"Lisa and Francesca, mother and daughter, bring you the laughter of their lives." Delia Ephron, bestselling author
The bestselling and “perennially hilarious” mother-daughter team is back with a new collection of stories from their real lives, guaranteed to make you laugh out loud. Join Lisa and Francesca as they regret drunk-shopping online, try smell-dating, and explore the freedom of a hiatus from men - a Guyatus. They offer a fresh and funny take on the triumphs and facepalm moments of modern life, showing that when it comes to navigating the crazy world we live in, you’re always your own best lifeguard.
|Publisher:||St. Martin's Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.20(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
LISA SCOTTOLINE is a New York Times bestselling and Edgar award-winning novelist and coauthor of this series of humorous memoirs. There are 30 million copies of her novels in print, and she has been published in thirty countries. She and Francesca also write a Sunday column entitled Chick Wit for The Philadelphia Inquirer. She lives in the Philadelphia suburbs with an array of disobedient pets.
FRANCESCA SERRITELLA is a New York Times bestselling author and a columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer. She graduated cum laude from Harvard University, where she won the Thomas Temple Hoopes Prize for her novella. She lives in New York City with one dog and one cat, so far, and she is working on a novel.
Date of Birth:July 1, 1955
Place of Birth:Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Education:B.A., University of Pennsylvania, 1976; J.D., University of Pennsylvania Law School, 1981
Read an Excerpt
Mommy has a new wish.
Besides Bradley Cooper.
We're talking coffee.
And I'm on a quest.
I know, some people climb Everest.
Others cure cancer.
But all I want is a delicious cup of coffee that I can make myself, at home.
Is that so much to ask?
Right out front, I have to confess that I love Dunkin' Donuts coffee.
Sometimes I'll have Starbucks and other times Wawa, but my coffee soul mate is Dunkin'.
We've been together longer than either of my marriages combined.
Daughter Francesca likes to tell the story of the time we were watching television and a Dunkin' Donuts commercial came on, and I whispered, "I love you, Dunkin' Donuts."
Okay, that's embarrassing enough.
But then Francesca tweeted that to Dunkin' Donuts, and Dunkin' Donuts tweeted back:
"We love you too, Lisa!"
Anyway, you get the idea.
So I stop by Dunkin' Donuts whenever I can and I also pick up a lottery ticket. When I lose the lottery, at least I've had a great cup of coffee, which makes me almost as happy.
You're supposed to be able to make Dunkin' Donuts at home, and I have a Keurig coffeemaker, so I bought the Dunkin' Donuts K-Cups and did the whole Keurig thing, but it wasn't the same as the real thing.
And unfortunately, I developed almost a superstitious belief that a cup of great coffee is essential to my writing process. I'm not the first writer to believe that a beverage is essential to great fiction. Ernest Hemingway had booze, but I have caffeine. And when my good-luck charm is on shaky ground, I fear my books will start to suck, and Mrs. Bradley Cooper can't have that.
So I decided that I would give up on making Dunkin' Donuts at home and try different types of coffee. I understand this is called being flexible, but it's not something that comes easily to me.
Nor should it.
One of the great things about being single is that you never have to compromise anything, and I wasn't looking forward to compromising my one and only vice.
Nevertheless, I decided I should go back to basics, namely percolated coffee. I admit this was probably nostalgia-driven, because I remember the days when Mother Mary perked coffee on the stovetop, brewing Maxwell House from a can, but I couldn't find a stovetop percolator and had to settle for a plug-in, and I thought I could beat Maxwell House, so I got myself to the grocery store, where I stood before a dizzying array of types of coffee, coming from everywhere around the globe, including Africa, Arabia, and the Pacific.
This was coffee with frequent-flyer mileage.
Likewise there were different kinds of roasts — light, dark, French, Italian, and Extra Dark French, which sounded vaguely racist.
I went with medium Italian, because that's basically what I am.
Then I had to choose the "body" of the coffee, which evidently meant "the weight of the coffee on your tongue."
Everywhere you look, body issues.
