In this collection of essays, a humorist reflects on the awkward incidents and characteristics that have shaped her life.
“In my mind,” Turner writes in the opening of this volume, “I’m a goddamn cheetah. Sleek, stealthy, lithe, with a teaspoon of danger.” But upon reflection, the author acknowledges that “my body leaks and creaks and sweats” and that she has the “ability to land in cringeworthy situations and/or directly cause them.” In this compilation of 26 essays, the endlessly hilarious Turner walks readers through the awkwardness that is her life, from an overactive salivary gland and gastrointestinal issues to her fangirl fixation on fellow essayist David Sedaris, who “is unaware of our bond.” Featuring an abundance of self-deprecating anecdotes from the author’s personal life, this work becomes an homage to the awkward readers who wear taped-up glasses, spend too much time in public bathrooms, and are “bling-free in a sparkly world.” Constantly relatable, the essays include the perils of husband-and-wife DIY projects gone wrong and couches that swallow TV remotes and socks into their cavernous abysses. An entire chapter provides a “Field Guide” on “How To Be Chubby” that concludes with sage advice. Previous works by the author, published under the name AK Turner, include the popular Vagabonding With Kids travel series and an unfiltered confessional about the trials of motherhood, This Little Piggy Went to the Liquor Store (2012). This volume is a worthy addition to Turner’s impressive, award-winning repertory. The author’s fearless honesty in grappling with her own personal quirks and bodily irregularities will surely resonate with a wide range of readers beyond a target demographic of middle-aged mothers, as nearly every essay possesses at least one laugh-out-loud moment (often delivered in the sidesplitting footnotes). Fans of Turner may be disappointed that a handful of the essays appeared in previous publications, and some readers may object to the volume’s scatological humor and predilection for four-letter words. But for those with a fair share of awkward idiosyncrasies, this collection is a delightful read that celebrates people’s eccentricities.
An incisive and entertaining celebration of awkwardness.