The New One
With laugh-out-loud funny parenting observations, the NYT bestselling author and award-winning comedian delivers a book that is perfect for anyone who has ever raised a child, been a child, or refuses to stop acting like one.In 2016 comedian Mike Birbiglia and poet Jennifer Hope Stein took their fourteen-month-old daughter Oona to the Nantucket Film Festival. When the festival director picked them up at the airport she asked Mike if he would perform at the storytelling night. She said, "The theme of the stories is jealousy."Jen quipped, "You're jealous of Oona. You should talk about that." And so Mike began sharing some of his darkest and funniest thoughts about the decision to have a child. Jen and Mike revealed to each other their sides of what had gone down during Jen's pregnancy and that first year with their child. Over the next couple years, these stories evolved into a Broadway show, and the more Mike performed it the more he heard how it resonated -- not just with parents but also people who resist all kinds of change. So he pored over his journals, dug deeper, and created this book: The New One: Painfully True Stories From a Reluctant Dad. Along with hilarious and poignant stories he has never shared before, these pages are sprinkled with poetry Jen wrote as she navigated the same rocky shores of new parenthood.So here it is. This book is an experiment -- sort of like a family.

The New One Details

TitleThe New One
Author
ReleaseJul 14th, 2020
PublisherGrand Central Publishing
ISBN-139781538701515
Rating
GenreHumor, Nonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Parenting

The New One Review

  • Tzipora
    January 1, 1970
    This little book is a fun, sometimes poignant, always funny, joy of a read. Whether you have kids, want kids, don’t want kids, don’t know yet or don’t even care about kids- this book has something for everyone. You may know Mike Birbiglia from his comedy shows and specials, his book and award-winning comedy rather film Sleepwalk With Me, his contributions to The Moth and This American Life, or maybe just as that dude from that show (a reoccurring role on Orange is the New Black, guest appearance This little book is a fun, sometimes poignant, always funny, joy of a read. Whether you have kids, want kids, don’t want kids, don’t know yet or don’t even care about kids- this book has something for everyone. You may know Mike Birbiglia from his comedy shows and specials, his book and award-winning comedy rather film Sleepwalk With Me, his contributions to The Moth and This American Life, or maybe just as that dude from that show (a reoccurring role on Orange is the New Black, guest appearances on Broad City, Girls, etc. Look him up, you’ll remember that face!) but in this book- which is based of his same named comedy special and Broadway show, he writes about his relationship with his wife Jen and their eventual decision to have a child. Also interspersed among the chapters are poems from Jen (who has long published poetry under the pseudonym J. Hope Stein). A lot of comedians write books and more often than not, I’m underwhelmed. Maybe there’s a couple of funny bits or at best a number of lines where I crack half a smile. This book is an exception though. It is consistently and genuinely funny without trying too hard. Then there are Jen’s poems which at times are also funny or amusing or a little absurd but change and become quite poignant after their daughter Oona is born. It’s a unique collaboration but one that works surprisingly well. I thought about quoting from the book but it was hard to pick a favorite passage when there’s so many good ones. Neither Mike nor Jen had ever wanted kids and suddenly this changes, or its sudden for Jen. We find Mike kind of reflecting back, standing outside himself a little and reflecting on the sheer absurdity of it all. He even has a painful testicular surgery to increase their chances of conception (so it’s clear he’s in even if he doesn’t always know it or think he is at the time) and full stop- Birbiglia is at his best with medical humor. Some personal bias here, my life is illness and doctors and medical humor is absolutely my jam but with that in mind I’m a veritable connoisseur of medical humor. And Birbiglia? Grade A medical humor, whether talking about his own experiences with a bladder cancer bout at 19, his life threatening form of sleepwalking, the aforementioned ball surgery, all the ins and outs of pregnancy and birth, health scares, health fears. Just truly awesome stuff. I think that quality is what made the whole book so good since much as many people don’t know how to joke about illness, I think there’s a similar weirdness there when it comes to joking about having kids. He’s never crass. I can’t promise every joke will be to your specific tastes but none are tasteless. There’s a broad appeal here but done so dang much better than a lot of comedy that tries to appeal more broadly. I haven’t had the chance to watch his The New One comedy special yet but I am absolutely looking forward to it. I enjoyed this book so much more than I expected to and I genuinely believe most folks will have fun with this one. Well worth spending the day with.
