So Here’s the Thing

Finished So Here’s the Thing by Alyssa Mastromonaco.

Summary (from Goodreads):

From the New York Times bestselling author of Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? comes a fun, frank book of reflections, essays, and interviews on topics important to young women, ranging from politics and career to motherhood, sisterhood, and making and sustaining relationships of all kinds in the age of social media.
Alyssa Mastromonaco is back with a bold, no-nonsense, and no-holds-barred twenty-first-century girl’s guide to life, tackling the highs and lows of bodies, politics, relationships, moms, education, life on the internet, and pop culture. Whether discussing Barbra Streisand or The Bachelor, working in the West Wing or working on finding a wing woman, Alyssa leaves no stone unturned…and no awkward situation unexamined.
Like her bestseller Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?, SO HERE’S THE THING… brings a sharp eye and outsize sense of humor to the myriad issues facing women the world over, both in and out of the workplace. Along with Alyssa’s personal experiences and hard-won life lessons, interviews with women like Monica Lewinsky, Susan Rice, and Chelsea Handler round out this modern woman’s guide to, well, just about everything you can think of.”

This is a really fun book of essays. It’s focused a lot more on pop culture than politics, so if the fact that it’s written by President Obama’s former deputy chief of staff is a stumbling block, don’t let that keep you from enjoying it.

But as much as I love talking about pop culture, it’s the political essays that I liked the most. Alyssa is a little bit older than I am, and the chapter on Monica Lewinsky is probably my favorite in the book. When that scandal was happening, I was a teenager and I didn’t pay that much attention. I’m pretty sure my attitude was roughly the same as everyone else’s (somewhat anti-Monica, making fun of her looks and that dress; very little feeling about Bill Clinton’s responsibility/culpability in the whole thing) which I’m ashamed of now. We didn’t really think about power differentials in the 1990s and we certainly didn’t do things like hold men accountable for their actions. (We barely do that now!). But I’m better now.

I also loved her brief list chapters (things in her bag and things on her nightstand, etc.). I don’t know what it is, but I absolutely love lists. I love making them but I also love reading other people’s. I guess it’s just interesting seeing what other people care enough to write down? (Or type, I guess; lists on paper can be rare now.)

This is a fast read, and I hope to read her first book soon. I have it; I just haven’t read it yet. (That would be the first sentence on my list of things I say most often, btw.)


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