website statistics Can't Help Myself: Lessons & Confessions from a Modern Advice Columnist - PDF Books Online
Hot Best Seller

Can't Help Myself: Lessons & Confessions from a Modern Advice Columnist

Availability: Ready to download

A disarmingly honest memoir about giving advice when you're not sure what you're doing yourself, by the woman behind The Boston Globe's Love Letters column. Every day, Boston Globe advice columnist Meredith Goldstein takes on the relationship problems of thousands of dedicated readers. They look to her for wisdom on all matters of the heart- how to cope with dating fatigue A disarmingly honest memoir about giving advice when you're not sure what you're doing yourself, by the woman behind The Boston Globe's Love Letters column. Every day, Boston Globe advice columnist Meredith Goldstein takes on the relationship problems of thousands of dedicated readers. They look to her for wisdom on all matters of the heart- how to cope with dating fatigue and infidelity, work romances, tired marriages, true love, and true loss. In her column, she has it all figured out, but in her real life she is a lot less certain. Whether it's her own reservations about the traditional path of marriage and family, her difficulty finding someone she truly connects with, or the evolution of her friendships as her friends start to have their own families, Meredith finds herself looking for insight, just like her readers. As she searches for responses to their concerns, she's surprised to discover answers to her own. But it's after her mother is diagnosed with cancer that she truly realizes how special her Love Letters community is, how this column has enriched her life as much, if not more than, it has for its readers. Can't Help Myself is the extraordinary (and often hilarious) story of a single woman navigating her mercurial love life, and a moving and poignant portrait of an amazing community of big-hearted, love-seeking allies.


Compare

A disarmingly honest memoir about giving advice when you're not sure what you're doing yourself, by the woman behind The Boston Globe's Love Letters column. Every day, Boston Globe advice columnist Meredith Goldstein takes on the relationship problems of thousands of dedicated readers. They look to her for wisdom on all matters of the heart- how to cope with dating fatigue A disarmingly honest memoir about giving advice when you're not sure what you're doing yourself, by the woman behind The Boston Globe's Love Letters column. Every day, Boston Globe advice columnist Meredith Goldstein takes on the relationship problems of thousands of dedicated readers. They look to her for wisdom on all matters of the heart- how to cope with dating fatigue and infidelity, work romances, tired marriages, true love, and true loss. In her column, she has it all figured out, but in her real life she is a lot less certain. Whether it's her own reservations about the traditional path of marriage and family, her difficulty finding someone she truly connects with, or the evolution of her friendships as her friends start to have their own families, Meredith finds herself looking for insight, just like her readers. As she searches for responses to their concerns, she's surprised to discover answers to her own. But it's after her mother is diagnosed with cancer that she truly realizes how special her Love Letters community is, how this column has enriched her life as much, if not more than, it has for its readers. Can't Help Myself is the extraordinary (and often hilarious) story of a single woman navigating her mercurial love life, and a moving and poignant portrait of an amazing community of big-hearted, love-seeking allies.

30 review for Can't Help Myself: Lessons & Confessions from a Modern Advice Columnist

  1. 5 out of 5

    Brooke — brooklynnnnereads

    Prior to reading this essay collection, I had not heard of the author or the advice column that was made popular in the Boston Globe. However, after reading these personal essays from the author's life, I can only hope that the author decides to write and publish more in the future. Everything about these essays was perfect, from their length (not too long or short) to their depth and humour. Even though the writer was in her thirties when these essays were written, the content, her experiences Prior to reading this essay collection, I had not heard of the author or the advice column that was made popular in the Boston Globe. However, after reading these personal essays from the author's life, I can only hope that the author decides to write and publish more in the future. Everything about these essays was perfect, from their length (not too long or short) to their depth and humour. Even though the writer was in her thirties when these essays were written, the content, her experiences and the accompanying emotions all were oddly relatable. As well, the author included letters after each essay that were written to her asking for advice. It was a surprise to see at the end of this collection, some of these originating letters had an updated letter to read and see what had changed since the original letter had been written. This was a humorous and relatable memoir that I think could be enjoyable for many different ages. I felt that these essays were relatable and I'm in my twenties but I think readers in their thirties, forties, fifties, and beyond could relate as well. ***I received a copy of this book from a Goodreads Giveaway. Thank you to Goodreads and the publisher for hosting this giveaway***

