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I Miss You When I Blink: Essays

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Acclaimed essayist and bookseller Mary Laura Philpott presents a charmingly relatable and wise memoir-in-essays about what happened after she checked off all the boxes on her successful life’s to-do list and realized she might need to reinvent the list—and herself. Mary Laura Philpott thought she’d cracked the code: Always be right, and you’ll always be happy. But once sh Acclaimed essayist and bookseller Mary Laura Philpott presents a charmingly relatable and wise memoir-in-essays about what happened after she checked off all the boxes on her successful life’s to-do list and realized she might need to reinvent the list—and herself. Mary Laura Philpott thought she’d cracked the code: Always be right, and you’ll always be happy. But once she’d completed her life’s to-do list (job, spouse, house, babies—check!), she found that instead of feeling content and successful, she felt anxious. Lost. Stuck in a daily grind of overflowing calendars, grueling small talk, and sprawling traffic. She’d done everything “right,” but she felt all wrong. What’s the worse failure, she wondered: smiling and staying the course, or blowing it all up and running away? And are those the only options? In this memoir-in-essays full of spot-on observations about home, work, and creative life, Philpott takes on the conflicting pressures of modern adulthood with wit and heart. She offers up her own stories to show that identity crises don’t happen just once or only at midlife; reassures us that small, recurring personal re-inventions are both normal and necessary; and advises that if you’re going to faint, you should get low to the ground first. Most of all, Philpott shows that when you stop feeling satisfied with your life, you don’t have to burn it all down and set off on a transcontinental hike (unless you want to, of course). You can call upon your many selves to figure out who you are, who you’re not, and where you belong. Who among us isn’t trying to do that? Like a pep talk from a sister, I Miss You When I Blink is the funny, poignant, and deeply affecting book you’ll want to share with all your friends, as you learn what Philpott has figured out along the way: that multiple things can be true of us at once—and that sometimes doing things wrong is the way to do life right.


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Acclaimed essayist and bookseller Mary Laura Philpott presents a charmingly relatable and wise memoir-in-essays about what happened after she checked off all the boxes on her successful life’s to-do list and realized she might need to reinvent the list—and herself. Mary Laura Philpott thought she’d cracked the code: Always be right, and you’ll always be happy. But once sh Acclaimed essayist and bookseller Mary Laura Philpott presents a charmingly relatable and wise memoir-in-essays about what happened after she checked off all the boxes on her successful life’s to-do list and realized she might need to reinvent the list—and herself. Mary Laura Philpott thought she’d cracked the code: Always be right, and you’ll always be happy. But once she’d completed her life’s to-do list (job, spouse, house, babies—check!), she found that instead of feeling content and successful, she felt anxious. Lost. Stuck in a daily grind of overflowing calendars, grueling small talk, and sprawling traffic. She’d done everything “right,” but she felt all wrong. What’s the worse failure, she wondered: smiling and staying the course, or blowing it all up and running away? And are those the only options? In this memoir-in-essays full of spot-on observations about home, work, and creative life, Philpott takes on the conflicting pressures of modern adulthood with wit and heart. She offers up her own stories to show that identity crises don’t happen just once or only at midlife; reassures us that small, recurring personal re-inventions are both normal and necessary; and advises that if you’re going to faint, you should get low to the ground first. Most of all, Philpott shows that when you stop feeling satisfied with your life, you don’t have to burn it all down and set off on a transcontinental hike (unless you want to, of course). You can call upon your many selves to figure out who you are, who you’re not, and where you belong. Who among us isn’t trying to do that? Like a pep talk from a sister, I Miss You When I Blink is the funny, poignant, and deeply affecting book you’ll want to share with all your friends, as you learn what Philpott has figured out along the way: that multiple things can be true of us at once—and that sometimes doing things wrong is the way to do life right.

