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So Close to Being the Sh*t, Y’all Don’t Even Know
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So Close to Being the Sh*t, Y’all Don’t Even Know

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  7,534 ratings  ·  1,259 reviews
In So Close to Being the Sh*t, Y’all Don’t Even Know, Parks and Recreation star Retta takes us on her not-so-meteoric rise from roaches to riches (well, rich enough that she can buy $15,000 designer handbags yet scared enough to know she’s always a heartbeat away from ramen with American cheese).

Throwing her hard-working Liberian parents for a loop, Retta abandons her plan
Hardcover, 262 pages
Published May 29th 2018 by St. Martin's Press
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 ·  7,534 ratings  ·  1,259 reviews

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Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it

Before Retta delivered the most memorable line Parks and Recreation, she was cast as a character that didn't have a single line in the pilot. Before that, she traveled across the country doing stand up to college students, sometimes next to the smoothie bar in the dining hall. And before that, she was a premed student at Duke and the child of Liberian immigrants who put family above all else.

I'm not even going to pretend. I chose this book not out of some appreciation for Retta the person, but b
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

If you know me you know that I’m not a real big television watcher, but when I go in on something I. GO. IN. I loved Parks and Rec from the second it made it to air. I fell hard for Amy Poehler immediately upon her joining the cast of SNL and watched her in movies like Baby Mama, Deuce Bigalow and Blades of Glory until my DVD player committed suicide. There was no chance her new show wouldn’t be one of my favorite things ever. I was ri
Apr 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Thanks to NetGalley for an advanced ebook in exchange for an honest review.

Confession: I had absolutely no idea who Retta was and I have never watched one episode of Parks and Recreation. But I like to read something light and So Close to Being the Shit Y'all Don't Even Know once again proved that laughter is the best medicine. This book isn't set to hit stores until June but my very public outbursts of laughing until my sides hurt caused several people in the coffee shop to ask what I was rea
Cortney LaScola - The Bookworm Myrtle Beach
3.5 stars rounded up because I love her

I feel like I would have enjoyed this book more if I had listened to the audio. I know she was telling it in her voice, but I feel like the editing was practically nonexistent. The book progressively got better the further into I got, and I absolutely loved her chapters on Parks and Rec and her dealings with celebrities. They were the best part of the book!

I am a die-hard Park and Recs fan and never lost hope that Retta would be given a bigger part. Then when I discovered Good Girls, I was all about that happy dance and I watch it (and rewatch it) religiously.

Yes, I'm a Retta fan.

In So Close to Being the Sh*t, Y’all Don’t Even Know, Retta talks about humor, auditions, life experiences, coffee, body image, twitter, and HAMILTON! I so enjoyed learning more about this woman, and gained appreciation for the comedy she is capable of. The audiobook is
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)

I really, really like Retta as an actress and a person, and I ADORED her character on Parks and Rec, one of my all-time favorite shows, but as painful as it is for me to admit, So Close to Being the Sh*t, Y’all Don’t Even Know was... boring.

Gah, don't hate me, Retta! We are both Jersey girls who were science nerds and went to good colleges, but your book... I was expecting something more... funny?

To be honest, So Close to Being the Sh*t, Y’all Don’t Even Know was very sweet. It talks a lot abou
I definitely won’t ever go as far as to say that Listening is *THE* New Reading, but this book is such a perfect example of how Listening is *A* New Reading, at least! Because opening up to audiobooks really does open some doors. This is one of many books that never would I ever have read were it not for my new engagement with the audiobook format, as well as the “new book potential evaluation criteria” I employ when selecting audiobooks.

For my audiobooks, I stick strictly with nonfiction, and I
Jun 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
**I received this book in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway.**

I'll be honest. I don't watch TV. So, I had no idea who Retta was when I entered to win this book. Or when I read it. But the book is awesome, and she seems like someone I want to be friends with. So smart. SO funny. You won't be disappointed by this book one iota. It's really good!
Valerity (Val)
I was very much in the need for some humor and this memoir fits the bill. I was more than pleasantly surprised by this new book by Marietta Sirleaf aka ‘Retta as I’m not that familiar with her. I do get the whole PARKS AND REC connection but haven’t seen the series. But count me as a new fan of hers after reading her memoir. She’s smart, having a college degree from a major university. Her folks immigrated from Liberia and raised her to be very respectful and proper and she didn’t even try alcoh ...more
Apr 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review.

I haven't even seen the show Parks and Recreation BUT I do know the "treat yo self" line! I say it all the time to myself.. when I'm looking at books.

Now I honestly don't know how many nonfiction books I've read before this one.. but I do know that I enjoyed them at one point if not the whole book. Before I dive into this review, let me tell you.. I loved this book. Retta is such a funny person and now I really
I’ll admit, at first blush I wasn’t sold on Retta’s memoir even though I love Parks and Rec more than any other show in the history of ever. There’s a lot of page space spent on topics I don't personally care about. Designer handbags? Duke University? Keurigs? Meh. But then the last chapter was about her Hamilton obsession, and I officially bought in. This is pretty much a standard celebrity memoir—a little about her life growing up, stories of her struggles and challenges trying to make it in H ...more
Toni Joseph
Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
Retta is pretty good at reading her book but the stories themselves were just ok. Too much name dropping in the second half for me.
Sherwood Smith
This breezy, often hilarious memoir should appeal to fans of the TV show Parks and Recreation, and fans of the musical Hamilton, which Retta is obsessed with. Along with handbags, and various other parts of modern life that she digresses about with exuberant enthusiasm. I have zero interest in handbags, and couldn't tell a "name" one worth thousands from a cheapo, but I enjoyed Retta's sheer zest.

