Fifty Things That Aren't My Fault
From the creator of the iconic "Cathy" comic strip comes her first collection of funny, wise, poignant, and incredibly honest essays about being a woman in what she lovingly calls "the panini generation."As the creator of "Cathy," Cathy Guisewite found her way into the hearts of readers more than forty years ago, and has been there ever since. Her hilarious and deeply relatable look at the challenges of womanhood in a changing world became a cultural touchstone for women everywhere. Now Guisewite returns with her signature wit and warmth in this debut essay collection about another time of big transition, when everything starts changing and disappearing without permission: aging parents, aging children, aging self stuck in the middle.With her uniquely wry and funny admissions and insights, Guisewite unearths the humor and horror of everything from the mundane (trying to introduce her parents to TiVo and facing four decades' worth of unorganized photos) to the profound (finding a purpose post-retirement, helping parents downsize their lives, and declaring freedrom from all those things that hold us back). No longer confined to the limits of four comic panels, Guisewite holds out her hand in prose form and becomes a reassuring companion for those on the threshold of "what happens next." Heartfelt and humane and always cathartic, Fifty Things That Aren't My Fault is ideal reading for mothers, daughters, and anyone who is caught somewhere in between.

Fifty Things That Aren't My Fault Details

TitleFifty Things That Aren't My Fault
Author
ReleaseApr 2nd, 2019
PublisherG.P. Putnam's Sons
ISBN-139780735218420
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Writing, Essays, Autobiography, Memoir, Humor, Biography

Fifty Things That Aren't My Fault Review

  • Nenia ✨ Queen of Literary Trash, Protector of Out-of-Print Gems, Khaleesi of Bodice Rippers, Mother of Smut, the Unrepentant, Breaker of Convention ✨ Campbell
    January 1, 1970
    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || PinterestUltimately, feminism is about empowering women and providing them with the agency to not just make their choices, but to make those choices in an environment where their opportunities for success and for failure in all domains are equal to those of other genders. People have a lot of ideas about what is and isn't feminist and often, things like the Cathy comics and books like BRIDGET JONES'S DIARY are placed firmly in the "isn't" category.H Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || PinterestUltimately, feminism is about empowering women and providing them with the agency to not just make their choices, but to make those choices in an environment where their opportunities for success and for failure in all domains are equal to those of other genders. People have a lot of ideas about what is and isn't feminist and often, things like the Cathy comics and books like BRIDGET JONES'S DIARY are placed firmly in the "isn't" category.Here's the thing: while it's important to fight for what we don't have, and provide opportunities for women and normalize traditionally non-feminine careers, lifestyles, and choices for women (or those who choose to identify as women at any given time), there are a lot of women who like "girly" things. And even as we fight for change, the grim reality is that a lot of us often feel trapped or bound by the constraints of our gender norms. So yes, even though we shouldn't stress about fitting into a size 12, or obsess over the jerks who don't call us after three days, we do.Part of what I've always enjoyed about BRIDGET JONES'S DIARY and the Cathy comics is that these stories normalize the struggles of what it's like to be a woman in society, trying - and often failing - to play by society's rules for women while also sort of thumbing their noses at them, in an, "Oh, I'm stressed, you're stressed, but it's okay" way. Even as a high school student, there was a lot to relate to in Cathy. I think a lot of women felt the same way, especially since the Cathy comics were being published at a time when there really weren't a lot of comic strips specifically aimed at young-to-middle-aged women struggling to make it.The strips were in syndication for over thirty years, until the creator, Cathy Guisewite, retired about a decade ago. When I saw an ARC for her memoir was available, I grabbed at it, because I'm super nosy and I love seeing what my favorite creators or celebrities are up to when they're not in the limelight (I don't know what you'd call the off-screen time - orangelight? pineapplelight?). I want to see them in the pineapplelight. And this memoir seemed like the perfect pineapplelight.FIFTY THINGS THAT AREN'T MY FAULT serves as a kind of "where is she now?" expose on the Cathy creator, post-retirement. Now in middle age, she is a full time mother to a college-age daughter who no longer needs her, and a full time caretaker to nonagenarian parents who do not want her help. While fretting over family, aging, and health, Guisewite also goes back to basics with essays on the frustrations of having an entire closet of jeans that don't fit, and the sheer ridiculousness of the weight put on women's appearances to the point that we have to do different makeup for all sorts of different events and have fifty different variations on a white shirt, whereas men can just show up, clean-faced.People who pick up this memoir looking for comedy are going to be disappointed, however. The humor here is much darker and sadder than in the Cathy comics, and there's a bitterness here that has replaced the jaded hopefulness of the Cathy comics. It also dishes out some pretty hardcore Truth Sandwiches™ alongside some tall glasses of Suck It Up Buttercup Fizzy Cola ™, so beware. P.S. There are fun doodles in the chapter headings and paragraph breaks. Thanks to Netgalley/the publisher for the review copy! 2.5 to 3 stars