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  • Erin Cataldi
    January 1, 1970
    Comedian Mike Birbiglia, knocks it out of the ballpark with his second collection of humorous essays and insights. Instead of discussing his hilariously terrifying sleepwalking troubles (Sleepwalk with Me: and Other Painfully True Stories) he's graduated on to scarier topics... parenthood. The New One chronicles Mike and his wife, Jennifer's journey from: denial that they'll ever want kids of their own, grim acceptance when his wife decides that she actually does want a baby, to creating an enti Comedian Mike Birbiglia, knocks it out of the ballpark with his second collection of humorous essays and insights. Instead of discussing his hilariously terrifying sleepwalking troubles (Sleepwalk with Me: and Other Painfully True Stories) he's graduated on to scarier topics... parenthood. The New One chronicles Mike and his wife, Jennifer's journey from: denial that they'll ever want kids of their own, grim acceptance when his wife decides that she actually does want a baby, to creating an entirely new lifestyle subject to their child Oona's needs. Peppered throughout the book are Jennifer Hope Stein's poetry about their daughter, their marriage, their fears, and their love. The poems go hand in hand with her husband's insights and help balance the story of their forays into parenthood. The stories are poignant, moving, and humorous. Fantastically narrated by both the authors, this is a book that all parents will easily relate to and laugh along with. A great gift for new (and old!) parents as well as comedy fans. A fantastic and engaging listen!
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  • Sydney Smith
    January 1, 1970
    Pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this. It's a cute book, and it really is funny! As someone who is also extremely reluctant to have biological children, I found myself able to relate to Birbiglia's observations of children, especially when he's describing his brother's kids. When I'm around people with young children I can't help but think, "Kids ruined your life, there is no way I'm doing that." Which is basically how Birbiglia feels until he actually has a kid of his own. We have his Pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this. It's a cute book, and it really is funny! As someone who is also extremely reluctant to have biological children, I found myself able to relate to Birbiglia's observations of children, especially when he's describing his brother's kids. When I'm around people with young children I can't help but think, "Kids ruined your life, there is no way I'm doing that." Which is basically how Birbiglia feels until he actually has a kid of his own. We have his perspective in story form and then his wife's perspective in poetry form. The poems provided a nice little break between stories, and I like that they worked together to make this book. I would say this book is "easy reading" because there's nothing urgent about it. The writing style is laid back, dry, sarcastic, and simple yet very well written. I really wasn't expecting to smile so much while reading this book. I went into it with mid-low expectations. I think that the "parenting" tag on the genres sidebar made me weary of reading this, but I think The New One is less for parents and more for people who don't have or don't want children. Or maybe that's just me since I am one of those people. Whatever it may be, Mike Birbiglia is a great writer, and I'm glad I won this book. Thank you, Grand Central Publishing!
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  • Bookgasms Book Blog
    January 1, 1970
    Mike Birbiglia is one of my all-time favorite comedians. I think it's his honesty combined with the sort of guileless storytelling nature of his delivery. He invites you into his life, and his life is sort of like your life with all the ups and downs and trials and tragedies, and he shows you how to look at all the hard things and find the humor in them.Proving that, he's written this book about having a child. I will tell you that having a child is one of the hardest things I have ever done in Mike Birbiglia is one of my all-time favorite comedians. I think it's his honesty combined with the sort of guileless storytelling nature of his delivery. He invites you into his life, and his life is sort of like your life with all the ups and downs and trials and tragedies, and he shows you how to look at all the hard things and find the humor in them.Proving that, he's written this book about having a child. I will tell you that having a child is one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life. And I'm not the dad in this scenario. I'm the other side of the story. But it was refreshing and real and relatable to read about the struggles of bringing a child into the world and redefining family. There's so much honesty here and some of it HAD to be hard to write. But it resonated. I laughed out loud so many times, but I also nodded along in solidarity. He did it again - he took all the hard things in life and made them funny and honestly, the world needs more of this.The New One was beautiful, funny, raw and real. No surprise here. An easy five stars.
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  • Lindsi (Do You Dog-ear?)
    January 1, 1970
    "And the blood itself doesn't faze me because, as I've stated, I'm a vampire and Jen's blood is an aphrodisiac."I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.I seriously considered not finishing this book after reading the above quote, because GROSS. THAT IS WAY TOO MUCH INFORMATION. Yes, this is a book about someone's experiences as a husband and f "And the blood itself doesn't faze me because, as I've stated, I'm a vampire and Jen's blood is an aphrodisiac."I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.I seriously considered not finishing this book after reading the above quote, because GROSS. THAT IS WAY TOO MUCH INFORMATION. Yes, this is a book about someone's experiences as a husband and father, but telling readers (more than once) how attracted you are to your wife when she's on her period, IS TAKING IT TOO FAR. Please keep those particular preferences to yourself! Am I supposed to appreciate your honesty and openness? Sorry, no. I know comedians use their personal lives and experiences for material, but that wasn't funny, entertaining, or something I needed to know. A lot of what Birbiglia said felt forced, like he was trying too hard to be funny (especially in situations that did not call for humor). He's also SUPER self-deprecating, which I've never found funny. Although, there were a few times when I did laugh-out-loud because of something he'd said. Maybe because it was relatable, or just sounded insane? I honestly don't know. The laughs were few and far between.The author makes it clear from the start that he never wanted kids, so some of his reactions reflected those feelings. He felt inadequate when it came to loving his child and being there for his wife, almost like he was the third wheel in their relationship. It was interesting to read about his perspective as a husband and new father, and I found myself comparing some of his stories to my own experiences with my husband after having children.Additionally, I liked that the author chose to include his wife's poetry in this book, but most of it was about fish and went way over my head. Normally, I like poetry, even if I'm not entirely sure what the author is trying to say, but I rarely had any idea what J. Hope Stein was trying to communicate with her poems (based on the theme of this book, I'm going to assume it was about her child and being a mother). I'm pretty sure there was something in there about going in reverse and a hairy ass... I think it's amazing that they both chronicled the first year of their daughter's life in their own way (and somewhat unknowingly), but I felt detached from everything that was happening. I often found myself thinking, "How is this your life?"I started The New One late one night, and read roughly twenty pages before falling asleep, but then finished it in a little over an hour the following day. It's a quick read, which is probably the only reason I decided to keep going. There's not really a conclusion, just a guy coming to terms with his new circumstances in life, and how he chose to address his problems as they slapped him in the face. If you like comedians, maybe give this one a shot? I honestly don't know how I would define this book... Autobiographical? Parenting for the unwilling? Memoir with a dash of Kink? If you've read this one, message me so we can discuss it in more detail! (★★⋆☆☆)Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Bloglovin' | Amazon | Pinterest
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  • Richard Propes
    January 1, 1970
    "Charmingly neurotic" has often been a phrase used to describe Mike Birbiglia, a stand-up comic turned writer turned actor/filmmaker who's won our hearts and made us laugh with such efforts as "Sleepwalk With Me" and "Don't Think Twice" along with a number of other cinematic appearances where he often plays the neurotic boyfriend, best friend, co-worker, etc. Let's face it. Mike Birbiglia is neurotic, though it's a hard-earned neuroses. Birbiglia survived cancer at the age of 19 and was diagnose "Charmingly neurotic" has often been a phrase used to describe Mike Birbiglia, a stand-up comic turned writer turned actor/filmmaker who's won our hearts and made us laugh with such efforts as "Sleepwalk With Me" and "Don't Think Twice" along with a number of other cinematic appearances where he often plays the neurotic boyfriend, best friend, co-worker, etc. Let's face it. Mike Birbiglia is neurotic, though it's a hard-earned neuroses. Birbiglia survived cancer at the age of 19 and was diagnosed with rapid eye movement sleep disorder, a disorder so severe that he once sleepwalked out of a second-story Walla Walla, Washington La Quinta Inn window. Based on Birbiglia's award-winning stage show "The New One," for which he won both Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Outstanding Solo Performance, "The New One: Painfully True Stories From a Reluctant Dad" is the kind of neurotic long-form storytelling for which Birbiglia is known best. It's simultaneously laugh-out-loud funny and awkwardly painful, filled with vulnerable truths that many of us feel