Book Review: The Grownup + The Nest + You’ll Grow Out Of It

October 27, 2016

Three books I actually finished while having a newborn, which definitely counts for something.

Liked two, loved one. The first is perfect for Halloween, the last is perfect if you just want to laugh.

Their reviews below. As always, they are spoiler free.

Happy reading!


1. The Grownup.


If You’re Looking For: a creepy book for Halloween

If You Like: Gillian Flynn, spooky stories, short stories, ghost stories

My Review: Have you read a Gillian Flynn novel before? If not, this isn’t the place to start. Start here–> Gone Girl. And if you can swallow that and want something even more haunting, read Sharp Objects (but don’t say I didn’t warn you). First of all, this book is not actually a full length novel, something I didn’t know before I got my hands on it (I was very confused). Instead it’s a short story! When I started it, I really liked it. The main character is intriguing, the plot thrilling, and by the middle you are turning the pages as fast as you can. The end was a little lackluster, however, and left me wanting more (or at least something different). I did enjoy it though. Very scary and psychologically trippy. To sum it up: This little ghost story isn’t perfect but is perfect timing for our current Halloween season.

Their Review: “A short story written for George R.R. Martin’s Rogues anthology, The Grownup is a tightly wrought psychological thrill ride that will leave readers replaying every well spent moment.” -Seira Wilson

Quoted: I lack formal education. So I’m left with the feeling that I’m smarter than everyone around me but that if I ever got around really smart people—people who went to universities and drank wine and spoke Latin—that they’d be bored as hell by me. It’s a lonely way to go through life.


2. The Nest.


If You’re Looking For: Dysfunctional family fiction

If You Liked: This Is Where I Leave You

My Review: Have you read This Is Where I Leave You? This book is kind of like that. Similar dysfunctional family, slightly more unlikable characters, with a brand new set of flaws and quirks. It’s also about New York and its elitist art/parenting/literary culture. I liked it. Definitely a quick read. My biggest complaint was too many side characters with not enough reason to have them. I did laugh a bit, and it is structurally sound and well written. To sum it up: Breezy, entertaining, predictable. A nice way to pass the time.

Their Review: “A masterfully constructed, darkly comic, and immensely captivating tale…not only clever, but emotionally astute. Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney is a real talent.” -Elizabeth Gilbert

Quoted: Everyone’s always on the hunt for a mirror. It’s basic psychology. You want to see yourself reflected in others. Others—your sister, your parents—they want to look at you and see themselves. They want you to be a flattering reflection of them—and vice-versa. It’s normal. I suppose it’s really normal if you’re a twin. But being somebody else’s mirror? That is not your job.


3. You’ll Grow Out Of It.


If You’re Looking For: Humor, memoir

If You Like: Irreverent reflections on womanhood, Liz Lemon

My Review: First of all, let me say that this book is right up my alley. Funny, forward, self-deprecating, silly. Basically it was written for me. Klein’s chapter on how to be a comedian should be required reading for anyone going into a creative or non-traditional field. Other favorite topics include birth, epidurals, the bar method, The Bachelor, baths. Over and over again I found myself laughing out loud at her reflections on everything from career struggles to romance. She also tackles serious topics like depression and infertility with honesty (and light-heartedness too). To sum it up: Funny, sharp, entertaining, real. Like having a 300 page conversation with a great friend. Will read it again. PS: I’m a wolf (you’ll get it after you read it).

Their Review: “YOU’LL GROW OUT OF IT does an amazing job making me understand what my life might be like if I were a woman. Or if I were Jessi Klein. I laughed. Lots. Not at what it’s like to be a woman! That would be sexist. I laughed at the parts that you’re supposed to. Which are plentiful. Because Jessi Klein is truly really funny.” – Ira Glass

“A stand-up comedian and former writer for “Saturday Night Live,” Klein is currently the head writer and executive producer of “Inside Amy Schumer.” In these 24 short pieces, her irreverent and inventive brand of humor almost seamlessly transfers to essay form. Riffs on dating, aging, marriage, infertility and childbirth have the zing-and-run rhythm of sketch comedy, but structured for the page.” – Sloane Crosley for The New York Times

Quoted: I wanted to structure a day where a hypothetical random snapshot of me looked like Carrie Bradshaw in her kimono, totally relaxed, not Brittany Murphy in Girl, Interrupted, diddling an old chicken under her bed.


