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Welcome to My Planet: Where English Is Sometimes Spoken
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Welcome to My Planet: Where English Is Sometimes Spoken

3.40  ·  Rating Details  ·  962 Ratings  ·  114 Reviews
Life just isn't The Love Boat for nearly-thirty Shannon, the tongue-in-cheek heroine of Welcome to My Planet. Credit cards don't pay themselves, no obvious mate has appeared with her name pinned to his collar, and a job doing new-product research for a fledgling software company doesn't quite make ends meet in the meaning-of-life department. Then there's the loser boyfrien ...more
Kindle Edition, 306 pages
Published (first published May 22nd 2000)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,409)
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Erin
Jun 13, 2014 Erin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I originally read this book in my early twenties, I really loved it. I felt like I was reading the Minnesotan version of Bridget Jones' Diary. I'm currently trying to re-read books I loved the first time I read them. Now that it's more than ten years later, and I am living a completely different life...not loving the book so much. Finding myself more annoyed than I thought I would. But, I'm going to finish it once more and then put it in my Little Free Library!
Ken Heard
Nov 20, 2007 Ken Heard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was first leery of this book, fearing it may be simply chick lit. But I gave it the college try and was really pleased. Shannon Olson writes well. Her semi-fictional quirky character of the same name as the author has boyfriend problems, a bleak future and an over-bearing mother who sends her newspaper clippings about health, finance and other items. The book is funny, but is also deep and poignant. I enjoyed it tremedously. A good surprise.
Jen Padgett Bohle
I give up. Goodreads has twice deleted my review as I tried to post,so I'll just say that this book is terrible, even for a beach read. I read it in 3 hours before my vacation even began, while waiting at my doctor's office. (Don't spend money on this!)

There are therapy sessions, bits of pop psychology, and mother daughter interludes that attempt to elevate this work to something more than the prototypical chick lit(This is often a derogatory term, but here I mean it to be value neutral. Chick l
...more
Susan Bazzett-griffith
I spent the first half of this book waiting for something to happen and the second half not understanding how it was ever published. The writing itself is fine- Olson is not a terrible writer. The book, though? Is awful. Boring. Just bad. A college graduate who doesn't know herself very well and doesn't particularly seem to want to meanders through life and a couple of boyfriends and hangs out with her family, who is remarkably normal and dull. Seriously, reading the book is kind of like eating ...more
Jeannine Eilers
In Welcome to My Planet, the fictional Shannon Olson--who shares her creator's name--is witty but confused, whip-smart but unable to fully release her ties to bad boyfriends, childhood obsessions, and the "gassy expanse" of marginal jobs. With the help of a therapist known only as the counselor, this almost 30-year-old Midwestern neurotic gamely tries to steer her way past credit-card-fueled Target binges and a too close relationship with her mother, Flo, and to slowly inch toward the elusive la ...more
Arminzerella
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alex
Jan 04, 2013 Alex rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the few books that I've ever picked up and read 50 pages (which is a lot for me) without even noticing. I like Olson's dry humor, and it's satisfying when someone's own experiences or views on life mirror your own.

My only real problem with the book came as I got closer to the end and realized that Olson is kind of a whiny schmuck. Her anecdotes about the troubles of living with her parents and her inability to pay her bills on time were cute and funny at first, but they ended up b
...more
Julia Putnam
This was a re-read for me. I'd read this years ago and couldn't really remember what it was. I kinda know now, why... it's pretty unremarkable. It's not horrible and it's a quick and easy read if you like throw away books. Not much actually happens, I mean I guess Shannon grows up a bit. I actually hated her therapist in this whole thing. I found her and pretty much ALL of her advice, useless. I felt like just stumbling through life was teaching Shannon more than this "counselor" was. I really h ...more
Rebecca Raeske-Grinch
Rereading as part of my year of reading books that influenced my life/made an impact.

