Synopses & Reviews
A New York Times Book Review
“At the epicenter of literary New York, Menaker is an irreverent guide to the publishing world’s inner workings . . . His own journey, compelled by his self-knowledge and sense of humor, elevates this memoir into more than witty chatter.” — Chicago Tribune
“Impossible to resist.” — Jennifer Egan, author of A Visit from the Goon Squad
In these pages Daniel Menaker brings us a “ruefully funny insider’s tour of the publishing world” (Vogue.com). Haunted by a self-doubt sharpened by his role in his brother’s unexpected death, he offers wry, hilarious observations on publishing, child-rearing, parent-losing, and the writing life. But as time passes, we witness a moving, thoughtful meditation on years well lived, well read, and well spent. Full of mistakes, perhaps. But full of effort, full of accomplishment, full of life.
“Tender, smart and witty, this book is truly unputdownable.” — Real Simple
“Energetic and exhilarating . . . [Menaker’s] clever, fast-paced prose makes you stop and think and wonder.” — New York Times Book Review
“At once jaunty and erudite . . . The writing simply shines.” — San Francisco Chronicle
Hello, I am Mike Birbiglia and I want you to read my book. Too on the nose? Sorry. Let me dial it back.
I’m Mike Birbiglia and I’m a comedian. You may know me from Comedy Central or This American Life or The Bob & Tom Show, but you’ve never seen me like this before.
Wait, that’s the name of another book. Also I’m not naked as there are no pictures in my book. Also, if there were naked pictures of me, you definitely wouldn’t buy it, though you might sneak a copy into the back corner of the bookstore and show it to your friend and laugh. Okay, let’s get off the naked stuff.
This is my first book. It’s difficult to describe. It’s a comedic memoir, but I’m only 32 years old so I’d hate for you to think I’m “wrapping it up,” so to speak. But I tell some personal stories. Some REALLY personal stories. Stories that I considered not publishing time and time again, especially when my father said, “Michael, you might want to stay away from the personal stuff.” I said, “Dad, just read the dedication.” (Which I’m telling you to do too.)
Some of the stories are about my childhood, some are about girls I made out with when I was thirteen, some are about my parents, and some are, of course, about my bouts with sleepwalking. Bring this book to bed. And sleepwalk with me.
Based on his sensational hit one-man show, comedian Mike Birbiglia’s charming, laugh-out-loud funny memoir is a story about first love, denial, and the perils and pitfalls of being…and released in time to accompany his new show, My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend
Despite growing up in seemingly normal circumstances—four kids, two parents, a middle-class home in the suburbs with summer camp and church—early on Mike Birbiglia recognized the hilarity of life. He discovered his talent for mini-golf and piggybacked on his brother’s entrepreneurial genius in starting a golf-ball resale business from their backyard. He did chores for an older sister in return for pizza, while planning a career as a rapper, break dancer, and priest.
At the heart of Sleepwalk With Me is Mike’s absurdly funny and frustrating battle with anxiety and insomnia, which results in hallucinatory fights with Brad Pitt, midnight visits from a jackal, and a fall from a second story hotel room in Walla Walla, Washington.
In the tradition of David Sedaris’s Me Talk Pretty One Day, this is a laugh-out-loud, often mortifyingly funny collection of stories, from the mundane to the sublime, and they are all beautifully told. Sleepwalk With Me is a window into Birbiglia’s life…and will make you wonder how normal “normal” really is.
A wry, witty, often tender memoir by a former New Yorker and Random House editor who has great tales of a life in words.
About the Author
In 10 years, MIKE BIRBIGLIA has grown from struggling comic to a popular talk show guest to a groundbreaking, original storyteller. The results? Two critically-acclaimed CDs, three Comedy Central specials and a Nathan Lane-produced Off-Broadway show called "Sleepwalk with Me" that was recently nominated for both a Drama Desk Award and an Outer Circle Critics Award for “Best Solo Performance.” Birbiglia’s comedy built him a cult following in colleges, then clubs, then concert halls nationwide and has made him one of the most popular touring acts to audiences of all ages. In 2008, Birbiglia teamed up with award-winning director Seth Barrish and Broadway legend Nathan Lane on "Sleepwalk with Me,” a painfully-funny one-man show about first love, denial and how the sleepwalking disorder that nearly killed Birbiglia might have saved his life. Due to popular demand the show was extended twice. The New York Times called the show, “simply perfect.” Birbliglia lives in New York City with his wife. SLEEPWALK WITH ME, grown out of the hit one-man show, marks his literary debut.