karen's Reviews > Solutions and Other Problems

Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh
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it was amazing
bookshelves: from-publisher-or-author, for-laughter, youre-a-graphic-novel

oooh, goodreads choice awards finalist for best humor 2020! what will happen?

backtracking to add this to my book riot challenge:

fulfilling book riot's 2020 read harder challenge task: #4 Read a graphic memoir


Sometimes all you can really do is keep moving and hope you end up somewhere that makes sense.

no spoilers, but since everyone wants to know—was this book worth waiting more than five years for?


it is bigger, funnier, sadder and—for those of you hoping—it does have more dumb dogs:


and one diabolically clever dog. and a cat.

i’m not going to post too many pictures, because you all deserve your own individual voyages of discovery, but FYI: the pictures i AM posting are from my ARC, which is in black-and-white—the finished book will be in full color.

i honestly don’t know how i was lucky enough to score an ARC of this, but it was exactly what i needed to get me thru another day of this dumpster fire of a year. and, in a gift that keeps giving—there are some pages in the ARC where the words are missing or smeared in a “content TK” sort of way, which means that, come september, there will still be new material for me.

because i already want more.

although allie brosh is infinitely more talented than i will ever be—what she’s able to convey with just posture in her cartoons is exquisite—there’s so much of that RELATABLE CONTENT the kids are always talking about. in fact, there were times i actually felt like she was speaking directly…to me


but even when she wasn’t breaking that fourth wall, i felt both a kinship with her and an urge to comfort her and tell her how seen and heard and appreciated she is.

i mean, i’m not a big enough liar to tell her that “everything’s gonna be all right” (or, even, as she promises her sardine-friend: it will be better very soon), but it is a fact that what she creates and puts out into the world is helping people she'll never even meet, and i hope that there are artists or writers out there that inspire or comfort her in the same way.

because, as she says, no one should have to feel like a pointless little weirdo alone.

and she’s here for all of us, in her/our grief and loneliness, anxiety and self-scrutiny, in how we approach all of life’s difficulties, great and small.

i know it’s a stupid thing to say, and it usually makes me cringe when other people say it about confessional-creators, but i’m saying it anyway—this is a brave book. it’s hard to make yourself vulnerable, and i love her for doing it.


even in the book's darkest moments, there's a filament of humor running through it, which to me suggests a remarkable capacity for resilience, and i hope she never loses sight of that.

so much of this book made me laugh with joy—the dandelion story, the car stereo story, the story about the dog and the carrots, the resolution to the poop mystery, dear god, every word of the story about her childhood neighbor, richard—witnessing the very BIRTH of social awkwardness.

and this


i love these things. i love them in a way that defies all logic or proportion.

HELLO! I AM A BALLOON DO YOU WANT TO BUY A CAR? had me laughing so hard my stomach hurt, leaving me completely unprepared for the emotional evisceration of the fish video:



it is an emotional roller coaster, full of googly eyes, goofy syntax, and hard-earned wisdom:

If you can’t win, start playing a different game and score just as many points.

even especially if it's just about humiliating some noisy-ass bird.

the wait is not long now!


oh, honey.

review to come.


pay no mind to my hi-gloss sheen. that's just what happens from wearing a mask for nine hours in nyfc summerheat awfulness. and am also possibly sweaty with joy? anyway, off to drink a cocktail and read this book!


you guys.

you guys.

confirmation that this exists and a copy is heading my way.


i'm pretty sure it's ILLEGAL to push the pub date back ANOTHER SIX MONTHS!!!

come to my blog!
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Reading Progress

June 1, 2015 – Shelved
July 17, 2020 – Started Reading
July 18, 2020 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-50 of 250 (250 new)

Amy (Other Amy) So agree! This was my other most looked forward to book of 2015. So now it's my other most looked forward book of 2016. (I guess if I'd gotten a new Jenny Lawson and a new Allie Brosh in the same year I might actually have died laughing. So maybe it's a blessing. But I am bitter anyway. I'm self-destructive like that.

karen how am i supposed to bust out of my blue streak without this book? i read the jenny lawson months ago and i haven't laughed since. not once. i was counting on this. WOE!

