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Going in Circles

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  897 ratings  ·  182 reviews
Charlotte Goodman has had enough surprises.

In fact, she reached her life’s quotient when her husband of five months walked out on her, only to abruptly change his mind a few weeks later and move back in. Stung by a whiplash of grief, resentment, and confusion, Charlotte calls a time-out, taking a small apartment where she can figure out what she wants. Instead, t
ebook, 336 pages
Published April 20th 2010 by Pocket Books (first published 2010)
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This book was a 2 star, middle of the road, didn't hate it, didn't love it, it was OK kinda read until the last 40 pages or so. At 40 pages from the end, I stopped reading, stared at the book, and asked it: "Are you fucking kidding?!!" It didn't answer, probably because I'd shamed it into silence, but the answer is no, it was not fucking kidding.

Lemme back up a bit and work up to my vocal incredulity. This book was selected as the November book in my real life bookclub. And so I read it. I was
Pamela Ribon
Jun 10, 2010 Pamela Ribon rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
(You guys, I had to.)
So I needed a quick, entertaining read because trying to read Virginia WOolf wtih two small children is an absolute nightmate. And by the time I get to bed and read - I simply can't focus on Woolf at all.

This proved to be a great choice. For the first half, I just wasn't sure. I groaned a bit and could probably easily do my usual pull-it-to-pieces and be a miserable bastard schtick, but fuck it, it was a really easy, enjoyable read. 2.5 stars, but I'll err on the side of 3, rather than 2. Thoguh
Cid Tyer
I’m really going to attempt to rein in my enthusiasm. Really! This is me attempting to sound like I’m not pushing a book at you.


Because it’s been just over a year since I retired from derby, that’s why.

The Setting — current day LA. For the most part the story centers around three locations; Charlotte’s apartment, work, and The Warehouse. The apartment and work are all commonplace locations and I really get a feel for where Charlotte lives with all of her F/U items. The Warehouse though, wher
Jennifer Johnson
Here's the thing: I have a secret fascination with Roller Derby. I am the whitest/most girly girl ever, but I harbour a desire to strap on Roller skates and "hit a bitch". (Bitch meant in the most endearing way possible.)

I have long been a fan of Ms. Ribon's website and so of course I anxiously waited for this book to arrive at my door. It didn't disappoint, I quite enjoyed this read. It's light reading for certain- but it's also fun. I actually understand the concept of Roller Derby now and wha
From my Goodreads review: Pamela Ribon has created a perfectly believable character and scenario in Going in Circles. Charlotte is imperfect but admirable and I enjoyed watching her grow and change throught the book, and to see that Charlotte was in control of her destiny, even when it was oblivious to Charlotte herself. It also envoked some symbolism; taking the "round and round" of life and knocking it flat on it's ass when you need to. Going in Circles has all the things I love in a quick rea ...more
It would seem that I am the main character in this book. It's about a woman whose husband leaves her, and she heals by joining roller derby. Some of it hit pretty close to home. This book is actually extremely funny, and pretty good for chick lit.
Kim Rader
I really enjoyed this book. It made me smile. It made me laugh (out loud). It made me want to get up and kick ass. Yeah, it's chick lit, but don't hold that against me. This is worth reading.
Going in Circles by Pamela Ribon
Contemporary Romance- April 20, 2010
3 stars

Going in Circles reads like chick lit/woman’s fiction novel.

Charlotte Goodman is at a job she tolerates, has friends hidden in woodwork, and endures an absentee husband named Mathew. It’s no wonder she’s confused and depressed.

Charlotte hoped that by moving into her own apartment, she would finally find a positive perspective in a floundering marriage. But the exact opposite occurs as she finds herself even more confuse
I was excited to read this, as I loved the author's first book Why Girls are Weird and liked her second one Why Mom's are Weird. Both had a humor that I enjoy and were fun, quick reads. I knew from reading about this book that it wouldn't be the same, but knew I wanted to read it. I really liked Going in Circles - much more than I expected. I didn't think I would like the roller derby theme, but it really added to what the main character was going through and how she used it to move on. I though ...more
I recently won a signed copy of Going in Circles. It arrived Monday afternoon, as I lay on the couch in misery, trying desperately to sleep off a migraine. The mailman knocked on my door to indicate that he was leaving a package, and when I picked the plastic bag off the hallway floor (the box had ripped in shipping) my pain was temporarily forgotten in delight. As I regained my position on the couch I fretted to myself: I'm in the middle of a Le Fanu collection, should I really start another bo ...more
Kayla Cagan
I am a slow reader, and I read this novel in a week. I like "chick-lit" and I like roller derby, so I was pretty sure this book was going to be a win-win for me. And though I don't love the term "chick-lit", I do accept it as a genre. (I personally prefer to just call it fiction, but whatever.)

My quick reading this week is credited to the insightful and hilarious author, Pamela Ribon. Ribon not only charges her protagonist Charlotte Goodman with an empathetic, heartbreaking struggle but a strong
If you're not reading Pamela Ribon's blog,, go add it to your feed reader right now. I'll wait. Really, it's funny and well worth it, GO!

All set? OK.

Going in Circles is a novel about a woman going through a difficult separation from her new husband. Sounds kind of bleak, right? It is a bit at first, but her coping mechanisms add humor and her sadness appropriately sets the stakes for the story.

