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Dear Mr. You

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  6,466 ratings  ·  1,163 reviews
A wonderfully unconventional literary debut from the award-winning actress Mary-Louise Parker.

An extraordinary literary work, Dear Mr. You renders the singular arc of a woman’s life through letters Mary-Louise Parker composes to the men, real and hypothetical, who have informed the person she is today. Beginning with the grandfather she never knew, the letters range from a
Hardcover, 228 pages
Published November 10th 2015 by Scribner
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Jennie Floyd They are not real letters. They are written to anonymous individuals for the most part in the form of Mary-Louise addressing them to the various men w…moreThey are not real letters. They are written to anonymous individuals for the most part in the form of Mary-Louise addressing them to the various men who have been in her life since her youth. I am not familiar with "four letter word" so can't really address the similarity between the two.(less)

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Average rating 3.80  · 
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 ·  6,466 ratings  ·  1,163 reviews

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Favorite Book of 2015

OMG OMG OMG OMG! This book was perfection: the writing, the realness, the originality. The way the author chose to tell her story in letters, the males she chose to write letters to. Her emotion, her vulnerability, her poetry. All of it—perfect.

When I read a book this good, I want to hop—hop across the continents on a pogo stick. I just feel so jazzed. The docs would probably call it mania, but I am a maniac when it comes to this book. I don’t feel like I’m done listing the
Jun 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Dear Mary-Louise,
Wow! Your little book Dear Mr. You was quite the surprise. I know you’re a good actor, and your wit, quirkiness and strong character come through in your acting. But who knew that you’re such a powerful writer too? The concept sounded good. A series of letters written to men who have had an impact on your life. I thought it would be clever, but light and probably guarded. But – again – wow! It was kind of dark, risky, a bit twisted, very personal, often moving, sometimes funny,
Mar 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I am stupefied. What talent! I'm dazzled and stunned by the brilliance of not only your divine writing, but of the way in which you have exposed your authentic self through these letters to the men who have touched your life in various ways. Some briefer than others but all have left a lasting impression and likely defined who you are today.

I have to be honest, I wasn't a fan. I hesitated picking this up but the timing was right. It is a book one can read in small sittings.

Thank you Mary Louis
Iris P
Nov 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Iris P by: Esil
Dear Mr. You

 photo landscape-1445282466-mary-louise-parker_zpscnlkv26y.jpg
Mary Louise Parker-The Author.

When I first heard of Mary-Louise Parker's new book, the first thought that came to mind was, oh great just what we need another memoir from a celebrity that has probably nothing remotely interesting to say, wonderful... But oh how very mistaken I was!

If like me, you had similar thoughts, this review is my attempt to convince you Dear Fellow Reader, that Dear Mr. You is probably the furthest thing from a conventional celebrity memoir you can imagine
Elyse  Walters
Nov 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
I read Esil's review of "Dear Mr. You", yesterday, and knew I 'had' to read this this book!!
Thank you soooo much Esil for your outstanding review - and to Scriber Publishing for the opportunity to read it myself. ( the book arrive today -and I read it today). It was an
indoor luxurious-wonderful-heartfelt rainy day reading experience ( Yes, it rains in California).

I enjoyed all the letters - and Mary Louise Parker can write like nobody's business.
I can't imagine the courage it took for her to n
May 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Dear Ms. Author,

If I had to describe your book in a single word, what comes to mind is smart. A fresh approach to what though? I can't say I would categorize this as a memoir. It is a story of sorts but it isn't linear and it isn't fiction and at times it isn't even accessible, but the writing is moving and personal and surprisingly good. Reading it from start to finish didn't work so well for me. What started out as unique and interesting devolved into something that became difficult to stay en
Andrew Smith
I was aware of Mary Louise Parker, as an actress. I knew she’d appeared on television and in films, though I can’t say I’ve ever knowingly seen seen anything she’s appeared in. I didn’t know she’d also wrote and in fact had been published in various magazines. So I approached this, her first book, with an open mind, egged on by a couple of strong recommendations from Goodreads friends.

And what a delight it’s been to work my way through this powerful, funny, shocking and tear inducing memoir. It
Debbie "DJ"
Jan 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, memoir, novels
I'm blown away by how much talent this woman has! Seriously? Not only can she act, but her writing blew me away. This is not a tell all Hollywood memoir. Parker chooses different people in her life that have held special meaning for her. With titles like like, Dear NASA, Dear Lifeline, and Dear Emergency Contact, I found myself not only laughing but deeply touched.

No names are named, just incredible writing. Parker often uses these essays to express what she has learned from life challenges, to
Nov 06, 2015 rated it liked it
Oh dear, I'm sorry to say Mary-Louise Parker's memoir was just ok for me.