[Name Redacted] WHAT?!?

Amy (Other Amy) Very serious woe! Good laughter is hard to find. If I think of anything awesome that you haven't read yet, I will let you know. (I actually read Meg: Origins recently hoping to recommend you a shark fest you didn't have on your shelves, but it was very meh. I will keep looking, though!)

karen THANK YOU! i just started The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss, and it's cute and whimsical, so it'll do for now, but allie brosh makes me wet myself and that's what i need right now.

message 6: by Amy (Other Amy) (last edited Sep 24, 2015 07:01AM) (new) - added it

Amy (Other Amy) I remember The Road To Omaha as very funny, but I read it like fifteen years ago, so take it with a grain of salt. It is not Ludlum's usual stuff (in fact I had never read any of his thrillers; I just happened to find it on my library shelf at a time when I was inhaling everything my library had that piqued my interest). It is also not necessary to read The Road to Gandolfo first; I tracked it down after Omaha and it was not nearly as funny either.

I will try to find better. It is super hard to replace Brosh.

I just looked at some of the reviews on The Road To Omaha. It appears to be a love it or hate it thing. Maybe take a big grain of salt.
If you liked fantasy more I would recommend The Color of Magic without hesitation or reservation. That book hurt me.
Edited to condense 3 comments into one.

message 7: by Dorianna (new) - added it

Dorianna how am i supposed to bust out of my blue streak without this book? i read the jenny lawson months ago and i haven't laughed since. not once. i was counting on this. WOE!

That's pretty much how I feel. Though I haven't read Jenny Lawson's latest book yet so there's still hope for me to laugh again.

karen will ludlum make me pee with laughter??? i'm giving you suspicious eyes....

dahlia moss is going well - it' a cute book. no pee yet from me, though. in case you are taking notes.

i may need to reread the jenny lawson. for therapy.

Amy (Other Amy) Heh. Definitely reread Lawson over Ludlum. Truly, I cannot think of anything that has made me wet myself that isn't Lawson or Brosh or an LOL cat picture. And you've already rated I Can Has Cheezburger?: A LOLcat Colleckshun.

karen one of dfw's essays made me wet myself, but not much else of his, although i love him so.

Amy (Other Amy) I've only read his graduation speech and Consider the Lobster and Other Essays (just the title essay). DFW is urgent on my bucket list, but I felt the need to read some other things in preparation first. I think I will read his essays next year. (It is much easier to find things that make you laugh on the way to something else than it is to find things that are supposed to be funny and actually are.)

karen true that. we need to clone these ladies. and prevent them from CHANGING THEIR PUB DATES

Amy (Other Amy) That is the best idea yet!

bileys little stupid kindle damn, i was going to ask for it for my birthday but i guess thats not happening :(…

karen you'll just need to have a second birthday!

bileys little stupid kindle haha karen, ill have to buy it in six months, it can be my extra extra extra late present. it was my most anticipated book for 2015 now its my most anticipated for 2016

karen a dream deferred...

Amy (Other Amy) Has this really been pushed back to October 2016 now? ALLIE BROSH YOU ARE KILLING ME!!!


karen oh my god, really???? pushing it back a year is EVEN MORE ILLEGAL!

Amy (Other Amy) Amazon is no longer even listing a publication date for it. Is it psychotic to worry if your authors are OK? Or if maybe through six degrees of separation you can send someone to check on them? The woman is causing me anxiety.

karen jeez!!! JEEEZ!! i have been away from goodreads for nearly a week, and this is horrible news to be greeted with upon my return. my soft return. i will be back in earnest by tomorrow. hopefully by then we will learn this was all a trick to see if we were paying attention.