  2. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Can’t Help Myself: Lessons and Confessions from a Modern Advice Columnist by Meredith Goldstein is a fun and engaging memoir that began with Ms. Goldstein’s employment as a journalist at the Boston Globe. Friends and family members sought her opinion and advice for years, including her mother, who had difficulty dating in her early forties following her divorce from Goldstein’s father. Assisting her mother writing dating profiles was the easy part, though offering advice as her mother listened c Can’t Help Myself: Lessons and Confessions from a Modern Advice Columnist by Meredith Goldstein is a fun and engaging memoir that began with Ms. Goldstein’s employment as a journalist at the Boston Globe. Friends and family members sought her opinion and advice for years, including her mother, who had difficulty dating in her early forties following her divorce from Goldstein’s father. Assisting her mother writing dating profiles was the easy part, though offering advice as her mother listened closely, was a bit more challenging. With the economy crashing in 2008, the Globe accepted Goldstein’s offer to write an advice column that would engage readers and encourage readership. Feeling guilty over being so down and out over her recent break-up with co-worker Patrick, that included crying jags at the vending machines next to the freight elevators-- Goldstein wondered if she could actually help others. Lisa, her good friend had shockingly lost her husband from an undectected health condition, explained that her loss of Patrick was like “a death of a relationship.” Only with a strong interest reading Carolyn Hax of the Washington Post, Dan Savage of the alternative press, Amy Dickenson of “Ask Amy” and Margo Howard the brilliant and witty daughter of Ann Landers and niece of her twin sister “Dear Abby”—Goldstein realized she had no experience. Without a psychology degree or qualifying credentials Goldstein began writing her highly successful column “Love Letters” for the Globe The advice clips were always entertaining and interesting, especially with reader input. Though Goldstein never wanted to marry or live with Patrick, or have children at all, she was especially distressed to hear he eventually replaced her with another woman. Brette, Goldstein’s brazen and sexually adventurous sister married her much younger lover Ben in a charming outdoor wedding. Goldstein writes well about her ordinary life as this small childless family faced a tragic and sad crisis with their mother’s cancer diagnosis. 3* GOOD. ***With thanks and appreciation to Grand Central Publishing via NetGalley for the DDC for the purpose of review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    I grew up watching my grandmother read Dear Abby and Ann Landers. To my 4 year old eyes the face of wisdom was an older woman with big coiffed hair. Both of these women hailed from another time. A much simpler time where people stayed happily married until death do they part. But this was not my life. The very reason that I was my grandmother's house was that I was visiting my Dad for the weekend. They represented a perfection to which I would not be able to maintain. Of course as I got older I I grew up watching my grandmother read Dear Abby and Ann Landers. To my 4 year old eyes the face of wisdom was an older woman with big coiffed hair. Both of these women hailed from another time. A much simpler time where people stayed happily married until death do they part. But this was not my life. The very reason that I was my grandmother's house was that I was visiting my Dad for the weekend. They represented a perfection to which I would not be able to maintain. Of course as I got older I learned about their estranged relationship and then I felt duped. Foolish enough to think that the grass was greener on the other side. So when I saw Can't Help Myself: Lessons and Confessions from a Modern Advice Columnist on NetGalley it appealed to me. I found that it was an honest and sometimes self-deprecating memoir. Goldstein opened up to her audience revealing her vulnerability in both her romantic and familial relationships. The writing style was easy going and each chapter ended with past segments of her advice column along with reader comments and feedback. Meredith Goldstein's column Love Letters: A Daily Dispatch of Dating and Relationship Advice can be found online here: https://loveletters.boston.com

