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Everybody into the Pool: True Tales
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Everybody into the Pool: True Tales

3.53  ·  Rating Details ·  1,241 Ratings  ·  180 Reviews
Beth Lisick started out as a homecoming princess with a Crisco-aided tan and a bad perm. And then everything changed. Plunging headlong into America's deepest subcultures, while keeping both feet firmly planted in her parents' Leave It to Beaver values, Lisick makes her adult home on the fringe of mainstream culture and finds it rich with paradox and humor. On the one hand ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published June 27th 2006 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Lena
Apr 30, 2008 Lena rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
This collection of essays chronicles Beth Lisick's movements through the conventional, homecoming princess world of her childhood to the far fringes of American counter-culture.

Lisick is a smart, honest writer with a very good eye for detail. The book gave me a number of laugh-out-loud moments as I read about things like her attempt to fit in to her first neighborhood ladies' luncheon and the period when she tried to convince herself that she was bisexual despite her inconveniently heterosexual
...more
Liz
Jul 27, 2008 Liz rated it liked it
This book started out great and ended up to be mostly disappointing. I am a fan a Beth Lisick and attend her Porchlight Storytelling series in San Francisco when I can, so I feel a little bit bad giving this book a 3-star rating, like I am being critical of a friend. And like I said, I LOVED it when I started it, and thought it was so funny and totally related to her sense of humor and wacky adventures, especially when she talks about her childhood in the 70's. But midway thorough, and definitel ...more
HeavyReader
Mar 06, 2008 HeavyReader rated it it was ok
Shelves: life-stories
I didn't like this book nearly as much as I thought I would.

I thought a Sister Spit performer would have more interesting things to say, but Beth just wasn't all that interesting. Maybe her pieces are more exciting when she reads them aloud. I hope so. Don't get me wrong, nothing in this collection of recollections is bad...It's just that nothing in this collection of recollections is good. Sigh. Too bad, because I had high expectations.
Sheila
Mar 08, 2009 Sheila rated it did not like it
Recently finished Everybody Into the Pool by Beth Lisick. Not my type of book. It's almost like she was trying to impress the reader with her antics. Then, there was one incident in the first chapter where the "ick factor" almost made me stop reading at that point. But I kept going. Sometimes our first reaction is a good one :-)

Nathanial
Nov 26, 2007 Nathanial rated it liked it
Recommends it for: rebecca solnit
Shelves: fiction
okay, so this is fun. lisick gets one star for humor, one star for style, and one star for rhythm. she gets no stars for condescension, and no stars for taking herself seriously (but not seriously enough). i love her quick portraits, her willingness to show affection for foibles, and her scattershot summaries. i can do without the momentary nods towards inclusiveness, and its corollary sketchiness of landscapes in time. i'm probably the last one to figure out that, for what she does, she does it ...more
Will Redd
Feb 07, 2014 Will Redd rated it it was amazing
I relate to Beth Lisick. While she had a quite normal and uneventful childhood, she found herself as part of the "counter culture." I don't really fit in well with the middle-America of my childhood, and I'm not sure why. Lisick seems to have similar issues. We can both fake it really well, though.

The main difference between Beth Lisick and myself? She figured out a way to make a living doing what she enjoys. I'm still figuring that part out.

But that's one of the main reasons I enjoyed this book
...more
Frank
Aug 10, 2016 Frank rated it liked it
Finished reading this somewhat amusing book about the reminiscences of the author's life growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1970s and into her adult life in the 1990s. Some of this was laugh-out-loud funny including the chapter when she was the homecoming queen in the outrageous dress with hues of various colors and her subsequent date with the handsome and believed-to-be reserved senior. Some of the other parts of the book were not as funny but overall this was an enjoyable read. T ...more
Michelle
Jun 24, 2007 Michelle rated it did not like it
Horrible. . don't bother. This is one of those books where you just know you wouldn't like the author. . since she is writting about her life after all
Christy S
Jan 27, 2014 Christy S rated it liked it
I saw this in a bookshop in Seattle, and had decided to buy it by the time I got to Powell’s in Portland. Beth is a mutt of All-American suburbia and the 1990s San Francisco subculture. Although it strikes me a little bit as one of those “look at how craaaaazy I am, isn’t it hilarious?” stories, she succeeds in convincing you that she really isn’t trying to be things she’s not for attention. This is the way she’s turned out, and it’s entertaining. Not quite as rolling-in-the-aisles funny as expe ...more
Katie
Apr 07, 2015 Katie rated it really liked it
Wow. This is a different girl! She and I have not led very similar lives, but how funny it is to read her life from her perspective. There are definitely the "gasping -she did not just say that!" moments to the laughing out loud / loving it moments.

