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Heating Cooling: 52 Micro-Memoirs

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  2,396 ratings  ·  520 reviews
The 52 micro-memoirs in genre-defying Heating Cooling offer bright glimpses into a richly lived life, combining the compression of poetry with the truth-telling of nonfiction into one heartfelt, celebratory book. Ranging from childhood recollections to quirky cultural observations, these micro-memoirs build on one another to arrive at a portrait of Beth Ann Fennelly as a w ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published September 25th 2018 by W. W. Norton Company (first published October 10th 2017)
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Average rating 4.13  · 
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 ·  2,396 ratings  ·  520 reviews

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A delicious collection of teensy memories, all self-contained, cozy, and succinct. I was hoping some succinct would rub off on me, but it's not meant to be. Sigh. (See? Even the sigh is extra.)

This went way too fast. Seriously, the first time I looked down at my progress on my Kindle, I was at 58%. Slow down! The tidbits were like sugar. Once I started gulping them down, I didn't want to stop. I sort of couldn't stop; they were addicting. After I was done, I went back to find a few samples and d
Dec 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019-reads
The subtitle of this slim book is '52 micro-memoirs' and they are indeed micro. They are all less than one page and some are simply one line.

In this essay collection and musings of one woman's life, some were amusing but others ventured into TMI territory and should have been left out. It was a pleasant way to spend an hour or so for a chuckle or a nod in recognition, but now, two months after I read it, I find it unmemorable.
Joshilyn Jackson
Scott was making dinner, so I curled up on the sofa with the old cat. I read the first micro-memoir in HEATING AND COOLING by Beth Ann Fennelly, read it again, and then I had to ruin the cat’s life by getting up and going to the kitchen to read it aloud to Scott. This happened four more times, at which point my 20 year old son---who ONLY reads non-fiction or novels with space or dragons in them---took HEATING AND COOLING out of my hands. He devoured it cover to cover, in one sitting. In other wo ...more
E-galley provided by W.W. Norton & Company, Edelweiss and Author, Beth Ann Fennelly for my honest review. Heads up also to GR friend and member Katie for recommending this title.

You may be tempted to breeze through this short book of vignettes. Savor the wisdom, savor the humor, savor the read and when you're finished go back and read it again. You might be surprised at what you missed on the first go round.
Mar 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoirs
This is an amusing collection of personal stories. The pieces are so short the subtitle calls them micro-memoirs, but whatever you call them they are humorous observations about one woman’s life.

The pieces reminded me of journal entries - a writer dashing off clever notes about her day, and I enjoyed the collection. The stories are so brief they disappear quickly from memory, but I liked them in the moment.
I’m a big memoir fan and I loved this unique take on the genre. Fennelly presents snippets of her life that give you almost enough. I appreciate the missing pieces. The style works. These thoughtfully-written essays range from a couple sentences to a few short pages. I want more!
A small but potent book with essays that touch on love, marriage, parenting, and writing. A good fistful of these pages just skewered my heart real nice.
Jan 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pure poetry. So much said in so few words.
Sarah Obsesses over Books & Cookies
OMG can this woman write!! about everything, marriage, motherhood, secret talents, vince vaughn everything with the keen eye of a poet but the sensibility of an essayist. quick, super quick reading for those times you're like, damn what am I going to read next.
Mississippi Library Commission
Weird, funny, and personal. We really liked this one!
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
I had high expectations, but I am sad to say I was a bit let down by this book. I love poetry and I love short stories / memoirs, but I think the combination is not for me. The book being written by different writers (it's a collection) and every poem/story being so short makes it hard to empathize. Furthermore, some poems were really farfetched, for example 'Mommy wants a glass of Chardonnay'*. But in some way it was also nice that there was variation between sad, funny, and weird stories. The ...more
This was a quick read, but not necessarily a light one.

Fennelly's series of micro-memoirs range from funny to heart-breaking, tackling everything from marriage to motherhood to loss, to lessons learned growing up, to her complicated relationship with repairmen, and so much more.

