Friday, May 18, 2012

30 Failures By Age 30

Author's Summary. Everyone has that birthday. That one day we look in the mirror and ask ourselves: "How did I get here? Is this really the person I intended to be when I grew up? Am I grown up?" Author Katharine Miller presents her own self-assessment in the form of micro-memoir 30 FAILURES BY AGE 30. 30 FAILURES BY AGE 30 is a compelling memoir, conversational in tone with moments both hilarious and heartbreaking. Miller gives voice to the under-represented masses and encourages readers to reconsider the definition of "failure." 30 FAILURES BY AGE 30 resonates with anyone who's ever endured a life crisis or felt like a social misfit. Katharine's 30 Failures include: • Successfully drive a car • Join organized religion • Develop an ample bosom • Learn self-defense • Master the art of small talk The full list can be viewed on her blog. 

  Review.  On the threshold of her 30th birthday, Katharine Miller decides to celebrate this milestone in a rather unusual fashion; she composes a list of the 30 things she has FAILED to do!  Say what?  That was my response when I first read the title. 

Miller, however, is not Debby Downer and her list is far from depressing.  Miller’s failures include the following: failure to develop an ample bosom (Failure # 3); failure to participate in public nudity (Failure # 9); failure to develop a drug addiction; and failure to run afoul of the law (Failure # 21).  Reading Miller’s essay-memoir reminded me of Jen Lancaster’s humorous tales.  There were many times I had to put the book down because I was laughing so hard.  For instance, under Failure # 6 (Stick to a Fitness Regimen):

The problem is that I like to eat but I do not like to exercise.  This because I am lazy.  If presented with the option of playing frolf (Frisbee golf) in the park or watching a marathon of Welcome Back, Kotter, I’m probably going to choose the Sweathogs over actual sweat.  Lounging on the couch while watching things I’ve seen ten times before is more appealing to me than going out in the fresh air and sunshine and outdoors.  I probably smell like Cheetos.

Still buried beneath the snarky humor are some serious observations such as in Failure # 7 (Failing to Procreate) when Miller discusses the social gulf between women with children and childfree women.

30 Failures By Age 30 would make a perfect 30th birthday gift or for anyone else who enjoys edgy humor. 

Review based on courtesy copy from the author.

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