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Elephants In My Room

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From comedian Christie Nicholls comes a sidesplitting, spirited and whip-smart collection of laugh-out-loud (when you’re not crying) autobiographic essays. In Elephants In My Room, Nicholls mines her past for honest if not humiliating stories of her formative years, her family, jobs and romantic relationships that are at once extraordinary and absurd. Whether she’s walking a dog for Bougie Buddhists in Brentwood, or navigating the terrain of Iceland in a car she doesn’t know how to drive, or sleeping in a hammock all summer long, deep in the Brazilian rainforest with a bilingual German Shepard by her side, Christie finds humor and heart in the most outrageous and routine.

Sometimes foul, always funny, and as sharp as a tack, Elephants In My Room reminds you why Christie Nicholls will one day be one of our generation’s favorite leading ladies, maybe. Or, she’ll move to New Zealand and shear sheep. Who knows.

296 pages, Kindle Edition

First published November 25, 2019

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About the author

Christie Nicholls

1 book22 followers
Christie Nicholls is a Los Angeles based SAW (stand-up comedian, actor, and writer). After earning a PhD in Performance Studies at UCLA, Christie finally admitted that she wanted to perform herself. Whether in front of a camera, or a live audience, Christie will embody any role, from traditional leading lady, to Jane Fonda, to Richard Nixon, to her original characters, to your Mom (no really, she’s excellent at impersonations). When Christie isn’t writing, or performing, or prank calling, she’s playing with her daughter Vickie, her husband Weasel, and their two rescue mutts Maverick and George Carlin. Or… she's probably in the hot tub. Yep, check the hot tub.
Christie is a splendid conversationalist.

Start one with her at www.christienicholls.com

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5 stars
49 (53%)
4 stars
19 (20%)
3 stars
16 (17%)
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4 (4%)
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3 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 47 reviews
Profile Image for Skip.
3,288 reviews395 followers
July 13, 2020
Christie Nicholls is pretty funny … sometimes. Her book is split into four sections: her travels abroad (mostly as a child as her father was an oceanographer), jobs, family events, and boyfriends. The first section was strongest and the last was weakest. The summer is Brazil with das hund (German Shepherd) was very funny as was her stand-up routine is Sweden, where she introduced her mother in Swedish and told audience her mother was horny. I liked the value of anything at Marshalls was the difference between the "usually sells for price" and the price at which it was purchased. The section about caring for her MomMom with Alzheimer's was very touching and sometimes amusing, and I was more depressed than anything about her family's drinking exploits.
Profile Image for ♏ Gina Baratono☽.
731 reviews119 followers
March 30, 2020
I won this Kindle book in a Goodreads giveaway and I thank the author and the publishing company.

This book is a delight to read. It runs the gamut of very, very funny, to tragic situations in the life of the author, s stand-up comedian, actor and writer who also holds a doctorate in Performance Studies from UCLA.

The book is a series of little peeks into her life, from when she was quite young to the present day (where she remains quite young by the way). In the early stories, the one thing I realized as I read was that her family must own stock in the alcohol industry because oh-my-gosh there's a LOT of boozing going on, which leads to some very humorous situations along with more than one family disagreement (to put it mildly).

Christie also delves into the not-so-funny, such as when we go along with her as she faces a beloved family's fight with Alzheimer's.

Traveling the world with her parents as a child, she experiences a huge range of cultures, and along with that, not a few mishaps with her family, the locals, and her brother whom she loves to hate.