  4. 5 out of 5

    chantel nouseforaname

    What did I think? Meredith Goldstein is hilarious and has experienced a lot! I loved this book; it felt like a great conversation between friends and I love that she input real letters from her column, Love Letters. I love the concept of helping-others-help-themselves and each other. I am a huge advocate of creating conversation and having different perspectives inform one’s actions, especially when it comes to love. The whole book felt very Sex and the City, but not in a cheesy way. I think her What did I think? Meredith Goldstein is hilarious and has experienced a lot! I loved this book; it felt like a great conversation between friends and I love that she input real letters from her column, Love Letters. I love the concept of helping-others-help-themselves and each other. I am a huge advocate of creating conversation and having different perspectives inform one’s actions, especially when it comes to love. The whole book felt very Sex and the City, but not in a cheesy way. I think her detailing her mother’s battle with cancer and the various strained relationships that she’s had with men from her father to her former partners, etc really created an atmosphere of trust and openness. I felt like she pulled me into her world and the intensely-personal nature of it all, her experience and the experiences of others. Meredith’s talent, passion and skill responding to letters from lovelorn, confused, sometimes ridiculous, sometimes sexist, sometimes aggressive but predominantly caring strangers really came through in her writing this book. I could see why she found success as a columnist writing about love, relationships and challenging subjects such as sickness and pain. Can’t Help Myself is a unique effort and was luminous where it could have been stale. It felt authentic and genuine. Reading this was also a pick-me-up; I highly recommend it for anyone who wants a boost. I love that it didn’t end perfectly, but with a sharp much-needed dose of reality instead. *applause**

  5. 4 out of 5

    Barbara H

    I was surprised to see how much I enjoyed reading this book! At first I surmised that it would be light fare and mainly entertaining. I was delighted to find how much I learned about this author. Meredith Goldstein is a journalist, whose public acclaim is derived from her column, Love Letters,which appears each week in the Boston Sunday Globe. It is not a typical "advice to the lovelorn", but one which contains humor and wisdom. It also has the feature of including readers' opinions of the probl I was surprised to see how much I enjoyed reading this book! At first I surmised that it would be light fare and mainly entertaining. I was delighted to find how much I learned about this author. Meredith Goldstein is a journalist, whose public acclaim is derived from her column, Love Letters,which appears each week in the Boston Sunday Globe. It is not a typical "advice to the lovelorn", but one which contains humor and wisdom. It also has the feature of including readers' opinions of the problems. Goldstein's memoir presents an honest face of a very real person who has experienced many of life's trials and joys. Her writing provided many chuckles and finally tears at the conclusion as she experienced the death of her mother. I was provided with an unexpected view of a humble, true individual.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Isabel Carlisle

    I didn't expect to love this book as much as I did. It was a random library find, but WOW it ended up being exactly what I need. Feel-good and heartbreaking, insightful and hilarious, I finished it in a day. I love how each chapter was centered around a different theme, and each theme tied in with her real-life advice column Q+As. An epic autobiographical page-turner. :) I didn't expect to love this book as much as I did. It was a random library find, but WOW it ended up being exactly what I need. Feel-good and heartbreaking, insightful and hilarious, I finished it in a day. I love how each chapter was centered around a different theme, and each theme tied in with her real-life advice column Q+As. An epic autobiographical page-turner. :)

  7. 4 out of 5

    Alexis (hookedtobooks)

    Thank you @grandcentralpub for sending me a copy of this book! I really enjoyed it! Can’t help myself is kinda like a memoir, but I found it a lot more interesting than your typical memoir. Meredith Goldstein wrote the Love Letters column for the Boston Globe for years, which is where people would write in letters asking for advice around love and relationships and she would give advice. Yet she was single and still trying to figure out the dating game herself. I found this an interesting twist be Thank you @grandcentralpub for sending me a copy of this book! I really enjoyed it! Can’t help myself is kinda like a memoir, but I found it a lot more interesting than your typical memoir. Meredith Goldstein wrote the Love Letters column for the Boston Globe for years, which is where people would write in letters asking for advice around love and relationships and she would give advice. Yet she was single and still trying to figure out the dating game herself. I found this an interesting twist because you would expect someone who is giving relationship advice to be in a long term committed relationship, but Goldstein proves that that is unnecessary because no one is an expert at love. We are always learning and it’s ok to give advice and your perspective without being an expert. I really liked how Goldstein learned a lot about herself in the process of reading the letters and giving advice, and she even admitted that sometimes she was a bit harsh and could be more sensitive. That’s what I took away from this. That everything has a learning process to it, and that is ok! I definitely recommend this one if you’re looking for a nonfiction book to check out!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Taylor

    Meredith Goldstein writes an agony aunt column for The Boston Globe. In this, her memoir, she writes of her own struggles with relationships (familial, romantic, etc.) and intersperses this with letters from her column. An honest, thoughtful, and entertaining read. My thanks to Goodreads Giveaways for giving me the opportunity to read this book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Excellent story, loved the interaction between Meredith and her letter writers, her readers, and how she used what was happening in her life to color her advice, and how the column shed light on her real life. Very interesting read.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Julia

