Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Contest and Review of Agorafabulous: Dispatches from my Bedroom by Sara Benincasa

Agorafabulous: Dispatches from my Bedroom
by Sara Benincasa
William Morrow (HarperCollins)
ISBN: 978-0-06-202441-1
Buy From Indigo
Release Date: February 14, 2012

Description: I subscribe to the notion that if you can laugh at the shittiest moments in your life, you can transcend them. And if other people can laugh at your awful shit as well, then I guess you can officially call yourself a comedian. 

In Boston, a college student fears leaving her own roomeven to use the toilet. In Pennsylvania, a meek personal assistant finally confronts a perpetually enraged gay spiritual guru. In Texas, a rookie high school teacher deals with her male students unusually, er, hard personal problem. Sara Benincasa has been that terrified student, that embattled employee, that confused teacherand so much more. Her hilarious memoir chronicles her attempts to forge a wonderfully weird adulthood in the midst of her lifelong struggle with agoraphobia, depression, and unruly hair.

The Good Stuff
  • The description of the history of Sicily will have you laughing your ass off
  • A self deprecating honest look at life with a mental illness in a hopeful yet extremely hilarious way - this to me is hugely important and should be required readings for those dealing with these types of issues - things will get better no matter what
  • Doesn't blame her illness on anyone and doesn't go go all self-pity about it - just honest, straight to the point and did I mention OMG hilarious
  • Love the blender recipes
  • Her stories about her trip to Sicily as a teen, her boss at the Blessed Sanctuary and her trip to Planned Parenthood will have you laughing and cringing at the same time
  • Impressed with her bravery to come out with some very personal stories 
  • She doesn't hold back with her recovery - she makes you know it was very slow, painful and it never completely went away but she can live and most importantly  laugh at it which is incredibly healthy in my humble opinion
The Not So Good Stuff
  • I had a hard time with the jump from chapter to chapter - left me a little disorientated at first (only lasts for a sec though)
  • The many mentions of the bowl of pee grossed me out 
  • You will snort out loud on the bus and people will stare (why oh why can I not learn that reading funny/sad books on the bus  is not a good idea for someone who wants to be ignored during commute)
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"The island was independent for, oh, six seconds, at which point the Kingdom of Aragon (not Aragorn, the foxiest dude in the Lord of the Rings) kindly stepped in."

"HELLO. ARE YOU THE DOCTOR?" he asked in the loud, slow voice that Americans reserve for non-English speakers (as if screaming in a foreigner's face is going to increase his or her comprehension of our mongrel tongue.)

"I imagine several generations of my father's Celtic ancestors consulted the same shaman whenever young Arthywolgen was possessed by the tree-spirits or little Domnighailag expressed an interest in Christianity,"

"I prayed for forgiveness, but to the Virgin Mary, not God. I figured she'd be more sympathetic to the whole unplanned pregnancy thing, especially since she and I both knew I wasn't carrying any messiah. And I'd always had a sneaking suspicion it was Joseph who knocked her up, anyway, and the Archangel Gabriel thing was a less secular version of the stork story."

Who Should/Shouldn't Read
  • Definitely not for those sensitive about religion or bodily functions- if that is you - do not pick up the book (but your world will be sadder for it)
  • Anyone who has or is suffering from a mental illness - especially agoraphobia - this is a must
  • Quite frankly other than those who are sensitive or serious about religion - you will get something from this (At the very least a good chuckle)
4.5 Dewey's

I received this from Williman Morrow in exchange for an honest review

Special Blog Post from Sara Benincasa

5 Reasons Books Make the Best Valentines

I've spent a fair number of Valentine's Days with gentleman callers, and have even scored a few gifts over the years. Maybe I'm biased because my own book, Agorafabulous!: Dispatches From My Bedroom, comes out on Valentine's Day this year, but it recently occurred to me that a book would make the best possible present for the most romantic day of the year. Here's why.
1.)  It's incredibly sexy. I mean, duh. Is there anything hotter than a guy who reads? How about a guy who reads Pablo Neruda's love poems, realizes they're the perfect aphrodisiac, purchases a volume of them, wraps it in pink and red paper and presents it to a swooning lady love?

2.)  It's incredibly affordable. Diamonds are boring and often come from ethically suspect sources. Chocolate makes you fat and sluggish. Books have the potential to make you smarter, more interesting, fitter, richer, and better in bed! At the very least, a good read will improve your dinner party conversation.

3.)  It lasts forever. Or at least for the rest of your natural life, which is more than I can say for some stinky pile of flowers or some soon-to-be stale red velvet cake.

4.)  It won't leave you with a headache in the morning. Reading a book is an inherently good choice, and while its content may vary, the book itself can't make you do crazy things. A bottle of champagne, on the other handthat's a different (and potentially far more salacious) story.

5.)  Itll help you weed out an unsuitable suitor. Two words: The Fountainhead. Youre welcome.

Now go forth and get some! (Books, that is.) And a happy, happy Valentines Day to you.
Click here to watch the book trailer.
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Link to excerpt 

Prize - Signed Copy of Agorafabulous
US Only - Publisher Rules sorry my fellow Canucks
Ends February 21st 2012
In Comment Section below tell me your favorite Romantic movie or book & Leave someway to contact you if you win


  1. My favorite romatic movie is Sleepless in Seattle. Thaks for the giveaway!

    [email protected]

  2. My favourite romantic movie is definitely Love Actually - I love the premise of the intertwining love stories. Fav romantic book is always The Notebook. Love!



  3. Favorite romantic book? Jane Eyre, Outlander series? Those go together right? Favorite movie would be The Philadelphia Story.
    Id love a chance to laugh a day away reading this one :)
    stacybooks at yahoo