Again I chose the light-to-medium bodied, ground it at the store, brought it home, perked it, and it sucked. I persevered for another week, but I couldn't do it. I decided to throw out the baby with the coffee water and went back further to my roots to buy a little Italian Bialetti espresso maker, perked on the stovetop. But that meant I had to go back to the grocery store and start all over again, since the new coffeemaker required the moka grind, which is not even a word.
I brought the coffee home, perked it, and took a sip.
It sucked, too.
Or maybe I suck at flexibility.
So now I don't know what to do.
I'm taking any and all suggestions.
And I have a novel to finish.
Tell me how to make a great cup of coffee.
The future of literature depends upon it.
Also my job.
I'll split the Powerball with you.
We're Having a Baby!
I was hunched over my laptop, reading an article about which baby stroller is best for city dwellers, when my mom peered over my shoulder.
"Do you have something to tell me?"
We're having a baby!
Well, my friend group is.
I've been part of a stable group of six, dear girlfriends since we were in the sixth grade, and now the first of us is pregnant. We've moved through many steps of life in stride, but a baby is a new frontier.
I am beyond excited.
Last night I couldn't sleep, my brain was too busy thinking of baby names.
Don't worry, I would never be so presumptuous as to suggest any.
(But in case she's reading this: if you're curious, I have a list, and it's totally okay if you hate them, but I'm just gonna email ...)
In addition to researching strollers, I've scoured Sephora reviews of the best stretch-mark cream and scouted the coolest maternity clothes websites. I've pre-selected my friend's birthday, Christmas, and Groundhog Day presents.
And I haven't even gotten started on gifts for the baby.
Actually, I take that back — I did preorder a board book entitled Feminist Baby, because I'm staking my claim as that aunt early.
Thanks to my web search history, every online advertisement thinks I'm pregnant.
If I see one more pop-up for breast pumps ... Last week, the New York contingent of our girl gang got dinner with Mama for the first time since she emailed us all the happy news.
The moment she slipped off her coat and revealed the tiniest baby bump, I girl-squealed.
And I never girl-squeal.
I found myself making sure she sat out of the way of the passing busboys, wanting to pull the chair out for her, then wanting the waiter to bring water faster, and bread, lots of bread! I wanted to order everything on the menu and watch her eat it.
Even as her friend, seeing her triggered an animal urge to nurture and protect her.
Our pride is having its first cub, and we lionesses need to circle the den.
When the waiter brought the wine list, we waved him off. It went without saying that we were abstaining in solidarity.
We made about two minutes of small chat before I caved and said, "SO, what is it like?" and we unleashed a torrent of questions.
Pregnancy is simultaneously the most universal female experience and the most unfathomable one. You can't possibly imagine what it's really like until you experience it.
Or, second best, until you see it up close.
And until this moment, I've only gotten as close as a sonogram photo on Facebook.
I'm an only child, and in my small extended family, I have only one cousin — and he's older. On both sides, the Scottolines and Serritellas are bad at reproduction.
No one can stay married long enough.
I babysat the neighbor's kids as a teenager, but actual infants were above my pay grade.
I've cooed over babies but never held one.
Pip doesn't count.
When I've had an acquaintance or distant relative announce a pregnancy, I congratulate them, but I don't feel comfortable asking any questions. I never know what is and isn't polite to ask, it seems too personal.
But nothing is too personal between friends of twenty years. So I had a million questions at this dinner.
How do you feel? Are you nauseous? Are you starving?
Are your boobs awesome now? Oh no, they hurt?!?
When does it kick?
Does this mean we can order dessert?
She laughed and patiently answered our questions and filled us in on all the things that she did and didn't expect. She told us the best news ever:
It's a girl!
I tried not to immediately burst into tears. I nearly succeeded.
It was at once surreal and fitting that I was again leaning over a table with these girlfriends to learn about this most momentous experience of womanhood, just like we had when we were sitting around the lunch table in middle school, comparing notes on the most trivial firsts of womanhood.
These are the girls with whom I puzzled out puberty. Together, we figured out which razors wouldn't nick your knees, even with a shaky hand, which maxi pads felt least like diapers, which tampons were the least scary. They reassured me that I was not the only girl on earth to have slightly unequal-sized breasts.