    Meredith is a friend and it was so fun to read the behind the scenes on the work she does for the Boston Globe and the wider advice world. Kudos mer!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

    One of the great things about reading for NetGalley is the opportunity to explore books that I might not have picked up under other circumstances. This book is one of those, and it turned out to be quite a treat. Meredith writes, and orchestrates, a LOVE LETERS column in Boston. In this book, she manages to gracefully weave her own story into those of her readers and advice givers. Unlike typical advice columns, Meredith asks readers to chime in with their own council and help the writer. These l One of the great things about reading for NetGalley is the opportunity to explore books that I might not have picked up under other circumstances. This book is one of those, and it turned out to be quite a treat. Meredith writes, and orchestrates, a LOVE LETERS column in Boston. In this book, she manages to gracefully weave her own story into those of her readers and advice givers. Unlike typical advice columns, Meredith asks readers to chime in with their own council and help the writer. These letters and pieces of reader advice are tucked between chapters describing Meredith's own issues, her inability to find a life partner and the harrowing death of her mother. I loved the honesty of her own accounts and I enjoyed reading about the problems and solutions of her readers.. This is a book that proved to be endlessly fascinating and totally original Her idea for an advice column was brilliant, as is the way she combines both her own and the readers' stories. Such a lovely read!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Renata

    I got an ARC of this awhile ago but didn't prioritize it in my reading, mostly because I thought it was going to be focused on relationship advice and I didn't feel like I wanted that? But I picked it off my pile and took it to the beach and read it all in a day, and I truly loved it. I was so pleasantly surprised to have a book like this that prioritized the importance of friendships and family and career. It's also a moving grief memoir and yes, also, some probably-good relationship advice. Th I got an ARC of this awhile ago but didn't prioritize it in my reading, mostly because I thought it was going to be focused on relationship advice and I didn't feel like I wanted that? But I picked it off my pile and took it to the beach and read it all in a day, and I truly loved it. I was so pleasantly surprised to have a book like this that prioritized the importance of friendships and family and career. It's also a moving grief memoir and yes, also, some probably-good relationship advice. This book felt like a friend. (Also I guess disclaimer that I'm socially friendly with Meredith but also FOR REAL loved this book)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Elf

    Wow, what a pleasant surprise this book was. I didn't know anything about Meredith Goldstein and her column before this book. To be honest most advice columnists I know make me roll my eyes with what they suggest and I was worried this book was going to lead to similar feelings. (To be fair, I only read a few advice columns.) Instead what I found was a smart woman sharing parts about her life in a truly honest-feeling way. At times it made me stop and question some things about my own personal ac Wow, what a pleasant surprise this book was. I didn't know anything about Meredith Goldstein and her column before this book. To be honest most advice columnists I know make me roll my eyes with what they suggest and I was worried this book was going to lead to similar feelings. (To be fair, I only read a few advice columns.) Instead what I found was a smart woman sharing parts about her life in a truly honest-feeling way. At times it made me stop and question some things about my own personal actions. The story between their lovely mother, and Meredith and her sister is deeply moving and I will again say honest. Meredith's feelings and thought process about her relationships, dating, and friends will be relatable at some level to everyone I think. The Questions & Advice parts were also great. The advice was simple yet straight to the point and thought-provoking. I like to give extra kudos to the author for also adding an example of how a reader said she went against the advice and that worked well for her. Because realistically sometimes the advice won't work as there are always exceptions and some questions are just not easy to answer at all without seeing the big picture which only the person in the relationship does. It takes some self-confidence and care for the reader that Meredith Goldstein has added an example like this too and I think it's a great reminder for an advice isn't always the right one but like the book also says, even when the advice isn't the right one it still puts things into perspective by making you think. I highly recommend this book to everyone. I will now be following the author's column and podcast.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Gayle