I enjoyed reading several of her letters to the memorable men in her life.....Dear Big Feet and Dear Firefighter in particular, as well as the ones to her father and grandfather; and I really liked the format, but while some were great, often touching or laced with a bit of humor, others kind of rambled on or were a bit too risque causing me to lose interest and start skimming.

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe i

Dec 30, 2015 rated it liked it
There should be a word for the exact feeling you get when everyone around you loves a book, and you think it’s only OK. It’s a specific mixture of surprise, confusion, disappointment, and self-doubt.
For me, that’s Dear Mr. You in a nutshell.

The structure of this book is brilliant—it’s a series of letters from Parker to men who have affected her in various ways, from a cab driver she once mistreated, to a younger lover, to a relative of her adopted daughter. It’s part memoir, part rant, part me
Nov 28, 2015 rated it liked it
I liked this unusual memoir, but I didn't love it. Mary-Louise Parker composed letters to various men in her life, including her grandfather, neighbor, priest, accountant, former lovers, and even a firefighter and cab driver.

The letters are basically vignettes, dramatic scenes from Parker's life. There are incidents of sorrow, rage, love and joy. Some of the letters were very moving, and others rambled and were a bit boring. My favorite letters were the ones to her grandfather and father.

Nov 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
I watched Mary Louise Parker on all the seasons of Weeds, and really liked her. These letters brought on smiles, laughter, tears to me. This girl can write! I wish I knew a few of these men as there were some extraordinary ones. My favorites were Father Bob, Lifeline, and Uncle...
I began reading "Dear Mr. You" with some trepidation, I'd put it on my TBR list the day I first read about it, but ... I adore Mary-Louise Parker as an actress, and I just wanted it to be at least close to as good as she is on stage / on screen. I hadn't read any GR reviews on it, but I overheard someone talking about how surprised they were over what a great writer she is, picked up a copy to read the first page and went home and read it.

"Dear Mr. You" is raw and funny, sad, emotional... it wi
This was one tremendous book!

An unexpected delight.

Raw, passionate, intimate, quirky - oh so quirky!, interesting, surprising, realistic and yet dream-like, Dear Mr You has got to be one of the most spellbinding books I've read.

While it feels deeply personal to Mary-Louise Parker, it's not a memoir/biography per se, as I see it classified by some. So just for the sake of labelling, I'll call it literary pseudo-memoir. Because, sure, it's got some biographical details, more like memories, inter
Larry H
Nov 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Full disclosure: I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review. Many thanks to NetGalley and Scribner for making it available!

I'm sure I'm not the only one who has wondered just how much actors are like the characters they portray. Yes, I know that they're acting, but sometimes you wonder if particular roles hew a little closer to a particular actor's personality.

I've been a fan of Mary-Louise Parker's since I saw her in Prelude to a Kiss on Broadw
I know nothing about actress Mary-Louise Parker, but that didn't stop me from thoroughly enjoying her beautifully written memoir. Dear Mr. You is made up of thirty-four fairly short letters from her to various men she has encountered through her life. Really, this collection can be enjoyed by anyone, whether they are familiar with the author or not. Dear Mr. You is intelligent, philosophical, and funny. The audiobook is good quality and is narrated by Ms. Parker herself. Check it out!

My favorite
May 11, 2016 rated it liked it


Updated Sunday May 29, 2016 ... click through to this review of Dear Mr. You ... Kelli's review is absolutely brilliant! This says it all, might even be better than the book itself!

Once again I’m off the grid, maybe in the weeds on a very popular read, cutting against the grain of seemingly endless praise and admiration for this book. It was a nice little read, don’t get me wrong, but I simply did not feel the four or five star emotional engagemen
Diane Barnes
Dec 28, 2015 marked it as don-t-want-to-finish
I'm giving up on this one. One or two of the chapters were brilliant, most notably the one about her father and the one about her priest, but the others were just so-so for me, and I don't want to wade through the rest of the pieces. I'm sure it's as great as a lot of people say, I'm just not the right audience for this book.
Feb 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Mary Louise Parker has written a clever memoir, in the form of letters, to various men who have made an impact on her life. I loved her on The West Wing and Weeds and looked forward to this book. I initially read half of it and put it down. I found myself distracted quite a bit while reading it and moved on to several other books. I picked it back up a few days ago and started to really enjoy some of the letters when I realized - this book is best read in small doses. Having read a few letters a ...more
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
I went back & forth between liking and "really liking" Dear Mr. You. As with any collection, I liked some more than others - some were wonderful and others I didn't connect with as well, or hardly at all.

I never got into the show Weeds and outside of that, had very limited knowledge of Mary-Louise Parker. I really enjoyed this book, and her writing, which to me felt like a constant alternation between short sentences and longer ones that seemed to run on, but didn't "feel" like run-ons - they j
I'm tempted to give this one five stars. For the most part, it was beautiful and poetic. It made me laugh and it made me cry. The epistolary format was an interesting way to view pieces of Parker's life. I loved the letters to Father Bob, Blue, her father, to the oyster picker, her grandpa and to Miss Girl especially. Parker seems to be full of spice and feelings and this comes through with her narration. This was a great short audiobook.
Nov 10, 2015 rated it liked it
3 stars

Gotta say it, love love love Mary-Louise Parker.


