I Can't Complain: (All Too) Personal Essays

I Can t Complain All Too Personal Essays Elinor Lipman has populated her fictional universe with characters so utterly real that we feel like they re old friends Now she shares an even intimate world with us her own in essays that offer a ca

  • Title: I Can't Complain: (All Too) Personal Essays
  • Author: Elinor Lipman
  • ISBN: 9781624064753
  • Page: 193
  • Format: Audio CD
  • Elinor Lipman has populated her fictional universe with characters so utterly real that we feel like they re old friends Now she shares an even intimate world with us her own in essays that offer a candid, charming take on modern life Looking back and forging ahead, she considers the subjects that matter most childhood and condiments, long marriage and solo livElinor Lipman has populated her fictional universe with characters so utterly real that we feel like they re old friends Now she shares an even intimate world with us her own in essays that offer a candid, charming take on modern life Looking back and forging ahead, she considers the subjects that matter most childhood and condiments, long marriage and solo living, career and politics Here you ll find the lighthearted a celebration of four decades of All My Children, a reflection on being Jewish in heavily Irish Catholic Lowell on St Patrick s Day, a hilariously unflinching account of her tiptoe into online dating But she also tackles the serious and profound in eloquent stories of unexpected widowhood and caring for elderly parents that use her struggles to illuminate ours.

    One thought on “I Can't Complain: (All Too) Personal Essays”

    1. I love Elinor Lipman's novels. But her "essays"n I complain? I felt misled on two crucial points. First, these essays are a compilation of reprints written over decades, and it shows. So ask yourself if you really want to read decades-old Good Housekeeping "Blessings" columns. If you do--great! You'll enjoy these. If not, maybe skip this one. My second problem with this book is the subtitle, (All Too) Personal Essays. Her mom had a condiment phobia! Her father was perfect (his biggest problem: h [...]

    2. When I read Elinor Lipman's column about the death of her husband in the NY Times"Modern Love" section, I loved her writing and I knew I wanted to read more. Sensitive and personal (without being maudlin or inappropriate), she wrote with such humor and dignity. Later, I read a reference to this book, I Can't Complain, in the Times' Book Review. The review was a good one. Between that and the fact that she is a friend of my sister-in-law (they both teach writing at Smith College), I knew I wanted [...]

    3. Roz Reads I CAN’T COMPLAIN (AT TOO) PERSONAL ESSAYS Most readers have heard of Nora Roberts, but few have heard of Elinor Lipman, which comes in quite handy if you happen to work in a public library. When a patron asks me to recommend a good book, I’ll ask,“ Have you read “My Latest Grievance?” The answer is usually no. I’ll find it on the shelf, she’ll check it out, smiling, and I’ll have preserved my reputation as that amazing librarian who can always be counted on to conjure u [...]

    4. I have read all of Lipman's novels and have loved them all. When I discovered she had a book of personal essays in the (publishing) works, I was thrilled. I'm in love with her writer's voice--insouciant, wise, discerning, beautifully humorous. And just as in her fiction, that voice is light, yet powerful in her essays about love (romantic and familial), writing (!), and widowhood.As a narrator, you get a sense of who Lipman is; in these essays, you get more "facts" about her life--her late husba [...]

    5. I Can’t Complainby Elinor Lipman. Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (April 16, 2013). Essay/nonfiction. Hardcover. ISBN 978-0-547-57620-6.“Will I blurb a book because its editor implores me charmingly? No. Will I take a stab at it? Yes. When do I decide? I read until something stops me: Clunky sentences. No life. No story. Too much story. Too many italics. Too earnest or pretentious or writerly."--"Confessions of a Blurb Slut" from I Can't Complain by Elinor LipmanElinor Lipman writes wry [...]

    6. This book was fairly entertaining. I loved the chapters where the author talked about her family and her life experiences. My favorite chapter is "I Sleep Around," where she jokes about how sensitive her husband is when he's trying to sleep. She can't even use a book light in bed because of his "transparent eyelids!"

    7. I haven't read any of Elinor Lipman's novel, but I know plenty people love them, and after reading this collection of previously-published essays, I can see why. Lipman is candid and funny which is a disarming and endearing combination. These essays reminded me a bit of Anna Quindlin's, but a bit less sentimental--unless Lipman's is writing about her only child and son, Ben, with whom she is obviously enchanted and which is, again, endearing. The essays range in topic from light (writing blurbs [...]

    8. Glad I stuck with this one. Lipman's fiction is irresistible, but this book of essays, like many single-author collections (primarily of short stories), seemed it might become monotonous, or worse, cloying: one of the great strengths of all of Lipman's fiction is the smartass note in it, which is missing in the first few essays. Happily (all of her books end up happily, which is, for me, part of their appeal), just as I was getting impatient, I heard the edginess come back into her voice, most n [...]

    9. These essays grew on me as they got more current and a little more serious. Even with her novels, I like the earlier, more meaty ones better than the lighter ones she's been writing recently. The essays about her husband, their relationship, his death, and her life after his death were the best, I thought.

    10. A nice collection of essays by Elinor Lipman. I liked her fictional stories, as well. She's a good writer -- she's very amusing.

    11. I am not generally a fan of short story collections. My main beef is that I spend time investing in the story only to be cut off and shuttled to a story of an entirely different topic. However, with Elinor Lipman at the helm, I was willing to risk this loss.To be sure, my initial hesitation was fully realized after the first offering. I wanted to know more about her mother's extreme aversion to condiments. Fortunately, the rest of the collection was engaging enough to pique my interest with each [...]