    Full review at: http://www.everydayiwritethebookblog.... Can’t Help Myself: Lessons & Confessions From A Modern Advice Columnist is about Goldstein’s column: how she started it, the types of letters she gets and her interactions with her readers. But it’s also about Goldstein’s own life – her relationships with men and the people close to her. The “Love Letters” column addresses her readers’ relationship quandaries, covering everything from one night stands and overdue marriage proposals to work Full review at: http://www.everydayiwritethebookblog.... Can’t Help Myself: Lessons & Confessions From A Modern Advice Columnist is about Goldstein’s column: how she started it, the types of letters she gets and her interactions with her readers. But it’s also about Goldstein’s own life – her relationships with men and the people close to her. The “Love Letters” column addresses her readers’ relationship quandaries, covering everything from one night stands and overdue marriage proposals to work spouses and online dating. Goldstein divides the book into themes about love lives while threading her own personal narrative throughout. We learn about the guy who got away, her very close relationship with a colleague, and her mom’s cancer diagnosis. Can’t Help Myself is a quick and interesting read. Goldstein is funny and deeply honest, so I really got a sense of who she was. I almost always agreed with the advice she gave out to her readers, even while she had trouble following it in her own life. I do wish she had spent more time behind the scenes. I wanted to hear more about how she picked the letters and trends she has noticed in 9 years of writing her column. Goldstein always seemed so sure of her answers; I’d like to have heard about the times when she just didn’t know what to advise. More focus on the role and responsibility of the advice columnist would have given Can’t Help Myself more heft. I liked the reader letters spread throughout the book, and have, of course, now subscribed to “Love Letters” updates. This is a fun book if you’re an advice column junkie, but in the end I wanted a little more detail and analysis.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Kramer Bussel

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Make sure you have tissues handy when you read this memoir, which is about a writer's evolution as an advice giver via her love letter column, as well as her relationship with her mother, who's diagnosed with cancer, her sister, estranged father, work husband and exes. It's also about dating, but not in the traditional format of the single girl memoir, who struggles and struggles only to get her happily ever after at the end. This book is also about work and ambition and how to juggle deep passi Make sure you have tissues handy when you read this memoir, which is about a writer's evolution as an advice giver via her love letter column, as well as her relationship with her mother, who's diagnosed with cancer, her sister, estranged father, work husband and exes. It's also about dating, but not in the traditional format of the single girl memoir, who struggles and struggles only to get her happily ever after at the end. This book is also about work and ambition and how to juggle deep passions for your job and love of your family, and not always taking care of yourself along the way, hence the title. It's written in a relatively light, breezy style that makes it a quick read, but one that is emotionally searing. Meredith is clear-eyed in her perceptions of herself, with her own foibles and sometimes pickiness when it comes to dating, but also offers up an antidote to all the messages women (and men too, to a lesser degree) get about sex and dating being the center of our universes. They aren't for Meredith, which sometimes she's happy about, and sometimes she isn't. This is also a funny book; I dare you not to laugh at her pop culture comparisons regarding her dry spell. For anyone with a loved one going through a major illness, you'll likely recognize parts of yourself in this very personal and fascinating memoir.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Aw, I found this super lovely and relatable. The premise is “unlucky-in-love journalist writes a romance advice column, ha ha how ironic!” But it wasn’t really that. It was more about what it’s like to write an advice column for all the dozens/hundreds of scenarios you’ve never experienced, and how it ends up being an exercise in empathy, about the cool community that popped up in the comments section, and mostly about friendships and family being the most important things. It was honest and fun Aw, I found this super lovely and relatable. The premise is “unlucky-in-love journalist writes a romance advice column, ha ha how ironic!” But it wasn’t really that. It was more about what it’s like to write an advice column for all the dozens/hundreds of scenarios you’ve never experienced, and how it ends up being an exercise in empathy, about the cool community that popped up in the comments section, and mostly about friendships and family being the most important things. It was honest and funny (the part about her not having had sex in a long time and looking at her ex like “how did we ever even kiss” and “how does anyone even kiss, what a weird thing” was so good), and also completely heartbreaking (spoiler: her mom is diagnosed with cancer early on and that whole thing is devastating and sweet and also super honest about how she’s still an annoying mom, maybe even more so, even as you want to just be nice and patient because she’s sick). The writing style is kind of deceptively simple — at first it struck me as a little stilted or choppy, but it really grew on me by the end. I would definitely recommend this.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    This was an insightful and honest memoir from the Globe columnist. Having lost my dad and husband to cancer within the last two years, I found the parts of the book involving Meredith's mother to be especially poignant. The integration of the "Love Letters" column was done well and was very effective. I may be biased, though, since I've read the blog since day one. Having only commented a few times, I'm just a lurker. This was an insightful and honest memoir from the Globe columnist. Having lost my dad and husband to cancer within the last two years, I found the parts of the book involving Meredith's mother to be especially poignant. The integration of the "Love Letters" column was done well and was very effective. I may be biased, though, since I've read the blog since day one. Having only commented a few times, I'm just a lurker.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Audrey

