You're Not Doing It Right: Tales of Marriage, Sex, Death, and Other Humiliations
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You're Not Doing It Right: Tales of Marriage, Sex, Death, and Other Humiliations

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  4,165 ratings  ·  494 reviews
Darkly humorous and told with raw honesty, You're Not Doing it Right is Michael's debut memoir. In it, he takes on his childhood, his marriage, his children, and his career with unexpected candor and deadpan wit, as he shares the neuroses that have plagued him since he was a kid and how they shaped him into the man he is today.

In this funny-because-it's-true essay collecti...more
Hardcover, 245 pages
Published February 28th 2012 by Gallery Books
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Bossypants by Tina FeyIs Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy KalingDad Is Fat by Jim GaffiganBorn Standing Up by Steve MartinIf You Ask Me by Betty White
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Jillyn
Oct 24, 2012 Jillyn rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: his fans
Recommended to Jillyn by: Emily
This review contains some language that might be offensive. Don't like it? Don't read it.

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Michael Ian Black is a comedian who is best known for his work on various MTV shows. This is his memoir, reflecting on such things as sex, marriage, childbearing, and life in New York.

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Michael Ian Black is also a douchebag. And I love him for it. Despite him being a fairly successful forty year old Jewish man, and I being a college aged jobless Pagan female, I found tremendous similarities in viewpoints...more
Rachel Merritt
Loved this book! Once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down. I was surprised by how deeply I could relate to every story he relayed. Often, I felt as though he had reached inside my brain and stole my thoughts and memories from my own life, which, admittedly, is a little creepy (but thoroughly entertaining, nonetheless). I highly recommend this book to everyone. Actually, I would go so far as to say that this should be required reading for all people, everywhere, especially before, during (and...more
Neil Shurley
I remember enjoying Michael Ian Black's work on the nearly forgotten TV show Ed. And I thought he was one of the funnier parts of the I Love the 70s/80s VH1 shows. Last year I discovered his podcast, Mike and Tom Eat Snacks, which he records with his Ed co-star, Tom Cavanagh. I've also listened to a couple of his comedy albums.

Now I've read his book. And I really liked it.

I actually found myself laughing. Out loud. Not something I often do while reading a book. And I also found it to be shockin...more
Chris
Black’s well-known to my generation as one of the players from MTV’s much-beloved sketch show The State and has gone on to a career in Hollywood, often appearing on television and in commercials. He’s carved out a distinct niche for himself as a snarky know-it-all and I’ve enjoyed much of his work post-State… but I wasn’t chomping at the bit to read his book. I decided to give it a shot and I am ridiculously glad I did.

You’re Not Doing It Right is quite simply, the most accurate book I’ve ever r...more
Kristina
I am nearly through this book and feel I've read enough to sufficiently review it. I will likely be done reading it this evening. I like this book - I don't love it. He doesn't say anything I haven't thought myself. I have laughed-out-loud approximately once per chapter.

