Raw and ribald advice for growing up.
Curiously, Benincasa’s (Agorafabulous!: Dispatches from My Bedroom, 2012, etc.) 52-essay sampler of empirically based life lessons begins with a disclaimer touting her unworthiness as an advice giver. But what sets the latest collection from this comic apart from the rest of the burgeoning Everywoman’s self-help library is the soundness of the advice given. Amid some hilarious descriptors and a proclivity for unleashing expletives that makes Amy Schumer’s potty mouth seem reserved, Benincasa provides solid tips for relationships, health, wellness, and employment, many of which will be helpful for millennials feeling the crunch of keeping pace with modern living. Where a physician might remind one of the importance of prioritizing sleep, the author promotes the idea with all the subtlety of a drill sergeant: “Burning the midnight oil is fun until you burn right the fuck out.” Encouraging readers to embrace their individuality, no matter how embarrassing or nerdy, Benincasa offers courage on multiple fronts: “Consider the thing you really want to do that you have not yet done because you are afraid you would suck at it. Now go do it anyway.” The author draws on her experience with anxiety and depression, offering a refreshingly frank look at the difficulties of coping with mental illness and its remedies; at one point, she dubs a panic attack “the exact inverse of an orgasm.” Readers would be hard-pressed to mistake sex for intimacy after encountering her admonishment that, contrary to popular practice, “a vagina is not a time machine”: “sex cannot take you back in time to a simpler era.” Throughout the collection, Benincasa’s graphic yet pithy reflections cater to the 140-character attention spans of the Twitter-sphere while effectively instilling much street-smart wisdom.
Raunchy and unabashedly unapologetic, this is useful, take-no-prisoners humor.