Rest assured that the humor increases the further into the book you read and the tone becom
Jennifer Barbee
A great addition to the roller derby canon. Ribon's book ought to find a lot of sympathetic readers in both women who endeavor to give the sport a try for themselves, and women who just appreciate the therapeutic healing power of a good hobby. Charlotte, the protagonist, is in a rut, and needs something to shake her loose. What better way to do that than to physically jar yourself through the hits and... even harder hits of roller derby? Though the details may differ slightly, I'd say that very ...more
Helen Dunn
I think this was the best of Pamie's three novels. I thought the story of Charlotte's marriage was interesting and found her friendship and newfound love of roller derby really enjoyable. I think part of why I enjoyed it was because I could picture Pamie doing these things because I know the roller derby experiences were probably torn from her real life. I wonder how somebody who wasn't as familiar with her life/work would have appreciated those sections? This was a very quick read, and overall ...more
Apr 27, 2010 Teri marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: to-read-fiction
Pamela Ribon was on a 2010 LA Times Festival of Books panel, Fiction Forging Ahead. I find the idea of the book intriguing, although as I flipped through(after I bought it) I was a little skeptical. I hope I get something from it. She got the idea for this story from her own experience. It is about a woman who goes through a break up of a marriage and gets involved in roller derby.

She signed my copy. She also took one look at me and said I looked 13 months pregnant. Good thing I am pregnant:)
Ivy Courtney
I think it is important to note to anyone considering trying roller derby that this isn't how it always is. As someone who plays roller derby there are parts of this book that I disagree with. No one would be allowed to skate if they thought they would be concussed, it would wreck their derby insurance. Also broken tailbones never really fully heal. Trust me on that one, it's been a year now and the damn things still hurts if I sit too long. Fresh Meat is scary and hard and you get a wide range ...more
A charming, funny, and bittersweet story about readjusting her path after the break-up of a relationship that she thought would define her life forever. A newfound friendship with a female coworker helps bring her back to a place where she can be happy again. I mention that it's a female coworker because this is a novel about happiness and independence and not sexual tension. I really enjoyed it.
This book was probably more 3.5 stars for me. I expected it to be typical my-marriage-broke-apart chick-lit, but I was pleasantly surprised by Going in Circles. Plus, how could you not like a book that teaches you about roller derby? I'll never have the coordination to be able to play, but this book kind of made me want to.
I've really liked all of Pam's books, but this was my favorite. Funny, honest, moving. Loved the backdrop of Roller Derby, and felt like I really understood the sport, just from reading the rules (as opposed to Whip It, where I was still confused). And Charlotte's personal story and struggle is moving and heartbreaking.
I found this book just when I needed too. I used to do derby and am separated from my husband right now. As soon as I started reading, I quickly looked around to see if someone was spying on me because I felt like someone was writing my life, my thoughts and my feelings. Loved.
so many books about friendship issues have fallen into my lap recently. I GET IT, UNIVERSE.

ANYWAY! this book made me so sad for the first half or so. parts of the second half felt a little rushed, but pamie's writing was fun and funny and charming nonetheless, as always.
I've always been fascinated by roller derby. If I had an ounce of coordination and was 20 years younger I would be tempted but it was alot easier to live vicariously through Charlotte. Good read with a bit more depth than I originally thought I'd find.
Loved, loved, loved this book. I'm very partial to Pamela Ribon, and will read anything she writes, but I truly enjoyed this book. I cared about the characters, and it actually inspired me to learn more about roller derby. Highly recommend!
Apr 29, 2010 Amber rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE!!!
Shelves: owned-books
Her books are always insightful and funny.
This one has a huge focus on roller derby, which is awesome!
read it read it read it.

then read Why Girls Are Weird and Why Moms Are Weird.
because we are, and they are.
Marci Daniels
Fun easy read. Read the whole thing in two days. Several laugh out loud moments. Definitely recommend to the ladies in my life who need a break from books that "mean" too much.
There were passages in this book where someone could have been speaking directly to me. I really enjoyed the story and the flow of the book made it a super easy read. Totally recommend!
Katie H
Ribon is a brilliant writer, tapping into her generation with a refreshing honesty and jaded wit that keeps you coming back for more. And this book is by far her finest.
I spent yesterday afternoon and evening on the couch reading this book while recovering from my very first roller derby practice! I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
I loved this book! It made me want to run out and join a roller derby league! That is not a good idea for me, but the book is great!
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Pamela Ribon is a TV writer, screenwriter and best-selling novelist (WHY GIRLS ARE WEIRD, YOU TAKE IT FROM HERE). She’s been in comedy rooms for both network and cable television, most notably the Emmy award-winning SAMANTHA WHO?. Pamela has adapted her popular novels for both film and television, and developed original series and features for ABC, ABC Family, Sony, Warner Bros., Disney Channel an ...more
More about Pamela Ribon...
Why Girls Are Weird Why Moms Are Weird You Take It From Here Notes to Boys (And Other Things I Shouldn't Share in Public) Du und ich für immer: Roman

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“The rules of the track work well for life. Roller derby is life in a tiny circle. You can only go forward, even if you find yourself turned around, facing the wrong way. There's speed, unpredictability, and danger. You can't be sure what's going to happen, you don't always know when you'll stop, and it appears most people are out to get you. You will fall. You will get hurt. But you will get up again.” 8 likes
“I’ve just spent three hours learning the entire life of some girl named Kallie, a girl with an epileptic tongue who loves booze, Coldplay, and a gym-addicted frat boy named Wes. Okay, so maybe Francesca has a point. Maybe it’s time to quit the Internet.” 0 likes
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