This book is not for the complete faint of heart. That said, however, I think that a lot of people will enjoy Ms. Lisick's writing style. She's funny, poignant and very sassy.

But, she definitely leaves me asking questions -- like, what do her parents
...more
Candace
Sep 28, 2007 Candace rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: memoir fans
I might reiterate that I love memoirs before I start. This might make the reader aware that my review might be a tad biased by the fact that this is what I would read anyway.
Okay, that said, I'm still devastated that I lost my copy of this book, not only because I paid $25 for it (a moment of insanity), but because these individual chapters (each describing tales only connected by this sort of punk-rock, sort of not at all woman from San Francisco) are like finding gold nuggets in the speech wo
...more
Sarah Jane
I read this entire book last night. By the time I was halfway through I was already getting tired, but was so enthralled that I trudged on. It's basically short, memoir-like stories put into vague chronological order. I felt connected to this author on some weird level while reading about her life. Perhaps it was her chronic career confusion, liberal middle-class upbringing, or mission district slumming that drew me in. Sounds eerily familiar to the life of Sarah Jane. And hey, guess what? She's ...more
Jesse Kraai
Sep 02, 2014 Jesse Kraai rated it it was ok
My friend Carli gave me this book; mostly because I live one of the featured neighborhoods ("Brokeley")

This memoir story collection tells us neither a story nor lets us know much about the writer. Cutesy scenes which I probably would have enjoyed at a dinner party. Couple of funny sentences.
Chelsea
Jan 10, 2015 Chelsea rated it liked it
While I legitimately laughed out loud at least three times, Lisick's self-deprecation eventually became uncomfortable. Her voice was just too scathing for me, however, she covers a lot of ground with minimal and very simple prose. Very funny!
Debrarian
Aug 14, 2009 Debrarian rated it really liked it
Memoirs from a Sister Spit performer. Sounds like half my SF friends: grew up safe in the Midwest and is now doing crazy art, wearing hideous thrift clothes and living in a cheap warehouse in the bad part of town. Hilarious (although occasionally she is so fond of her own descriptive powers that she overdoes the messed-up metaphors).

Stories include:
First, let me explain -- Greetings from our special bubble -- Ladies' luncheon -- Didn't I almost have it all? -- Nuns in trouble -- My way or the b
...more
Teresa
May 26, 2008 Teresa rated it liked it
eh. As someone who has lived in San Francisco on a shoestring, I am not astounded by these tales of quirkiness, oddity and sleaziness, nor by the general despondency/ aimlessness that characterize Beth's experiences. For those who live in the City, the inside jokes are mildly amusing (though not as much as Maupin's), but are delivered in an offputting, smug kind of way; and for those who don't know San Francisco et al, this book serves as what I qualify as "freak outreach". A brief introduction ...more
Melissa
Sep 11, 2014 Melissa rated it it was ok
2.5 stars--Semi-funny, but not very cohesive NF story collection about a woman with a "normal" childhood who grows up to have an offbeat life.
Badcat
Aug 18, 2009 Badcat rated it liked it
Beth Lisick's writing is funny, honest, and engaging. I always enjoy her books in the tub or on the bus, since they often read as little disjointed performance pieces thrown in together. This book does not necessarily hold together as a cohesive narrative or memoir, but it is entertaining and it is great to read the voice of someone to whom you relate. I was born in Berkeley and grew up in San Francisco in the 80's and 90's, although not in suburbia, and a lot of what Beth describes here rings f ...more
Carolyn
Aug 26, 2007 Carolyn rated it liked it
A breezy collection of humorous tales of the author's wacky misadventures. While I think comparisons to Sedaris are a bit much (nothing here was ever for me as side-splittingly hilarious as the best of Sedaris' stuff), she is a clever writer. As a Berkeley resident, I particularly enjoyed all the Bay Area details. Also, as someone who can be a bit of a worrywart, I admired her ability to move from one precarious job or living situation to the next with good spirits and aplomb, seemingly never do ...more
Callie
Apr 01, 2008 Callie rated it it was amazing
I was going to give Everybody in the Pool 4 stars but what the heck, I'm feeling generous, and I did really enjoy this light hearted hilarious read so I'm going with the big 5.