30 review for I Miss You When I Blink: Essays

  1. 5 out of 5

    JanB

    I knew the author and I were simpatico when, in her first essay, she tells the story of having no sense of direction and she loses her car in a parking garage. This is my life and I’m totally stealing her tip to start taking pictures as a bread crumb trail. And then there’s her to-do list. I thought I was the only crazy person who had a post-it note addiction. Like the author, If it’s not on my list and I complete a task I will write it down just to have the satisfaction of crossing it off. Hello I knew the author and I were simpatico when, in her first essay, she tells the story of having no sense of direction and she loses her car in a parking garage. This is my life and I’m totally stealing her tip to start taking pictures as a bread crumb trail. And then there’s her to-do list. I thought I was the only crazy person who had a post-it note addiction. Like the author, If it’s not on my list and I complete a task I will write it down just to have the satisfaction of crossing it off. Hello Type A Personality, I get you! Plus she loves animals. How can you not love someone who loves animals? I’m not going through a career crisis or depression, and I’m on the other side of raising children and suffering career angst. But, I still related to many of her thoughts and feelings as she reflects on her life and re-invents herself. I think all women, young or old, single or married, working or retired, with children or childless, will find much that resonates. In other words, women of all ages and stages of life will find something in this collection that speaks to them. I highly recommend listening to this book on audio, as the narrator is the author telling her own story in her own words. Although, I’m glad I also have a hard copy so I can re-read it with my tin of book darts at my side. Another terrific buddy read with Marialyce and one we both recommend! My only complaint? I wanted more.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    4.5, rounded up in a blink Wow. I just love the title of this book! And it sent me right down memory lane. I’m waving my hand in the air, desperately signaling, “Me too! I put ‘blink’ in a title, too! We’re twins!” No, no, no, “blink” wasn’t in a title of a story I wrote. It was in the title of a necklace I made. Seriously. The inspiration came when I was 30,000 feet in the air, a place where I hate to be (“feet on the ground” is my motto). As always, I tried to tune out the flight attendant as sh 4.5, rounded up in a blink Wow. I just love the title of this book! And it sent me right down memory lane. I’m waving my hand in the air, desperately signaling, “Me too! I put ‘blink’ in a title, too! We’re twins!” No, no, no, “blink” wasn’t in a title of a story I wrote. It was in the title of a necklace I made. Seriously. The inspiration came when I was 30,000 feet in the air, a place where I hate to be (“feet on the ground” is my motto). As always, I tried to tune out the flight attendant as she gave us the scary mask demo. Man, she looked just like Naomi Campbell—you know, the gorgeous model with the gorgeous black skin? She was in the aisle, mask in hand, explaining away, but I saw no mask and heard no words. Instead, I was glued to her eyes, which were big and beautiful. Well, actually I was glued to her blink. Because when she blinked, it revealed her huge eyelids, which were painted a breath-taking iridescent yellow, with a tinge of lime green. The yellow went up down up down like a curtain during encores. Yellow against her black skin—just gorgeous! I wanted her to keep her eyelids in the down position so I could stare at the twin curtains longer, but alas, she was full of blink and I just caught teaser glimpses. Flight over, I got a close-up view of her blink as she thanked me for flying United. Ding ding, it hit me—I had to make a necklace in her name. I found the perfect artisan beads that matched the color of the infamous eyelids. The necklace was loud and subtle at the same time. I named my necklace “Stewardess Blinking.” A long-ago friend went cuckoo over it and bought it. I want to steal it back. This happened eons ago, in my jewelry-making days; who knows the fate of Stewardess Blinking. Like you needed to hear all of that! Sorry, I just had to get my blink story off my chest. On to this book, this wonderful book! I didn’t love it instantly, though. In the first essay, the author explains the book title, and to tell you the truth, I was kind of pissed. I’m sure you’ll laugh when I say that SHE overexplained it. (The pot calling the kettle black, wouldn’t you say?) The fact that her young son is responsible for the title is just great, but she could have stopped there. She went on and on, like she wanted to think of every possible permutation of the phrase. In other words, she beat the blink topic to death. I resented her trying to fill my head with her ideas; I had my own feeling about the cool phrase (and I secretly thought it was better than hers), so I just wanted her to leave me alone. Don’t worry, I’m not going to go essay by essay. I’ll just say that after the sort of rough start, I loved everything. Actually, going in, I thought the book might be lightweight and trite, but Philpott is a wise little cookie—and endearingly self-effacing and funny. If I could choose only three words to describe this book, they would be “smart, funny, and relatable.” Like other reviewers, I think that every woman will find something in the book to relate to. Philpott is a Type A personality, which I most definitely am not. But we have several things in common. For one, it’s the crazy editor in us. Here’s a favorite quote: “I’m just hostile like a crazy person who wants to gouge her eyes out when she sees grammatical errors on billboards. LOWEST PRICE’S—I can hardly stand it.” And there are at least two other ways we’re alike: neither of us has a sense of direction (she has a hilarious story about being lost in a parking garage) and both of us love making lists. Ha, and we are both cheating list-makers, which means we’ll add an item to our To-Do list AFTER we’ve done it, and then shamelessly cross it off. And of course we expect to get credit for this! There isn’t just funny stuff, though. One thing I really loved were her thoughts about memory and time, and about how we have many versions of ourselves. She spent a lot of time on this and it was fascinating—though when she started to talk about identity, I was a little wary that it would be too self-helpy. It wasn’t. She ponders: wouldn’t it be cool to go back for one day of each version of yourself? I’m always immensely sad that I can’t re-create what it felt like to be a mom of little kids, which was the favorite time in my life. That was a version of myself that I no longer know. I would so love to be able to live a day from that time. This is some of her wisdom: -Knowing that someone else has it worse doesn’t lessen your own pain. (I will add that it increases your guilt and your need to hide it.) -“When you internalize what you believe to be someone else’s opinion of you, it becomes your opinion of you.” -“[The Roomba] zigged and zagged across the rug, bouncing off obstacles—eager and blind, purposeful and aimless at the same time. ‘Look,’ my friend said. ‘It’s like a drunk bee.’ ‘Or us in our twenties,’ I said.” One of my favorite things she said: “….right looks different to everyone, apparently. Maybe we all walk around assuming everyone is interpreting the world the same way we are, and being surprised when they aren’t, and that’s the loneliness and confusion of the human experience in a nutshell…” Just an aside—the author works at Parnassus Books, a bookstore in Nashville, Tennessee, which is owned and run by Ann Patchett, one of my favorite authors. This makes me like Philpott even more. Anyone who gets to work with Patchett is lucky and bow-worthy. (I’m jealous—I would die to work in that bookstore!) I know Philpott’s job there helped her book sales, which is a good thing since it’s such an excellent book. The marketing blurb compares the author to Nora Ephron, someone whose essays make me haul out my pogo stick and hop with abandon. (Check out her I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman.) I can see similarities, but Ephron is wittier, way more cynical, and definitely more acerbic; very hip New York-ish and a bit of a name-dropper. Philpott is tamer, less pushy, and more analytical. I think she has a little more food for thought, but I need to reread Ephron to see. Both of them are bigtime relatable and both make me laugh. What I missed? Cussing and a little edge, a little wild and crazy, maybe a vice or two. But you can’t have everything. And it’s not her fault that she isn’t a screamer. She made me laugh and she made me think, and she did so with a clear and lively style. That’s plenty. Highly recommend.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Elyse Walters

