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I Miss You When I Blink: Essays

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  12,210 ratings  ·  1,756 reviews
Acclaimed essayist and bookseller Mary Laura Philpott presents a charmingly relatable and wise memoir-in-essays about what happened after she checked off all the boxes on her successful life’s to-do list and realized she might need to reinvent the list—and herself.

Mary Laura Philpott thought she’d cracked the code: Always be right, and you’ll always be happy.

But once sh
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 2nd 2019 by Atria Books (first published April 2019)
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Average rating 3.79  · 
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 ·  12,210 ratings  ·  1,756 reviews

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May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-reads
I knew the author and I were simpatico when, in her first essay, she tells the story of having no sense of direction and she loses her car in a parking garage. This is my life and I’m totally stealing her tip to start taking pictures as a bread crumb trail.

And then there’s her to-do list. I thought I was the only crazy person who had a post-it note addiction. Like the author, If it’s not on my list and I complete a task I will write it down just to have the satisfaction of crossing it off. Hello
4.5, rounded up in a blink

Wow. I just love the title of this book! And it sent me right down memory lane. I’m waving my hand in the air, desperately signaling, “Me too! I put ‘blink’ in a title, too! We’re twins!” No, no, no, “blink” wasn’t in a title of a story I wrote. It was in the title of a necklace I made. Seriously.

The inspiration came when I was 30,000 feet in the air, a place where I hate to be (“feet on the ground” is my motto). As always, I tried to tune out the flight attendant as sh
Elyse Walters
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Audiobook.. narrated by the author.

Mary Laura Philpott is so enjoyable!!
.....wise, savvy, smart, funny!

“What happens when you check off off the boxes on your to-do list and realize you might need to reinvent the list—and yourself?”

Maybe.....that’s why most of us never complete our to-do lists....we’re afraid to reinvent ourselves. Ha!

Very satisfying Audiobook.....
looking at life in CHUNKS!!!!

“I Miss You When I Blink”..
is marvelous!!!!

Skyler Autumn
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
2 Stars

Ummmm, this was not great and I'm a little surprised by that. This book is quite hyped up and being compared to a personal favourite read of mine The Rules Don't Apply by Ariel Levy so I did go into this book expecting a lot more substance than was actually delivered.

I Miss You When I Blink was slated as a collection of personal essays that address feelings of depression, anxiety and inadequacy amidst having what most (everyone honestly) would classify as a very successful, loving and
Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)
How can we sum up our life's experiences? Does it boil down to a word, to a moment, to an event that defines us and makes us who we are? In this collection of essays, one might find oneself totally depicted as a wife, a mother, a person so trying to achieve that excellence that our mothers so ingrained in us. Is this a revelation that happens at a certain age, a time when we feel the years speeding up so much that you want to yell "stop". I want this day, this hour, this minute, to hold still, t ...more
Ashlee Ward
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
DNF. Okay, so some of these essays may have made me giggle, but, ultimately, what’s the purpose of this? This is going to sound harsh, but it’s clear that some people get to publish a book just because they have money. This book is an affluent white lady’s blog in print. I want a book to do more for me than this...I want a bit more substance, even if we’re simply talking essays.
I LOVED this! I don't really know what to say about this, but I found it EXTREMELY relatable and real. Plus I think I read it at a perfect time in my life. I can totally relate to feeling the way she did with life much of the time. You have a good job, a house you own, two beautiful kids.... yet you still feel lost, anxious, and out of sorts. You feel stuck in the relentless cycle of balancing daily home and work life. Her personal essays show you that it's okay to take a time out and have "pers ...more
Tyler Goodson
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs
This book will make you feel better. Mary Laura is open and honest about personal anxiety, family life, professional complacency, and, of course, the existential damage wreaked by Atlanta traffic. She makes you feel less alone, and encouraged, and confident. It's like hanging out with your best friend, your life coach, and your favorite writer all at once. I Miss You When I Blink is an impossibly perfect reading experience. ...more
Dec 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, audiobook
3.5 stars

Another one I should have reviewed a long time ago...

I listened to I Miss You When I Blink as an audio, which worked well. These are personal essays by Mary Laura Philpott. She talks about her childhood, her college years and her years as an adult with young children. There’s nothing dramatic about her life but she’s honest, which is what I appreciated most. There’s a good balance of humour and painful self-examination.