Amy (Other Amy) *crosses fingers*

[Name Redacted] Amy (Other Amy) wrote: "Amazon is no longer even listing a publication date for it. Is it psychotic to worry if your authors are OK? Or if maybe through six degrees of separation you can send someone to check on them? The..."

Given how intensely her depression cripples her, I don't think worrying about Allie Brosh's well-being is at all psychotic. She hasn't updated "Hyperbole & A Half" since 2013, and apparently getting the first book out took a lot out of her... *frets*

karen i would be willing to take annoying chores off of her plate so she can focus on her mental health and her (hopefully therapeutic) work. i will make potpies and walk the dogs and windex her glass tabletops. where do we submit these offers?

Amy (Other Amy) I don't know, but there must be a way to send her our love and devotion. All this anxiety is just going to waste sitting here with me.

karen you could channel it into broshlike drawings.

Amy (Other Amy) I has no artistic talent, not even for deformed stick figures. Maybe she'd accept a lopsided 'get better' heart?

karen I WOULD!

karen i am willing to participate in a heist targeting the publisher's vaults, but i'm not willing to mastermind it. i'm too busy right now, but if someone hands me a call sheet, i will show up and work hard.

[Name Redacted] Dibs on being the quiet guy who eventually goes insane! Or am I confusing this with war films?

karen there's always a place for a quiet guy who eventually goes insane.

Amy (Other Amy) I'm in!

Amy (Other Amy) Just noticed that amazon has at least updated the publication date back to 10/25/16 (but not under this ISBN; under 1501103288). She really had me worried there.

karen i am still displeased, though.

Amy (Other Amy) Yes, I definitely prefer the original publication date.

[Name Redacted] Harrumph!

message 39: by Isadora (new) - added it

Isadora Paiva Apparently her sister killed herself last year, and given her own struggles with depression, she must be going through an unbearably rough time right now. I hope she's able to deal with this as well as can be expected... I went from being impatient to feeling guilty and worried for her.

message 40: by Amy (Other Amy) (last edited Feb 08, 2016 11:17AM) (new) - added it

Amy (Other Amy) Aw, man. I was afraid of something like that, but I figured it was her own depression. Truly awful. (I wish more than ever that the helpless rays of worry I've been feeling for her the last six months were actually useful to her somehow.)

karen oh, fuck. that's fucking awful.

[Name Redacted] Geez. I guess we shouldn't be surprised though -- it runs in families.

karen bad news for me

[Name Redacted] karen wrote: "bad news for me"

Yeah, I was raised with that bad news. Forewarned is forearmed, my mother reasoned. Stay strong, Karen!

And I guess this is incentive to be patient and reasonable about this book's delay.

[Name Redacted] Apparently her sister killed herself in December of 2013. Two months after Allie's first book came out: https://www.reddit.com/r/OutOfTheLoop...

Even though this does mean it's unlikely to be related to the delay of the new book (which was announced well afterwards), it's pretty impressive that she's planning anything after that.

Here's the obituary, linked because her family encourages memorial donations to the National Alliance on Mental Illness: http://www.lakeviewfuneral.com/memsol...

Amy (Other Amy) It is impressive. I will go back to quietly worrying about her in relation to life in general.

Allison Has anyone gotten an email from Amazon saying the book has been pushed back to 2030? While I think it's not going to take *that* long, I'm worried about Allie.

Amy (Other Amy) Yes, I got one of those. Haven't investigated yet.

Amy (Other Amy) At least we are getting a new Lawson book in 2017.

message 50: by [Name Redacted] (last edited Jul 20, 2016 03:14AM) (new) - added it

[Name Redacted] Amy (Other Amy) wrote: "Yes, I got one of those. Haven't investigated yet."

...Wait, so it's real?

Amazon has been dropping the ball on things lately, though. They abruptly canceled my pre-order of Bat For Lashes' new album, claiming they didn't have it in stock, but when I contacted them they told me three different contradictory reasons for the cancellation.

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