From the Publisher
“Scottoline savors every last bit of her life, and so will you.” People magazine
“Plunging into home improvement frenzy, constructing a chicken coop, figuring out mystifying insurance policies and how not to die at the gym are some of the conundrums this ordinary woman faces with verve and wicked humor, especially how her beloved dogs have contentedly replaced the romance in her life.” Publishers Weekly
“Scottoline takes the fodder of everyday life and offers witty reflections from a female perspective.” Booklist
“…shrewd, tart, sensitive and hard to resist.” Kirkus Reviews
“She has compiled about 70 of the funniest, smartest and most poignant dispatches into one deliciously exuberant collection. What really makes this collection so addictive is Scottoline's way of capturing everyday moments, dissecting them and coming up with unexpected and slightly off-kilter observations about life.” Book Page
Brief, punchy slices of daily life originally published in her Philadelphia Inquirer column allow novelist Scottoline (Everywhere That Mary Went) to dish on men, mothers, panty lines and, especially, dogs. Somewhere in her mid-50s, twice divorced (from men she calls Thing One and Thing Two) and living happily in the burbs with her recent college-graduate daughter and a passel of pets, Scottoline maintains a frothy repartee with the reader as she discusses ways she would redecorate the White House (“Cupholders for all!”), relies on her built-in Guilt-O-Meter to get dreaded tasks done (a broken garbage disposal rates only a 1, while accumulating late fees at the library rates a 7) and contemplates, while making a will, who will get her cellulite. For some quick gags, Scottoline brings in various family members: mother Mary, a whippersnapper at 4'11” who lives in South Beach with her gay son, Scottoline's brother Frank, and possesses a coveted back-scratcher; and her Harvard-educated daughter, Francesca. Plunging into home improvement frenzy, constructing a chicken coop, figuring out mystifying insurance policies and how not to die at the gym are some of the conundrums this ordinary woman faces with verve and wicked humor, especially how her beloved dogs have contentedly replaced the romance in her life. (Dec.)
Can a suspense novelist begin a double life as a weekly humor columnist? Just ask Scottoline (Look Again, 2009, etc.), who collects some 70 "Chick Wit" columns she wrote for the Philadelphia Inquirer. Such a venture is not a huge stretch for a writer whose novels of legal suspense have always depended as much on witty dialogue as on mysterious plots. Scottoline's choice of topics is impressively broad: movie-theater candy, expensive bras, Valentine's Day, the upside of interrupting ("I would never be so rude as to not interrupt a friend. How else would she know I was listening?"), the sensual joys of hot flashes and the dream of getting tattooed. As both her choice of topics and her title make clear, men like Thing One and Thing Two, her ex-husbands, form no part of the target audience of this "mix tape for moms and girls." Scottoline's tics-her promises to get "back to the point," her wild exaggerations, her sententious kickers-will prevent all but her most ardent fans from trying to read this compilation at a single sitting. Her habit of referring to her nearest and dearest by epithets ("Mother Mary," "Daughter Francesca," "best friend Franca") inhibits the growth of intimacy. Though she's touchingly matter-of-fact on the death of her beloved dog, more formal occasions for serious wisdom like a graduation speech or a reflection on mortality take her out past her depth. When she sticks to homely observations on Starbucks, cougars, or real-estate ads, however, she's shrewd, tart, sensitive and hard to resist. Proof that a successful genre novelist can also succeed in an apparently remote field. First printing of 100,000
Read an Excerpt
WHY MY THIRD HUSBAND WILL BE A DOG (Chapter 1)
Of Dogs and Men
I'm old enough to remember Ozzie and Harriet, which means that my idea of the nuclear family was born in the 1950s and never quite grew up. By that I mean, a family has a Mommy, a Daddy, and two kids. And a dog.
Run, Spot, run!
We all know that the nuclear family has changed, but what's interesting to me is that nobody has just one dog anymore.
I'm not sure when it started, but all of the people who used to have a family dog now have family dogs. I myself have a full herdthree golden retrievers and one Pembroke Welsh corgi, who rules us all. Multiple dogs used to be thought of as crazy. Fifteen years ago, when I used to walk two dogs in the city, people asked me if both dogs were mine. Now I walk four and nobody raises an eyebrow.
This is true on TV as well. More and more, we see two dogs chowing down in Iams commercials, side-by-side. The Dog Whisperer, Cesar Milan, spends many of his episodes trying to get all of us crazies with multiple dogs to live happily together.
So when exactly did people start acquiring multiple dogs?
Before you answer, consider another phenomenon, which I'm sense is related. What caused the nuclear family to blow up was that people started getting divorced like crazy. All of a sudden, the divorces began to pile up. I don't mean across-the-country, I mean in one person. People I met had acquired second and third divorces almost as easily as they had acquired second and third dogs. At some point, the third divorce became the new second divorce. No one even bothered to count their first divorce. People didn't tell their third set of kids about it. It happened so long ago, you could easily forget.
Nowadays, even normal people are on their second divorce. People like me, for example. I have two ex-husbands, Thing One and Thing Two. To be honest, I used to be embarrassed about being divorced twice. When people asked me if I was married, I would simply answer, "No, I'm divorced." Okay, technically it was the truth, but lawyers would call it a material omission. Sooner or later, my pathetic personal history would spill out, and I'd be busted.
But recently, I was speaking at a library in California, and I met a lot of very nice women my age. And when I mumbled something about being divorced twice, one of them said, "Don't worry about it, honey, I'm divorced four times." And somebody else chirped up, "I'm on my third." And another chimed in, "I'm on my fifth!"
Boy, did that make me feel great! Er, I mean, it made me feel terribly concerned for the future of our nation and the American family.
And the funny thing is, many of these women had multiple dogs. Everyone I spoke with who had more than one dog also had more than one divorce. Some women had more divorces than dogs, others had more dogs than divorces. It makes you wonder which came firstthe dog or the divorce?
Is the new dog acquired as a result of the new divorce? In other words, do we trade our husband in for a dog?
Or does getting yet another Yorkie lead to your fourth divorce?
Are we replacing stable human families with stable dog families?
You may think I'm comparing two unrelated things, but this really isn't so crazy when you consider that many women, myself included, sleep with their dogs on the bed. In fact, in my own case, three of my dogs sleep on what used to be my ex's side of the bed. Plus, dogs do a lot of the things husbands do; snore, toss and turn, and fart. And I think my corgi has restless leg syndrome.
I believe these things are related. From my side of the bed, I'm smelling a connection.
The only thing that's missing is the prenup.
WHY MY THIRD HUSBAND WILL BE A DOG. Copyright 2009 by Lisa Scottoline.