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  • Monnie
    January 1, 1970
    I'm not sure which I did more of while reading this wonderful book: chuckle out loud or wipe away tears. It helps, I suppose, that I was a huge fan of the author's long-running "Cathy" comic strip. Perhaps more important, while I'm older than she is by nine years, I, too, was a champion of the feminist movement (still am, as is she) and was for a time sandwiched in between parents and a daughter, all of whom were growing old, and up, way too fast. Sadly, my parents are gone now - and my daughter I'm not sure which I did more of while reading this wonderful book: chuckle out loud or wipe away tears. It helps, I suppose, that I was a huge fan of the author's long-running "Cathy" comic strip. Perhaps more important, while I'm older than she is by nine years, I, too, was a champion of the feminist movement (still am, as is she) and was for a time sandwiched in between parents and a daughter, all of whom were growing old, and up, way too fast. Sadly, my parents are gone now - and my daughter has become the "stuff" inside the Oreo of life, caught between a grown daughter of her own and her aging parents (which, Lord help us, means me and my husband).In any event, oh, how I can relate - and I'm quite sure all but teenybopper females will do so as well. These essays were written, Guisewite says, at a time when she's trying to "declutter" her own life (hmmm, I'm pretty sure that's a word that passed through our daughter's lips last time she popped in for a visit). Feminist though she may be, Guisewite admits to feeling torn between Betty Crocker and Betty Friedan (conjuring up decades-ago memories of whipping up a casserole for my family to eat while I attended a Gloria Steinem lecture). I choked with laughter - and frustration - as she recounted getting "stuck" in a sports bra; as a gym newbie, I can tell you it's not fun (though worse, perhaps, is the embarrassment over having to call someone to your rescue). And before I caved and joined the gym, I, too, resisted the call to exercise, rationalizing that "I exercised yesterday and I don't look any different."There are far too many other shared feelings and experiences to mention here (especially since I don't want to spoil the fun for other readers). In the end, she sums up the dilemma we're in perfectly: "My whole generation is reeling from the stunning truth - that we, who are way too young and hip to ever look or act old, are not too young to pass away." Aha - maybe that's why I glance proudly at the year-old Aristocat tattoo on the top of my flip-flop clad foot as I open the morning newspaper first to the obituaries pages. Torn indeed!In short, I love, love, love this book - highly recommended. Many thanks to the publisher, via NetGalley, for the opportunity to read and review an advance copy.
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  • Tiffany PSquared
    January 1, 1970
    If you can get through the first couple of chapters while maintaining a positive attitude, you just might end up liking this book. I was nervous at first- it had the potential to become one big 300-plus-page gripe fest. But Guisewite saves it by being entirely, humorously candid and displaying all her jagged faults- even the ones we've tried to hide in ourselves.
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  • Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
    January 1, 1970
    Cathy Guisewite, after decades penning the comic strip "Cathy," sets down her ink pen and takes up her word processor. It's a bit disconcerting at first, all the words, no pictures, lots of comedy, but drama, too. The angst is still there, roads untaken, be they the road to a happy marriage or simply the road to a contented hour with a child. If you are a Debbie or a Linda or a Cathy yourself, you will see your life in these pages, wrestling with the issues we women have been asked to take on, c Cathy Guisewite, after decades penning the comic strip "Cathy," sets down her ink pen and takes up her word processor. It's a bit disconcerting at first, all the words, no pictures, lots of comedy, but drama, too. The angst is still there, roads untaken, be they the road to a happy marriage or simply the road to a contented hour with a child. If you are a Debbie or a Linda or a Cathy yourself, you will see your life in these pages, wrestling with the issues we women have been asked to take on, career or motherhood, caring for your elderly parents, letting go of our children, marriage and relationships. If you have always liked "Cathy" you might like to give Guisewite a chance to share a bit more than she was able to say in a 10 x 14 inch comic strip.