yet most of us wouldn't ever dare speak. Birbiglia speaks it and somehow makes us laugh through it all. "The New One" kicks off with Birbiglia and his wife Jen, whom he regularly refers to as Clo for reasons either never revealed or that I'm simply too blind to catch on to, as they live into the marital vows they promised one another including such simple things as the fact that he can talk about her onstage and she can disappear. They're both natural introverts, though Birbiglia kinda sorta becomes an extrovert so that they have the ability to escape from awkward social situations. This is Birbiglia. Almost every social situation is awkward. They've agreed they don't want kids, but after several years of being happily married Jen changes her mind. Birbiglia, whom I just don't want to call Mike, doesn't. "The New One" is largely about that reluctance. Birbiglia wants to maintain the status quo. It works. They're happy. He's happy. He's built a successful career. They've built a routine that satisfies.For Jen, 'er Clo, suddenly something is missing. For him, not so much. "The New One" is filled to the brim with Birbiglia's trademark neuroses, expressed here as painfully transparent and frequently funny revelations about what it's like to face parenthood reluctantly, become a reluctant dad, try but mostly fail to maintain the status quo, then somehow come out the other end with a stronger marriage, an amazing wife, a child you love, and a life that's pretty awesome. There will be times in "The New One" when you'll love Birbiglia. There will be times in "The New One" when you'll read something and you'll gasp and go "Who is this stand-up comic I thought I knew?" Then, you'll go back to loving him again. Much like life and love and marriage and parenting, "The New One" is a journey with lots of ups and downs, laughs and poignancy. The stories that unfold in "The New One" are told from Birbiglia's perspective, though Jen, who's an increasingly popular poet who writes under J. Hope Stein, has her poetry woven into the fabric of the book in such a beautiful way that it balances the stories and offers her insightful, intelligent, and often quite revealing perspectives. If you're familiar with the stage production or Birbiglia's 2019 Netflix production that served as the foundation for this book's material, some of "The New One" certainly won't feel as fresh or new and that's certainly something to be considered. However, "The New One" possesses something special with Birbiglia's uncommon vulnerability, Jen's lyrical tapestry, and a literary experiment that digs deep and discovers both comedic and familial gold.
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  • Chris DiLeo
    January 1, 1970
    When I discovered Mike Birbiglia a few years ago, it was a revelation. He is a brilliant comedian because he is a masterful storyteller.I've watched all his comedy specials and had the great pleasure to see his Broadway show in person.THE NEW ONE is an absolute delight. This book was like a director’s cut of his Broadway show, but with a lot more poems, each brilliant, and so much heart and sincerity.Hilarious and truthful. A wonderful, poignant work.I loved it, and I highly recommend it to anyo When I discovered Mike Birbiglia a few years ago, it was a revelation. He is a brilliant comedian because he is a masterful storyteller.I've watched all his comedy specials and had the great pleasure to see his Broadway show in person.THE NEW ONE is an absolute delight. This book was like a director’s cut of his Broadway show, but with a lot more poems, each brilliant, and so much heart and sincerity.Hilarious and truthful. A wonderful, poignant work.I loved it, and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys honest humor about real life.
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  • Rebecca
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to Grand Central Publishing for an advance copy of this book for honest review.Keeping track of publication dates has been challenging lately, so I missed The New One coming out by a few weeks. Fans of Mike Birbiglia's comedy and parenting memoirs alike will enjoy this one! Much of this was familiar to me since I saw Mike Birbiglia live with a lot of the same content, but that doesn't mean I didn't laugh out loud at some points, and still found the moments when he struggles very emotional Thanks to Grand Central Publishing for an advance copy of this book for honest review.Keeping track of publication dates has been challenging lately, so I missed The New One coming out by a few weeks. Fans of Mike Birbiglia's comedy and parenting memoirs alike will enjoy this one! Much of this was familiar to me since I saw Mike Birbiglia live with a lot of the same content, but that doesn't mean I didn't laugh out loud at some points, and still found the moments when he struggles very emotional. I've read a lot of motherhood memoirs, but really none from a father's perspective, especially not one who so openly talks about how hard it was to find his place in the family after they had a child, and it's an interesting perspective.