    Audiobook.. narrated by the author. Mary Laura Philpott is so enjoyable!! .....wise, savvy, smart, funny! “What happens when you check off off the boxes on your to-do list and realize you might need to reinvent the list—and yourself?” Maybe.....that’s why most of us never complete our to-do lists....we’re afraid to reinvent ourselves. Ha! Very satisfying Audiobook..... looking at life in CHUNKS!!!! “I Miss You When I Blink”.. is marvelous!!!!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Skyler Autumn

    2 Stars Ummmm, this was not great and I'm a little surprised by that. This book is quite hyped up and being compared to a personal favourite read of mine The Rules Don't Apply by Ariel Levy so I did go into this book expecting a lot more substance than was actually delivered. I Miss You When I Blink was slated as a collection of personal essays that address feelings of depression, anxiety and inadequacy amidst having what most (everyone honestly) would classify as a very successful, loving and 2 Stars Ummmm, this was not great and I'm a little surprised by that. This book is quite hyped up and being compared to a personal favourite read of mine The Rules Don't Apply by Ariel Levy so I did go into this book expecting a lot more substance than was actually delivered. I Miss You When I Blink was slated as a collection of personal essays that address feelings of depression, anxiety and inadequacy amidst having what most (everyone honestly) would classify as a very successful, loving and well-rounded life. Now I'm not on the bandwagon of most people that are rolling their eyes at what they classify as "white privilege problems." Honestly I don't care where you're at in life everyone is entitled to their feelings and if you're writing about your life that's just the beach you're coming from. So for me the subject matter wasn't the issue it was the way it was delivered. This book was suppose to be about the author going through a hard time in her life yet at no point did any of these essays dive deep enough to capture that. They were less about life stories and more about personal mantras or letters of appreciation to type-a personalities which just came across like one of those therapy exercises where you have to write an imaginary letter to someone or something of significance. Which I assume is quite therapeutic to write but it is quite dull to read. It just felt like the whole time I was trying to understand why she was sad, and if she even was that sad, and wait is it cause we all die in the end? When a book is this generic and surface it just doesn't impact you, and honestly I'd give it an hour before I'm no longer am able to recap what I just read to anyone. Bit bummed I thought this book was going to be really great.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)

    How can we sum up our life's experiences? Does it boil down to a word, to a moment, to an event that defines us and makes us who we are? In this collection of essays, one might find oneself totally depicted as a wife, a mother, a person so trying to achieve that excellence that our mothers so ingrained in us. Is this a revelation that happens at a certain age, a time when we feel the years speeding up so much that you want to yell "stop". I want this day, this hour, this minute, to hold still, t How can we sum up our life's experiences? Does it boil down to a word, to a moment, to an event that defines us and makes us who we are? In this collection of essays, one might find oneself totally depicted as a wife, a mother, a person so trying to achieve that excellence that our mothers so ingrained in us. Is this a revelation that happens at a certain age, a time when we feel the years speeding up so much that you want to yell "stop". I want this day, this hour, this minute, to hold still, to never leave, to always be the moment I am living through. Unfortunately, as the author so wonderfully tells us these moments are fleeting, yet they so define the person you are. We are products of our upbringing and we become, perish the thought, but it happens, what our mothers were. How many times have I said while growing up, I would never do or say that? And yet, here I am doing and saying exactly that. Have I wanted my children to be perfect? A definite yes because my mother required I be perfect. However, as I grew into parenthood, I found that all the things I thought were perfection were allusions for my kids were people not little robots that I could program with the result I so desired. As I read more of these essays, I realized that Mary Philpott was on the very same journey as I, as all mothers, and wives find themselves on. Looking back at the mistakes, finding fun in the life of family, and making lots of decisions that perhaps might not work out the way we wanted them to. After all that's life, is it not? Sometimes it's so strange seeing oneself inside the pages of a book that someone else wrote. How could they know your life? How could they be a part of the way things were in your history? Did they follow you around and see exactly how your life was unfolding, or is it that their experiences as a mother, wife, and worker in life, that make their experiences so much like yours? Jan and I saw ourselves reflected in this book and all the things we thought were only ours turned out to be theirs. Our duo reviews can be seen here: http://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpress...