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  • David Wineberg
    January 1, 1970
    Cathy was a four panel daily comic strip, when newspaper comic strips were in their prime. Cathy Guisewite, its creator, did that job, alone in a room, for 34 years. Now, she has written Fifty Things That Are Not My Fault, a comic strip in prose. This time it is really and specifically autobiographical.The book gives Guisewite the ability to broaden her stories, build up to her punchlines , and most of all, expose her humanity. Because Fifty Things is nothing if not a summary of all the internal Cathy was a four panel daily comic strip, when newspaper comic strips were in their prime. Cathy Guisewite, its creator, did that job, alone in a room, for 34 years. Now, she has written Fifty Things That Are Not My Fault, a comic strip in prose. This time it is really and specifically autobiographical.The book gives Guisewite the ability to broaden her stories, build up to her punchlines , and most of all, expose her humanity. Because Fifty Things is nothing if not a summary of all the internal conflicts humans are capable of. The central column of the book, and the source of all her angst, is the three generation spread between her, her 19 year old daughter, and her 90 year old parents. Out of that Guisewite reaps a bounty of hypocrisy, irrationality, gullibility and most of all, self-consciousness.She is self-conscious about her looks, her clothing, her size, her shape, her relationships to all three generations, and how she has, despite all efforts to the contrary, proven to be normal. She fights with her daughter, slamming her for every little thing, knowing all the while it is precisely the wrong thing to be doing. She interferes with her parents, who, after 90 years, know who they are and how they want to live. That is, without middle–aged daughters telling them to clear out the house, rearrange their belongings, move into assisted living, use medic alarm necklaces and other bothers to make their three daughters feel less burdened and guilty.There is every possible foible covered in depth and with humor, from the gym to the mall, from child rearing to separation anxiety, from junk accumulation to more separation anxiety. She knows what’s wrong in every case, and in every case she goes ahead anyway. The contradictions are endless, and if there is a point to it all, it is that they are also universal.Her humor is as delightful as ever. Her stories are beautifully structured with sarcasm, self-contradiction and self-pity. If truth be known, she is actually at fault for most of the fifty things, but it’s okay, we all are.I found a line in her story of her probably 2000th trip to the mall that shows how delightful the whole book really is. She says of shopping: “There’s something magical about taking something that isn’t a problem yet home to meet the rest of my life.”David Wineberg
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  • Robin
    January 1, 1970
    If you are a fan of daily newspaper comics (for those who remember reading a physical newspaper), and you're in a certain age group (I'm in my 50s), you may recall a character in a strip called "Cathy." The strip depicts the life of a single woman, unsolicited advice from her mom and the unfailing affection of her little dog.This book is a collection of essays written by the strip's creator reflecting on her life in recent years. She shares what it's like having a college-age daughter and aging If you are a fan of daily newspaper comics (for those who remember reading a physical newspaper), and you're in a certain age group (I'm in my 50s), you may recall a character in a strip called "Cathy." The strip depicts the life of a single woman, unsolicited advice from her mom and the unfailing affection of her little dog.This book is a collection of essays written by the strip's creator reflecting on her life in recent years. She shares what it's like having a college-age daughter and aging parents. We relate to her experience in the dressing room trying to find jeans and her struggles with food. Even if you've never seen the comic strip, this is a great read. Alternating between funny and serious, it's heartfelt and I look forward to sharing this with patrons when it's published this spring.
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  • Suzze Tiernan
    January 1, 1970
    I loved everything about this book of essays from Cathy Guisewite, creator of the Cathy comic strip. I’ve went through all the same life stages as her, and laughed out loud constantly. Highly recommended!!