I'm not entirely certain she sold me on her epistolary memoir Dear Mr. You. It was at times breathtakingly original, and there were certain instances when I was totally convinced she'd have no problem making a career change to writer. I'm giving this 3 stars thanks to one brilliant homage to her father, "Dear Oyster Picker", which deserves all the stars for a moving tribute to a great man. The rest, however, was a creative mishmash, no
The thing about books written by celebrities, especially non-fiction stories about their lives, is you have a predisposed idea of who they are as people. This idea can culminate through various ways such as the characters they play in movies/shows or the various stories that gossip magazines publish about them. And while I always felt that Mary Louise-Parker was a fascinating person, Dear Mr. You only made this all the more apparent.

“I wrote about us while you were away in a notebook that eve
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)
I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I’ve really been thinking a lot about this review. First off I am a fan of Mary Louise Parker’s acting ever since first seeing her in Fried Green Tomatoes I was very excited to receive a copy of this book for review, especially after reading the first really glowing reviews. I started to read it as soon as I was approved.

I think I approached it with an open mind. The first couple of letters were interesting to read. Her writing
I won't officially rate this book as I didn't finish it.

I got about 25% of the way through this book before deciding to call it quits. Mary-Louise Parker certainly has talent, and many other reviewers are enjoying this book, but I just found my mind wandering -- much as the stream-of-consciousness narrative in this book.

The book's premise sounded fascinating. Instead of the standard celebrity tell-all, this book would be a thoughtful collection of letters (unmailed) Ms. Parker had written to me
I am blown away by Mary-Louise Parker's, 'Dear Mr. You.' Who knew she was such a brilliant, beautiful writer? Everyone who has read Dear. Mr. You.

I almost hate to admit how shocked I was by the actress' way with words. I mean, I had seen all of the 5 star ratings and the reviews raving about this little book, but I wasn't expecting it to be so poetic and beautifully written. In fact, I am so impressed that I don't think I will refer to Mary-Louise Parker as an actress anymore. No, she is officia
Brandon Forsyth
Nov 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
I've spent the last five minutes trying to think of a way to start this review with something other than "wow". Confirmation bias alert: I've had a tiny crush on Mary-Louise Parker since her season on "The West Wing", but her smart, sassy turn in that show did nothing to prepare me for this. Part poetry, part memoir, this collection of letters is endlessly fascinating. There are some weaker sections here, and the poetic aspect of some of the letters occasionally grates, but damn can Ms. Parker w ...more
Cindy Burnett
Jan 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
5++ stars

I absolutely loved Dear Mr. You. I checked my copy out from the library and loved it so much I ordered my own so I could revisit certain letters from time to time. In her book, Mary-Louise Parker writes letters to various men she has encountered in her life, some that she was very close to like her father and grandfather, and others that she only interacted with briefly, such as a basketball player in the hospital when she was visiting her own sick father and a 9-11 firefighter. The res
Jan 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars: I was assured from a couple of GR friends that this novel is worth the time to read. It is. I’ve seen Mary-Louise Parker in movies, and I’ve admired her film work. Now, I’m a great admirer of her literary work. This was a Book Club read, and all members, which is unusual, loved the book.

The novel is a book of letters to men in her life. Most of them are almost love letters. In all of them, she is brutally honest about herself. She takes responsibilities and ownership for her failings.
Emily M
Feb 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I wonder what they feel connected to when they are between the out there and here? Does it come with sound? I love the idea of watching the galaxy from far away and hearing being the same thing as remembering. Memory and fantasy could blend, coming in on clouds of song. Everything hard, all that earthly pain could be dumped out millions of miles away, becoming useful by feeding itself to the constellations. No shame, no need to be understood, just a floating about while listening to some enti ...more
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An American television, film, and Broadway actress best know for her role on Showtime's television series Weeds.

Librarian’s note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

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Her Favorite Unconventional Memoirs: The award-winning actress and star of Weeds recommends five heartfelt books in honor of her epistolary novel,...
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“To convey in any existing language how I miss you isn’t possible. It would be like blue trying to describe the ocean.” 28 likes
“If she has given you children remind yourself every day of the second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth words in this sentence. If you hurt her in ways that are irreparable I will send out people to hurt you back, sorry, but it has to be like that. Yes, you may have had a difficult childhood, but please allow me to introduce myself: Hello, I am the woman who doesn’t give a shit. Make her something warm to drink in the mornings and give her time to begin speaking; only rush at her with an embrace or a gemstone. Wildflowers. A love note. Yeats.” 19 likes
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