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ashlee Ward

    DNF. Okay, so some of these essays may have made me giggle, but, ultimately, what’s the purpose of this? This is going to sound harsh, but it’s clear that some people get to publish a book just because they have money. This book is an affluent white lady’s blog in print. I want a book to do more for me than this...I want a bit more substance, even if we’re simply talking essays.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Christy

    I LOVED this! I don't really know what to say about this, but I found it EXTREMELY relatable and real. Plus I think I read it at a perfect time in my life. I can totally relate to feeling the way she did with life much of the time. You have a good job, a house you own, two beautiful kids.... yet you still feel lost, anxious, and out of sorts. You feel stuck in the relentless cycle of balancing daily home and work life. Her personal essays show you that it's okay to take a time out and have "pers I LOVED this! I don't really know what to say about this, but I found it EXTREMELY relatable and real. Plus I think I read it at a perfect time in my life. I can totally relate to feeling the way she did with life much of the time. You have a good job, a house you own, two beautiful kids.... yet you still feel lost, anxious, and out of sorts. You feel stuck in the relentless cycle of balancing daily home and work life. Her personal essays show you that it's okay to take a time out and have "personal re-inventions". It doesn't have to happen at the typical "mid-life crisis" time. And that's exactly what I did this weekend. I took a little mini getaway all alone, and I didn't make myself feel guilty about the time spent away. Highly recommend on audio, as the author narrated this herself.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tyler Goodson

    This book will make you feel better. Mary Laura is open and honest about personal anxiety, family life, professional complacency, and, of course, the existential damage wreaked by Atlanta traffic. She makes you feel less alone, and encouraged, and confident. It's like hanging out with your best friend, your life coach, and your favorite writer all at once. I Miss You When I Blink is an impossibly perfect reading experience. This book will make you feel better. Mary Laura is open and honest about personal anxiety, family life, professional complacency, and, of course, the existential damage wreaked by Atlanta traffic. She makes you feel less alone, and encouraged, and confident. It's like hanging out with your best friend, your life coach, and your favorite writer all at once. I Miss You When I Blink is an impossibly perfect reading experience.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Esil

    3.5 stars Another one I should have reviewed a long time ago... I listened to I Miss You When I Blink as an audio, which worked well. These are personal essays by Mary Laura Philpott. She talks about her childhood, her college years and her years as an adult with young children. There’s nothing dramatic about her life but she’s honest, which is what I appreciated most. There’s a good balance of humour and painful self-examination. While I listened to the audio, I had received an ARC from the publis 3.5 stars Another one I should have reviewed a long time ago... I listened to I Miss You When I Blink as an audio, which worked well. These are personal essays by Mary Laura Philpott. She talks about her childhood, her college years and her years as an adult with young children. There’s nothing dramatic about her life but she’s honest, which is what I appreciated most. There’s a good balance of humour and painful self-examination. While I listened to the audio, I had received an ARC from the publisher. I definitely recommend the audio.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Janelle Janson

    Thank you so much Atria Books for my free copy! I MISS YOU WHEN I BLINK is a personal, witty, and heartfelt collection of essays where every sentence is pure gold. Philpott writes beautifully and with such authenticity I felt like I was getting to know a friend. Like everyone, there are milestones in my life that I want to go back and revisit but the moments are gone and memories are all that is left. “You can stand by your past decisions even if they took you to a present where you don’t belong Thank you so much Atria Books for my free copy! I MISS YOU WHEN I BLINK is a personal, witty, and heartfelt collection of essays where every sentence is pure gold. Philpott writes beautifully and with such authenticity I felt like I was getting to know a friend. Like everyone, there are milestones in my life that I want to go back and revisit but the moments are gone and memories are all that is left. “You can stand by your past decisions even if they took you to a present where you don’t belong anymore.” This memoir style essay collection especially spoke to me regarding living up to self-proclaimed expectations and the worry that comes with that. Philpott touches on identity, anxiety, family, career, and failure, all in a very insightful, relatable, and intelligent way. I laughed out loud, and at moments felt very sad, but I enjoyed every minute of it. Her message of it’s alright not to be perfect is encouraging and hopeful. This was the perfect book for me to read right now - pure perfection.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Diane Yannick