It's a great ride.
November 26, 2019
Loved it! The book has a terrific sense of place so the reader really feels like you are on the author's shoulder. I got a real sense of warmth and joy from the chapter, as if I were walking in the author's shoes and experiencing the same adventures.
Profile Image for Brandon Keller.
21 reviews16 followers
January 20, 2020
You know those people who have the ability to make everyone feel like they’re their best friend? Even if you just see them for a second you leave feeling happier and lighter? Elephants in my Room feels like the book version of that person, if that makes sense. I think it’s because there’s no hint of phoniness. Every story, whether it’s about telemarketing or a historic fart, feels so vulnerable and genuine. I really don’t think you can read this and not fall in love with Christie. You’ll feel like you're best friends after reading it. It’s actually weird. Needless to say, highly recommend.
Profile Image for Leland.
6 reviews
November 28, 2019
This is a memoir by a young woman who has somehow packed a dozen lifetimes into her so-far brief years. It’s a work of some kind of twisted genius, skipping back and forth through the years to land, finally on the heart of things: Why we are who we are. “Elephants” begins like a shot out from an elephant gun, detailing a childhood that begins the jungles of Brazil with Nicholl’s family of admittedly “brilliant assholes” including a hard-drinking oceanographer father, a wry and put-upon mother, brother Beluga (not his real name, thank Christ) and an unruly spiritual animal companion in the form of large German (very German) Shepard. From there, it’s off to Europe for a sojourn in Italy where Nicholl’s only toys were empty shampoo bottles with drawn-on faces (with which she put on shows that she called “my soap operas”). Nicholl’s rollicking account takes us through a series of humiliations in the art world, including earnest attempts at mastering dance, voice, flute and piano. Nicholls spare no one, especially herself, in her candid accounts of childhood, adolescence, her brief but disastrous dating period, college, and finally a career as an actress and comedian. In adulthood, Nicholl’s world-beating adventures have hardly slowed down, allowing her to be horrified anew by the sundry oddball situations she finds herself in and her own stumbling reaction to them. Metaphors and similes pile up as the author joyfully uses the the English language like a sabre, or perhaps a rug beater. She cops many times to having a less-than-perfect short term memory, but her ability to recall the most hilarious details of adventures from her distant past is truly impressive. Finally, Nicholls’ picaresque narrative arrives at the most recent and most meaningful Big Event of her life, childbirth, the road to which contained as many twists and turns as everything else in her life, and which she somehow manages to heartwarmingly correlate to her struggles to negotiate a recalcitrant rental car in Iceland. There are more ghastly confessions and outrageously funny observations packed into these honest pages than you’ll find in any hundred other memoirs. “Elephants in My Room” will make you wonder and think and feel and sometimes get a little choked up, but somehow, just like Ms. Nicholls herself, you will be laughing through it all. Highly recommended!
1 review1 follower
January 8, 2020
Funny, honest, and self-deprecating, "Elephants in My Room" is a wonderful read for literary buffs looking for something different, authentic and unflinchingly honest. From spectacularly failing to prey on the naivete of the elderly when pursuing telemarketing in a sexually hostile workplace, to spaghetti rocket launchers and consistently incorrect expediting when waitressing, to finding dignity in dog walking, Christie's honest portrayals of the entry-level jobs we all have known and love to hate, result in sidesplitting stories that magically find the funny in everyday banality. But, this book is deeper than that, because Christie even manages to find hilarity in the depths of sadness and loss that accompany the decline and departure of family members that you easily recognize as your own. The magic in this book is that it is simultaneously "laugh-out-loud" funny, and devastatingly sad, due to Christie's ability to honestly portray her actions and feelings. Coming of age in an era where it was more important to be lady-like and effeminate as a girl, Christie thankfully flips-off the responsibility and predictability of this social role, at every turn, and gives a refreshing portrayal of the realistic hurdles in young relationships, jobs, and family. It is a glimpse into what I am confident everyone experiences and feels, but is not bold enough to say. This book opens the door and lays bare the family secrets and knowledge that most never talk about. And, that is the treasure of these stories--shining a light on situations many of us would be too embarrassed to talk about, in a way that honestly acknowledges shortcomings but finds the funny in every. single. one. of. them.
Profile Image for Goth Gone Grey.
1,025 reviews47 followers
March 9, 2020
Sporadic, manic, vulgar...

...so, essentially, like life. The tales range from hyper childhood antecdotes to caring for an ailing loved one and all points in between. It's rambling at times, introspective at other times, and entirely heartfelt throughout. Honest? Yes, sometimes too much with wry humor and a deep sense of the absurd.

I'll admit that for the first chapter or two I wondered what I was getting into, a trial by fire that I survived to get to other, more heartfelt chapters.

An example of the writing - overall decent, but a handful of typos remain.

"We reached a section in the film called “Turn ’em and Burn ’em Service” where the waitstaff took on the noble “responsibility” of getting customers in and out faster than assembly line workers cranked out a carburetor at the Ford factory. This requirement demanded a quality that I never have nor ever will possess – a reasonably good short-term memory. (Side note: I’ve done this many times, where I’ll walk to the bathroom, sit down, and forget what I’m doing in there. Oh right! Take down pants and pee.)"

I received a copy of this book for review purposes.
January 25, 2020
This was a phenomenal book. The author has an exceptional memory. Her ability to recall every detail of her conversations, interactions and experiences going all the way back to early childhood, must be something very few people are able to do. It makes the reader start to think back to events of times past, even long ago, to try to remember memories even more clearly than currently remembered.

Christie Nicholls background as a stand-up comic lends to her unique ability to be totally at ease with being self-deprecating in the stories she tells in Elephants in My Room. I found myself laughing out loud uncontrollably (must have woken my girlfriend up who was sleeping in the next room) as I read the chapter where Christie talks about how bad of a waitress she was. I was equally enthralled by how hilariously she describes other job ventures she undertook to pay her way through college.

