one has grown a decent tomato since 1963. She used to think the world wasn't all that complicated, but along came AIDS and crystal meth and the tankini, and she had to think again. Still, she's nostalgic for that time when you were forced to walk all the way across the room to change channels and there was no such thing as a spy satellite capable of spotting the precancerous mole on her left thigh.

Filled with self-deprecating humor and a deep appreciation for what really matters, Someone Will Be with You Shortly is a book for anyone who has ever been unnerved by pleather pants, lunch meat, or ambivalent men (not necessarily in that order), and believes that life is a fragile bit of luck in a world based on chance.

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Editorial Reviews

Time Out New York
“Kogan delivers stylish and funny meditations on being a single mom, Rush Limbaugh, modern media and much more. There’s laughter here, sure, but this book winningly rises above comedy to reveal a moving love of life.”
Booklist
“If Lisa Kogan didn’t exist, Nora Ephron would have to invent her. In essays that disarm and delight, Kogan’s take on contemporary living is as irrepressibly savvy as a Prada diaper bag, as reassuringly satisfying as a PB-and-J sandwich.”
O magazine
“Kogan’s riffs on motherhood, politics, relationships, and life itself are what we wish we’d said, only sharper and funnier. This is good stuff.”
Elle
“It’s no mystery why O magazine’s Lisa Kogan is a beloved columnist. She’s self-deprecating enough to be easily relatable, whimsical enough to be reliably entertaining, and clever enough to disguise a gut-socking revelation.”
Redbook Magazine
“In delectable bite-size essays, humor columnist Kogan casts an all-seeing eye on the annoying and hilarious idiosyncrasies of contemporary life.”
First for Women
“The ultimate summer read—engrossing yet light and fun. From page one you’ll be laughing as the author shares her smile-inducing anecdotes.”
O Magazine
"Kogan’s riffs on motherhood, politics, relationships, and life itself are what we wish we’d said, only sharper and funnier. This is good stuff."
Martha Beck
“Her wry observations of everyday life will hearten you on your worst days, validate you on your best, and make you laugh any day at all. Buy it, if not to keep Lisa writing, then as an investment in your own happiness. God knows you deserve one fail-safe investment.”
Amy Hempel
“Lisa Kogan has a singularly humane stance as she makes comic sense of the annoying and baffling facts of life. The inventor of ‘the dessert potato’ has made me laugh for years–she’s been a comfort, too.”
Kelly Corrigan
“Lisa Kogan might just be the Erma Bombeck of our generation. Sassy, blunt, and so damn true.”
Amy Dickinson
“Lisa Kogan is the intellectual and creative love child of Noel Coward and Loretta Lynn. Someone Will Be With You Shortly is a hilarious, honest and tender chronical of everyday life as most of us really live it. Lisa Kogan sings all the right grace notes with absolutely perfect pitch.”
Evan Handler
“Lisa Kogan’s Someone Will Be with You Shortly is a delectable blend of wit, whimsy, pith, and poignancy. If David Sedaris were a girl (who’d had her pocket book licked by a stranger on Lexington Avenue) this is the book he'd write.”
Peggy Orenstein
“I admit it. I’m a big, drooling Lisa Kogan groupie. I’d read the ingredients on a cereal box if I thought she’d written them. She is funny, wise, compelling, loveable, fallible…So a whole book by her? What heaven!!”
Peter Smith
“Lisa Kogan’s Someone Will Be with You Shortly is like curling up with your best, crabbiest, kindest, wisest, most singular friend on earth.”
Elle
“It’s no mystery why O magazine’s Lisa Kogan is a beloved columnist. She’s self-deprecating enough to be easily relatable, whimsical enough to be reliably entertaining, and clever enough to disguise a gut-socking revelation.”
Booklist
“If Lisa Kogan didn’t exist, Nora Ephron would have to invent her. In essays that disarm and delight, Kogan’s take on contemporary living is as irrepressibly savvy as a Prada diaper bag, as reassuringly satisfying as a PB-and-J sandwich.”
Time Out New York
“Kogan delivers stylish and funny meditations on being a single mom, Rush Limbaugh, modern media and much more. There’s laughter here, sure, but this book winningly rises above comedy to reveal a moving love of life.”
Elle
“It’s no mystery why O magazine’s Lisa Kogan is a beloved columnist. She’s self-deprecating enough to be easily relatable, whimsical enough to be reliably entertaining, and clever enough to disguise a gut-socking revelation.”
Redbook Magazine
“In delectable bite-size essays, humor columnist Kogan casts an all-seeing eye on the annoying and hilarious idiosyncrasies of contemporary life.”
O magazine
“Kogan’s riffs on motherhood, politics, relationships, and life itself are what we wish we’d said, only sharper and funnier. This is good stuff.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061735035
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/1/2011
  • Pages: 198
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Lisa Kogan

Lisa Kogan is the writer-at-large for O, The Oprah Magazine. She lives in New York City with her seven-year-old daughter.