"The problem with trying to make sense of life is this problem of getting it wrong the first time, of hearing the story differently the second time and wondering how much of the first story you've become. How much of what you heard the first time shaped you in a way that is now wrong?"

I find that ironic, given that reading this again is a completely different experience than it was 14 years ago. I'm a different
...more
Wendy
Jan 25, 2009 Wendy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My sister gave me this book for Christmas. Thank you Stephie!

Basically this was a book about a woman in college and her relationsips with her family, mostly described through her sessions with her therapist. The main character seemed a bit lost in life... not knowing who she was or who she "should" be. I had a difficult time relating to her in that way. There were some things about the mother-daughter relationship that I could relate to though. I was reminded of the book "A New Earth" where it
...more
Katie
Jun 02, 2015 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun read about a character that I could relate to. I loved the therapy sessions for their honesty and humor, and I feel like Shannon really developed over the course of the book. At times it just got a bit too repetitive and I got tired of listening to her have the same thoughts and deal with the same issues with her boyfriends over and over.
Ryan
Better, more entertaining and considerate of the reader than most MFA novels. Nice and well developed take on being someone from Minnesota, in Minnesota, close to her family, figuring out life by not figuring out life. Reminds me much of the Getting Over It book by that British author.
Ellen
29-year old Shanny grew up watching the "Love Boat" on tv and believed that her life would be as neatly accomplished as the one hour show. She has spent the better part of 4 years in therapy trying to find out why her life is not so perfect. Unable to fully commit to her boyfirend Michael, her dull job, graduate school or her thesis, Shanny spends an inordinate amount of time whinig to her mother, whom she has always called 'Flo', and not making any solid decisions about a direction for her life ...more
Shannon D'Arpino
I think this book was interesting to me becuase it is written in a place I know, but boy oh boy, what a manic episode. I often found her exhausting like so many others in the book did. Her poor therapist...I can truly empathize with her therapist...
Yet I hope she has found happiness.
Catherine
Honestly, the marketing folks didn't do this book any favors by giving it a chick-lit cover...

In reality, it's far smarter and funnier than that, and it doesn't have a chick-lit story arc. Clearly a case of the publisher looking for a way to fit the book into a certain segment and failing.