Whatever challenges she had to be the best at some jobs or to fit in in certain social settings earlier in life; she has most certainly found her calling by writing this book.
1 review
February 19, 2020
Elephants in My Room is a refreshing, light read that sneaks up on you as a testament to Love, Truth and Family. Yes, Christie Nicholls is funny - a stand-up comedian, actor and writer with a PhD in Performance Studies. But what I especially liked is that her humor, combined with her compassion and strength, provides an undertow when you least expect it. When she is boisterously, comically “on a roll” and I’m thinking, “Go girl!” she then pivots, and shows me something about tenderness, even grace at times. She finesses the combo beautifully and most importantly with brutal honesty. Selling Out, and also Magic and Mommom are two of my favorites. “Elephants” is a fun and important look at how we can choose to delight in the many layers of the people we love, and at least amuse ourselves with those we don’t.
1 review
February 4, 2020
I've always wanted to begin a review with the word "eschewing," and I think this is finally my moment. Eschewing all the stuffy trappings of a typical memoir, Christie Nicholls delves into her globetrotting life story with grace, nostalgia and a comedian's perspective that all life experiences -- even the dark ones -- are brimming with comedy. There's a level of detail in Nicholls' recollection of her youth that's impressive; in addition to her skills as a comic and writer, it is possible she also possesses some kind of mutant-like superhuman memory.
It's rare to experience a fresh and singular new voice leaping off the page at you, but Nicholls achieves it with style in "Elephants in My Room." She's one to follow in both the comedy and lit landscapes.
4 reviews
June 16, 2020
This book is such a great light summer read. Christie Nicholls is hilariously open about her eccentric family and crazy moments of her life. It feels like you are on the adventures with her and some of the stories from childhood are like a time warp for the reader.

While the overarching book is funny, Christie does touch on some sad but very real subjects. Reading her describe her grandmother's illness took me back to my own grandmother also suffering. She somehow finds a way to take subjects that could be depressing, like Alzheimer's, and show that it isn't all sad. I did tear up (okay, maybe outright cry)at some points but that just made me love the book more.

I am so glad I came across this book and would recommend it to others.
1 review
January 11, 2020
Prepare for flight! This book is an amazing trip down a very honest and entertaining memory lane from one of my favorite comedians. Christie has a talent for evoking my favorite emotional combination; through laughter and tears we journey through her childhood with a host of amazing characters and experiences. You truly feel like your right there with her experiencing everything, and by the end of the book you wish you could have been there really, because what fun it must have been. I am also so refreshed by the candidness of her stories. To have someone be so open, honest and raw about their family, experiences and feelings is such a treat these days. Bravo Christie, and Encore!
1 review
February 1, 2020
I laughed, I cried, and most of all I wished I was along for Christie's childhood and young adult journey with her family. She has a talent for sharing her wonderful memories, sprinkling almost every single one with humor, and still finding a way to share the pain she felt at times, taking it all in stride. She is a lucky woman to have the relationship she has with her Dad, Mom, and Beluga, not to mention the pets she loved along the way. The only thing I wish for more than to read her next book is to somehow get invited to a family wedding! Any family that can get locked IN for a rehearsal dinner, is a family I would enjoy being a part of.

Cathy Decker
1 review
December 6, 2019
I feel like everywhere I turn someone is telling me that I "have to watch a new hilarious show" or "listen to a new comedy podcast". If we're being honest the majority of it all is a bland and diluted form of comedy. A friend recommended "Elephants in My Room" and I will say that I was hesitant at first, what with all the over saturation of content, but I'm so glad I took her advice and read this book! It was raw, honest, and laugh out loud funny. A true breath of fresh air, I'm obsessed! So much love for this book! I highly recommend it (and I don't recommend much).
1 review
January 31, 2020
Elephants In My Room was a fascinating read, and I am already looking forward to Christie Nicholls' next book. Her childhood was full of adventures that most kids can only dream about, and in addition to the hilarious moments she shares, she also has the confidence to openly explain and characterize deep family relationships, which most of us can relate to on some level. Christie is one funny and talented woman, and without a doubt we will hear much more about her storied career.

Rich Decker
Profile Image for Kerry Murtagh Ramsay.
177 reviews1 follower
June 14, 2020
A very, VERY generous three

I hesitate to review this one (although obviously I am) because these are personal essays. The book is billed as laugh-out-loud funny and, truth be told, I did laugh a couple of times in the last chapter before it veered into Life Lesson Land. I wouldn’t read it again and I wouldn’t read anything else she wrote. I’d’ve been more interested to read about her relationship with her brother.