Since it really is a collection of short stories from Beth Lisick's life, I recommend starting with chapter 3, "Didn't I Almost Have it All?" to kick off your journey. It is an ode to Ms. Lisick's high school years and was easily my favorite; it will give you a good idea on whether you will like this book or not. I read c
...more
 ~Geektastic~
A collection of humorous and sometimes excessively revealing autobiographical essays. There is perhaps a bit too much quirk going on for everything to be entirely true, but they're so enjoyable that it doesn't really matter. I picked this up as a severely discounted bin book in a Borders a few years back and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it, since they seemed positively desperate to be rid of it.

(This review is part of an effort to review books that have been read several year
...more
Amber
Oct 18, 2014 Amber rated it it was amazing
Creative nonfiction, my favorite and this Beth girl might be my favorite creative nonfiction writer.
Jennifer
Apr 30, 2008 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun and quirky writing. Left me wanting to read more of her stories. She's a contributor to This American Life so I knew I would really enjoy her work. I've read that this book is not for the conservative minded but I guess living in California has dulled me to what's suppose to be shocking behavior...since I didn't find her stories so outrageous. I've even known a few people that live their lives similar to Beth Lisick. Being that I live so close to most of the area's she describes in the book ...more
Hannah
Aug 23, 2015 Hannah rated it it was amazing
Brilliant! Hilarious gem of a feminist comic memoir.
Trin
Jun 14, 2007 Trin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really excellent memoir, in which (for a refreshing change!) the author's happy, normal childhood leads to her own crazy bohemian existence in San Francisco. Nothing is romanticized (illegal crash pads seem much less enticing when they're suffering from a sewage leak; take that, Rent!); everything seems emotionally honest and real. Lisick is so likable and engaging that I almost do want to take a stab at la vie boheme...but then I remember that I like my library feces-free. Lisick's a braver w ...more
Julie
Not as funny as I'd hoped
Bookspread
Mar 25, 2011 Bookspread rated it it was amazing
My favorite piece was Nuns in Trouble. It starts with Beth working her ass off at a bakery shop (and enjoying it immensely) as she discovered that she is pregnant, tips off her college boyfriend and finds a really weird one-stand job to pay for her abortion. This topic would have been difficult for any author, but Lisick is a practical girl who doesn’t mind working for nuns that dress their employers as slutty cigarette girls to sell fancy Christmas trees.

Read the whole review at http://bookspre
...more
Catherine
Sep 23, 2010 Catherine rated it really liked it
In some ways more a collection of essays than a memoir. The parts about her childhood are great, there were a few chapters that were kind of uncomfortable for a total stranger to read, and then back to slightly more mainstream but still entertainingly offbeat adulthood. Not completely chronological but that was mostly okay, especially because the not-sequential ending was lovely. Reminded me a little of Jancee Dunn’s But Enough About Me. Really funny, and a very fast read.
Allison
Oct 11, 2008 Allison rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: David Sedaris fans
Shelves: non-fic
I'm not sure which essay made me LOVE Beth Lisick. Maybe it was the one where she was elected a homecoming princess and showed up wearing a hideous and oversized plaid dress someone gave her mom only the day before? Or maybe it was the one where she dressed up as a banana to promote her friend's business just to earn $45? Or the one where she tries to convince herself that she's bisexual even after many failed attempts at being turned on by any woman? I really can't decide.

Christy
Jan 22, 2008 Christy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Bay Area Natives, Memoir Lovers, Funny Folks
Shelves: memoir
I bought this specific Lisick comic memoir one month when I was feeling particularly homesick. God Bless Beth Lisick for covering the Bay Area from Saratoga to San Francisco. She's not going to be for everyone, but I think anyone who started out in a "nice," hard-working middle class family in the suburbs, but found herself running with (and becoming, to some degree) artists and freaks and free spirits can identify with her stories. Surely Beth and I aren't the only ones.
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Beth Lisick, author of the New York Times bestselling book Everybody into the Pool, is also a performer and odd-jobs enthusiast. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications and anthologies including Best American Poetry, the Christian Science Monitor, and Word Warriors: 35 Women Leaders in the Spoken Word Movement. She has contributed to public radio's This American Life and is the cofounder ...more
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