CAN'T HELP MYSELF by Meredith Goldstein


Lessons & Confessions from a Modern Advice Columnist
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A relationship columnist fuses sage advice with dispatches from her own personal life.

After getting unceremoniously dumped by her boyfriend, Boston Globe entertainment reporter Goldstein (The Singles, 2012, etc.) jumped at the opportunity to pen her own recurring online feature devoted to the local Massachusetts dating scene. “Love Letters" debuted in 2009, and the author shares the inaugural letter from a frustrated woman concerned about her boyfriend’s commitment potential. The column came equipped with a “robust comments section” in which readers shared their reactions, and which Goldstein liberally shares throughout. Featuring a lively mix of experiences in love, dating, intimacy, and other topics, the column became an immediate sensation, and the author’s inbox crested with pleas for counsel. Despite a lack of psychology acumen, she parlayed her talent for dispensing rational advice to family and friends directly into her writing. This made her accessible, shrewd, and relatable, and her real-world advice leveled the playing field with the everyday people who read (and responded to) the column. Goldstein is at her strongest when tackling such issues as platonic workplace relationships, managing the sting of rejection, uneven sex drives in a relationship, and risky interoffice romances; all of these are issues the author has encountered and overcome. As the years progressed, her reading audience and popularity ballooned along with her confidence level in dispensing advice. She tackles the ethics of relationship snooping, age-related woes of the heart, and pornography use while periodically dealing with the trolls in the comments section. Goldstein’s hybrid of guidance and confessional turns poignant when she discusses her mother’s cancer diagnosis and she is relegated to finding “extreme escapism” tactics and time with a caregiver support group to balance the emotional toll of the situation. Charming chapters on sex and her reluctant re-entry into the dating world strike another harmonious balance of breezy and informative.

A witty, entertaining memoir offering guidance on the precarious integration of life and love.

Pub Date: April 3rd, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-4555-4377-9
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2018


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