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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

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3.88  ·  Rating details ·  3,925 ratings  ·  760 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
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Hardcover, 262 pages
Published May 29th 2018 by St. Martin's Press
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3.88  · 
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 ·  3,925 ratings  ·  760 reviews


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Lola
Having never watched Parks and Recreation (I’ll allow one single tomato thrown at my feet), I really didn’t know who Retta was before picking this book up.

But I did learn she's a comedian, so I jumped on the chance to read this one. My different experiences with memoirs from comedians have each been pleasant in the past (my do I love Tiffany Haddish’s memoir!), so I couldn’t wait to let my mind be filled with all things Retta!

It really does feel like she’s across the table from you, having a cof
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abby
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
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Erin
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
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Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

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
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Heather
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
Jenna
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
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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 about
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Alaina
I have received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review.

I AM IN LOVE WITH RETTA!
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
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Taryn Pierson
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
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
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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.
Amy
Dec 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I just wish I had a friend as funny as Retta...
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
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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
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
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Kelly
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.
Kimberly
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 ...more
Chessa
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!
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Evan
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...
Vanessa
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
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Susan
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.
Nakia
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
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Meg
Great, now I want to watch all of Parks and Rec again.
Kristen
Aug 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
First, fair warning: I received this book as a free copy from St. Martin's Press from a Goodreads giveaway, so shoutout to both of them for hooking a homie up. All thoughts are my own though, dudes.

I'd give this a 3.75/5, but we're rounding up to a four here.

Shoutout to a Jersey girl with immigrant parents and just trying to live a comfy life and being funny in the meantime. Retta is who I'd be if I was braver and tried to do comedy at all, but obviously, she's successful and I'm just a buttmun
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Breanna
Aug 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir-autobio
I really enjoyed this! I love Retta's acting and when I came across this, I just had to read it! Her personality shines through this and I felt like I was having a conversation with her throughout the whole thing.
Joyce
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.
Jenny Bunting
Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Retta is hilarious.

And the audiobook is the only way to go. I would hang out with her ANYTIME.
Donna Davis
Jun 28, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people that are already diehard fans.
Huh. Go figure.

Although I don’t watch Parks and Recreation, the television show for which this comedic actor has become famous, I thought I would enjoy her memoir. For one thing, she’s a big woman, and I love it when well-padded women have the courage to go on stage for a purpose other than disparaging themselves. At least one reviewer on Goodreads hadn’t watched her program, yet loved this book. Thanks go to Net Galley and St. Martin’s Press for the DRC; I want to like this book too, but I don
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Janine Slayton
This book was just fun. I can't say I was a die hard Retta fan going in, though of course I've enjoyed her on Parks and Recreation and on her new show. But now, after reading this, I'm convinced we could be great friends.

I could totally relate to her addictive personality -- and letting it manifest itself in addictions to everything BUT actual drugs -- purses, TV shows, Hamilton, coffee -- she could have been describing ME, the way she talked about finding something new and getting all caught u
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