    3.5 stars This was a totally charming and self aware memoir. Meredith has a lot of common sense and empathy and gives excellent advice to her letter writers. These were interweaved with her own family background and mother's illness. Now I want a cotton candy machine. 3.5 stars This was a totally charming and self aware memoir. Meredith has a lot of common sense and empathy and gives excellent advice to her letter writers. These were interweaved with her own family background and mother's illness. Now I want a cotton candy machine.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    This book was great. It was so fun and a breeze to get through. The Globe is a great paper and I love Love Letters (granted I was a co-op there in college, so I’m biased)! I’m also now convinced I could write an advice column.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    I thought this was a great balance between her own memoir and the submissions to her "Love Letters" column. I thought this was a great balance between her own memoir and the submissions to her "Love Letters" column.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Maureen Forys

    I’m a big advice column fan and the author of this book writes Love Letters, the Boston Globe’s relationship advice section. This was more than just examples of letters and her responses. It was a memoir about Meredith’s life as a single woman navigating her mothers stage 4 cancer, dealing with ex’s, and making sense of her friends going from fellow single women to dedicated and busy mothers. I loved her honesty, but didn’t love how the book was organized. It could feel disjointed. But the most I’m a big advice column fan and the author of this book writes Love Letters, the Boston Globe’s relationship advice section. This was more than just examples of letters and her responses. It was a memoir about Meredith’s life as a single woman navigating her mothers stage 4 cancer, dealing with ex’s, and making sense of her friends going from fellow single women to dedicated and busy mothers. I loved her honesty, but didn’t love how the book was organized. It could feel disjointed. But the most personal and emotional sections dealing with her moms illness were powerful. You could hear Meredith’s voice breaking on the audiobook and it was hard not to tear up myself. It’s a quick read that’s both fun and emotional.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Hager

    I am completely fascinated with advice columns and one of my favorite podcasts is Dear Sugars (Cheryl Strayed's book, Tiny Beautiful Things, is also one of my favorite books ever). This book, which is a combination of that and a quirky memoir, seemed absolutely perfect for me. I don't read the column so this was my first introduction to Meredith Goldstein and Love Letters. It's unusual in that readers also write in and give advice---even more unusual these days, because the people are generally p I am completely fascinated with advice columns and one of my favorite podcasts is Dear Sugars (Cheryl Strayed's book, Tiny Beautiful Things, is also one of my favorite books ever). This book, which is a combination of that and a quirky memoir, seemed absolutely perfect for me. I don't read the column so this was my first introduction to Meredith Goldstein and Love Letters. It's unusual in that readers also write in and give advice---even more unusual these days, because the people are generally pretty awesome and sincere. It's like they've found the only troll-free place on the internet!  This book was incredibly fun and I want to be friends with Meredith. Also, I have years worth of back columns to read. Win-win!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jen Kirsch

    Spent my Sunday afternoon reading this quaint yet moving book in its entirety and is it too soon to say I'm ready for the big screen rom-com based on it? It has all the things I long for and fall for and get so taken by in a memoir/book of essays: love, loss, grief, moving on, acceptance. It covers romantic relationships and friendships and the relationships we have with friends. I smiled a lot. Wrote notes in the book. Put tabs on notable sentences or questions or words of wisdom from Meredith, Spent my Sunday afternoon reading this quaint yet moving book in its entirety and is it too soon to say I'm ready for the big screen rom-com based on it? It has all the things I long for and fall for and get so taken by in a memoir/book of essays: love, loss, grief, moving on, acceptance. It covers romantic relationships and friendships and the relationships we have with friends. I smiled a lot. Wrote notes in the book. Put tabs on notable sentences or questions or words of wisdom from Meredith, that I can see myself going back to time and time again. As a fellow columnist who predominantly gives advice when it comes to rules of the heart, I found this book ever-so-relatable from the get-go. Meredith spouts out right in the second chapter that she doesn't have any professional training in advice giving, or a background in psychology. She says, "Most advice columnists weren't practicing mental health professionals, because responsible mental health professionals don't give directives based on a four-hundred-word generalization of a problem. My column might be helpful, bu the real mission was to entertain and engage." And she manages to do both of the above in this page turner of a book, that's half her life/half resharing her most common life and love questions, her response and the response of her loyal readers and commenters who were constantly encouraged and invited to share THEIR viewpoint on the comment section of her daily advice column LOVE LETTERS for the Boston Globe. Not only do I feel like my opinions were reiterated on many similar subjects, but I felt like this book was a great guide and tool for many whether going through a split, contemplating cheating, going through the loss of a family member and dealing with grief, or even someone who has a chronic illness and doesn't know what steps to take in terms of sharing that with a potential partner. I highly recommend this moving, yet sweet, funny, charming and memorable book. I laughed out loud. I cried. I took a moment to even Tweet the author my enjoyment, mid-read at that!

