Monday, April 2, 2018

Can't Help Myself, Lessons and Confessions from a Modern Advice Columnist 
by Meredith Goldstein Grand Central Publishing April 2018

I loved this book and read it in about 48 hours. Through most of it I had laugh out loud moments but finished the last chapter in tears. Meredith Goldstein, the advice columnist for the Boston Globe has written a searingly honest book that shares her personal story intertwined with her professional work as the author of the Love Letters column. Each chapter takes on a modern day subject (divorce, exes, breakups, illness, etc) where MG shares her personal experience  and then follows up with letters from the column. The second author(s) are the daily commentators who chime in on each letter/issue. It's a technique that works suprisingly well.

The backstory to much of the book is the cancer diagnosis that MG's mother receives.  Dealing with the fear and trepidation a cancer diagnosis brings is, unfortunately, a life event most of us can relate to. I was particularly struck with her ability to honestly present her feelings warts and all.  She doesn't make excuses for shortcomings in behavior, analyzes them and tries to grow. Her love for her mom is evident throughout the story even as she deals with challenging situations.

The whole book, even the saddest parts are written with a humorous style. Did I mention MG is the queen of the pop culture simile, always dead on and very funny.  In the end you're left with a life affirming feeling that if we'd just all pull together things could be so much better for everyone.  Read it you'll love it

I read a prepublication copy provided by the publisher

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