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  • Basic B's Guide
    January 1, 1970
    Parenting ain’t no joke! Do any of us really know what we are doing? Its quite clear we have absolutely no idea 99.9% of the time. Birbiglia nails it when he says “I’m mostly scared. This monkey in a jumpsuit stares at me with this look like – I don’t know anything. Do you know anything? I’m thinking, I don’t know anything either.”The New One is a collaboration of “painfully true stories from a reluctant Dad” and his wife the poet and perhaps the little less reluctant half.The New One actually s Parenting ain’t no joke! Do any of us really know what we are doing? Its quite clear we have absolutely no idea 99.9% of the time. Birbiglia nails it when he says “I’m mostly scared. This monkey in a jumpsuit stares at me with this look like – I don’t know anything. Do you know anything? I’m thinking, I don’t know anything either.”The New One is a collaboration of “painfully true stories from a reluctant Dad” and his wife the poet and perhaps the little less reluctant half.The New One actually started as an off-Broadway show and moved to Broadway. Now also a Netflix series, the book contains new material as well as poetry that Jen wrote.I thought the collaboration of stories and poetry was sweet, funny and so very true. I think parents will appreciate this dark and laugh-out-loud read.
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  • Heather
    January 1, 1970
    Goodreads win! Best win thus far!!! I laughed the entire through Mike's entire journey. It is so honest and relatable, I think every dad should read. Mike and Jen now has a huge fan!
  • Hannah Gilfix
    January 1, 1970
    In Mike Birbiglia’s “About the Author” page in the back of his book, he is listed as a comedian and a best selling author. I believe these descriptions undersell Mike’s contribution to the world (not that being a comedian and a best selling author aren’t sufficient). Mike is a philosopher. Unlike Aristotle, Plato, and Nietzsche, who successfully confuse their audience by trying to explain big ideas with words that are hard to understand, Mike Birbiglia successfully expresses insights into knowle In Mike Birbiglia’s “About the Author” page in the back of his book, he is listed as a comedian and a best selling author. I believe these descriptions undersell Mike’s contribution to the world (not that being a comedian and a best selling author aren’t sufficient). Mike is a philosopher. Unlike Aristotle, Plato, and Nietzsche, who successfully confuse their audience by trying to explain big ideas with words that are hard to understand, Mike Birbiglia successfully expresses insights into knowledge, nature, and reality through jokes. In fact, Mike Birbiglia might very well-be one of the greatest comedian philosophers of our time. As is the case with philosophy, it is hard to grasp the nature of his book without reading it. However, I have a few excerpts that I think display his tenacity at moving fluidly in and out of jokes with a punch line that makes the reader pause, re-read, and ponder deeply about the world.On religion: “I think of prayers like tech support. Unless I get a person live on the phone, I’m not sure it’s getting to anyone. And if you do get someone live to answer your prayers, that’s when you know you’re dreaming, or dead.”On life decisions: “In movies and plays it’s always a moment that determines a major life decision, but in life, it’s more fluid- a series of moments that form an evolution.”On healing: “I feel like the jokes that touch on the most painful topics can often bring the deepest laughs and the most healing. That’s why I try to talk onstage about my greatest sources of pain.”On relationships: “Jokes have the potential to alienate us from other people but also the possibility to make us closer. I believe that a shared joke, whether with friends or your husband or an audience, is one of the single most uniting experience on can have.”On empathy: “We all ask for things in ways we understand and expect other people to understand, instead of entering their perspective… maybe I should learn how to speak seagull.” I would be remiss to not mention the poems that interweave their way throughout this book by Jen. Jen uses her words to provide the reader with a different perspective and a different understanding on the surprisingly deep subjects that Mike is discussing.If you are looking for a book that will make you not only laugh and cry, but also think deeply about the world, this is the book for you.