    This author bashed a women’s night out because they talked so much about how to make chicken salad. WELL, THIS IS WHAT THE WHOLE DAMNED BOOK WAS LIKE FOR ME. It took forever to make a point and often the point wasn’t even worth making. She whined and made problems where none existed. She wallowed in her privilege without even recognizing it. She kept seeking “some acknowledgment from somewhere that I was important”. Yep, that pretty much sums it up. I liked the title.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    This was such an enjoyable memoir to listen to! Philpott is wise and funny and writes about small moments in an entertaining way. Her essays invite the reader into her life and elevate the daily grind into something illuminating.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Corrin Foster

    Very surprised that this book received so much hype. Kudos to the marketing and PR team.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    “I Miss You When I Blink” is a book club read that resonated with our group because author Mary Laura Philpott’s self deprecating humor made us all see ourselves in her stories. I’m not a fan of Memoirs, mostly because I think the author is coloring their story in the best possible light. Philpott doesn’t do that. In fact, one of her chapters is entitled “Ungrateful Bitch” because she realizes all her problems are first world problem, yet, we are all entitled to feeling disappointed or frustrate “I Miss You When I Blink” is a book club read that resonated with our group because author Mary Laura Philpott’s self deprecating humor made us all see ourselves in her stories. I’m not a fan of Memoirs, mostly because I think the author is coloring their story in the best possible light. Philpott doesn’t do that. In fact, one of her chapters is entitled “Ungrateful Bitch” because she realizes all her problems are first world problem, yet, we are all entitled to feeling disappointed or frustrated with our awesome lives. Yet…aren’t we really ungrateful B’s? Beyond that, her essays state the obvious such as our need to repeatedly recalibrate our lives. We don’t recognize this as we do it. Or, when we become stuck it’s because we aren’t recalibrating. She makes fun of herself. She states the ordinary with humor. I enjoyed her group of essays, some more than others. This is an easy book to pick up to read when time allows. It’s a collection of essays that seem like short stories. For those old enough, she’s similar to Erma Bombeck. I read this over a weekend. I enjoyed my curled-up couch time.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Maxine

    Meh. Parts were funny, but this read like a collection of blog posts, not polished essays.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jessica J.

    Believe the hype on this one; it's flippin' brilliant. More to come. Believe the hype on this one; it's flippin' brilliant. More to come.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    Really loved this one!

  18. 5 out of 5

    britt_brooke

    Smart, witty personal essays are some of my favorite reading. Philpott reminds us that being an adult, even one who seemingly has everything, is hard and periodically sucks. Sometimes we have to step back and assess ourselves; tweak a few things or make drastic changes. As someone who has moved a lot, I understand that urge (though, like Philpott, I currently reside in the Nashville area and quite like it). I enjoyed these stories, but feel like they scratch the surface. I’d read the hell out of Smart, witty personal essays are some of my favorite reading. Philpott reminds us that being an adult, even one who seemingly has everything, is hard and periodically sucks. Sometimes we have to step back and assess ourselves; tweak a few things or make drastic changes. As someone who has moved a lot, I understand that urge (though, like Philpott, I currently reside in the Nashville area and quite like it). I enjoyed these stories, but feel like they scratch the surface. I’d read the hell out of a full-on memoir. Thank you to NetGalley and Atria Books for the opportunity to read and review this collection!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Debbie "DJ"

    Okay, so it’s like pulling teeth to get me to read short stories. Now my friend wants me to read essays? Oh hell no...but the pleading? What can I do but say okayyy already! I am eating every word I said against essays. These were fantastic! They were smart, funny, and oh so well written. Loved every minute, and couldn’t wait to get back to reading them! You win my friend!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kristy K

    3.5 Stars I’m learning that I really like memoirs in essay form, or maybe just essays in general. Philpott fills hers with relatable anecdotes and a great mixture of humor and authenticity. I received an advanced copy through Netgalley in return for an honest review.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Andrea (EvergreensAndBookishThings)