The parts I liked best were her frank memories about growing up a plus-size person of color, with im
Dec 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I just wish I had a friend as funny as Retta...
J Beckett
I have never watch and episode of Parks and Recreation (I know... a heathenish confession) nor, until recently, was I familiar with Retta, but the book caught my attention. Comedians can make reality more bearable, and autobiographies can present surprises.

And then it happened...

From within the first five pages I knew. I convinced myself to give the book a chance and labored through it -- becoming more disconnected -- waiting, even hoping, that it would morph into something that I could discuss
Erin Cataldi
May 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was a damn treat! I feel like I'm in the Parks and Rec Book Club because I HAVE TO read all the books they write. I'm so glad Retta joined their ranks because this book is a roller coaster of amazing. There is some real heartfelt shit in there, but it's also so down to earth and funny. I straight up felt like she was my best friend after this. Each chapter is an essay about some aspect of her life; from her addiction to designer bags, her newfound love of Hockey, making it as a black f ...more
Jessica Woodbury
A few years ago I thought celebrity books were silly. I have changed my mind. I am officially a fan. And my very favorite is the audiobook read by the celebrity, especially if they're as funny and charming as Retta.

This is not a big important book, this is your cotton candy. Retta is one of those celebs who came from practically nothing (she's the daughter of African immigrants and spent her childhood in the projects) and who will now tell you without shame how much she spent on a handbag. She
TREAT YO S(H)ELF and read this book! I legit laughed out loud at her stories, several of which are super relatable. Even though I watched her on Parks & Rec, it's her social media that makes me a big fan of hers. She is hysterical AF and I knew her book had to be just as funny. Get. The. Audio. and listen to her tell it! Also, if you follow her you know she's a Hamil-maniac. She has a whole chapter on her obsession that if she wasn't so awesome you would hate her just a little bit...but not real ...more
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
OMG this book, frands. It is SO HILARIOUS. I laughed. I screamed. I even cried a little (I was chopping onions too, but it was emotional so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯).

I cannot say this with enough emphasis: LISTEN TO THE AUDIOBOOK. This book was MEANT to be performed by Retta. It feels like you’re hanging out with your bestie over drinks and she is regaling you with wild tales - it’s life-giving in exactly that way.

I AM SO SAD IT’S OVER. Boy oh boy do I hope we get another someday!
Never felt more seen by a celebrity than in the essay on being lazy where Retta devotes half a page to her obsession and thoughts about MY SUPER SWEET 16 which is also my not-guilty-at-all jam, wherein I am both shocked, awed, and disgusted and cannot get enough.

Fun, light, and funny. I love how much she just loves things and people and experiences.
So, let's be clear: I love Retta because, right or wrong, I'm convinced she IS Donna from Parks and Rec. As blasphemous as it is to admit, near the end of that show I was getting tired of almost every character, including Leslie. But Donna was best life-ing like a BAWSE till the end. I just want to grow up to be her. Except for the cigars.

And what little I've seen of Retta outside the show, she's awesome. I just couldn't get into this memoir. I didn't enjoy this the way I enjoyed Mindy Kaling's
Mar 31, 2020 rated it liked it
Retta is so cool. I really needed an audio book that felt like a podcast or a cool person telling me stuff. This hit the spot. 😎
Jul 11, 2018 rated it liked it
I'm on the fence with this one because the title drew me in and had me thinking I'd be cracking up on every page, but I just lightly chuckled every now and then.

Retta's life is interesting, but interesting enough for a book? Not quite sure about that. A blog or even a few lengthy instagram posts 3x a week would have been just as fulfilling and quicker to digest.

The positives: I now want to binge watch Parks & Rec, she made me reconsider deleting my Snapchat, and I'm happy she has a role on Girl
Jun 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
This book was really entertaining and made me laugh a lot. But there was also an undercurrent of meanness running through it that I didn’t like. I love Retta and thought she was amazing as Donna on Parks & Rec. My favorite essay was the one about Hamilton. I am not a raving Hamilton fan but found that to be moving. I do dislike this new format of celebrity books that are just essays instead of chronological memoirs.

I was provided an advanced copy of this book by the publisher via NetGalley.
Jun 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Reading this is like going to happy hour with your friend. Laugh out loud funny!!

Retta is my spirit animal. I laughed so much that I spat out the beverage I was drinking while reading and almost choked. Life is too short to not laugh every day! Do yourself the favor and buy this book. I promise you that it will be good for your health.
Aug 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not gonna lie...I loved the hell outta this book! Retta is so funny and so candid, it was an absolute pleasure listening to her read the audiobook. Now I need to go re-watch Parks & Recreation again from the beginning...
May 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.75 stars

Retta is funny, entertaining, and when listening to her you basically want her to be your friend. If you like celebrity memoirs, I recommend this one, especially on audio. Retta is a comedian and it shows - she does a great job narrating the book.
Great, now I want to watch all of Parks and Rec again.
Amy Imogene Reads
I love Retta so much.
M.  [storme reads a lot]
I love Retta. Let me just say that to begin with. I enjoyed Parks and Rec and Good Girls is great. I’ve heard this book was really good for awhile and decided to pick it up from the library. It was made so much richer with her narration. I didn’t know a lot about her, and I enjoyed learning about her life.

Some of my favorite things about this book... how open and honest she is, the way she tells stories, and just her sense of humor. I love her so much. I could not get enough of this audiobook, a
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