  • Jane
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to Goodreads and Putnam for this ARC.I have been a big Cathy fan since she started writing her comic strip 34 years ago (can it be that long)? and saved many of her strips that I totally related to. They are all yellowed now. I was so disheartened when she decided to stop writing it. She's had many comic strips books over the years but this is her first book of essays as she calls it and the only one I've read. I learned so much about her, her writing, her family, her adopted daughter, an Thanks to Goodreads and Putnam for this ARC.I have been a big Cathy fan since she started writing her comic strip 34 years ago (can it be that long)? and saved many of her strips that I totally related to. They are all yellowed now. I was so disheartened when she decided to stop writing it. She's had many comic strips books over the years but this is her first book of essays as she calls it and the only one I've read. I learned so much about her, her writing, her family, her adopted daughter, and her parents getting older. I alternately laughed and cried through the whole book especially when she realized her parents were elderly and how they were set in their own ways no matter how much she tried to "update them." That made me laugh even more. Thank you Cathy for writing this wonderful book and for sharing your life with me.
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  • Biblio Files (takingadayoff)
    January 1, 1970
    It's easy to forget that comic strip artists are actually writers. They have to come up with a story line that plays out in tiny chapters over a week or more and keeps the audience coming back day after day. Cathy Guisewite quit her comic strip after thirty-four years in 2010. But apparently she kept writing and now we have a collection of essays about adopting and raising her daughter who is now in college, worrying about her parents as they enter their nineties, and mundane things like exercis It's easy to forget that comic strip artists are actually writers. They have to come up with a story line that plays out in tiny chapters over a week or more and keeps the audience coming back day after day. Cathy Guisewite quit her comic strip after thirty-four years in 2010. But apparently she kept writing and now we have a collection of essays about adopting and raising her daughter who is now in college, worrying about her parents as they enter their nineties, and mundane things like exercise and diet, marriage and dating, shopping and pets. I've become a skimmer in recent years but I read this entire book cover to cover. I look forward to more essays from Guisewite. (Thanks to Penguin First to Read for a review download.)
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  • Suzanne
    January 1, 1970
    I’ve missed you, Cathy! I’ve forgotten how much Cathy Guisewite could telegraph in a few comic panels. I have a small box filled with the detritus of my life. I’d call it mementos, but by now it’s been picked over so many times that the remains are slim. The diaries and day planners are filled with Cathy cartoons carefully taped into days where they were sufficient to explain all that I felt. This book somehow does the same for this new period of life, where parents and millennials seem to share I’ve missed you, Cathy! I’ve forgotten how much Cathy Guisewite could telegraph in a few comic panels. I have a small box filled with the detritus of my life. I’d call it mementos, but by now it’s been picked over so many times that the remains are slim. The diaries and day planners are filled with Cathy cartoons carefully taped into days where they were sufficient to explain all that I felt. This book somehow does the same for this new period of life, where parents and millennials seem to share the same mindset. And somehow our hopes for novel hair products remain ever high despite a lifetime of disappointment. This is a book to cherish and laugh aloud while reading. It is a joy to read. I received my copy from Penguin’s First to Read program and felt incredibly lucky.
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  • Caitlin (bookswinebiblio)
    January 1, 1970
    Cathy finds an outlet for her frustrations in this amusing debut essay collection. Struggling with aging and the stress of caring for both a teenage daughter and elderly parents, while also trying to live a life herself anyone can relate to her experiences and concerns. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and found it incredibly relatable as I'm sure most of us would, she has a way of bringing real life "crud" and making it easier and smoother to digest for the reader.