    This collection of essays was super high on my to-be-read list. Two of my favorite books of 2018 could be described similarly (Heating & Cooling and Tell Me More). And on paper, this practically shouts YOU ARE THE TARGET AUDIENCE. I was born a year before the author and have checked all those boxes and, yes, can sometimes be type-A and a little anxious. Plus she works at Parnassus! It's blurbed by Ann Patchett! Although, while relatable in many ways, it didn't engage me like I hoped it would. Thi This collection of essays was super high on my to-be-read list. Two of my favorite books of 2018 could be described similarly (Heating & Cooling and Tell Me More). And on paper, this practically shouts YOU ARE THE TARGET AUDIENCE. I was born a year before the author and have checked all those boxes and, yes, can sometimes be type-A and a little anxious. Plus she works at Parnassus! It's blurbed by Ann Patchett! Although, while relatable in many ways, it didn't engage me like I hoped it would. This is most likely boils down to a case of "it's not you, it's me" as I'm rather finicky about my nonfiction. If I'm going to read a memoir, I think it needs to be about someone already interesting I want to learn more about (Busy Philips), a fascinating subject I want to learn more about (any Bill Bryson book, Lab Girl) or really emotionally vulnerable, which I'd argue all of the examples I mentioned fit that bill. These essays, while revealing, felt like quick and fleeting anecdotes that were heavy on her personal philosophy and light on her life experiences. I mean, I feel as if I know Kelly Corrigan's entire network of friends and family and want to hug them all. I can't even remember Philpott's husband's name. Perhaps I should have taken the 'essays' in lieu of 'memoir' in the title to heart. I got the impression that the main thrust of the book is that we all have our struggles and we are still valid in feeling our pain, even though it may seem less than others people's pain. This message seemed to repeat in a variety of humorous ways, especially her metaphors: from DVF dresses to buckets of crabs or chocolate chip cookies are utilized in unlikely ways. Though very true, I often thought that she was stating the obvious. I think that's why this collection will resonate for those looking for a laugh. Good humor usually employs empathy, the old "funny because it's true" and we all laugh because we can relate. Witty, for sure, but I didn't feel moved or enlightened. The description also states 'you don't have to set of on a transcontinental hike' to feel satisfied with your life. Yet, essentially, she does run away and has the privilege to do so. Philpott absolutely calls out her privilege, at least, dedicating an entire chapter to the subject. But I am not sure she gets the extent of it, if she doesn't consider being able to flee her life (even if it's for a short time because of a house sitting gig) an enormous privilege that ends up affording her great opportunities. If you're a fan of humorously written essays about the everyday struggles of a white, middle aged mom balancing career and family, this would certainly fit the bill. I'd say it's a good read alike to Anna Quindlen's Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake. Definitely well written, just not to my taste. Many thanks to Atria Books and NetGalley for the complimentary advance digital copy in exchange for my honest review! For more reviews and bookish musings visit http://www.bornandreadinchicago.com/

  22. 5 out of 5

    Amy Imogene Reads

    4 stars I loved this small collection of essays, but I think read it at the wrong stage of my life. Writing: ★★★★★ Feelings: ★★★★ 1/2 Relatability: ★★★★ I Miss You When I Blink: Essays was a cover that refused to let me ignore it in my local bookstore. I hovered around it for weeks. "I miss you when I blink," I thought. "Huh." And then I went home and I thought about it. A lot. The cycle repeated until I finally broke down and walked out with my own copy. Let's get this out of the way first—the writ 4 stars I loved this small collection of essays, but I think read it at the wrong stage of my life. Writing: ★★★★★ Feelings: ★★★★ 1/2 Relatability: ★★★★ I Miss You When I Blink: Essays was a cover that refused to let me ignore it in my local bookstore. I hovered around it for weeks. "I miss you when I blink," I thought. "Huh." And then I went home and I thought about it. A lot. The cycle repeated until I finally broke down and walked out with my own copy. Let's get this out of the way first—the writing is gorgeous. I feel like I know Mary Laura Philpott now to the depths of my soul, and not just because of what she shared about her own life. It was the way she shared it, and the patchwork of her insecurities and dreams and feelings of displacement within a life where you feel like all of your past, present, and future selves are all vying for your attention, all the time. Yes girl, I thought repeatedly. I feel you, me too. I think this collection of essays was near perfect, but not for me at 24. Me at 24 is a girl who is in her first few jobs, settling in to her life-long partnership with her boyfriend, and trying to assess where she's going in the next five years and what that future looks like. Mary Laura Philpott's essays predominately feature her life musings as they revolve around motherhood, feelings of displacement as a middle-aged woman, and looking to the future as a woman feeling bound by all of her past selves and present responsibilities. I just don't know those worries, those fears, and those joys yet. For that reason, I had a hard time connecting with some of these essays. The writing was so relatable that I felt I was able to empathize, but there was still that fundamental lack that screamed "you haven't been there yet." But, that's not to say that I never will. I think one of the most poignant aspects of this slim collection is that it comforts even as it depicts stress and struggle. It's alright that I'm not ready yet, I will be someday. And when I am, I can always pick it up again and remember that Mary Laura did it, and it was okay. She turned out all right, and I will too.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Renee (itsbooktalk)