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Table of Contents

1 A Brief History of Me 1

2 Piece of Cake 8

3 Messing with My Head 12

4 Margaret Has Spoken 17

5 Men: How and Why 22

6 Advice from "A Terrific Gal" 27

7 Julia Has Three Mommies 35

8 Sugar Shock 41

9 They'll Always Have Paris 50

10 Miss Kogan Regrets 55

11 The Hours 61

12 The Silent Killer 68

13 Bed, Bacon, and Beyond 72

14 The First Bad Thing I Ever Did 77

15 One Night Only 81

16 Taking a Chance on Love 86

17 Kogan's Heroes 91

18 To Grandmother's House We Go 101

19 Up on the Roof 105

20 Love, Loss, and What I Ate 108

21 Yesterday, When I Was Young 116

22 How You (Yes, You!) Should Live Your Life 121

23 Was It Good for You? 125

24 I am Curious Yellow 136

25 Paging Amy Vanderbilt 141

26 Till Sleep Do Us Part 144

27 Truth or Dare 149

28 "What the Hell Kind of Bra Are You Wearing?" 154

29 Reasons to Live 165

30 It's My Party-and I'll Make Witty, Albeit Possibly Inappropriate and/or Offensive Remarks-If I Want To 169

31 What to Expect When You're Not Expecting 174

32 Supper at Satan's 182

33 What Did Dorothy Parker Know, and When Did She Know It? 187

34 That Man, Morris Aaron 192

35 It Had to Be You 194

Acknowledgments 199

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Sort by: Showing all of 18 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2010

    Insightful and funny

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book! So clever and hilarious -- I found myself laughing out loud many times. A definite must for any mother, New Yorker, friend, woman, or fan of life!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Very Enjoyable

    Lisa Kogan's observations on being a woman, on motherhood, and life in general are funny, honest and I think relatable, for most women today. The essays have thought and purpose, as well as humor.


    Lisa tells her story in bits and pieces, with a sharp, keen wit. She tells of her life in New York, from dating, working, motherhood, and even personal tales such as health issues.
    There is even a bit of politics that can be taken however the reader chooses.


    The final product is a funny, charming little memoir of humorist essays.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Fresh, savvy, hil

    Lisa Kogan is a forty-nine year old single mother who was blessed at 42 with a little girl. She spent her early life "growing out bangs, searching for a good bra, and wishing she was skinny." She now faces a reality where there is such a thing as shapely clothes even though gravity is not a friend. The love of her life is a man who automatically knows that when she tries to cook a chicken for Thanksgiving that a brochure from the Poison Control Center should be held by a super-sized magnet on the fridge, and instinctively reacts to her questions about life with, "Have you lost weight?" The man of her dreams has given her a stepson, and even though he lives overseas eight months out of the year, they are true soul mates (even though no ring has been placed on her finger). However, she speaks about love in the sense of camaraderie, friendship, and balance - a person who holds you up and loves you at all times and whose favorite author is not the guy who wrote "Pull Tab to Open" on the top of a can of beer. Lisa delves into motherhood and how it was incredibly hard to have a child, let alone to actually raise it. From essays on the first birthday to the making of blueberry muffins (out of a box so that she can actually hear her grandmother rolling over in her grave), every single word that this woman has put on paper will have readers smiling, laughing out loud, or nodding their head in acceptance and understanding of what a fragile thing life really is. She is a believer that for every bad there is a good and for every pro there is a con, but also lets the reader know that she isn't picky. In fact, there was a time when she would have "dated Ted Bundy as long as it was in a well-lit public place." She believes in urban legends about the romantic men out there in the world, like DiCaprio giving up his side of the door and freezing his behind off so that his love could have her heart go on after the Titanic sank, but remains the sensible woman who has no idea what a bodice is but certainly doesn't want it to be ripped. And, above all, the essays that offer the truly emotional are something that will bring every reader to tears. There is that part of her that still wishes one night she hadn't been in a hurry to go to a party and instead had stayed home and listened to her Grandmother's stories, instead of coming home and realizing that Grandma's trip to the hospital that night would be the last time she ever saw the woman who could've taught her so much. She loves her dysfunctional family, and makes sure that every time her daughter speaks she lays down on the bed and doesn't miss a moment of time or one single word that comes flowing out of her child's mouth...because there are certain times in life we will never get back. From the "flambe" incident where she learned that she may not be the best party thrower because some of her friends are still angry that their eyebrows haven't grown back, to the pain and hardship and complete joy of being a single parent, this author has completely "nailed it," saying everything that we all want to say but can't quite put into words. Quill Says: Any and all out there who are interested in a fresh, savvy, fantastically hilarious point of view on life and all that it has to offer (and take away) will truly love this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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