Actually, one or two chapters are quite heavy in their content and kinda took the piss out of the read on a night or two. Having kids sucks and being married - most often - sucks. I know that and, aside from humourous discussion...more
Jessi
I could watch Michael Ian Black on TV all day. As a matter of fact, I used to do just that. I taped all those dumb VH1 "I Love the..." series, mainly because of him. I like listening to him talk, and I love following him on twitter.
For some reason, though, I just couldn't get into this book. To me, it felt sad and awkward. I get self-deprecating humor- believe me, I do. And I really like it. But I didn't get that from this book. I was so excited to receive it, and started reading it as soon as...more
Gina Boyd
I have always thought Michael Ian Black was very funny, but I had no idea what a good writer he is. This memoir is one of the funniest things I've read in years--I'd compare it to David Sedaris-level funny--but it's also incredibly sad and honest in a way that few memoirs that I've read tend to be. And when I say "honest," I don't mean salacious or scandalous, or full of gory details; I mean that Black is willing to talk about things few people are willing to confess. He talks about loathing a C...more
Cameron
Far from the zany, madcap type humor I somehow expected from the author, "You're Not Doing It Right" is an incredibly well-paced, well-tempered, and well-meaning book. It is humorous. It is wonderfully humorous. It is irreverant and somewhat crass. And it made me laugh out loud in a restaurant where I was reading it at a table for one, even further embarrassing myself in front of my cute Australian waitress. But, it is remarkably insightful, poignant, and touching. All the essays are introspecti...more
Kevin Cecil
I love this book, in part because it made me feel a little bit better about how much worse I'm doing "it." Michael Ian Black represents my Platonic ideal of myself. Had I been born with greater ambition, actual talent, a sharper sense of humor and better looks, I can see myself reaching the apex of my potential as a mildly depressed C-list celebrity like Black. His book isn't the type of complex classic with flowery prose and a propulsive narrative I usually reserve the 5 star rating for. Black'...more
Randi
Michael Ian Black can be a jackass, but in the end, the sweetness & sincerity of his love for his family and his life mitigate the vast majority of his more selfish statements. His statements about the difficulty of marriage and child-rearing were sometimes cruel (especially to his poor wife), his regret later about his actions rang true as well. The chapter in which he described the pain of losing their first dog had me teary and made me feel immense sympathy for this sweet, arrogant comic.
Michelle
Surprisingly touching and well-written. This isn't just another breezy, snarky book by a comedian. Michael Ian Black writes frankly about his life, his marriage, his children, and his own (sometimes poor) behavior. He is a jerk, he is a a softy, he is a human being. He is doing the best he can. Kind of admirable, really. A truly good read.
Sahar
Should be called "I Sort of Hate My Wife and I Almost Feel Bad About It."
Dave Hill
Michael is so funny I want to kick him in the nuts. This is his warning.
Ursula
If you're at all familiar with Michael Ian Black's comedy, you know that he will say just about any awful thing you can imagine as if he means it with all his heart. This book isn't written by *that* Michael Ian Black. I mean, okay, he does in fact still say some horrible things as if he means them with all his heart, but there are also glimpses at the humanity lurking behind the statements, and the shared experiences that lead many of us to think the things he says out loud. (If you're not at a...more
Orsolya
Some may remember Michael Ian Black from the MTV sketch comedy program, “The State”. Others may have seen his commentaries on the “I Love the…” decade series on VH1. The rest of the population may not know him at all. Whatever your familiarity (or lack thereof); “You’re Not Doing it Right: Tales of Marriage, Sex, Death, and Other Humiliations” reveals the hilarious (and somewhat dark) mind of comedian Michael Ian Black.

“You’re Not Doing it Right” uniquely combines traditional elements of a celeb...more
Curtis Edmonds
Michael Ian Black's YOU'RE NOT DOING IT RIGHT is sort-of an autobiography that focuses on domestic life. Black seems to have learned from the example of President Van Buren, who never mentioned his wife's name in his autobiography. We learn next to nothing about Black's career, but we do learn a whole awful lot about his attitudes towards his wife ("crazy" is a printable word I can use) his kids (Black brutally describes his lack of affection for his children as colicky babies) and his dog (a he...more
Patrick
Heartwarming? Yes, but not in a "Chicken Soup for the Soul" way, more in a painful, ugly truth way. Still very funny, but not the absurd humor of his previous book, "My Custom Van." The jokes in these autobiographical vignettes are secondary to the lessons learned in the search for "How did I end up in this life?" Getting married, having kids, dad dying at a young age, and mom becoming a lesbian are all topics he writes about, and I wouldn't normally care for a memoir of this type, except that I...more
Rosa
I loved this book. I kept seeing this described as "honest" and "painfully candid" before reading it (the word "honest" occurs over & over again in the blurbs on the back cover), so when Michael Ian Black (hereafter "MIB" for brevity's sake - apologies for any Expensively Crafted Aliens+Will Smith connotations) makes numerous references to how much his children annoy him, or how he sometimes enjoys being in a hotel room by himself & far away from his family, or even how he didn't fall in...more
Laura
Sep 28, 2012 Laura rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: humor
I randomly found this book while searching for a new audiobook to download. I'd never heard of it, nor of the author. But it turned out to be so funny I'm going to give it another listen. The author is a comedian and actor in addition to being a writer, so not only is the material good, but the delivery is spot-on. I even liked it better than Tina Fey's Bossypants, which is much more well-known.