Favorite Books

All Book Reviews

Curated Tweets [Volume 10]

October 21, 2016



Lately // October 2016

October 3, 2016

Hi friends. It’s been awhile since we’ve talked like this, so I thought I’d pop in to say I’m still here, avoiding piles of laundry and nursing a baby who believes I’m a 24 hour milk buffet.

When I’m not working on the book (most of the time) or parenting (all of the time), here are a few things I’m up to…

1. Dog-sitting and dog-walking via Rover to make a few extra bucks. My kids desperately want a pet, but because we’re already taking care of too many humans–this is a great compromise. They get a dog for a few days/hours and I get some easy side money. This weekend we watched a sweet Yorkie who was zero hassle, zero shedding, and great with kids. It was really fun! Yes, I make sure they are great with kids first (via a meet and greet and interview) and yes, you can set parameters on everything from dog size to if they are allowed on the furniture. You can also do it as few times or as often as you want!

2. Putting out a few Q&A posts on smart women via IG + FB. I have really been enjoying these series. Partly because I’m so proud of these women I get to call friends, and partly because I get really tired of talking about myself.

3. Reading this book for entertainment and this book for book club. Has anyone else read either of these? So far I’m enjoying them both.

4. Listening to this country mashup. I don’t listen to country music very often, but I really enjoyed this mashup of classics. Dolly Parton gets me every time.

5. Keeping this open in my Internet browser to read and re-read as needed. (For any other writers who occasionally need someone to tell them to keep going).

6. Not buying go-gurts for my kids anymore and making them myself instead with these. I am not especially crunchy, resourceful, or crafty (what a catch!), but I am able to make my own sleeves of yogurt instead of paying more money for more sugar.

7. Watching this special interview over and over again. Just in case you’re one of the few folks who haven’t seen it yet.

Everything else is more of the same: kids, work, kids, repeat–with an occasional mojito and trip to NYC on the side. Waylon is loving kindergarten, Eva is enjoying preschool and being the senior on campus when her older brother is at school, and Novi is doing what he does best (attaching himself to me like a spare appendage).

Have a great week!



Planetbox + Weekend Links

September 9, 2016

My 5-year-old wasn’t eating much of his lunch at school, so I asked Planetbox if they could send one of their lunch boxes and :: POOF :: lunch disappeared. I think his food was getting lost in all the sandwich bags? That, and cucumbers look much more appealing when they aren’t covered in wet plastic (just a guess).

Official review–> Easy to clean, fun to pack, and best of all–my five-year-old is not eating pb&j every day anymore. 5/5 stars. Also, most household jobs feel like a burden to this grump, but packing lunches has always been kind of thrilling and this makes it even better.

Yes, it’s dishwasher safe.

What I got: the Rover with the rocket magnets and starry blue bag. Waylon loves it.

You can also find it on Amazon if you want it in two days with Prime (me, always).




1. Hillary releases 20,000 spam e-mails from Old Navy (made me laugh)

2. Why I decided to stop writing about my children (nodded along to a lot of this)

3. I Kissed Dating Goodbye in 2016 (remember this book?!)

4. When kids don’t need you (got me)

5. A millennial’s hierarchy of needs (lol)



Thanks to Planetbox for shipping out a lunchbox for a review.

Curated Tweets [Volume 9]

September 6, 2016


Some retweets to start our short week. PS: If you haven’t noticed, this old blog has mostly turned into a place to post fun things from the internet until the book is done or I’m dead (whichever comes first). Feel free to #unfollow if you don’t like Michael Scott memes. xo // @katejbaer