This one's for you, extraordinary ordinary women everywhere! It's time for seriously hilarious girl-talk with New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline. She's shared this collection of scenes from her real life, and she bets her life sounds a lot like yours . . . if you crave carbs, can't find jeans that fit, and still believe that these two things are unrelated. Pick up this bookyou'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll swear off pantyhose. Here are some examples of Lisa's wit and wisdom:
"Everybody has their pornography, and mine is the real estate ads."
"We'll get universal health care before we get beauty salons open on Mondays, and that's backwards. Ask any woman if she'd rather have a haircut or a mammogram, and you'll see what I mean."
"Mothers are a natural force, and maybe an alternative source of fuel."
"Lately there's been talk about a religion that allows polygamy, so that a man can have as many wives as he pleases. Where is the religion that allows a woman to have as many husbands as she pleases?"
"I have never been in an accident, if you don't count my two marriages."
"My mother taught us that if you eat baked beans from a can that has dents, you'll die of botulism. This was before people injected botulism into their faces. Nowadays, the dented can will kill you, but you'll look young."
Inspired by her wildly popular column in The Philadelphia Inquirer entitled "Chick Wit," Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog is a book you'll have to put downjust to stop laughing.
About the Author
Lisa Scottoline is the New York Times bestselling author of novels including Look Again, Lady Killer, Think Twice, Save Me and Everywhere That Mary Went. She also writes a weekly column, "Chick Wit," with her daughter Francesca Serritella, for The Philadelphia Inquirer. The columns have been collected in My Nest Isn't Empty, It Just Has More Closet Space. She has won an Edgar® Award and Cosmopolitan magazine's "Fun Fearless Fiction" Award, and she is the president of Mystery Writers of America. She teaches a course on justice and fiction at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, her alma mater. She lives in the Philadelphia area.
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
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.
Reading Group Guide
Ideas for Book Groups
I am a huge fan of book clubs because it means people are reading and discussing books. Mix that with wine and carbs, and you can't keep me away. I'm deeply grateful to all who read me, and especially honored when my book is chosen by a book club. I wanted an opportunity to say thank you to those who read me, which gave me the idea of a contest. Every year I hold a book club contest and the winning book club gets a visit from me and a night of fabulous food and good wine. To enter is easy: All you have to do is take a picture of your entire book club with each member holding a copy of my newest hardcover and send it to me by mail or email. No book club is too small or too big. Don't belong to a book club? Start one. Just grab a loved one, a neighbor or friend, and send in your picture of you each holding my newest book. I look forward to coming to your town and wining and dining your group. For more details, just go to www.scottoline.com.
Tour time is my favorite time of year because I get to break out my fancy clothes and meet with interesting and fun readers around the country. The rest of the year I am a homebody, writing every day, but thrilled to be able to connect with readers through email. I read all my email, and answer as much as I can. So, drop me a line about books, families, pets, love, or whatever is on your mind at email@example.com. For my latest book and tour information, special promotions, and updates you can sign up at www.scottoline.com for my newsletter.
Reading Group Questions
1.) Lisa dedicates the book to ordinary extraordinary women everywhere. She wanted to celebrate average womensuch as herself, her mother, her daughter, and her girlfriendsand the strength they muster to face the challenges of life. In what ways can you relate to Lisa and her adventures? Who in Lisa's book can you most closely identify with? Do you have a Mother Mary in your life?
2.) Lisa grew up reading Erma Bombeck in the newspaper and loved her books, and many readers have remarked that these columns remind them of Erma's, but with a modern twist. Do you agree or disagree? Why? And why aren't there more memoirs about the domestic lives of moms and families?
3.) Lisa has some very close girlfriends, who she would do anything for and who would do anything for her. Who are your closest friends and how did you meet? How are you similar to your friends, and how are you different? Do you think a friendship is a true friendship if you have to work at it? Why or why not?
4.) Some women swear by Spanx, but Lisa hates them. How do you feel about Spanx? What statement do you think they make about women today and what about the pressure for women to look ageless?
5.) Lisa thinks that parenthood is a series of letting-go points with our children, whether it's to kindergarten or to college. She admits she has trouble letting go of Daughter Francesca. For those of you who have gone through this transition with your child, what do you think was the hardest part? How did you deal with it? What are your thoughts about Lisa's theory that parents do not own a child, but rather children own themselves, and are merely gifted to parents for a time?
6.) Lisa has a house full of animals, and she wouldn't want it any other way. Do you have a special animal in your life? What do you think about the connection Lisa makes between divorces and acquiring animals?
7.) Which of Lisa's stories could you relate to the most? Which was your favorite and why? Which one made you laugh out loud? Which one made you cry? Which one would you most likely share with a friend?
8.) How is Daughter Francesca's relationship different with Mother Mary than Lisa's? What similarities do you see between Lisa and Daughter Francesca's relationship and Lisa and Mother Mary's? How are they different? Are either of these relationships similar to one in your own life?
9.) Lisa and Francesca find everyday moments extraordinary. What are some of your favorite ordinary, extraordinary moments?
10.) A great stage actor once said that "dying is easy, comedy is hard." Agree? Do you think it's harder to write humor than straight prose? Why aren't more memoirs written with humor? Do you think that humor makes a memoir seems less worthy, or "lightweight"? What is the relationship between mirth and pathos?