My Mom Made (Another) Mistake

Love, Work, ChildrenAs surprising as it was to realize my mom had made one mistake on her reading list, it was that much more surprising to realize she had made two! When I finished A Girl Becomes a Comma Like That I decided to move down the list to the next available book: Love, Work, Children by Beth Lisick.

Except that Love, Work, Children is by Cheryl Mendelson. Oops?

The first time this happened I went with the title my mom provided. This time around, though, I made a different decision. Upon looking up Love, Work, Children, I learned that it is the second in a trilogy. While I’m sure I could understand it just fine without having read the first, I don’t like to do things that way. So instead, I investigated Beth Lisick. Her books had catchy titles like “Monkey Girl” and “This To Can Be Yours” and brightly colored covers. I was intrigued.

I decided to go for it and bought Lisick’s Everybody into the Pool. It’s supposedly a funny memoir:

Beth Lisick started out as a homecoming princess with a Crisco-aided tan and a bad perm. And then everything changed. Plunging headlong into America’s deepest subcultures, while keeping both feet firmly planted in her parents’ Leave It to Beaver values, Lisick makes her adult home on the fringe of mainstream culture and finds it rich with paradox and humor. On the one hand, she lives in “Brokeley” with drug dealers and street gangs; on the other, she drives a station wagon with a baby seat in the back, makes her own chicken stock, and attends ladies’ luncheons. How exactly did this suburban girl-next-door end up as one of San Francisco’s foremost chroniclers of alternative culture? Lisick explains it all in her hilarious, irreverent, bestselling memoir, Everybody into the Pool.

Fans of David Sedaris and Sarah Vowell will relish Lisick’s scathingly funny, smart, very real take on the effluvia of daily living. No matter what community she’s exposing to the light, Lisick always hits the right chord.

So, by going this route, I’m not sure I’m entirely sticking to my mom’s list. Is this cheating? I’m sure my mom wouldn’t mind. And if she did, maybe she should have been a little more careful to match her titles to her authors.

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