Disaster Preparedness: A Memoir
When Heather Havrilesky was a kid during the '70s, harrowing disaster films dominated every movie screen with earthquakes that destroyed huge cities, airplanes that plummeted towards the ground and giant sharks that ripped teenagers to shreds....more
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This is close to a "my childhood is worse than your childhood" memoir, except that it's more humorous than that. Havrilesky never takes herself too seriously, or thinks that her problems were as bad a...more
Havrilesky writes about her parents' failed marriage and how its impacted her adulthood: subject matter that's right up my alley. She also does a nice job looking at the larger context of disaster during the years she grew up. In many ways, this is the memoir I've w...more
I haven't finished this yet and this wasn't particularly a book that hooked me from the beginning, but I would just love to point out how pages 144 through 147 just made me realize just how selfish and lonely i used to be as a child. The entire 9th chapter described very accurately how I used to feel about love and sometimes still do feel about it.
"Once I found a love object to focus on, the unspeakably sad, indistinct, creeping form of melancholy I was haunted by as a kid became a sugary, glowi...more
I found myself putt...more
As with many memoirs, her childhood is looked at with humor and her teenage years are remembered with barely resolved angst and, perhaps, slight embarrassment. Her early stories about her fears of impending global disaster and growing up with parent...more
also liked some of her observations and that she's not a party-line gal (a bit irreverent), like her whole take on therapists as pretenders who put on an air of being so together. Instead of making therapy a regular part of her life, I liked it that Heather kind of moved on. And Heather does change. She tells the truth about herself to at least one
friend. And to her future husband. So...more
Full disclosure: I read this immediately after I read the excellent Freedom by Jonathan Franzen. Havrilesky's book wasn't going to be able to compare to that no matter what. But really, Disaster Preparedness is a disaster - the whining diatribes of a spoiled girl who resents her family...more
Unlike the vastly overhyped "Bossypants", which IMO barely qualified as a "memoir" at all (Fey told us nothing about her life that wasn't already public knowledge), this memoir does not shy away from exploring some of the difficult aspects of Havrilesky's past. This takes courage, but Havrilesky's candor makes this a much mo...more
Havrilesky's essays are honest and interesting and work in a sort of haphazard way. What at first may seem like a bunch of slightly unrelated tidbits and short tales all tie together in the end to work toward one greater meaning or concept. This goes for both individual essays and for the entirety of the book.
The essays presented here take us from childhood and all the things that scared or concerned her to her adulthood and how she has come to cope or not cope. From hearing her parents figh...more
I DID like her thoughts on marriage, and motherhood, and boyfriends, though. Those were the best parts of the book.
But I love her column, and I think ther...more