    4.5 rounded up “I know already how much I miss things that happened in the past- how they’re right there behind my eyelids but also gone forever. “ This quote and so many others in @marylauraphilpott ‘s new memoir really spoke to me. As a mom to one son already in college and the next (and last) son heading there in the fall, I often wish I could go back in time, just for a day and revisit them when they were young children. Those moments are right there in my memory, but as Mary said...gone fore 4.5 rounded up “I know already how much I miss things that happened in the past- how they’re right there behind my eyelids but also gone forever. “ This quote and so many others in @marylauraphilpott ‘s new memoir really spoke to me. As a mom to one son already in college and the next (and last) son heading there in the fall, I often wish I could go back in time, just for a day and revisit them when they were young children. Those moments are right there in my memory, but as Mary said...gone forever. I don’t want to give the impression this was at all a sad book, in fact, it was just the opposite. I laughed at so many of Mary’s accurate observations and I related to just about everything in this book! I finally had to give up highlighting quotes on my kindle since there was so much I wanted to remember and will just wait until the book is released so I can buy my own copy:) Written in a conversational style, this funny, insightful, and poignant memoir reads like an evening of wine and honest conversation with your closest friend! I loved it!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Erica

    This was fine. I really enjoy memoirs as a genre, and I appreciate memoir/essay collections like this one as easy-to-read, relaxing books. I Miss You When I Blink is a pretty standard book from the memoir genre - the writing is good (if not particularly insightful or witty) and the essays are enjoyable enough (although some are better than others) - but there's nothing particularly special or compelling about this book to meaningfully differentiate it from others. A few passages here and there s This was fine. I really enjoy memoirs as a genre, and I appreciate memoir/essay collections like this one as easy-to-read, relaxing books. I Miss You When I Blink is a pretty standard book from the memoir genre - the writing is good (if not particularly insightful or witty) and the essays are enjoyable enough (although some are better than others) - but there's nothing particularly special or compelling about this book to meaningfully differentiate it from others. A few passages here and there stood out to me, but for the most part Philpott's essays are shallow and uninspiring. She doesn't push back as a writer; her thoughts about motherhood, etc., are nothing we haven't encountered in a million other books. Philpott stays safely on the surface. Still, if you read memoirs like this one for enjoyment, you might appreciate it. I don't think I'll remember anything about this book one year from now, but I enjoyed the reading experience.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Diane Barnes

    The author is a Type A, driven, perfectionist, competitive workaholic, who always needs to be right and pile up compliments and kudos to prove her self worth. I am none of those things, but I know people who are, so it was worth reading to figure out what makes them tick. It was also very funny, as Philpott knows how to make fun of herself.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Melanie H

    3.5 stars with the caveat that if you’re a certain class of white woman on the far side of 40, this might hit a little too close to home. Also, full disclosure: I won this in a Goodreads give away! Charming. Thought-provoking. And infuriating in the all the ways today’s upper middle-class white women can be. Or maybe I just related to Philpott’s essays more than I’d care to admit. I imagine if I had children, this book would describe my adult experiences to a tee. For all the overachievers in the 3.5 stars with the caveat that if you’re a certain class of white woman on the far side of 40, this might hit a little too close to home. Also, full disclosure: I won this in a Goodreads give away! Charming. Thought-provoking. And infuriating in the all the ways today’s upper middle-class white women can be. Or maybe I just related to Philpott’s essays more than I’d care to admit. I imagine if I had children, this book would describe my adult experiences to a tee. For all the overachievers in the group, you’ve been there. Checking off the boxes, moving from one accomplishment to another. Always top of the class. Always. But suddenly you find yourself an adult, no more boxes to check off, lost. And your mind starts to wander, seeking that time machine. Where’s that Melanie who stayed in Chicago after college to work on the Jenny Jones Show? Where’s that Melanie who took the job as a brand manager for Charles David shoes? See the thing is, I want to know. I want to know in my very bones where these “other Melanies” are playing out their lives, only I cannot. There is no choose your own adventure where you can skip to the ending, just this one life you’re living. For the friends who are younger than I am, you may already have glimpsed this, but Philpott’s essays are a great reminder: it goes so fast. So fast! You will wake up to realize you’re closer to 50 than 25 and can’t imagine where all that sand slipped through your fingers. It gets worse and it gets better. And now for the infuriating part, and kudos to Philpott for tackling it head on: I feel like such an ungrateful bitch. I am well educated, financially secure, have access to healthcare, and here I am whining about my lack of accomplishments. Privilege can smack you in the face, too. But does it? Worth discussing. PS I’ve totally journaled episodes of the Young & the Restless during school break in elementary and junior high. Hey, we grew up before the inter webs, what do you expect!?