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  • Lesa
    January 1, 1970
    What better day than Mother's Day to review Cathy Guisewite's Fifty Things That Aren't My Fault? The essay collection, like Guisewite's "Cathy" cartoons, is filled with family relationships and guilt. It's subtitled "Essays from the Grown-Up Years", but anyone who read "Cathy" will recognize the adult and her relationship with her parents.There are some differences. Even though "Cathy" wasn't Guisewite, there are enough similarities that many of us recognize the relationship with food, the body What better day than Mother's Day to review Cathy Guisewite's Fifty Things That Aren't My Fault? The essay collection, like Guisewite's "Cathy" cartoons, is filled with family relationships and guilt. It's subtitled "Essays from the Grown-Up Years", but anyone who read "Cathy" will recognize the adult and her relationship with her parents.There are some differences. Even though "Cathy" wasn't Guisewite, there are enough similarities that many of us recognize the relationship with food, the body image issues. Those are still there in the collection of essays, along with list after list of 5 reasons I haven't exercised today. Guisewite may not be drawing cartoons, but she still sees into the heart of those of us who have aged with her.However, there are some differences and changes from the "Cathy" we all thought we knew. Guisewite adopted a daughter, who was nineteen at the time this book was written. But, she reveals a little about the adoption, and even more about coping with a teen going off to college. She always writes about it with humor. She doesn't have a lot to say about her relationship with her two sisters. (Who even knew she had sisters?) But, all three women are united in trying to cope with parents who are ninety.Driving, technology, working in the kitchen. Although Cathy Guisewite's parents are in their nineties, her storytelling in essay form brings back the loving parents her readers will recognize from the cartoons. But, now, instead of her parents taking care of her, Guisewite is attempting to care for parents who don't want changes in their lives.No matter how much Cathy Guisewite tries to distance her self from the cartoon figure of "Cathy", the humor, the family relationships, the drama over small worries is still present in her essays. It's fun to feel as if we're catching up on a friend's life in Fifty Things That Aren't My Fault.
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  • Stephanie
    January 1, 1970
    I am the perfect demographic for this book, subtitled “Essays From the Grown-Up Years”: I loved the “Cathy” comic strip, and found it so frequently absolutely NAILED situations/relationships/dilemmas in my own life as a woman who spent a boatload of time in the 70s-80s-90s reveling in the feminist energy I felt all around me while also struggling with issues related to self-esteem, body image, gender equality, etc.Not being a mother, I haven’t really shared the mother-daughter experiences such a I am the perfect demographic for this book, subtitled “Essays From the Grown-Up Years”: I loved the “Cathy” comic strip, and found it so frequently absolutely NAILED situations/relationships/dilemmas in my own life as a woman who spent a boatload of time in the 70s-80s-90s reveling in the feminist energy I felt all around me while also struggling with issues related to self-esteem, body image, gender equality, etc.Not being a mother, I haven’t really shared the mother-daughter experiences such as Cathy and her daughter share, so those who find themselves in what Guisewite calls the “panini generation” may more closely relate to some of the essays. But I still laughed frequently and choked back a few tears as I read about her experiences dealing with her aging parents and her adopted daughter as she watches her growing up.I loved learning about the actual woman behind the comic strips that have given me so much enjoyment over the years, and I appreciate the emotion conveyed in the essays in this collection. I loved it and will likely gift it to more than a couple of women I know… those who share my feeling as I read Ms. Guisewite’s words: “My whole generation is reeling from the stunning truth – that we, who are way too young and hip to ever look or act old, are not too young to pass away.” Thanks to Penguin Group Putnam and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for this honest review. Five Stars.
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  • Kylie meidell
    January 1, 1970
    Made me smile, feel nostalgic and tear up.
  • P R
    January 1, 1970
    As a woman of a certain age, I read the "Cathy" comic strip for years and loved it. This is like coming back home to an agreeable and comfortable friend. So many things I have experienced personally or my friends are going through - having a daughter head out to college and how to treat her as the independent young woman that she is; parents who freak out at figuring out: 1. a new remote, 2. a tv that can pause a live program, 3. food that lives in the freezer forever; living more than a thousan As a woman of a certain age, I read the "Cathy" comic strip for years and loved it. This is like coming back home to an agreeable and comfortable friend. So many things I have experienced personally or my friends are going through - having a daughter head out to college and how to treat her as the independent young woman that she is; parents who freak out at figuring out: 1. a new remote, 2. a tv that can pause a live program, 3. food that lives in the freezer forever; living more than a thousand miles from your family and what that means in physical and emotional distance; coordinating what to do with parents in conjunction with your siblings. This book was funny and so accurately reflected my life - I loved it! I want to thank First to Read for letting me read this book in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Lenore Duffy
    January 1, 1970
    I’ve been searching for a laugh out loud book and this one definitely fit the bill. Those of us squished between caring for our kids and caring for our parents would especially enjoy this book. Laughed at the dressing room experiences and visits with parents, both totally relatable and funny.