And, to the editor: just between you and me, cars don’t “shutter.” They may “shudder,” but shutter they do not.
1 review
June 1, 2020
Wow! Nicholls has a way with words and tale telling that is captivating. It’s a hilarious relook at stories from her past that will really make you laugh (a lot) and maybe cry. Nicholls has a truly unique past that is recounted in a visceral while satirical way. Her ability to recall vivid details about her childhood through adulthood makes this especially hilarious and graphic. It’s a really great read that will fly by and leave you (like me) excited for the follow up. Highly recommend!!!
December 2, 2019
I read this while staying with family members over a long weekend, and my mom kept asking what I was laughing about! Christie Nicholls has an amazing knack for finding humor and absurdity in the seemingly ordinary, and spinning a beautiful story from it. The book is deeply personal, and each chapter adds nuance, hilarity, and heartbreak at once. A great read, and highly recommended. I hope there will be more to come.
1 review1 follower
December 5, 2019
Must Read NOW!

Such a fun read!!! This is a wonderfully honest and extremely funny collection of short stories. Christie really lets us into her world and makes stories, that some people might find embarrassing, tremendously enjoyable and relatable. If you don't have a copy PLEAS GET ONE!!! GO...GET ONE NOW!
1 review
December 7, 2019
Christie writes with such pure emotion that the reader is drawn into the experience. This book will make you laugh and cry! It allows the reader to go on a journey through her life and relate to the stories and what they taught her on a larger scale. I couldn't put it down! This is MUST read for all!
1 review
December 28, 2019
Nicholls is an incredible story teller! Her vivid detail and entertaining experiences come alive in this memoir. You will laugh out loud, hold back tears and contemplate life's lessons as you relive Christie's adventures with her. Her story captures your heart and you won't want to put her book down. A beautifully written account of an incredible woman's life. 
1 review
January 8, 2020
I absolutely loved this book! Christie's ability to bring you into her world (long term, not short term) is incredible. From the very beginning, Christie's humorous story telling transports you into her travels and life experiences. From the silly antics, to the more emotional tales, you go from laughter to tears, and feel like you're part of her family. I can't wait for the next book!
4 reviews1 follower
January 23, 2020
I loved this book. The author’s ability to create a unique and vivid world took me all over on her adventures. Including doing stand up in Sweden! I particularly enjoyed her story about her grandfather. The author mixes humor and pathos expertly and keeps the stories going at a crisp pace. There is a lot of humor, but also a lot of heart. I’d love to read more from her.
1 review
February 12, 2020
This book is great on so many levels. Everytime I open it up it makes me smile. There are so many great nuggets of wisdom and humor. Christie has lived such an interesting life, to be able to share these experiences with her and her family is an amazing trip through the rabbit hole. Well done Christie!

How did I get here and why am I wearing a visor?
Profile Image for Amanda.
417 reviews6 followers
March 5, 2020
Thank you #Netgalley for the copy!

Such a fun read via short essays. Loved how the book was broken up into categories. The book covers serious topics as well as funny experiences at just the right balance. This books makes me want to hangout with her and just listen to her stories over a glass of wine.
Profile Image for Chanda Spaulding.
72 reviews1 follower
April 28, 2020
I won this book through a goodreads kindle giveaway. I really enjoyed the book and found it hard to put down. The author has a great sense of humor and often laughed at herself. I also liked that the book wasn’t about her whole life. Instead she picked events that were meaningful, important, or just funny to write about. I enjoyed it and was sad there wasn’t more when I finished it!
Profile Image for Jillian.
211 reviews
May 8, 2020
I got this book in a giveaway. I’m glad I didn’t pay for it. I don’t know if it’s because I started reading this after I finished Anna Karenina but this book isn’t entertaining. I don’t find it funny. I really liked the first chapter/story, but after that I just thought each story was forgettable. DNF @ 59%.
Profile Image for Pamela.
7 reviews
August 3, 2020
I absolutely LOVED this book! Funny and heart-warming, it was what I call a "fun read"...the decriptions of family members, and the relationships with her mother were particularly touching. I would read this again, just for the sheer enjoyment and some hearty laughter! Christie's honesty and lack of concern for what others' thought made this a great book.
Author 1 book1 follower
December 8, 2019
This is such a fun read. I had no idea what to expect but found myself laughing my ass off! Between her family dynamics and accompanied pictures, I felt like I was the invisible family member they didn't know they had that was along for this incredibly funny, at times emotional ride. I loved it.
197 reviews1 follower
January 20, 2020
Really enjoyed this book. I’ve known the author for many years so it was great fun to read about her family, travels and adventures. I felt like I was there with them. Really loved chapter on music teacher, really charming and funny. All the stories will bring a smile to your face.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 47 reviews

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