Whoever did anything first had to report back to the troops. We compared notes on what to do with your tongue when you kiss. When the first of us saw a guy naked, lunch break became a Grey's Anatomy lesson, complete with crude diagrams drawn on the back of a napkin.
And it wasn't just boy stuff, we conferred on SAT prep, college essays; anything big and daunting was tackled as a team.
After college, we no longer hit life milestones in lockstep with one another. That can be a source of jealousy or angst in some friendships, but only if you reduce major life events like marriage or a child to merit badges of womanhood.
I have truly never felt competitive with these friends, but I think that's because we always helped each other.
Childbearing is more complicated than shaving your legs. It will probably take all six of us to get a comprehensive sense of this remarkable, insane, beautiful female experience.
Friendship is like a longitudinal study of how to be human. We're here to be each other's test subjects, and to use our findings to tip the scales toward happiness.
Not that Mama is our unlucky guinea pig — it evens out. Yes, she's running the diaper gauntlet first. But she has all of us unencumbered single ladies around to support her. Her baby girl will be the object of adoration of five happy aunties and last-minute babysitters.
Those of us who have children later won't need as much help, since we'll have cribbed notes for years. Plus, we'll get the mother lode of hand-me-down baby clothes.
And if any of us is unsure that having kids is right for her, she'll have five of us living, breathing, spit-up-covered pros-and-cons lists to help her decide.
For the last twenty years, these girls, now women, have been my brain trust. Thanks to them, for the last two decades I haven't had to figure anything out alone.
And Baby Girl, you will always have a high chair at our table.
It turns out that my past is spotty.
And yours may be, too.
I learned this when I turned sixty.
(I'm still getting used to saying that, much less seeing it in print.)
All of us women have to cope with the signs of aging, and some of us do so better than others.
I mostly ignore it.
I'm not a model, so I don't earn a living by the way I look, and I've come to like my face, even with its laugh lines, since I like to laugh.
I know that sometimes my cheeks look drawn and hollow, which is the kind of thing that tempts some women to opt for injections of filler.
I don't judge, but that isn't my style.
As soon as I hear "injections," I'm gone.
And the only filler my face needs is carbohydrates.
The same is true of face-lifts or cosmetic surgery. I don't blame anybody who does it, but my fear kicks in at "surgery."
Though I have to admit that I've been tempted recently, a fact I discovered by accident. After summer was over, I noticed an oddly dark spot on my cheek, and since I wasn't always careful about using sunscreen, I worried it was cancer. The very notion sent me scurrying to the Internet, where I looked at various horrifying slides and learned the acronym ABCDE, which stands for asymmetry, border, color, diameter, and evolving.
Now you learned something, and so did I.
The last time I had memorized an acronym with as much interest was when I was getting engaged, and I learned about the four C's for engagement rings.
Cut, clarity, color, carat.
Much more fun.
Worried, I called around and found a dermatologist, a woman reputed to be a great doctor, though on the brusque side.
In other words, a woman of few words.
I hadn't even known such a creature existed.
Obviously, she's the direct opposite of me, but I wasn't looking for love, just to stay alive.
Anyway, the dermatologist suggested that I come in for a mole check.
I agreed, though she'd said it so fast, I thought she'd said "mold check."
Which was probably more accurate.
I'm not getting old, I'm getting mold.
Or maybe I'm molting.
Either way, I went to the dermatologist, who examined the suspicious mole and determined it was benign.
I promised myself never to skip the sunscreen, ever again.
But then the dermatologist frowned behind the contraption that magnified her eyes to two brown marbles. She pointed to my temples and said, "You have quite a lot of keratoses."
Again I didn't understand because she was looking at my forehead, not my toesies. "What did you say?"
"These brownish spots on your temples. You have so many."
Thanks, I thought, but didn't say. "They're from the sun, aren't they?"
"No, that's a common misconception. They're hereditary."
I remembered then that my father used to have them, which might have been the reason I never minded them. Because they reminded me of him.
The dermatologist said, "They're not related to age, but they age you, and I can remove them."
"Hold on." The dermatologist left the office, then returned with a styrofoam cup of what looked like coffee, because a curlicue of steam wafted from inside the cup. Before I could understand what was going on, she swiped a Q-tip inside the cup and pressed it to my temple.