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  • Debi
    January 1, 1970
    Cathy was one of the few comic strips I read for most of its lifespan. I enjoyed and was able to identify with much of Fifty Things That Aren't My Fault as I did with the comic strip. It was nice to hear from Cathy Guisewite again.
  • Janine Brouillette
    January 1, 1970
    Fifty Things That Aren’t My Fault picks up where the comic strip Cathy leaves off. Cathy is now middle age and dealing with everything that happens to you in the 40 - 70 age range.....such as sending your children off to college, dealing with an empty house, to becoming a parent to your parents. The chapters dealing with her ageing parents, who are in their 90s, are the ones that I found the most hilarious and could read a whole book just on them.
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  • Darla
    January 1, 1970
    The Cathy comic strip was always a favorite of mine. I even once had a Cathy shirt that encapsulated my life as a twenty something just out of college. Thus I was quite certain I would enjoy these essays by Cathy Guisewite and I really did. My favorite thing about the book was the scribbles throughout as they are such a great reminder of her strip. I was also impressed with her ability to honor her parents and her relationship with her daughter while at the same time making us laugh. She has a g The Cathy comic strip was always a favorite of mine. I even once had a Cathy shirt that encapsulated my life as a twenty something just out of college. Thus I was quite certain I would enjoy these essays by Cathy Guisewite and I really did. My favorite thing about the book was the scribbles throughout as they are such a great reminder of her strip. I was also impressed with her ability to honor her parents and her relationship with her daughter while at the same time making us laugh. She has a gift for elevating those she is making jokes about. Her essays are very relatable although at times a bit longwinded and I struggled to find any organized flow to the essays. A good book to read slowly, one essay at a time, rather than devour quickly.A big thank you to Putnam and NetGalley for a digital ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Anne
    January 1, 1970
    I adored the comic strip “Cathy” as a young adult and I am happy to see and know that the author is just as good at writing essays about real life as she was at creating relatable cartoon characters! Her style is conversational and I enjoyed the humor and authentic voice she brought to the page. Thanks to NetGalley, the author and publisher for an advanced reading copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Bent Hansen
    January 1, 1970
    Delightfully funny book about life as a mom to a teenager and as a daughter to parents in their 90s as well as being a middle-aged woman with a body acting the part. In a non-gender-biased way, I am quite certain that readers in the same situation as Cathy Guisewite and/or fans of her Cathy comics will appreciate this book even more, but I still enjoyed it immensely, although the painfully funny descriptions of trying on swimwear or jeans for hours was somewhat alien to me - being a man and all. Delightfully funny book about life as a mom to a teenager and as a daughter to parents in their 90s as well as being a middle-aged woman with a body acting the part. In a non-gender-biased way, I am quite certain that readers in the same situation as Cathy Guisewite and/or fans of her Cathy comics will appreciate this book even more, but I still enjoyed it immensely, although the painfully funny descriptions of trying on swimwear or jeans for hours was somewhat alien to me - being a man and all... [An ARC of the book was generously provided by the publisher through the First to Read program in exchange for an honest review]
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  • Mindy Tysinger
    January 1, 1970
    What an enjoyable read this book was! The stories were so relatable and I found myself laughing out loud over and over again. For someone going through many of these same things as I begin to age, it was nice to know I’m definitely not in this by myself. Thanks to Penguin and the first to read program for the opportunity to read this great advanced copy.
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  • Cathy Branciforte
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this hilarious, insightful and sometimes so true, collection of essays written by the creator of my favorite comic strip character, “Cathy”. Cathy Guisewite’s comics were always on the money and some of the essays in this book were as well.One chapter called “ Shouldn’t You Be Getting Ready?!” Describes a woman getting ready to go out for an evening.....most women will relate to this: “What it must be like to be male and have your face look the same every single time you look in I really enjoyed this hilarious, insightful and sometimes so true, collection of essays written by the creator of my favorite comic strip character, “Cathy”. Cathy Guisewite’s comics were always on the money and some of the essays in this book were as well.One chapter called “ Shouldn’t You Be Getting Ready?!” Describes a woman getting ready to go out for an evening.....most women will relate to this: “What it must be like to be male and have your face look the same every single time you look in the mirror? To have no dinner party version of your face to create. No work version. No Saturday night version. No beach version. No wedding version. No break up version. No holiday version. No five-pound evening bag full of versions to get you through a two hour date.” Definitely a book for women more than men, I think most women will relate to many of the essays either as a mother, a daughter, or just as a woman. You will find yourself nodding in agreement as she talks about the various lengths of pants women must have in their closets to accommodate the heel heights that we wear, whereas men only wear one type of heel and don’t have the same problems. You get it.I highly recommend for anyone looking for a light read and a good laugh....and who misses “Cathy” in the daily newspaper!Thank you to Penguin Random House and Edelweiss for the advance digital review copy!
