I am an avid listener. I listen between 75-100 hours per month on my iPhone: 60% fiction to 40% non-fiction.
I really like this Sedaris book. True to his other novels, this is a compendium of stories. The title is taken from the first story where David, as a 3rd grader, goes to a speech therapist. You cannot help but laugh as the story unwinds and young David gets the best of the teacher in the end. And so the stories continue one by one making you laugh and every now and again he slips in a potent serious message.
Sedaris narrates his own work, so the stories comes off more powerful than a classic text might; especially in the first story where he talks about a lisping problem he had as a child.
This is a relatively short listen and it should appeal to anyone who like satirical humor drawn from personal introspection. Although many of the stories involve family members, they are not mean spirited. You feel like you are at a dinner table and just reliving the 'best of' stories with family members. I highly recommend this series of stories -- they are all winners.
Usually I can't get through a book of comical columns. This is the rare exception. Caitlin touches on EVERYTHING a woman has ever grappled with, but rarely will bring up, even to her best friend. With every topic, with relentless British humor, she brings you to a place of seeing the most common of things totally differently. From Brazilian waxes to high heels to childbirth to one of the funniest, most astute pieces on relationships I've ever read, she irreverently tears the conventional, cultural norms to shreds and offers up a lucid, common sense look at things we too often inanely follow like lemmings.
While walking along the Pacific, listening to How To Be A Woman, a friend rode up on her bike. She's the same age as me, 59, has a successful business and who ran so much, prepping for a marathon to impress her kids, that she got plantar fasciitis. That was two months ago and she can still not walk far, never mind run. She breathlessly, sweating profusely, related how she goes to spin class three times a week, swims every day she can, and bikes umpteen miles to LOSE WEIGHT. This woman was, before she stated all this marathon training, MUCH THINNER THAN ME (and I'm a person whom no one considers fat, ok, except me,) and married to a guy who adores her no matter what she weighs. Having been quite happy race walking in the sunshine by the sea, I would have instantly switched to feeling like a clumsy elephant if it weren't for this book, to which I was listening. Caitlin is my heroine. She brings the insanity women just take for granted front and center and kept making me say to myself, "Well, of course!"
This book also provoked numerous discussions with friends and family; the most amazing conversations about subjects we'd never touched before. This is such a mind opening book, so informative, while causing one to constantly laugh out loud (which is no simple feat for a book.)
The first chapter is deceptive and Caitlin, stand up comedian she is, can be a bit loud. But stick with it, please, and then laugh your head off and, if you're a woman, be prepared to feel far more secure in your own sneakers than you did at the start. If you're a man, be prepared to actually start to understand those female enigmas around you. And no matter who you are, you will, without a doubt, look at everything around you in a whole new light.