He just tells simple stories of domestic life and recalls his single years and childhood. He's kind o...more
Tom
I had mixed feelings about this book. I had read a review of it somewhere, and it sounded really cool - this idea of a husband and father finding meaning in the day to day grind. That's a good, sound philosophy that I wanted this book to explore. But he's not exactly an every guy - he wrote a show for MTV. And then, some of the anecdotes/stories felt empty. His childhood story about f*** Alan Alda just didn't do anything for me. Just because his mom idealized Alda's persona didn't mean Michael's...more
Ashley
I didn't really enjoy this book at all, and I couldn't relate to much of what he said. Besides the stuff about having a baby with colic which truly does suck, I didn't have the same experience that many goodreads readers did- maybe because I am not a middle aged guy?
I also will never understand these relationships where people are miserable, fight constantly, and seem to just not enjoy being together. Most of the couples who I know who have been married 20/30/40 years seem to be pretty darn hap...more
Toni
Jul 14, 2012 Toni rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents, michael ian black fans
Shelves: memoirs, parenting
The part about aging that terrifies isn't so much about becoming old or out of touch. It doesn't take much poking around to tell that I'm a pretty out of date person. No, the part of aging that terrifies me is the idea of looking around and finding myself surrounded by my failures. Living a lazy life can be fun, but sometimes you miss out on all of those great perks you actually have to work for. Things like pleasant spouses, healthy families, and stability come as a result of involved effort. S...more
Virginia
As awful as Black's My Custom Van: And 50 Other Mind-Blowing Essays that Will Blow Your Mind All Over Your Face was, this book is SO MUCH BETTER. I read an excerpt of this book on The Huffington Post (the chapter about Creed and hearing the song, "Arms Wide Open," and him sobbing on the side of the road as he anticipated his newborn child - it moved me to tears) and had to check out the book. I'll admit. I was a little leery because his other book was SO BAD. But this book is SO GOOD!

I loved the...more
Emily
I won my first-reads copy on Goodreads.

Let me start by saying, I freaking love this book. It was so good, I started laughing out loud on page two. This is my kind of humor and I am surprised, delighted, and possibly a little horrified at how similar Michael's thought process is to mine. This was a great book to read just for fun, and I found that I learned some very useful things in the process (the way I like to learn, by having fun and not knowing I'm learning). I give this book five stars bec...more
Sonia Reppe
Feb 22, 2014 Sonia Reppe rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Sonia by: Genre X book group
About halfway through this got really clever, funny and insightful. Starting with the chapter about his dad's death, there were some great sentences. 3.5 stars.
Nette
I'm always reluctant to give five stars to one of these collections of humorous essays, because, really, shouldn't I be saving my stars for massive tomes about the history of European warfare and slender volumes of limpid poetry? But these essays are so funny and honest and poignant that I can't think of a reason to subtract a single star. It's going up on my shelf of Cheer The Hell Up books right next to Mindy Kaling and Laurie Notaro and David Sedaris. (PS -- if you liked this book, check out...more
Mark
Florida Cocktail

1/2 oz gin
1 1/2 tsp Kirschwasser® cherry brandy
1 1/2 tsp triple sec
1 oz orange juice
1 tsp lemon juice

Shake all ingredients with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and serve.
Michael Emond
I had read Michael’s other book (Custom Van) and enjoyed the absurdity of the pieces, and had seen that this one focused less on the funny and more of the autobiography. I was planning on reading it and when I heard him reading an excerpt from it (the chapter on his Dad’s death) it galvanized me into action into getting the book. I am very glad I did. There were few laugh out loud moments (as opposed to Custom Van which had quite a few) but what I got instead was a sarcastic, but very real, take...more
Mediaman
Black thinks he's funny putting down marriage, children, and himself, but in truth he's sad and pathetic. What kind of man writes a book that tells his children how much he didn't want them? What kind of guy does nothing but complain about how bad he is at everything (the title refers to him being told he's bad at smoking dope!)? What kind of guys has chapters titled "Baby Jail" and "I Hate My Baby"?

This starts out in a promising, humorous way but ends up a disturbing book. It shows that he had...more
Andy
First and foremost, this book is hilarious.

Mr. Ian Black starts strong with a sense of admitted inadequacy and unrest, and maintains that trend throughout. To the point where I almost began to doubt whether he could really be as atrocious a husband/father/human as he shamelessly lays claims to being.

Personally, I found the honesty of his writing freeing - hearing someone openly discuss the ruminating doubts and gaps in self-esteem that I think plague a lot of people (particularly men, in the ca...more
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Anne Taylor Loft: BABY COME BACK 45 20 Dec 25, 2012 07:57AM  
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Michael Ian Black (very famous) is a popular comedian who began his career with The State, a sketch comedy troupe he co-founded at New York University in 1988, which went on to have a successful run on MTV. He then co-created the Comedy Central television series "Viva Variety," a fake European variety show. From there, he appeared on several television show before landing the role of Phil Stubbs,...more
More about Michael Ian Black...
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“Marriage felt like a fading American institution, as relevant to me as the Elks Club. Plus, I considered myself punk rock, and punk rockers don't believe in boring societal conventions like marriage. We prefer boring societal conventions like punk rock.” 5 likes
“Choose hope over fear.” 4 likes
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