While I listened to the audio, I had received an ARC from the publis
Diane Yannick
Sep 30, 2019 rated it did not like it
This author bashed a women’s night out because they talked so much about how to make chicken salad. WELL, THIS IS WHAT THE WHOLE DAMNED BOOK WAS LIKE FOR ME. It took forever to make a point and often the point wasn’t even worth making. She whined and made problems where none existed. She wallowed in her privilege without even recognizing it. She kept seeking “some acknowledgment from somewhere that I was important”. Yep, that pretty much sums it up. I liked the title.
Janelle Janson
Thank you so much Atria Books for my free copy!

I MISS YOU WHEN I BLINK is a personal, witty, and heartfelt collection of essays where every sentence is pure gold. Philpott writes beautifully and with such authenticity I felt like I was getting to know a friend. Like everyone, there are milestones in my life that I want to go back and revisit but the moments are gone and memories are all that is left.

“You can stand by your past decisions even if they took you to a present where you don’t belong
Sep 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: essays, audiobook
This was such an enjoyable memoir to listen to! Philpott is wise and funny and writes about small moments in an entertaining way. Her essays invite the reader into her life and elevate the daily grind into something illuminating.
Corrin Foster
Apr 21, 2019 rated it did not like it
Very surprised that this book received so much hype. Kudos to the marketing and PR team.
Apr 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
Meh. Parts were funny, but this read like a collection of blog posts, not polished essays.
May 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: essays
“I Miss You When I Blink” is a book club read that resonated with our group because author Mary Laura Philpott’s self deprecating humor made us all see ourselves in her stories. I’m not a fan of Memoirs, mostly because I think the author is coloring their story in the best possible light. Philpott doesn’t do that. In fact, one of her chapters is entitled “Ungrateful Bitch” because she realizes all her problems are first world problem, yet, we are all entitled to feeling disappointed or frustrate ...more
Jessica J.
Jan 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Believe the hype on this one; it's flippin' brilliant. More to come. ...more
Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Really loved this one!
Smart, witty personal essays are some of my favorite reading. Philpott reminds us that being an adult, even one who seemingly has everything, is hard and periodically sucks. Sometimes we have to step back and assess ourselves; tweak a few things or make drastic changes. As someone who has moved a lot, I understand that urge (though, like Philpott, I currently reside in the Nashville area and quite like it). I enjoyed these stories, but feel like they scratch the surface. I’d read the hell out of ...more
Debbie "DJ"
Aug 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, own, essays
Okay, so it’s like pulling teeth to get me to read short stories. Now my friend wants me to read essays? Oh hell no...but the pleading? What can I do but say okayyy already! I am eating every word I said against essays. These were fantastic! They were smart, funny, and oh so well written. Loved every minute, and couldn’t wait to get back to reading them! You win my friend!
Kristy K
Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars

I’m learning that I really like memoirs in essay form, or maybe just essays in general. Philpott fills hers with relatable anecdotes and a great mixture of humor and authenticity.

I received an advanced copy through Netgalley in return for an honest review.
Andrea (EvergreensAndBookishThings)
This collection of essays was super high on my to-be-read list. Two of my favorite books of 2018 could be described similarly (Heating & Cooling and Tell Me More). And on paper, this practically shouts YOU ARE THE TARGET AUDIENCE. I was born a year before the author and have checked all those boxes and, yes, can sometimes be type-A and a little anxious. Plus she works at Parnassus! It's blurbed by Ann Patchett! Although, while relatable in many ways, it didn't engage me like I hoped it would.
Amy Imogene Reads
Aug 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
4 stars

I loved this small collection of essays, but I think read it at the wrong stage of my life.

Writing: ★★★★★
Feelings: ★★★★ 1/2
Relatability: ★★★★

I Miss You When I Blink: Essays was a cover that refused to let me ignore it in my local bookstore. I hovered around it for weeks. "I miss you when I blink," I thought. "Huh." And then I went home and I thought about it. A lot. The cycle repeated until I finally broke down and walked out with my own copy.