  24. 4 out of 5

    BOOKLOVER EB

    In 2008, Meredith Goldstein, author of "Can't Help Myself," launched an advice column for the Boston Globe. She considered herself a natural for the job. After all, she "was the consoling, honest confidante who could make anybody feel better about a breakup or a bad first date." Unfortunately, she was also an emotional wreck at the time she started counseling others, since her boyfriend and colleague, Patrick, had recently dumped her. To make matters worse, Meredith frequently saw her ex at work In 2008, Meredith Goldstein, author of "Can't Help Myself," launched an advice column for the Boston Globe. She considered herself a natural for the job. After all, she "was the consoling, honest confidante who could make anybody feel better about a breakup or a bad first date." Unfortunately, she was also an emotional wreck at the time she started counseling others, since her boyfriend and colleague, Patrick, had recently dumped her. To make matters worse, Meredith frequently saw her ex at work. He "looked content and relaxed," while she was barely coping with the pain of rejection. "Love Letters," Meredith's new column, was initially geared to the online community, and the public was invited to send in their comments. The feature took off quickly and attracted many enthusiastic followers. Goldstein includes some of the letters she received, along with her responses and the public's opinions. For the most part, Meredith does a good job of providing her questioners with intelligent and witty answers. Some of the queries are trivial but others are deadly serious. Some of the questions Meredith addresses deal with adultery, divorce, illness, the perils of May-December romances, and the feasibility of remaining platonic friends with former lovers. We grow to like Meredith, who is plucky, candid, and amusing, and we feel her pain, especially when she becomes a caregiver for a close relative with cancer. Although it has its share of silliness and an abundance of whining, "Can't Help Myself" is a quick and breezy read that falls into the "misery loves company" category. You get to eavesdrop on strangers' personal lives and imagine what you would tell them if they asked for your assistance. Do you agree with some or all of Meredith's recommendations? It is fun to speculate and connect with your inner Ann Landers.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Laura Larson

    Meredith- Can I call you Meredith? After reading your book I feel like we're too good of friends for the formalities. Though you don't know me, I feel like I've been by your side as often as Mark. I gasped is dismay when you decided to see Draco again. I sat dumbstruck as your mother lay dying and cried real tears when you said goodbye (on my lunch break at work, so thanks for that). I'm not one for advice columns, or memoirs, so your book, like your cotton candy machine, surprised me. Some of t Meredith- Can I call you Meredith? After reading your book I feel like we're too good of friends for the formalities. Though you don't know me, I feel like I've been by your side as often as Mark. I gasped is dismay when you decided to see Draco again. I sat dumbstruck as your mother lay dying and cried real tears when you said goodbye (on my lunch break at work, so thanks for that). I'm not one for advice columns, or memoirs, so your book, like your cotton candy machine, surprised me. Some of the letters you shared made me cringe, some made me blush, and many felt uncomfortably close like they had come from my own pen at various times in my life. I hope you don't read your reviews. They are as filled with trolls as the comments section of your Love Letters. But if you do- thank you. We are in the middle of the Covid-19 crisis. I've had your book on my shelf for a couple years (I was lucky enough to recieve an ARC that I didn't get to in a timely fashion). Something about it called to me. In the middle of all the fear and uncertainty or overwhelming change in our lives, I NEEDED to be reminded that fear and uncertainty and overwhelming change always exist. And your epilogue reminded me that even when the end result is not the one we anticipated, there IS always an end and, eventually, the intense feelings of today will be a pale memory in our tomorrow. Sincerely- Indebted in Illinois