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  • Mary
    January 1, 1970
    Before I start complaining, let me say that J. Hope Stein is a beautiful poet and I am so glad I got to know her work through a New York Times article and this book. Also Mike Birbiglia is very funny. I laughed aloud so much.But, I will say that this book falls into the typical parenting roles of cliche:Mother: Insists on having a kid. Apologizes for child's existence. Does everything. (Arguably, does too much, to the risk of her own [mental] health.) Resents father not doing anything.Father: Before I start complaining, let me say that J. Hope Stein is a beautiful poet and I am so glad I got to know her work through a New York Times article and this book. Also Mike Birbiglia is very funny. I laughed aloud so much.But, I will say that this book falls into the typical parenting roles of cliche:Mother: Insists on having a kid. Apologizes for child's existence. Does everything. (Arguably, does too much, to the risk of her own [mental] health.) Resents father not doing anything.Father: Does (almost) nothing. What does, does poorly. Resents bond between mother and child. Feels left out.It's tale as old as time. In the 50s, the excuse was that men were out earning. For Birgiglia, he's out working, too, but added to the issue is the man-child who wants to have his couch to himself and then is upset he doesn't "bond" enough with the kid. It feels like in the 21th century, people ought to have learned that if you want to feel a connection to someone, you have to do something for them. There's a bit where Jen (his wife) is able to multitask diapering, while Mike cowers in a closet over the idea of bathing the baby. It's hard not to shout, "Grow up and change a diaper! Women aren't born with magic diapering skills, you know, and why should you be proud of your ignorance and incompetence? " When Mike does do something (he makes up silly songs when the baby cries), he begins to feel closer to the baby. When he takes her out to eat pizza as a toddler, he finds a connection with her. That! Do that!And I get that I may be taking the whole thing too serious, falling into my own cliche of "backseat judgey parenting," especially when Mike's job is to tell jokes, perhaps exaggerating things for comic effect, but it feels a little like "The Lockhorns" by way of the The New York Times .
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  • Cindi
    January 1, 1970
    Won this in a Good Reads giveaway & so excited to read it! I loved this book. Birbiglia is one of our favorite comedians, we re-watch his shows & listen to him on Pandora, and quote him like he's a member of the family - or a god! Many of these stories are in his recent comedy shows, so I was fairly familiar with the stories, but the book gives a fuller picture of the situation and explores more of the topics and situation. I laughed all through the book & kept reading sections out loud to famil Won this in a Good Reads giveaway & so excited to read it! I loved this book. Birbiglia is one of our favorite comedians, we re-watch his shows & listen to him on Pandora, and quote him like he's a member of the family - or a god! Many of these stories are in his recent comedy shows, so I was fairly familiar with the stories, but the book gives a fuller picture of the situation and explores more of the topics and situation. I laughed all through the book & kept reading sections out loud to family. Seriously, read this book.
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  • Janis
    January 1, 1970
    I’m childless, so though I appreciate Mike Birbiglia as a comedian, I didn’t think there’d be much of interest for me in The New One. But I really enjoyed this memoir, and Birbiglia’s honesty in sharing his experiences, from the seven reasons he didn’t want to have a kid to the excruciating and hilarious incidents that follow. He’s a great storyteller. Here, his anecdotes are interspersed with short poems written by his wife, sharing the experience from her point of view.
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  • Panda Incognito
    January 1, 1970
    This book has a lot of TMI and vulgarity, but it's an incredibly vulnerable, poignant, and personal story about a man's journey to fatherhood. It's laugh-out-loud funny, full of relatable details, and shot through with deep emotion, also supplemented by his wife's poems about motherhood. I really enjoyed this unique book.
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  • Jenny
    January 1, 1970
    I have so much love for this book. It was incredibly relatable as a newer parent and made me laugh a lot and cry a little. It's a beautiful collaboration about the painful and joyful journey of becoming a parent!
  • Brittany Wright
    January 1, 1970
    Laugh out loud funny, but also very real and sometimes a little sad. I loved the audio version!
  • Kenny Whitescarver
    January 1, 1970
    The brilliance of this book is that it’s filled with self-deprecating humor that exists not solely to make you laugh, but also to demonstrate the painful process, in an honest way, of becoming parents. Mike tells his daughter in the book that he hopes she finds people in her life with whom she can be completely honest. I’m glad he and his wife have done that with their readers.
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  • D'Arcy
    January 1, 1970
    Loved the play. Loved the book. Nothing captures new parenthood quite as honestly as this. And it's laugh-out-loud hilarious.
  • Ben Weinberg
    January 1, 1970
    A funny and thoughtful exploration of fatherhood and the value of (and humor in) honesty. I’m nowhere near being a dad, but Mike’s struggles and transparent description of them will make me a better one. Note to self: read again prior to fatherhood.
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  • Sasha Kuntsevich
    January 1, 1970
    Just the right amount of information.Great book. Made me cry
  • Annika Brands
    January 1, 1970
    I guess I liked this book..? It was okay. There was a lot of inappropriate stuff in it. But the stuff that wasn’t inappropriate was very very funny. Overall, I probably wouldn’t recommend it.