Let's get this out of the way first—the writ
Renee (itsbooktalk)
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 rounded up
“I know already how much I miss things that happened in the past- how they’re right there behind my eyelids but also gone forever. “

This quote and so many others in @marylauraphilpott ‘s new memoir really spoke to me. As a mom to one son already in college and the next (and last) son heading there in the fall, I often wish I could go back in time, just for a day and revisit them when they were young children. Those moments are right there in my memory, but as Mary said...gone fore
Jun 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfictions, memoir
This was fine. I really enjoy memoirs as a genre, and I appreciate memoir/essay collections like this one as easy-to-read, relaxing books. I Miss You When I Blink is a pretty standard book from the memoir genre - the writing is good (if not particularly insightful or witty) and the essays are enjoyable enough (although some are better than others) - but there's nothing particularly special or compelling about this book to meaningfully differentiate it from others. A few passages here and there s ...more
Diane Barnes
May 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: bedtime-books
The author is a Type A, driven, perfectionist, competitive workaholic, who always needs to be right and pile up compliments and kudos to prove her self worth. I am none of those things, but I know people who are, so it was worth reading to figure out what makes them tick. It was also very funny, as Philpott knows how to make fun of herself.
Melanie  H
Mar 17, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars with the caveat that if you’re a certain class of white woman on the far side of 40, this might hit a little too close to home. Also, full disclosure: I won this in a Goodreads give away!

Charming. Thought-provoking. And infuriating in the all the ways today’s upper middle-class white women can be. Or maybe I just related to Philpott’s essays more than I’d care to admit. I imagine if I had children, this book would describe my adult experiences to a tee.

For all the overachievers in the
Kelsey (Kelseylovesbooks)
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
I Miss You When I Blink spoke to a spiritual level within me. At times, it was like Mary was looking into my soul and saying “As a type-A person who likes control, I know you need to hear this.” And within the essay titled “A Letter to the Type a Person in Distress”, that is literally what she was doing. I felt seen by this book, I laughed during this book, and I gained permission I didn’t know I needed from this book.

Several essays are about Mary’s life with children, and while I do not have ch
May 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Reviewed on: Ashes Books & Bobs.

I decided to pick up I Miss You When I Blink with one of my Libro.fm credits and I’m so glad I did. I love listening to audiobooks narrated by the author because it allows readers to catch all of the inflections and the tone behind the words on the page. It makes the reading experience feel more personal. This book was one of the most honest, authentic reading experiences I’ve come across and it was 1000% refreshing.

“Maybe we all walk around assuming everyone is i
Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
I Miss You When I Blink is collection of essays about ordinary life structured into the mid-life memoir of author Mary Laura Philpott.

This book got a lot of buzz in the bookish community. Mary Laura Philpott is an essayist and bookseller at the famed Parnussus Books (the Ann Patchett owned Nashville bookstore) and with comparisons to Nora Ephron, Elizabeth Gilbert, Erma Bombeck, and Anne Lamott, booksellers were a-buzz about this book longer before it hit shelves. All this to say that my expect
Brittany | thebookishfiiasco
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
(@atriabooks #partner)
this was one of the most pleasant, funny, real, honest, and friendly reads i’ve ever read. every time i had this book with me and read a few of the stories, i felt like i was with a friend. that’s some pretty stellar writing, if you ask me. each story encapsulated a bit of wisdom, a bit of humor, and a lot of realness, which is pretty much all i’m ever looking for.

i think it’s that authenticity that made this book the great experience that it was for me. i felt like i wal
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Mary Laura Philpott, author of the national bestseller I Miss You When I Blink (2019) and Bomb Shelter (forthcoming in 2022), writes essays that examine the overlap of the absurd and the profound in everyday life. Her writing has been featured frequently by the New York Times and appears in such outlets as the Washington Post, the Atlantic, the Paris Review Daily, O the Oprah Magazine, Real Simple ...more

Articles featuring this book

It’s good policy to keep a book of essays handy for those nights when you want to read but need something of a more digestible length....
68 likes · 5 comments
“Maybe we all walk around assuming everyone is interpreting the world the same way we are, and being surprised when they aren't, and that's the loneliness and confusion of the human experience in a nutshell.” 28 likes
“But maybe the trick isn't sticking everything out. The trick is quitting the right thing at the right time. The trick is understanding that saying "No, thank you" to something you're expected to accept isn't failure. It's a whole other level of success.” 23 likes
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