"Ow," I blurted out. "What is that?"
"Liquid nitrogen. It burns, right?"
"Right." I bit my lip as she swiped the Q-tip back in the styrofoam cup and pressed it on a few other places on my temples.
I wanted my mommy, but didn't say so.
Because that would have been immature.
The dermatologist finished up, saying, "That's all for now. Call my office in a week or so and make an appointment to remove the others."
I thanked her and left the office, my forehead a field of red dots, like a constellation that spelled out:
WE AGE YOU
A week later, the red dots had turned brown and fallen off, and in their place was fresh pink skin.
I could see that I looked better, maybe even younger.
But I have to say, I missed looking like my father.
And I think I'll leave the other ones alone.
Everybody knows that the holidays are crazy busy.
But what we don't know is why we make them busier.
Or rather, why I do.
I begin by saying that as of this writing, there are less than two weeks left before Christmas and I have not begun to shop. I've bought some gifts online but I still want to go into an actual store, not only because it's fun, but because I want actual stores to remain open.
This is one thing I've learned in my dotage.
If you want something to exist, you have to support it with actual money. So as much as I love to shop online, I make sure I spend my money in the bricks and mortar.
Vote with your boots.
And your bucks.
So you would naturally think that this is a story about me going shopping for gifts, but it isn't. Because at about the same time, I decided to try a really unusual holiday meal for Christmas.
The holidays are the time for Recipe Ambition.
Please tell me that I'm not the only one who decides that the busiest time of the year is the perfect time to make the fanciest recipe ever, for the first time.
It's worth noting that I first had this idea for Thanksgiving, but I got too tired.
But now that Christmas is coming up, I wanted to give my Recipe Ambition a trial run. The last thing you want to do is cook a new dish at Christmas and have it fall through, so that you end up serving cereal with a side of beer.
And since Francesca and I are vegetarians, we're always looking for something to substitute for turkey, and our days of Tofurkey are over. No disrespect, but Tofurkey reminds you that you want real turkey and we're making a clean break.
In other words, we're going cold turkey on Tofurkey.
I had been reading my recipe books and feeling my Italian heritage, which is the kind of thing that happens at the holidays, when I get nostalgic for hard-core ethnic food that no one in my family ever made, because we got too tired.
Which brings me to fava beans.
You may not have heard of them, except that if you watched Hannibal Lecter, you know he likes fava beans with liver.
But like I say, we're vegetarians.
I had fava beans when Francesca and I went to Italy, and they were hearty and delicious, so when I was in the grocery store before Thanksgiving, I decided they would be my Recipe Ambition. The beans were large, hard, and an ugly greenbrown, kept loose in a plastic container that had an opening on the bottom, which I had never used before. I got a plastic bag, put it under the opening, and released the lever, which was when a zillion beans poured into my bag, clattering like an organic jackpot.
It was way too many but I couldn't figure out how to pour them back.
Excerpted from "I Need a Lifeguard Everywhere but the Pool"
Copyright © 2017 Smart Blonde, LLC, and Francesca Scottoline Serritella.
Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Introduction Lisa 1
Perking Up Lisa 5
We're Having a Baby! Francesca 9
Spot On Lisa 14
Recipe Ambition Lisa 18
Our Ladies of Perpetual Motion Lisa 22
New Year's Meh Francesca 26
Lift and Separate Lisa 30
The Off Switch Lisa 33
Becoming Thirty Francesca 37
Mother Mary and the Eyebrow Lisa 41
Moo Lisa 46
Barking up the Wrong Tree Francesca 50
Question Authority Lisa 55
Something We Can All Agree On Lisa 59
Topsy-Turvy Francesca 63
Adventures in Herpetology Lisa 67
The Scent of a Woman Lisa 71
Pay the Troll Francesca 75
Ball o' Fun Lisa 79
Going Where the Weather Suits My Clothes Lisa 83
Brain Freeze Francesca 87
Leave a Tip Lisa 91
Scrambled Eggs Lisa 95
Anniversary Francesca 99
Batter Up! Lisa 104
Diaper Genie Lisa 108
One-Piece of Mind Francesca 113
World Police Lisa 117
Good Morning! Lisa 121
Blond and Blonder Francesca 126
Potted Lisa 130
Happy Birthday Lisa 135
Pushed Around Lisa 138
Beach Bums Francesca 143
Work Zoned Lisa 148
The American Dream Lisa 152
The View from the Ferry Francesca 156
For the Win Lisa 161
Back to School Lisa 168
Girl Vitamin Francesca 171
Which Spices Would You Take to a Kitchen Island? Lisa 175
Legends of the Fall Lisa 179
Political Partisan Seeks Same Francesca 183
Twelve Hundred of My Closest Friends Lisa 187
Running on Empty Francesca 192
If You're a Woman, They Only Want One Thing Lisa 195
Mother Mary Gets an Idea Lisa 199
Picture Imperfect Francesca 202
iPhonatic Lisa 207
Home Is Where the Bra Comes Off, Part 2 Lisa 210
On Guyatus Francesca 214
Suburban Story Lisa 219
I Like Big Brains and I Cannot Lie Lisa 223
High Note Francesca 227
Collect Them All Lisa 231
It's a Boy! Lisa 235
Remote Control Freak Lisa 239
The Bridal Shower 2.0 Francesca 243
House Dreams Lisa 248
SuperLisa Lisa 251
Hi, My Name Is Francesca 255
Netflixxed Lisa 260
Like a Rolling Book Lisa 265
Sniff Test Francesca 269
Pasta Impasse Lisa 273
Let's Twist Again Lisa 277
Don't Bot with My Heart Francesca 281
Built Ford Tough Lisa 285
Weeding Lisa 288
Keep Calm and Carry On Lisa 292
Drunk Click Francesca 295
The Bottom Line on the Bottom-of-the-Line Lisa 299
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This was a super fun and light read. I love hearing from both Lisa and Francesca and like how the chapters often flip between them. They cover a wide variety of topics. This book has maybe a little more about politics and the last presidential election than most-but it wasn't overbearing. It is an easy book to read one or two quick chapters, but down for a day or two and not feel lost when you get back to reading.
A delightful book. It was both funny and entertaining! Thanks!!
Check out the full reivew at Kritters Ramblings I will have to admit this early, I have yet to read one of these kinds of books by Lisa Scottoline and her daughter Francesca Serritella, even though I own almost all of them, I just hadn't read them and when I was pitched this book to review I decided I had to do it! In a few of the essays I will say that Lisa specifically hinted at stories from the past and as this was my first read of theirs I felt a little left out, not enough to not laugh and get the moral of the story, but just felt as though I was missing a little piece.
Really enjoyed this book. It is a fast, light-hearted read!
I'm not sure if I say this every time, but this year's collection of essays by mother daughter duo Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella is by far my favorite. Both of their voices reflect the humor found in everyday life, whether dealing with dogs, gardens, men, jobs or home renovation. Every summer, I feel like I know this pair a bit better and only wish they would take their beach book tour into the Midwest.
I am not a short story collection fan. I like a storyline, a set of characters, and an ending. I Need a Lifeguard Everywhere But the Pool changed my mind on everything I thought I needed. I read this on a plane and caught myself laughing out loud, smiling, and cringing at the stories. They are told in separate chapters by both Lisa and Francesca. There were numerous times that I could relate to what was happening in their lives. The reactions to different events were so real that I could see myself in their stories. I found it fun to get a glimpse into the author’s lives and see that they are normal, real, everyday people. The situations they find themselves in are the same as their readers. Reading I Need a Lifeguard Everywhere But the Pool made both Lisa and Francesca seem more like my friends. I believe both these amazing ladies would fit in perfectly with my friends and family. Thank you Jordan Hanley at St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