  • Dionisia
    January 1, 1970
    Oh, shit! I won a GR giveaway! I got my hands on a free copy signed by Mike Birbiglia himself. Mind blown.My first discovery of Mike Birbiglia came courtesy of an episode of the This American Life podcast. Then after watching Sleepwalk with Me on Netflix I became a solid fan. I was so curious to see how this book compared to his comedy special of the same name.I liked The New One on Netflix, but I really liked the book version. Maybe it's a case of right book, right time. All the anxiety and fea Oh, shit! I won a GR giveaway! I got my hands on a free copy signed by Mike Birbiglia himself. Mind blown.My first discovery of Mike Birbiglia came courtesy of an episode of the This American Life podcast. Then after watching Sleepwalk with Me on Netflix I became a solid fan. I was so curious to see how this book compared to his comedy special of the same name.I liked The New One on Netflix, but I really liked the book version. Maybe it's a case of right book, right time. All the anxiety and fear he laid out in the pages on this book. I felt it hard. And the humor was something I just needed right now.
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  • Picture Perfect
    January 1, 1970
    I know a lot of the book's content was borrowed from Mike's specials. It's definitely familiar, but I do think it felt a little darker than the special. He describes this exhaustion of being a new parent vividly, especially for one that didn't ask to be a dad in the first place. Though some of the topics felt out of place like he was just including bits of his for the sake of being funny rather than relating to the theme. As far as the poems go, sorry, eh not my favorite to put it lightly. I do I know a lot of the book's content was borrowed from Mike's specials. It's definitely familiar, but I do think it felt a little darker than the special. He describes this exhaustion of being a new parent vividly, especially for one that didn't ask to be a dad in the first place. Though some of the topics felt out of place like he was just including bits of his for the sake of being funny rather than relating to the theme. As far as the poems go, sorry, eh not my favorite to put it lightly. I do recommend listening to this on audiobook!
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  • Hillary
    January 1, 1970
    I listened to the audiobook version of this book. It's almost like a director's cut of his very funny, poignant stand up comedy special, also called "The New One". I've recommended that special to many people -- especially people who are parenting young children. This is like that, only with more stories. In it, we hear the story of a family growing -- sometimes painfully. Mike Birbiglia chronicles the story of his relationship with his wife before and after they have a baby, his conflicting fee I listened to the audiobook version of this book. It's almost like a director's cut of his very funny, poignant stand up comedy special, also called "The New One". I've recommended that special to many people -- especially people who are parenting young children. This is like that, only with more stories. In it, we hear the story of a family growing -- sometimes painfully. Mike Birbiglia chronicles the story of his relationship with his wife before and after they have a baby, his conflicting feelings about becoming a parent (and just being a person in the world). Some of my favorite parts of this book highlight the conflict between partners when someone else's needs take priority over your own, and how to get through to each other when that feels impossible -- told with so much humor and heart. He's really a master at oral storytelling, which I think shines through in his writing as well!I recommend the audiobook, if you're into that kind of thing. It's read by the author and his wife, which makes it extra special! Also, if you like this story, you definitely need to also check out Sleepwalk With Me about the journey of diagnosing and treating his rare medical disorder.
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  • Constantreader
    January 1, 1970
    Mixed feelingsI found much of this funny and "relatable," but Birbiglia makes the wife he says he loves sound self-absorbed and unlikable. The poetry that purports to be hers weakens the humor and story. It made me oddly angry to be exposed to it proudly. Example: "...Come out come out come out little poop/And say hello to mommy and me/My daughter poops a treasure more valuable to Earth, says Earth, than any contribution of the high arts." Really?
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  • Rumbi Goredema Görgens
    January 1, 1970
    Beautiful, clear-eyed reflections on the madness and joy of parenthood. A must-read for all parents.
  • Bayneeta
    January 1, 1970
    A surprisingly open and honest book about his wife's unexpected desire for a child and his very strong reluctance to become a father. That she convinced herself and eventually him that a baby wouldn't change his life is beyond my comprehension, but that's what happens. (if that's a spoiler, I apologise). Poems she wrote during this time are interspersed throughout. Birbiglia reads the book, she reads the poems.
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  • Grace Lerner
    January 1, 1970
    The exact right amount of information.
  • Daisy Daeschler
    January 1, 1970
    5 stars. The exact right amount of information.
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