Regular price: $20.97

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Part memoir, part monologue, with a dash of startling honesty, There’s Nothing in This Book That I Meant to Say features biographies of legendary historical figures from which Paula Poundstone can’t 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 Poundstone’s ironic and blindingly intelligent humor, you’ll love this wryly observant, funny, and touching book.

©2006 Paula Poundstone. All rights reserved; (P) and ©2006 HighBridge Company

Critic Reviews

"Paula Poundstone pokes fun at her tabloid woes in wry - and occasionally pointed - tales about life in the comedy trenches as a single mom....[She] has a lively sense of the absurd." (Variety)
"Poundstone makes self-involvement entertaining in her memoir-cum-history." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


  • 3.8 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
  • 4 Stars
  • 3 Stars
  • 2 Stars
  • 1 Stars


  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
  • 4 Stars
  • 3 Stars
  • 2 Stars
  • 1 Stars


  • 3.9 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
  • 4 Stars
  • 3 Stars
  • 2 Stars
  • 1 Stars
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Evelyn
  • Duncans Mills, CA, USA
  • 02-11-07


I have listened to hundreds of audiobooks but rarely more than once (Bill Bryson is the exception). I enjoyed this book so much that I knew I would listen to it again sometime. I started it over just after finishing it. I laughed almost as much the second time around. More, please, Paula.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Erik
  • West Linn, OR, USA
  • 09-30-08

refreshing candor from a spiritual titan

Paula would likely object to the title, but i can't say enough about the delight and epiphany she delivers.
Her many fans know this well, so let me tell the remainder: Paula does a better job of being honest than most artists ever even aspire to. She is totally at ease in her own skin, and allows it to be everything it might happen to be, regardless of how awkward, strange or random it may seem.
It's hard to say whether her unique personality lends itself to comic presentation, or her approach to the medium just nicely accommodates the true essence of an individual.
This is a must-hear for anyone who's been in any sort of rehab or psychological therapy, or for anyone who's been a parent. Probably others i missed.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Anna
  • Akron, OH, USA
  • 01-11-07

wet your pants funny

I was so excited to find that audible finally had this book. I don't usually read and listen to the same books, but this book is an exception. Ms Poundstone's look at herself is smart, histerical and real. It is so nice to have her back!

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Nancy J
  • Tornado Alley OK
  • 12-30-13

Funny and Touching from a Master of Comedy

To my mind, Paula Poundstone is the funniest comedian I have ever run across. I have not seen her perform in person, but I watch any and all of her televised appearances, and I listen to NPR's "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" just to hear her sublimely funny ad libs. In televised live appearances, she usually ends up talking with individual members of the aiudience, and she is incredibly quick with really funny come-backs.

This book is Paula's telling of the events of the several years before the book was written. In other words, she tells us about her run in with the law over driving under the influence while her children were in the car with her. She was found guilty (or pled guilty) of child endangerment and abuse, among other things. In her telling, she does not deny anything or try to make excuses. She tells it honestly, while at the same time finding humor in the situation and in her alcoholism and rehab experience, and making it clear that she is crazy about her 3 adopted kids.

This book made me laugh and almost cry at the same time. I am so glad that she narrated the book herself -- her delivery is part of what makes her so funny. If you have ever enjoyed seeing or hearing Paula Poundstone, you will enjoy this book. Read it!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Witty and Irreverent

Paula mixes the bios of historical giants with her own experiences in this rollicking read. Part confessional, part self-effacing tale of her unfortunate incarceration, this book bounces the reader along from subject to subject. But the light, playful, almost whimsical surface belies a studied construction where in the reader compares and contrasts Paula's life with that of the hero. I think it makes it even funnier.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great book

What a great book! Paula Poundstone is both touching and funny in this memoir. I have always been a fan of hers and this book left me wanting more.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Dennis
  • Jennings, LA, USA
  • 01-28-07

Wait wait... Please Tell Me!

The best mix of poignancy, humor and history (!) on Audible. If you have have ever laughed out loud listening to Ms. Poundstone's appearances on the NPR news quiz show, you must get this book. The same goes for her recent concert on Bravo. This is one of those rare audiobooks where the author-as-narrator take on the book is essential. You will love this selection.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Earl
  • La Veta, CO, USA
  • 08-03-07

There's something to say about this book

Although she diminishes herself as a writer, Paula Poundstone has written a clever book, integrating the histories of Helen Keller, Beethoven, the Wright Brothers and Chief Sitting Bull into her life. Do not expect fall-down laughter but the book is ironic at times, funny at times and observant all of the time.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Michael
  • Denver, CO, United States
  • 04-30-13

Just plain laugh-out-loud funny

In this book, Paula (Ms. Poundstone, is it okay to call you that?) juxtaposes historical biographies with her own. Her offbeat construction method is to tell a historical anecdote, then follow it with a personal anecdote that it reminds her of. The abrupt shifts are jarring at first, but I got used to them pretty quickly.

The personal anecdotes offer glimpses of her early life, her success at comedy clubs, her descent into alcoholism and a protracted court fight, and mostly about her family life with her three adopted kids and their cats and dog. The scattered, episodic narrative was like trying to look at a car through a picket fence, but I got a pretty good idea of what it was like. Since it wasn't presented as a story, that's the only reason I knock one star off my Story rating.

That describes the basic skeleton of the book, but it doesn't do it justice. If you've ever watched Paula in concert, this is a lot like that, except a little more introspective and stretched out for almost six hours. I laughed out loud frequently as I listened. For me, there's no better testimonial than that.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Paula Poundstone is so underrated as a comedian.

I loved it. There were some of her old jokes mixed with new ones. Hearing about her life, in conjunction with historical content, was very entertaining.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful