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4.05  ·  Rating details ·  3,245 Ratings  ·  466 Reviews
The debut essay collection by Chicago writer and performer, Samantha Irby, creator of

Samantha Irby explodes onto the page in her debut collection of brand-new essays about being a complete dummy trying to laugh her way through her ridiculous life of failed relationships, taco feasts, bouts with Crohn's Disease, and more, all told with the same scathin
Paperback, 250 pages
Published September 10th 2013 by Curbside Splendor Publishing, Inc. (first published September 9th 2013)
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Ashlee Null This book first came out in 2013 from a small press I believe so I assume after the success of "We are never meeting in real life" they are…moreThis book first came out in 2013 from a small press I believe so I assume after the success of "We are never meeting in real life" they are republishing her first book(less)
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Community Reviews

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Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

If you are a person of weak constitution or with delicate sensibilities, I have one thing to say to you about Meaty . . . . .

Not even kidding. R.U.N. . . . . .

Because this author is the posterchild for . . . . .

However, if you are like me you will read the following (which appears on like Page 2) . . . . .

“I am irritated 99.8% of the time. I hate everything. I loathe everyone.”

And instantly have this to say to Samantha Irby . .
Richard Derus
Aug 20, 2013 rated it liked it
Rating: 3.5* of five

It's Women's History Month! Time to visit or revisit work by women who have inspired, uplifted, made a difference to you, to me, to us all!

I reviewed this collection of essays for The Small Press Book Review. It's by a blogger called Samantha Irby, a Person of Size whose blog is called Bitches Gotta Eat.

I wasn't sure about these essays until I hit the one on diets and dieting, when I started laughing so hard I scared the dog. Read the review, see why. I quoted the (to me) fun
Feb 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, non-fiction, memoir
I love Samantha Irby. I adored her second essay collection, I find her funny and relatable, and I enjoyed this collection (her first now republished with a beautiful cover) a whole lot as well. I have been reading mostly heavy memoirs and this was the perfect antidote to those. While there is obvious darkness here, there is also light and humour. I absolutely sped through this and it made me happy while doing so.

I adore her language and her honesty. I love how honest she talks about her body and
Nov 05, 2013 rated it liked it
If there is a lifestyle porn subgenre for adult women who don't live in saucy Real Simple inspired dwellings but instead sit in their dumpy apartments eating cereal every meal, unshaven legs propped up on a raggedy ottoman, I will be the champion of that genre. I love stories of women who are trying to be adults, but who get frustrated with the details and all of the effort and straight-lacedness and just fucking live in a way that makes them happy, even if they are broke or their carpets are fu ...more
Victor Giron
Jan 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'm publishing this so yeah I love it!
I can't say I enjoyed this. Well, I mean, I can but I would be lying because this was not at all enjoyable to me.
And yet it was quite often relatable.
And it's candid. And dryly funny.
But mostly it's meaty, as the title suggests, and I do not like too much meat. It doesn't digest well in my delicate system.

As you can see, it took me almost a month and a half to read this book of 253 pages, all essays. It was a slog to get through because I felt weighed down so much of the time but I am glad I rea
Aug 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Samantha Irby is a bucket of ice water in the face, the hottest chili in the supposedly mild batch, the best pastrami sandwich in the world--the shock of the bold in other words. Not for the squeamish--this Chicago humorist writes of life meaty and unmediated. If you like your humor STRONG, if you can take the rawness of being female without a bow on top, if you think language is there to be wielded as a weapon in the war against despair and conformity and timidity and 'make it all nice-ness,' y ...more
Sep 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
If you read nothing else this year: read this book. You will feel immediately connected to Samantha Irby's writing, her personality, and her sharp, unapologetic way of telling her stories. I've been a fan of her blog for a long time and couldn't wait for her essay collection to come out. Read it in two days and loved it.

Not only will you laugh out loud, but you will also feel the rawness and sadness that comes through the striking comedy of her words. It's hard for a writer to make you spit wate
Samantha Irby, can we PLEASE be best friends?!

Oh, this book was SO SO SO funny. No other book has made me laugh this hard, out loud. Not ever.

While most of the stories were irrelevant to my life, a lot of the sentiment behind them related to me as a human being. Her sense of humor is almost IDENTICAL to mine, and she curses a lot which also mirrors my personality. I related to her personality and lifestyle very much.

I want to be friends with Samantha Irby. Like, seriously.

Now I need to go re
Sep 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I want to be Samantha Irby’s BFF IRL. Readers of her hilarious blog, Bitches Gotta Eat, know what I’m talking about — her spare-nothing honesty, her self-deprecating sense of humor and her unflinching observations about living young, broke and creative in the city make her the kind of rad chick you just want to hang out with. Preferably over a large pizza and a pint of ice cream.

Meaty, by Samantha IrbyAll the qualities I love about Bitches Gotta Eat are polished and condensed in this collection
Sep 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Maybe you don’t recall reading that classic Montaigne essay “Massive Wet Asses,” and perhaps you were “too cool” to read your grandmother’s Erma Bombeck collection with that one piece entitled “How to Get Your Disgusting Meat Carcass Ready for Some New, Hot Sex,” and maybe Philip Lopate’s “Sorry I Shit on Your Dick” flew right under your radar. Don’t worry, Joyce Carol: Those three never got around to writing those essays, but Samantha Irby has stepped in to fill that, um, void, with “Meaty.” Th ...more
Richard Thomas
Oct 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
One of the funniest books I've read since David Sedaris. Smart, honest, touching, raw, sexy, dark, dysfunctional and as human as it gets. Brilliant.
Chanel M
Apr 26, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 52-books-year
I didn't love it . :(

I wanted to, I really did. The first few chapters were AMAZING! I loved her honesty. She opened up about so many things that I do in secret, too. I always knew I couldn't be alone in those experiences but I never had the courage to test that theory.

Oh....and the chapters where she went deep, like "My mother, my daughter" were relieving. I mean she was so honest about something that is probably one of her biggest regrets. Made me feel like I wasn't wrong for moving past my
Rachel León
Dec 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Samantha Irby is brave with her honesty and oh so hilarious. This essay collection tackles sex, Crohn's disease, celibacy, body image, finances, and relationships. A few of the essays made me sad, while others made me laugh out loud. For those who enjoy essay collections, this one is a notable one worth checking out. I'm excited to read her forthcoming second book, out in 2017.
Nov 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I will never complain about my poops ever again. #perspective
Curbside Splendor
Aug 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
We're the publisher, and we think it's dope.
Travis Fortney
Oct 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
My review from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography, which you can find here:


This book of essays piqued my interest because it's written by a Chicagoan--and not just any Chicagoan, but one who resides in the part of Rogers Park that realtors like to call "Loyola Park". Which means Samantha Irby likely binge-watches Breaking Bad only a couple city blocks from where I binge-watch Breaking Bad. It's always fascinating to read about an author trying to "mask the
Claire Reads Books
This book was real and hilarious and at times read like Bridget Jones for the next generation. Between this and “We Are Never Meeting in Real Life,” Samantha Irby has become one of my favorite essayists/humor writers (she also does great audiobook narrations).
Mar 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
So. Wow. Yeah, she just said that. This is my general reaction to reading the collection of essays/blog posts by Samantha Irby. "Raw" is a really polite way to describe her voice. It's realer, more sorrowful, edgier and at times uglier and more gross - more flat out disgusting to an excruciating amount of detail - than "raw." And just when I'm questioning if I can stomach what she's telling me (even though I alternately can't understand her logic and then fully identify with what she writes abou ...more
Ian Belknap
Jan 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Irby is a bone-cracking badass with eyes like sniper scopes. To call her work unsparing is to sell it short. To call hers a courageous soul is to diminish it. To call her prose electric is to underestimate it. And to call her comic sensibility sharp is to dismiss is depth and veracity. Anybody with an interest in being fully human needs to read this.
Rebekah Gordon
I loved Irby’s second essay collection, and this one is enjoyable in a lot of the same ways. It’s weird to read in 2018 though? Even though she edited these for the reprint, many of them still feel a lot like blog posts from 2010-13ish. But maybe I’m just being biased bc the 2nd one was a lot more (obviously/less subtly?) queer, and this one is just sooo much about dudes and how awful they are. Which, fair! But I kept just waiting for her to meet her wife and ditch the awful guys. Which is an un ...more
Robin Bonne
My first laugh came out during the dedication page which was a great way to start the book. Irby is witty, and her observations on life as a single thirty something are eerily familiar. Even while being funny, she still could expose her vulnerable side (especially in the thumbsucking chapter).

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free copy of the ebook!
Kasa Cotugno
Apr 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, genre-essay
I loved her first book, so I'm bound to love her second. Even though I thought at times there was TMI, I had to admire her honesty and take no prisoners attitude.
Sep 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
A few months back, Laura shared a link to a blog, then sj shared the link, and then I read the post.

It was a blog I hadn’t been aware of (hey, it happens...there are many ships on the blogosphere sea, and I can’t know about them all) and the minute I read the post, I was hooked. The author had a fresh voice, she was funny as hell, and she appreciated the use of the all-caps and the good old fashioned humorous ramble. Gotta love that.

So I became a faithful reader of Bitches Gotta Eat, and I think
Sarah Obsesses over Books & Cookies
hilarious. This woman had me at, "Today, 2/13/10 is my birthday. I am excited because I am 30 years old and I don't have a man in my life. I haven't had any children. I haven't finished college..." (that would me us the same age!!!) and so on. Samantha Irby is bold...meaning she says some stuff that might make you cringe..meaning she talks about all the things that aren't spoken about in polite society..meaning.. she talks about the human flaws of flesh. Okay basically she talks about her asshol ...more
Oct 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: bitches, of course!
Recommended to Elizabeth by: Richard Derus
Shelves: essays
She writes for bitches.

The blog bitchesgottaeat makes me laugh. Hard. How I missed that Samantha Irby published a book of rants essays is concerning. Am I losing it?

Samantha Irby gets 4 stars alone for her bravery. I love that she is shameless. So much of what she has written here are things that I most definitely may have thought but never admitted to. We share the same birthday and I kept feeling cool because of it. She is hilarious, forthright to an extreme, and raunchy. But. There are time
Jan 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: essays
I've read a lot of comedian/blogger essay books in the past year and this was one of the best. While many of her essays involve funny observations about dating and making one's way in the world, there are also very insightful observations on race, honest and valuable descriptions of what it is like to live with Crohn's Disease, and a heartbreaking essay on Irby's physically disabled mother. I look forward to reading her new book.
Melanie Johnson
Feb 18, 2018 rated it liked it
I really, really wanted to love this book, but there is just so many s#%t stories a girl can take. I liked Samantha's previous book, but this one was not as enjoyable to me. I did enjoy the essays about food - my favorite line was "Food is love, and I was married to cookies". However, if I don't hear about diarrhea for another month or so, I will be happy.
I love this book so much. I laughed out loud during "Milk and Oreos," and "My Mother, My Daughter" nearly broke my heart. The essay about jealousy was so good I read it twice. Samantha Irby, I wish we could put on our cardigans and go out for scones.
Aug 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I can't do any better than copy the text I sent a friend.

"I have to tell you - there are literally four books in the entire world that have EVER made me both laugh out loud hysterically AND sob uncontrollably. Three of those were written by Samantha Irby."
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“But no, I came by these feelings honestly. And I don’t accept bitter. Wounded, yes. Traumatized, sure. Grieving, okay. Anything other than bitter. I put too much work in to be callously tossed aside as bitter. Bitter is for someone who hasn’t earned it.” 13 likes
“You know what makes me happy? Unexpected phone calls in the middle of the day. Remembering what I liked at that one restaurant we went to that one time. Half-dead grocery store flowers just because they were on sale. A good morning text that says, “have a good day and try not to burn anything to the ground in a furious rage.” 8 likes
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