These books are just a lot of fun. I have read quite a few of these books by Lisa Scottoline and her daughter, Francesca Serritella, and have really enjoyed all of them. The stories in this book are each very short and can be read in a couple of minutes but are highly addictive. I couldn't seem to read just a few of the stories but found myself reading this book like it was a marathon or something. I just cannot get enough of these glimpses into Lisa and Francesca's lives. I found it so easy to relate to Lisa and Francesca. Lisa Scottoline is an author that I really enjoy and have been reading for a number of years. While I was at one of Lisa's book signings, another fan recommend that I read the books in this series. So I did and the rest is history. Though these books I really feel like I have had the chance to really get to know Lisa and Francesca. I feel almost like I could pull up a chair at their table for a nice chat because they have really let me into their lives through these books. In the previous books in the series, I found myself relating to Lisa much more than Francesca but I this book I think it has evened out a bit. Maybe it is because Francesca didn't really talk about dating as she has in previous books because she is on a hiatus from men. I am an old married woman and barely remember dating so I am happy to read about other things. This book covers a little bit of everything. Seriously everything. There are stories about yoga, bridal showers, snakes, dogs, doggy diapers, family members, building furniture, remote controls, exercise equipment, buying trucks, and the list goes on. Really these stories are just about navigating through life and all of the things that are encountered on a daily basis. These stories are told with a good dose of humor and many mentions of Bradley Cooper. Lisa has a series thing for Bradley Cooper. Not all of the stories are pretty and some made me squirm. Hello...snakes!! Some stories were more serious and heartfelt but all of them were very real. I would highly recommend this book to others. I think that just about any woman that has made it to adulthood will find something to relate to in this book. I can't wait to read more of their work in the future. I received an advance reader edition of this book from St. Martin's Press via NetGalley.
First a huge thanks to StMartin for passing me this arc, second of course to Lisa and Fran for such an amazing book! I need laughed so hard, ever. It was so close to read life it scared me. People (such as myself) actually do these things. In fact we do them a little too often. I love Lisa's alter ego books, but this was my first treat to mother/daughter and am over the top crazy for this. Telling all my friends they need to read this, especially with summer here and the kids home, there are Moms out there who need comic relief. This book totally fits the bill. Ladies, I bow humbly to you! Bravo!! Now I am hooked! **arc from NetGalley and St Martins Press in exchange for a fair review**
I love these books, written by the funniest mother/daughter duo of all time, Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella. These stories will make you laugh, nod your head in commiseration, laugh, shake your head because you have done some of those same things too, and did I say laugh?
I have read a couple of these books by Lisa and Francesca and I enjoy them. They are a collection of short anecdotes (newspaper column-type) of their lives. This book highlights many humorous moments in their lives and allows you a peak at various areas such as their love life, pets, jobs, friends etc. I love their sense of humor in these stories, especially Lisa's (the majority of the chapters are written by her). A reader can often picture themselves in the same or similar situations and smile and nod as they read along. Even though I am of Lisa's age, I was able to relate to many of Francesca'a stories and picture my daughter in the same situation. I think the one I laughed at the most was the "Smart Bra" story. Being a recent widow with a big house, I also enjoyed reading about Lisa's renovations and home improvements. If anyone looked in my cupboards and closets, they would also see all the things I bought that I rarely use as well. Lisa, besides that fact that I am not an author, we share so many things. It is great to be able to laugh about things when you see them in a different perspective. These are great books that I would recommend to other mothers and daughters so they can see the other side of the coin. Because each story is a short chapter this is a great book for busy people because they can pick it up and read a story in between their busy tasks. Women will definitely enjoy this book and probably all the others this mother/daughter team has written. I am definitely going to continue reading these humorous books so I can laugh at both my and their lives. We need that. Thank-you Netgalley and St. Martins for the opportunity to read this e-arc.
A quirky, funny, anecdotal novel that will have you laughing, tearing up and saying, "I know exactly what you're saying!" With small chapters on various topics, this is a novel you can read, put down to do a weekend baseball tournament with your kids, then get right back into without missing s beat. Loved it! *I received an arc from the publisher through NetGalley for an honest review
In the book, I Need a Lifeguard Everywhere but the Pool, Lisa Scottoline, and her daughter, Francesca Serritella, team up to write about incidents that occurred in their lives. I found the book to be engaging and easy to read. Each chapter is crafted by either Lisa Scottoline or Francesca Serritella. Both writers, are good storytellers. Because different people find different things funny, I didn’t rate this book on how humorous I thought it was. I realize that, what I might not find funny, someone else would find hysterical. I Need a Lifeguard Everywhere but the Pool is a captivating and well-written read. Thank you, St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.