    12. I don't really like memoir, yet I read a lot of memoir. Why is that? In this case, I wanted to download another book from the library by an author I had just read, so I wound up with a book of short personal essays. You know why I gave this four stars? I'll tell you: Elinor Lipman is a pro. It is a pleasure to read something that is beautifully put together. She's a little too cheerful to be writing self-reflection. That's why this isn't five stars. It's four because there's a brief for each cha [...]

    13. The Cart Before the Horse. I've never read one of Ms. Lipman's novels, if you can believe that, but now I plan to do so. I found her essays delightful although just grazing the surface of personal, no "all too" at all. However, I will say that Elinore may have been born a little early in the century (forgive me Ms. Lipman) to feel comfortable airing dirty linen in the ways it is all too chic to do so now. So, I cut her some slack for fathoming she is sharing a lot. I particularly wish her luck w [...]

    14. 3.5* rounded up.This was a very quick read; a collection of short essays and articles, mostly previously published, but none of which I had read before. Inevitably I enjoyed some more than others; I liked the "predictors of compatibility" listed in "Boy Meets Girl" very much, and the chapter about losing her husband was moving.I do disagree about the movie version of "Then She Found Me" though - I loved the book and Dwight Willamee was the best thing about it.

    15. Not the laugh out loud type of humor that I find in her books which I have loved, but reading about aspects of her personal life such as her husband and his eventual ill health, the quirks of her elderly mother, etc. was enjoyable.

    16. Chose this randomly from Overdrive and really enjoyed it. I am going to have to read some of Ms. Lipman's fiction now.

    17. Quite possibly my favorite nonfiction book of all time. Elinor Lipman is one of my favorite authors anyway, but in this she shows how humorous and brilliant and tender she is in real life. Her marriage mirrored mine in so many ways and I could relate to so much that she wrote.

    18. Elinor Lipman’s collection of essays is not a new set of material. Instead, it is truly a collection of her essays – pieces she’d published in journals, magazines, newspapers, and one or two fresh pieces. Despite the age of some of the essays, Lipman’s commentary on life in general remains pertinent to more modern times. Lipman’s main focus rests on her family – a husband and son. Family life frequently intersects with her Jewish heritage while Lipman muses on relationships, blunders [...]

    19. I loved this collection of Elinor Lipman's essays and I would highly recommend it. They are funny, poignant, and two made me cry. The essay take you through Lipman's writing techniques and teachings, her family and personal life. I read the whole book on one quick airplane ride. Here were two favorite parts about her writing strategies from the book. From "No Outline? Is that Any Way To Write a Novel?""Do I plan to turn over a new leaf? To buy some index cards? To sketch a fictional family tree [...]

    20. Do not fall off your chair, but I am actually reviewing a book for adults this month! Even more shocking, it's non-fiction!As you may or may not know, I finish a book by Elinor Lipman and then begin the wait for the next book. So, you can imagine how beyond thrilled I was to discover this spring would bring not one, but two books by one of my favorite authors.I CAN'T COMPLAIN is a collection of short essays that were written for a variety of venues (magazines, newspapers, websites). The essays a [...]

    21. I suppose I could complain about this book of tales by Elinor Lipman, but I would be fooling myself because I really enjoyed each of her anecdotal stories with her wry humor. Within the four sections, she elaborates on her family, career, relationships, and moving forward throughout the thirty one short essays. In the first story "Julia's Child" she acknowledges that she lied about her age when someone asks when she got married, using a lower number. She owns up to her flaws and enjoys her stren [...]

    22. I can't complain about Elinor Lipman's collection of personal essays, the majority of which were published elsewhere first, but can now be found in this slim volume. I sped right through these brief forays into her private life, and though I've never read her before, I learned a lot about her childhood, marriage, motherhood, and personal writing style. I hope these essays serve as a solid introduction to Lipman's fiction writing as I now want to read her novels.Gleaned from Good Housekeeping, th [...]

    23. I have never read anything by Elinor Lipman or had even heard of her, but this book appeared on some list and sounded good. And now, I must say, I like her, I want to be her friend and want to read all her books. She comes across as being real, flawed, a critical observer of her own life and those around her. Is there depth, well no and yes. Her's a simple way of looking at ordinary life and isn't that what most of us live anyway. I helps that she is my age. I think younger readers would not fin [...]

    24. I am a big fan of Elinor Lipman. I actually had the pleasure of meeting her about 15 years ago, when she spoke at Doylestown Library as part of the James Michener-endowed Author's Series -- I was on the Friends of the Library board at the time, and served as her host while she was in town for the event. I've read every book Ms. Lipman has published but had only seen a few of these essays previously so I was pleased when this book was released. It was fun to read her first-person accounts of both [...]

    25. I have long loved Elinor Lipman's novels (although I haven't read as many of them as I'd like.) I wasn't sure what to expect from her nonfiction, but I love it almost more. I wish I could read a dozen more books just like this! I wish this book were four times the length!She talks about her growing up, about her marriage, and about her writing. They were delightful, sometimes quite funny, and always sharp. As a collection of essays, these can be doled out one by one over time, but I dare you to [...]

    26. I received this book through the First Reads program. I was hesitant at first because I am not a fan of sort stories. However, this is a compilation of essays not burdened with that incomplete feeling that short stories tend to leave me with. Through her essays, Elinor Lipman shares significant details of her life. Essays about her parents, her son and her husband all show the reader Lipman's love for her family and their interesting quirks. A section on writing was particularly interesting to m [...]

    27. Elinor Lipman has a way of saying a lot with few words, I love that about her writing. These essays are all personal. She tells about her parents, her husband, her son, her foiblesey are fabulous. No matter what she is telling you, she says it in a way that gets the point across but it isn't overly sentimental or maudlin. She tells of her beloved husbands death in a way that makes you appreciate his life. She reveals her personal standards for doing a blurb for a book. She admits her obsession w [...]

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