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  • Phyllis
    January 1, 1970
    If you liked the "Cathy" cartoon strip, you will like this book, because it's the same but without the graphics. Cathy jokes and complains about her weight, how her clothes don't fit, her shoes, her parents, driving, shopping for clothes, food, temptations, her dog, etc. She is still whining and joking about those things, but since this is subtitled "Essays From the Grown-Up Years" she has also added topics about her college-age daughter and her 90-year-old parents. So there are lots of comic ch If you liked the "Cathy" cartoon strip, you will like this book, because it's the same but without the graphics. Cathy jokes and complains about her weight, how her clothes don't fit, her shoes, her parents, driving, shopping for clothes, food, temptations, her dog, etc. She is still whining and joking about those things, but since this is subtitled "Essays From the Grown-Up Years" she has also added topics about her college-age daughter and her 90-year-old parents. So there are lots of comic chapters about how she is now dealing with helping her aging parents who don't want her help. Some of the issues reminded me of Roz Chast's Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? and I'm sure many readers will be able to relate, as they identified with Cathy throughout her younger lifestyle experiences of dating, dieting, buying a bathing suit, etc.The good things - Cathy is able to accurately and entertainingly describe dealing with her elderly parents: the computer, the worry about getting to the airport, the TV remote, her concern for their safety, etc. I liked her insight into how she cheats on her diets, explains her wardrobe size and style fluctuations, and interacts with her sisters regarding her parents.I thought I would like this book more than I did. I think I had forgotten how much of a complainer Cathy was, and those jokes have gotten old. Or maybe I have?
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  • Carolyn
    January 1, 1970
    Those of us who fondly remember the "Cathy" comic strip are in for an especially good read with her new book of essays. Thoughtfully written, these charming pieces touch on the same topics as the strip, conveying all the humor, but without the drawings. We each have our stories about navigating the aging process, adapting to technology, children who grow up and out of our lives way too soon and helping our elderly parents. Fortunately, Cathy Guisewite has aged along with us, and views these chan Those of us who fondly remember the "Cathy" comic strip are in for an especially good read with her new book of essays. Thoughtfully written, these charming pieces touch on the same topics as the strip, conveying all the humor, but without the drawings. We each have our stories about navigating the aging process, adapting to technology, children who grow up and out of our lives way too soon and helping our elderly parents. Fortunately, Cathy Guisewite has aged along with us, and views these changes with honestly, presenting her observations with her characteristic warmth and wit. Reading this book is like sitting across from a friend at lunch. Read it! Some of Cathy's essays will make you laugh, while others will bring you to shed a tear. Having Cathy back in our lives is a good thing.
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  • Lorri Steinbacher
    January 1, 1970
    Fun read. Guisewite got dinged by a lot of feminists in the early days for "perpetuating sterotypes" about women, but being observational about her life and those of women she knew was part of what she did, and just because the movement couldn't co-opt her work doesn't mean it didn't have value. She is so often spot on, and always honest, and women can recognize parts of themselves in her work, and discard what doesn't fell right. As someone who has had to cut herself out of a sweaty sports bra Fun read. Guisewite got dinged by a lot of feminists in the early days for "perpetuating sterotypes" about women, but being observational about her life and those of women she knew was part of what she did, and just because the movement couldn't co-opt her work doesn't mean it didn't have value. She is so often spot on, and always honest, and women can recognize parts of themselves in her work, and discard what doesn't fell right. As someone who has had to cut herself out of a sweaty sports bra, I relate. And you can be a feminist, understand how the culture influences how we look and feel in our bodies, know you shouldn't feel that way, and still feel it anyway.Looking forward to revisiting Guisewite's work. Recommended for fans of humorous essays, most middle-aged women, and those of us who remember Cathy fondly.