Olson's is a very witty book about a late-20s woman who moves home to her parents' house for a while and later goes to grad school, all as part of finding her place in the world. Granted, it sounds like a much
...more
Tracey
Sep 07, 2015 Tracey rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Just could not get drawn into this one, the character was too much of a hot mess for me to have compassion for. The familiarity of Minneapolis and surrounding suburbs were all that kept me reading.
Karen
Jul 03, 2015 Karen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Epic Book Clean-Out of 2015: read or re-read, then keep or dump. Verdict: dump. I enjoyed this in 2000, but it doesn't hold up well and now seems quite dated.
Patty Kendrick
Mar 28, 2015 Patty Kendrick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. I love Shannon's style of writing and I became interested in the characters. Look forward to reading more from Shannon.
Danielle
Apr 05, 2009 Danielle rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: just-fun
Another book that I picked up at the library. It was in the car when I took my son to the ER, so I read several chapters that night. At first I liked it a lot. It's breeziness is welcome after the last couple books I read, which were very intense. But as I've gotten further into it, I find the light tone rather banal and the lack of linear progression rather aggravating. I hope she starts to get somewhere, because right now it's too much self-involved navel-gazing without enough wit, charm or hu ...more
Suzyberry
Jun 27, 2011 Suzyberry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a fun romp of a read. Shannon Olson is a local author, and it was fun to 'see' some of the places she described and truly understand the character of the family life and people of the area. PLUS it's just plain a well written book...the main character, Shannon, and her mother have a wild relationship that was comical and sometimes sad. And Shannon's life, while seemingly falling apart with no real prospects ahead, proves to be anything but...and is in all truthfulness just that...life o ...more
Sharon
Jul 25, 2013 Sharon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a fantastically refreshing change from run of the mill chick-lit. The dry humour in this is a real pleasure and the psychology running behind it will ring bells with anyone around the 30 year old mark to whom life hasn't turned out the way they dreamed. It's like a therapy session and a really entertaining novel all wrapped up into one. There's no glossy, rosy, "it'll all fit together and turn out perfect in the end" here this is real life at it's most real. It's making me want to throw out ...more
Julie
Dec 02, 2008 Julie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit
This novel was not typical chick lit - think more Melissa Bank's The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing. Shannon moves back home after some financial and romantic difficulties and the novel follows her journey to cobble together some kind of happiness. I liked it at first, but then the main character began to grate on me, particularly scenes where she's in the therapists office. I did however, enjoy the sarcastic wit of the protagonist as well as some touching mother-daughter moments. Overall, ...more
Chrissy
Took me forever to finish, but I just couldn't quite quit. This character is pretty frustrating, but still hilarious at times. I'm not sure if we are supposed to blame all her problems on her mother, but mom seemed pretty interesting to me. There's not a lot of plot or story arc, it's more just a long conversation with the therapist, and hoping the character comes out a little smarter at the end, than when she started. This doesn't sound like a very favorable review, but I still kinda liked the ...more
Molly Loucks
Sub par chick-lit trying way too hard to be introspective.
Liz
I read this author's second book featuring the same main character ("Children of God Go Bowling"), and I remember liking that one a lot better. This book didn't have much of a plot, other than listening to a self-absorbed narrator talk about her life and her failed relationships with men. That said, it was an easy read, and there were some amusing parts. Plus, the out-of-date pop culture references (voicemail is new! carrying a cell phone is optional!) are fun in a time capsule sort of way.
Missy
Jun 03, 2009 Missy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: twenty somethings, especially those living in Minneapolis
Shelves: pastreads
I gave this book 4 stars because of how it hit so close to home, since it is based in my home and at the University I attended (and still work for and roam). In fact, she thanks one of my favorite professors, Charlie Sugnet, as a mentor for the book. I give the book on it's own 3 stars- good chick lit with more thought than most. Plus Flo is cool. I give the title 0 stars because it does not even make sense- english is not the only language spoken on our planet. What planet does she live on?
Cynthia
This book was a great laugh. Welcome to my Planet... tells the story about Shannon, a neurotic woman in her mid-to late 20's, just trying to get through life. She's completely unmanageable with money, she hates her job but doesn't know what to do, and her romantic relationships are always a mess. The interactions with her mom are what make this book really shine. This book reminded me a little of Bridget Jones, only not as extreme.
Leanne
Jan 11, 2012 Leanne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, own
Can't say I loved or hated this book. At first I really liked it but then I really started to hate the character who was narrating. I think it's semi-biographical and if so, the author is a very boring, and lazy person. Reading the book made me want to stop and do something more productive because I couldn't stand to be anything like the narrator/author. I will admit I did like the banter between her and her mother. Flo is the best.
Alicia
Jan 28, 2012 Alicia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I should have held off on reading this for a few weeks. It was the third book this month (after #3 and #5) about a whiny woman approaching 30 who is dissatisfied (reasonably so) with her life. At least the author of Julie & Julia did something interesting; this woman just complains. Frankly, she's not that good of a writer and it felt like a waste of time to read about her pathetic life.
Maurean
Nov 23, 2008 Maurean rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Maurean by: bookring
Well, I finished reading this today,and altho I did enjoy it somewhat, it wasn't at all what I had expected. Considering what I had heard of this, I had expected a typical chick-lit; what I got was more of a fictionalized memoir of a daughter/girlfriend/sister/employee coming-of-age story, that was sometimes witty, sometimes touching, and somewhat entertaining.
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“Yesterday that new lipstick made me very happy," I tell the counselor. "But today, it just doesn't seem like enough.” 8 likes
“I had no schedule, no plan for today or the next, or the week after. Everything in my life just seemed to kind of roll together, collect speed and go thundering downhill.” 2 likes
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