Thursday, November 18, 2010

Book Review: Someone Will Be with You Shortly: Notes from a Perfectly Imperfect Life, by Lisa Kogan

Someone Will Be with You Shortly: Notes from a Perfectly Imperfect Life
by Lisa Kogan
HarperStudio, an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers
copyright 2010
200 pages

For whatever reason, I always think Lisa Kogan is from Philadelphia.

(She's not, at least not that I'm aware of.  I adore her anyway.)

I don't know why I associate her with my city.  Maybe it is because one summer in the early '80s I babysat for two cherubic Kogans. Or, most likely, maybe it is because through her writing it seems like she is someone I've known forever, that person you can talk about anything with (at any hour of the day), that person who drops all pretense and is down-to-Earth real, who gets it and who doles it out with the exact right amount of sass and snark.

If you're familiar with Lisa Kogan's columns in O Magazine, you'll love Someone Will Be with You Shortly.  (I am certainly familiar with her work, as I am the proud owner - to The Husband's absolute utter dismay that I'm publicly admitting this - of damn near every copy of O published since its conception a decade ago. You have a hankering to read the March 2003 issue or perhaps more vintage editions published at the end of the Clinton administration? Then I'm your girl.) 

Don't worry, I'm not going to be featured on Hoarders anytime soon. I am working on this particular clutter problem of mine (daily, actually) so that they don't show up at the door. 

Anyway, back to Someone Will Be With You Shortly. Usually books of this nature are somewhat targeted, apropos for women who are married OR single, parents OR not parents. While this definitely has its niche, I liked that there was something in here that almost every woman could relate to - whether it is the struggle to lose weight or accepting the loss of a close friend.  There's so much to relate to in this book that I found myself smiling through most of it, at lines like these:

"I believe in love. I believe it transforms, transports, and transcends. I believe it fine-tunes goodness, solidifies strength, ripens resolve, eradicates rage, alleviates stress, and elevates empathy. I believe in love (or something damn near like it) at first sight, I believe it's perfect okay to love the one you're with, provided the one you're with either happens to have excellent news from an extremely up-to-date HIV test or answers to the name Hugh Laurie, and I firmly believe that marriage ceremonies would go much faster if Khalil Gibran hadn't written that big love passage into The Prophet. But more than anything else, I believe in love because when you don't have it, you tend to spend your every waking moment chasing after it ... at least I always did. Bruce Springsteen was right - everybody has a hungry heart." (pg. 86)

Someone Will Be with You Shortly is a collection of personal essays, some of which have appeared - I could be mistaken - in O Magazine. (I guess I have my own personal library readily available if I wanted to fact-check that, but I'm too lazy to get off the couch to do so.) These are short, slice-of-life vignettes that make this a light and funny read, one that I read in practically one sitting.

It's a good, light, and easy read, one perfect for small doses before bedtime, or on the beach, or to give as a gift to that friend in need of a smile and some cheering up ... or to give to yourself when you need some of the same.

copyright 2010, Melissa (Betty and Boo's Mommy, The Betty and Boo Chronicles) If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.


Florinda said...

I don't read women's magazines very much, but when I get in the mood for one, it's usually O. This sounds like it's very much my thing - I'll have to be on the lookout for a copy!

K A B L O O E Y said...

Aha!!!! That's the book I left in the rental car on the last day of my Summer vacation. I was enjoying it, but hadn't taken much note of the author's name (I have memory issues) so I couldn't replace it. Thank you! The first half was very good.