Reading these made me think of how quickly life flies by, especially the older you get. I remember hearing, as a child, my parents comment on how quickly time flies by. I thought they were crazy because to me, at the ti
Apr 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had not heard of Beth Ann Fennelly's Heating and Cooling before, but stumbled across it on my online library catalogue and borrowed it immediately. I love fragmented memoirs, and this is a particularly interesting one. Through each of these 'micro-memoirs', Fennelly reveals herself little by little. The entries are amusing, and sometimes quite touching; Fennelly's approach is fresh and enjoyable. There is such depth and consideration to the writing, and I will definitely be looking out for Fen ...more
Halley Sutton
Nov 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Funny, wise, beautiful, absurd, dark. As her mother said, "There are a lot of penises, Beth Ann."
Olivia Lammel
May 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this so much! It was delightful and well written and hard to put down. I accidentally read it in one sitting- I kept telling myself “I’ll get up and do chores after one more story.”
Some of these micro-memoirs were hilarious. I liked them in the moment, but I'm not sure they will stay with me for long.
Bree Hill
Dec 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I started reading these micro-memoirs yesterday while riding around the city with my husband and kept laughing and giggling I had to start reading them to him. This collection are short sweet hilarious and to the point reflections on different occurrences in the author’s life that really build up and paint a portrait of who she is now.

She’s the friend that if you were on Who Wants to be a Millionaire, you wouldn’t use as one of your life lines. Her husband, every story he writes kills off a cha
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There’s no reason not to read this book. It’s creative, charming, relatable, and easy to read (you can probably finish the whole thing in an hour). The author uses (very) short stories to highlight different memories or lessons from her life. I really loved it!
RH Walters
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Dang it, I thought I reviewed this already. Flippin hilarious, with actual fire and lust, and soul-chilling gusts of loss and casual cruelty. This book makes me want to abolish the star rating system, because I didn’t love it as much as Portrait of a Lady or Department of Speculation, but it’s mind blowing in its own right. Take a hike, stars and small numbers, and everyone else enjoy this book.
Read in a day (actually while I was on the elliptical). It has memoirs that will make you laugh out loud, which is potentially hazardous when you are only holding on to the elliptical with one hand. It also has some touching moments with stories that will cut you to the core. Fennelly is candid and vulnerable, while still finding a way to delight you with her stories. Memoirs like this can easily get too personal, but Fennelly straddles the line well.

Thank you, Anne Bogel, for recommending this
Jun 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: essays, memoir
Fennelly manages to reveal herself to the reader in 52 micro stories of her life. The reader is left feeling like she could strike up a conversation with BAF as if she's an old friend. She's honest, open, and witty. I especially like the Married Love series.
So funny, so sharp, so specific and yet so relatable. This is going to be a surprise hit.
Lexi Nylander
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir, autos
I absolutely loved this. It was the perfect length and so so funny and harrowing in turns. It hit so many different topics and feelings. It was also one of the simplest and clearest depictions of being absolutely in love with and loving your significant other that I've ever had the pleasure of experiencing.

My favorites were Why I'm So Well Read, Married Love III, When They Grow Up and Salvage, Addendum.

"Matthew: it's possible that at this point I have a slight crush on Matthew. Small, trim men
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Dec 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: just-for-fun
This is a perfect book to keep in your pocket for those odd moments you'd like to fill with a story or two. It is also an ideal book to use as a model for your own memoir.

Beth Ann Fennelly tells the story of her life in tiny vignettes that are both honest and poignant. None of the micro-memoirs lasts more than a few pages and each one leaves you reeling. I often found myself saying to myself, Now what was that about? and rereading the story from start to finish. A few places made me grimace wit
Kari Ann Sweeney
Jan 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
I adored this book. I loved the format of the micro-memoir. Short snippets of wit, pain and life. I could relate to how a seemingly mundane moment can unexplainably leave a lasting memory. Fennelly is such a talented writer. "Married Love II" and "Why I'm So Well Read" had me laughing until it hurt.
Mitch Karunaratne
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
This is a wonderfully crafted memoir in 52 short episodes - some just a sentence, others 4 pages long. Some of the memoirs are almost like poems in complete sentences. What I loved is these are very open and beautifully observed, Fennelly hones in on the details of life. Because of this, unlike other memoirs, it felt very universal and less about the authors life and more about prodding my own memory and reflection on relationships, marriage and family.
May 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars. Heartbreaking and lovely and really, really funny– I absolutely saw myself in so many of these pages. How Beth Ann Fennelly manages to tell a story of her life, so complete, in such short snippets and few pages is incredible to me. She is abundantly talented.
Mar 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A collection of very short, quirky anecdotes/ thoughts from the author’s life.
May 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I loved this- a cross between memoir and poetry, both funny and poignant.
Dec 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Loved these essays, well written, funny and courageous.
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Beth Ann Fennelly is the author of Tender Hooks: Poems and Great with Child: Letters to a Young Mother . A professor of English at the University of Mississippi, Fennelly lives with her husband and children in Oxford, Mississippi. ...more

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