  26. 5 out of 5

    Gina

    Can't Help Myself made me feel all the feelings. I'm not exaggerating when I say I was laughing and crying quite often! Goldstein shares with her readers how her life was far from perfect and how she struggles with love just like the rest of us. (Advice columnists, just like us!) At the end of each essay about her life, she adds a letter or two from her column that is relevant to her life. Goldstein's memoir was also a great reminder that we are all full humans with our own tragedies and flaws; Can't Help Myself made me feel all the feelings. I'm not exaggerating when I say I was laughing and crying quite often! Goldstein shares with her readers how her life was far from perfect and how she struggles with love just like the rest of us. (Advice columnists, just like us!) At the end of each essay about her life, she adds a letter or two from her column that is relevant to her life. Goldstein's memoir was also a great reminder that we are all full humans with our own tragedies and flaws; we are all works in progress. I was amazed at her ability to approach her column and the letters sent to her with such love and compassion, and I was in awe of her self-reflection and how she uses that to constantly grow and to overcome any biases (mostly about men!). Her essays about her mother and her illness are poignant and so perfect. And Goldstein's love for her family and friends pours from the page reminding you that life is about more than just romantic love. Read this!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Marcia Porter

    As a sporadic advice column reader, I picked up the ARC of this book with the idea that it would be a compilation of letters and responses. It was much more. I enjoyed that Goldstein not only shared her columns, responses, and reader responses but couched it within the context of her own life. How would I summarize this book? Life is real in different ways for each of us, we all hit speedbumps of various sizes, and who couldn't use some advice along the way? Reality with a dose of humor and gril As a sporadic advice column reader, I picked up the ARC of this book with the idea that it would be a compilation of letters and responses. It was much more. I enjoyed that Goldstein not only shared her columns, responses, and reader responses but couched it within the context of her own life. How would I summarize this book? Life is real in different ways for each of us, we all hit speedbumps of various sizes, and who couldn't use some advice along the way? Reality with a dose of humor and grilled cheese. {Enjoyed it enough that I may have to bookmark Love Letters page on the Boston Globe site.}

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    This was a book that was actually quite humorous, but after a few chapters I was wondering “what’s the point?” Not everyone should write a memoir. It reminds me of the whole “I write a blog therefore I should write a book” era. I had no real reason to trudge forward other than “well, I’ve gone this far”. I actually liked the author and her writing style. That said, that doesn’t make a sustaining book.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Paige

    I mean, the premise was certainly interesting. The first two chapters were great. But then it got so redundant and boring and I couldn’t make myself care aside from when she lost her mother. The book wasn’t funny, engaging or connection-fostering. Her life seemed the most uninteresting out of everyone mentioned in this book. This just felt like a book that didn’t need to be written, or one that someone else in her family could’ve written better.

  30. 4 out of 5

    David

    I haven't lived in Boston since her advice column started in the Globe, so I wasn't familiar with her but am now a fan. Very well-structured book, organized by major topic of the questions she gets [online dating, dating someone from work, platonic opposite-sex friendships, dating when chronically ill.............]. Most chapters are an extended reflection of how the issue has played out in her own life, a reprinted column with a question on that topic and her response, plus selected comments fr I haven't lived in Boston since her advice column started in the Globe, so I wasn't familiar with her but am now a fan. Very well-structured book, organized by major topic of the questions she gets [online dating, dating someone from work, platonic opposite-sex friendships, dating when chronically ill.............]. Most chapters are an extended reflection of how the issue has played out in her own life, a reprinted column with a question on that topic and her response, plus selected comments from her readers. I was particularly impressed that the readers seem to have formed a durable community of constructive advice givers. They rally to her with support when her Mom died after extended suffering from cancer, for instance. The Date Lab [Wx Post magazine] comments section is by contrast a cesspool in which the main variance is whether the antagonism is directed at one or both of the subjects of that week's column vs. the writer. anyway, a quick read but with real depth and thoughtfulness on the various issues. seems not to take herself overly seriously but does show respect and compassion for the people writing in with concerns. Reminds me of how much I liked Carolyn Hax at first -- still read and admire her, but there's a shelf life for any reader/columnist connection I think. There are only so many issues, and after a while the response is too predictable. After the first 1,000 Hax recommendations that the person really ought to read The Gift of Fear, for instance, the impact wears off.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...