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  • Gayle Cappelluti
    January 1, 1970
    I hadn't noticed how much I missed my favorite comic strip of yesterday, Cathy, despite it having been gone for so long, until I saw Fifty Things That Aren't My Fault advertised online. I went straight to my library site and put the book on hold. I now remember how much I loved Cathy Guisewite and why. She knew my heart, she understood my powerlessness in the face of M&M's, she got how my mind worked, but more than that, she spoke my truth.Cathy is back, but this time not inhibited by a cart I hadn't noticed how much I missed my favorite comic strip of yesterday, Cathy, despite it having been gone for so long, until I saw Fifty Things That Aren't My Fault advertised online. I went straight to my library site and put the book on hold. I now remember how much I loved Cathy Guisewite and why. She knew my heart, she understood my powerlessness in the face of M&M's, she got how my mind worked, but more than that, she spoke my truth.Cathy is back, but this time not inhibited by a cartoon frame. Here in her essays, she tackles adult problems of teen aged children and aging parents, of caring for yourself while caring for them. she made me laugh. She made me nostalgic. She made me remember how much I love her.If you are like me and have loved Cathy in the past, I promise you will love her again in your present!
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  • Debbie
    January 1, 1970
    Who didn't love the Cathy Comics growing up? I remember my mom cutting our the strips and saving them for my sister (also named Cathy but with a "K", as she would say, the right way) Now Cathy Guisewite has a fantastic collection of Essays. Those of us who grew up with Cathy and related to her humor of being a woman in the 70s, 80s and 90s, can now see where she (and we) are as a woman of the Twenty First Century.As the creator of "Cathy," Cathy Guisewite found her way into the hearts of reader Who didn't love the Cathy Comics growing up? I remember my mom cutting our the strips and saving them for my sister (also named Cathy but with a "K", as she would say, the right way) Now Cathy Guisewite has a fantastic collection of Essays. Those of us who grew up with Cathy and related to her humor of being a woman in the 70s, 80s and 90s, can now see where she (and we) are as a woman of the Twenty First Century.As the creator of "Cathy," Cathy Guisewite found her way into the hearts of readers more than forty years ago, and has been there ever since. Her hilarious and deeply relatable look at the challenges of womanhood in a changing world became a cultural touchstone for women everywhere. Now Guisewite returns with her signature wit and warmth in this debut essay collection about another time of big transition, when everything starts changing and disappearing without permission: aging parents, aging children, aging self stuck in the middle.This a laugh-out-loud and wipe away the tears wonderful collection. Great for you, your best friend, your mom, or even your daughter!
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  • Golda
    January 1, 1970
    This was a great book! It's mainly aimed at women 40 and over, but I read parts to my husband and he got a great laugh out of them, as well. If you're a woman, I can't see you not enjoying at least parts of it. I haven't laughed so much in ages, though there are parts that made me shake my head and roll my eyes, as well. This one is so worth reading.
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  • Shekenah
    January 1, 1970
    **I was able to read a copy of this for free in exchange for an honest review via the Penguin First to Read program**I read the Cathy comic strip when I was a teenager so I was intrigued by this collection of essays. I'm younger that Guisewite so I can't relate (yet) to some of what she speaks of, but as a whole I thought it was a solid read. Most of the essays were poignant, heartfelt and funny however there were others where I would skim read as they were a bit slower and not as engaging. I al **I was able to read a copy of this for free in exchange for an honest review via the Penguin First to Read program**I read the Cathy comic strip when I was a teenager so I was intrigued by this collection of essays. I'm younger that Guisewite so I can't relate (yet) to some of what she speaks of, but as a whole I thought it was a solid read. Most of the essays were poignant, heartfelt and funny however there were others where I would skim read as they were a bit slower and not as engaging. I also found there were times where the essays felt very over the top and I got frustrated especially when it related to her older parents. My parents are just now entering their 60's so maybe when they get older I will connect more to what she is saying, but it was just a bit overdramatic for my tastes (ex: she freaks out when her parents start clearing out some really, really old papers, but earlier she devoted an entire essay how she was frustrated by her parents lack of desire to declutter their space). All in all, this was a good read and I'm glad I had the opportunity to read it.
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