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kelsey (Kelseylovesbooks)

    I Miss You When I Blink spoke to a spiritual level within me. At times, it was like Mary was looking into my soul and saying “As a type-A person who likes control, I know you need to hear this.” And within the essay titled “A Letter to the Type a Person in Distress”, that is literally what she was doing. I felt seen by this book, I laughed during this book, and I gained permission I didn’t know I needed from this book. Several essays are about Mary’s life with children, and while I do not have ch I Miss You When I Blink spoke to a spiritual level within me. At times, it was like Mary was looking into my soul and saying “As a type-A person who likes control, I know you need to hear this.” And within the essay titled “A Letter to the Type a Person in Distress”, that is literally what she was doing. I felt seen by this book, I laughed during this book, and I gained permission I didn’t know I needed from this book. Several essays are about Mary’s life with children, and while I do not have children, I still found the essays humorous and knew that if I did/do have children, this is likely exactly how I will be as a parent. I could have read twenty more essays by her, and I hope that in the future she publishes another set of essays, because I would definitely read it. I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    Reviewed on: Ashes Books & Bobs. I decided to pick up I Miss You When I Blink with one of my Libro.fm credits and I’m so glad I did. I love listening to audiobooks narrated by the author because it allows readers to catch all of the inflections and the tone behind the words on the page. It makes the reading experience feel more personal. This book was one of the most honest, authentic reading experiences I’ve come across and it was 1000% refreshing. “Maybe we all walk around assuming everyone is i Reviewed on: Ashes Books & Bobs. I decided to pick up I Miss You When I Blink with one of my Libro.fm credits and I’m so glad I did. I love listening to audiobooks narrated by the author because it allows readers to catch all of the inflections and the tone behind the words on the page. It makes the reading experience feel more personal. This book was one of the most honest, authentic reading experiences I’ve come across and it was 1000% refreshing. “Maybe we all walk around assuming everyone is interpreting the world the same way we are, and being surprised when they aren’t, and that’s the loneliness and confusion of the human experience in a nutshell.” If I was a better writer, I feel like this is exactly the type of book I would hope to write. It was intensely relatable, the kind of book that makes one say, “Oh my gosh, me too! I thought I was the only one.” Mary Laura Philpott has a way of putting our most personal thoughts in written form on just about every topic a woman will experience in life. She touches on motherhood, self, being a wife, career woman, and more with a dash of humor and wisdom. I couldn’t get enough. Naturally, some essays will be more relatable than others depending on each person’s experiences, but overall, the whole experience of this book was fun to listen to. “Sometimes, in moments of memory or daydream, I feel the different iterations of myself pass by each other, as if right-now-me crosses paths with past-me or imaginary-me or even future-me in the hallways of my mind. “I miss you when I blink,” one says. “I’m right here,” says the other, and reaches out of hand.” I especially loved when she talked about the variety of versions of ourselves we become in life. We are all a compilation of every age we’ve been, yet others only see who we are at this very present moment. It’s sometimes hard to have this huge world inside ourselves and only be able to convey a small part of who we are to those around us. I relate. This book fully allows readers to submerge themselves in the mind of someone else. I think that’s what made me enjoy it as much as I did. It’s always interesting to experience the unfiltered thoughts of someone else, simply to see if we think the same way. In my opinion, if we could all be a little more honest with our communication, in the same way Mary Laura was with us, the world would be better off. If you’re looking for a nice short read or listen, I recommend checking out this compilation of essays!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Brittany | thebookishfiiasco

    (@atriabooks #partner) . this was one of the most pleasant, funny, real, honest, and friendly reads i’ve ever read. every time i had this book with me and read a few of the stories, i felt like i was with a friend. that’s some pretty stellar writing, if you ask me. each story encapsulated a bit of wisdom, a bit of humor, and a lot of realness, which is pretty much all i’m ever looking for. i think it’s that authenticity that made this book the great experience that it was for me. i felt like i wal (@atriabooks #partner) . this was one of the most pleasant, funny, real, honest, and friendly reads i’ve ever read. every time i had this book with me and read a few of the stories, i felt like i was with a friend. that’s some pretty stellar writing, if you ask me. each story encapsulated a bit of wisdom, a bit of humor, and a lot of realness, which is pretty much all i’m ever looking for. i think it’s that authenticity that made this book the great experience that it was for me. i felt like i walked away from this having learned information i want to remember in my own life, while i had moments of laughter, moments of sad, and overall didn’t want it to end. highly recommend you read this, especially if you’re looking for some direct, feel good realness. . 5/5 ✨

  30. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa

    Being that I’m the opposite of a type A personality I assumed I wouldn’t find much in common with the author in this collection of essays but many of the stories were incredibly familiar, as a woman and mother I could only nod and feel the same emotions and thoughts expressed by the author. Not only were the stories reflecting her real struggles with her identity loss of being someone’s wife and mother and her need to escape at times overwhelming her, she also manages to impart funny observation Being that I’m the opposite of a type A personality I assumed I wouldn’t find much in common with the author in this collection of essays but many of the stories were incredibly familiar, as a woman and mother I could only nod and feel the same emotions and thoughts expressed by the author. Not only were the stories reflecting her real struggles with her identity loss of being someone’s wife and mother and her need to escape at times overwhelming her, she also manages to impart funny observations and the tone changes from serious to lighthearted seemlessly. A nicely balanced view of life, work and motherhood.

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