Monday, April 13, 2015

Review: A Field Guide to Awkward Silences by Alexandra Petri

Expected publication:
June 2, 2015 by NAL
"Those were the two things I knew about myself: that I was a writer, and that I didn’t mind looking stupid.” (p.3) As a result, Alexandra Petri easily has enough  material probably for many more essays than are in this book. From pun contests to whistling contests to learning how to drive and more, she tackles some of the weirdest moments in her life.
The selection of essays turns into almost a loosely organized coming of age story, where the age is after college and not too sure one is a grownup. The essays are mostly good fun. I mean who doesn’t love a Star Wars nerd? Even if you don’t love Star Wars, you will understand because “Everyone has one erroneous belief that gets him through the chilly February mornings of the soul.” (p.149)
Seriously funny in many parts, gently humorous in others, the essays are autobiographical in nature.  This is my first exposure to her writing and I have to say I really enjoyed it. There is one sad story in it, but she even manages to put a little spin on that.
I give this book 4 out of 5 stars for the quality of writing and for the humor. Also In spite of being a collection of essays, there is a pace which propels the reader forward at a good pace. I’d recommend it for those who like Jenny Lawson’s Lets Pretend This Never Happened and books by David Sedaris. Looking forward to its release in early June so I can get a hard copy for my daughter’s birthday. I’ve enjoyed an ARC on my Kindle to prepare this review. And as such, the quotations may or may not be in the final copy or in a different place.