Podcaster and comedian Pellegrino (Fancy AF Cocktails) takes a humorous and heartfelt trip down memory lane in this candid account of the moments that shaped him. Growing up during the ’90s as a “closeted kid” in a small Ohio town, Pellegrino had his fair share of misadventures—from streaking through the night on a dare to the unexpected trials of trying to get a family vacation off the ground, with very shaky results. For all the laughs his recollections induce, there’s an equal amount of introspection and vulnerability on offer in his shrewd articulations of universal human anxieties: “Every year on my birthday, a sense of melancholy washes over me.... I feel judged by my peers, and all the while I’m scrolling IG and judging the celebrities... with a leftover Roadside Slider from the Cheesecake Factory in my free hand.” He also elegantly writes of the challenges he faced and the gradual steps he took to openly admit to being gay (“Those years when you’re figuring it all out can be mental torture, but... life doesn’t stop when you come out. In fact, life begins because you’re finally living it authentically”). Readers will adore this witty account of navigating life—and finding the joy in marching to the beat of one’s own drum. (Mar.)
"An entertaining story about navigating life with authenticity and laughter." — Kirkus
Instant New York Times Bestseller
"Danny Pellegrino is a delight, and so are his stories!" —New York Times bestselling author Andy Cohen
"Danny Pellegrino is a national treasure. Reading his book is like spending time with the BFF of your dreams. His knowledge of pop culture is unrivaled and his humor is unmatched. I'm both happy for him and seething with jealousy." —Casey Wilson, New York Times bestselling author of The Wreckage of My Presence
"Readers will adore this witty account of navigating life—and finding the joy in marching to the beat of one's own drum." —Publishers Weekly
"Even if readers have never botched a college-level American Sign Language final with the lyrics to a Michael Bolton song, they will find themselves nodding along to Pellegrino's charming storytelling style and cringing on his behalf." —Booklist
"It is impossible not to fall in love with Danny in this heartfelt and deeply funny book. I laughed so hard I scared my kids. Randomly open to any page and you'll find a gem." —Kate Baer, #1 New York Times bestselling author of What Kind of Woman
"I first met and loved Danny through his podcast, but I have come to understand him on a deeper level through the pages of his vulnerable, hilarious, and captivating book. Each essay is an adventure and brings a warm sense of nostalgia to the audience with witty and timeless pop cultural references. So, to use a pop culture reference from the '90s, 'I don't care who you are, where you're from, what you did,' you will see some version of yourself in his words, journey, and truth. Not only will you laugh—and possibly cry—but you will also end up learning more about Danny and, inevitably, yourself." —Rachel Lindsay, media personality and author of Miss Me with That
"Danny Pellegrino's exuberantly funny and poignant stories of growing up gay are stuffed with loving pop-culture references and laced with real emotion." —Shelf Awareness
With In Love, NBA/NBCC finalist Bloom (White Houses) takes us on a painful journey as her husband retires from his job, withdraws from life, and finally receives a diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer's; she recalls both the love they experienced and the love it took to stand by him as he ended his life on his own terms. In The Beauty of Dusk, New York Times columnist Bruni contemplates aging, illness, and the end of the road as he describes a rare stroke that deprived him of sight in his right eye, even as he learns that he could lose sight in his left eye as well. In Aurelia, Aurélia, Lannan Literary Award-winning novelist Davis (The Silk Road) considers how living and imagining interact in a book grounded in the joys and troubles of her marriage and her husband's recent death. Raised in an ultra-orthodox Jewish household and married off at age 19 to a man she barely knew, Haart made a Brazen decision more than two decades later, surreptitiously earning enough money to break away, then entering the fashion world, and finally becoming CEO and co-owner of the modeling agency Elite World Group. Adding to all those paw-poundingly wonderful canine celebrations that keep coming our way, And a Dog Called Fig is Dublin IMPAC long-listed Canadian novelist Humphreys's paean to dogs as the ideal companion to the writing life. In The Tears of a Man Flow Inward, Burundi-born, U.S.-based Pushcart/Whiting honoree Irankunda recalls how his family and fellow villagers survived the 13-year civil war in his country—with the help, crucially, of his kind and brave mother, a Mushingantahe, or chosen village leader—and how the war destroyed Burundi's culture and traditions. As private investigator Krouse explains in Tell Me Everything, she accepted a case of alleged sexual assault at a party for college football players and recruits despite reservations owing to her own experiences with sexual violence, then saw the case become a landmark civil rights case. In Red Paint, LaPointe, a Salish poet and nonfiction author from the Nooksack and Upper Skagit Indian tribes, explains how she has sought to reclaim a place in the world for herself and her people by blending her passion for the punk rock of the Pacific Northwest and her desire to honor spiritual traditions and particularly a namesake great-grandmother who fought to preserve the Lushootseed language. Undoubtedly, book critic Newton has Ancestor Trouble: a forebear accused of witchcraft in Puritan Massachusetts, a grandfather married 13 times, a father who praised slavery and obsessed over the purity of his bloodlines, and a frantic, cat-rescuing mother who performed exorcisms, all of which made her wonder how she would turn out. In How Do I Un-Remember This? comedian/screenwriter Pellegrino draws on his big-hit podcast Everything Iconic with Danny Pellegrino (over 13.5 million downloads in 2020) as he renegotiates 1990s pop culture and moments funny, embarrassing, or painful to limn growing up closeted in a conservative Ohio community. In Black Ops, Prado portrays a life that ranges from his family's fleeing the Cuban revolution when he was seven to his retirement from the CIA as the equivalent of a two-star general while also detailing the agency's involvement over the decades in numerous "shadow wars" (200,000-copy first printing). Segall came of age as a reporter just as tech entrepreneurs began to soar, and as she interviewed these Special Characters, she also rose to become an award-winning investigative reporter and (until 2019) CNN's senior tech correspondent (75,000-copy first printing).
A podcaster and comedian shares a life steeped in humor and revelations.
In this charming, heavily anecdotal memoir, Pellegrino leads with the funny bone but doesn’t skimp on the vulnerable moments as well. As a kid in small-town Ohio, he was shy, awkward, and overweight. The author shares memories of family vacations, joyously receiving his first pair of boxer shorts, misguided stunts like streaking through the neighborhood on a cruel dare, spending sleepovers counseling his friends’ dispirited mothers, and experiencing hormonal overdrive “anytime I saw Brendan Fraser on a George of the Jungle movie poster.” In addition to riffing on his love for Jessica Simpson and Judy Garland, Pellegrino scrutinizes his interpersonal love affairs with wry wit. “Being in a relationship with me is exhausting,” he writes. Told in intimately personal episodes and awash in pop-culture references, the narrative is cleverly built for laughs, yet embedded within his keen observations are moments, however fleeting, of vulnerability and frank honesty. These tonal shifts are welcome. Without them, the book, packed with humorous stories and clever quips, would become overly superficial. The author is candid about his struggles with his sexuality, enumerating the challenges of being closeted and the liberation of coming out. In other, more introspective moments Pellegrino examines his “unprocessed grief” about his beloved grandmother’s death and how life can only truly begin when one starts living authentically, with clear joy, rather than according to what is socially acceptable. He is also open about his struggles with mental health, especially regarding a particularly difficult period “when I hit my low point….I’ve experienced sadness before, but this was something new, and it was unfathomable to me.” Pellegrino’s self-acceptance as a gay man grounds the narrative, while his rib-tickling missteps and misadventures will keep readers amused.
An entertaining story about navigating life with authenticity and laughter.