Synopses & Reviews
Part memoir, part monologue, with a dash of startling honesty, Theres Nothing in This Book That I Meant to Say
features biographies of legendary historical figures from which Paula Poundstone cant help digressing to tell her own story. Mining gold from the lives of Abraham Lincoln, Helen Keller, Joan of Arc, and Beethoven, among others, the eccentric and utterly inimitable mind of Paula Poundstone dissects, observes, and comments on the successes and failures of her own life with surprising candor and spot-on comedic timing in this unique laugh-out-loud book.
If you like Paula Poundstones ironic and blindingly intelligent humor, youll love this wryly observant, funny, and touching book.
Paula Poundstone on . . .
The sources of her self-esteem: “A couple of years ago I was reunited with a guy I knew in the fifth grade. He said, “All the other fifth-grade guys liked the pretty girls, but I liked you.” Its hard to know if a guy is sincere when he lays it on that thick.
The battle between fatigue and informed citizenship: I play a videotape of The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer every night, but sometimes I only get as far as the theme song (da da-da-da da-ah) before I fall asleep. Sometimes as soon as Margaret Warner says whether or not Jim Lehrer is on vacation I drift right off. Somehow just knowing hes well comforts me.
The occult: I need to know exactly what day Im gonna die so that I dont bother putting away leftovers the night before.
TVs misplaced priorities: Someday in the midst of the State of the Union address theyll break in with, “We interrupt this program to bring you a little clip from Bewitched.”
Travel: In London I went to the queens house. I went as a touristshe didnt invite me so she could pick my brain: “What do you think of my face on the pound? Too serious?”
Air-conditioning in Florida: If it were as cold outside in the winter as they make it inside in the summer, theyd put the heat on. It makes no sense.
The scandal: The judge said I was the best probationer he ever had. Talk about proud.
With a foreword by Mary Tyler Moore
"Poundstone makes self-involvement entertaining in her memoir-cum-history, which takes biographical sketches of seven historical figures from Joan of Arc to the Wright brothers as an excuse for a hilarious and sometimes exhausting stream-of-consciousness confessional. She's interested in other people, she explains, it's just that their stories inevitably and uncontrollably trigger her own: 'Martin Luther King could come to my house tonight and say, 'I have a dream...' and I'd cut him off and say, 'I had a dream once, too, only in mine....'' Most everything reminds Poundstone of her well-publicized drinking problem. Joan of Arc didn't drive her livestock to pasture while drunk, but if she did they'd 'have something in common.' Segue to Poundstone being court-ordered on television to attend Alcoholics Anonymous ('That pretty much blows the hell out of the second A'). An explanation of Helen Keller's deafness and blindness is the perfect opportunity for the non sequitur: 'God, I loved to drink.' But Poundstone deals frankly with the nightmarish results of her alcoholism: she temporarily loses custody of her children, does 180 days in rehab and 'was seeing four therapists a week to satisfy the court. Even Sybil didn't see four therapists.' (Nov.) " Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Part memoir, part monologue, with a pinch of self-deprecation and a dash of startling honesty, this surprisingly unique laugh-out-loud book features biographies of legendary historical figures from which Poundstone can’t help digressing to tell her own. Mining gold from the lives of Abraham Lincoln, Helen Keller, Charles Dickens, Joan of Arc and Beethoven, among others, the eccentric and utterly inimitable mind of Paula Poundstone dissects, observes, and comments on the successes and failures of her own life with spot-on comedic timing. If you like Paula Poundstone's ironic and blindingly intelligent humor, you'll love this book.
Blending elements of memoir and monologue, the comedian offers a candid, humorous, and touching account of her life, using details from the lives of legendary historical figures to illuminate episodes from her own life and reflecting on her own successes and failures, as well as the incident that nearly destroyed her career. 80,000 first printing.
About the Author
Paula Poundstone has been a stand-up comic for twenty-seven years. Her long list of successes includes HBO specials, an Emmy Award, two Cable ACE Awards, and an American Comedy Award for Best Female Stand-Up. She now appears regularly on National Public Radios Wait Wait . . . Dont Tell Me!, and her highly anticipated Bravo special, Look What the Cat Dragged In, will air this fall. Paula lives in Santa Monica, California, with her three children, Toshia, Allison, and Thomas E. Poundstone.