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Cool, Calm & Contentious by Merrill Markoe
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Cool, Calm & Contentious (2011)

by Merrill Markoe

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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
I got this book through Goodreads First Reads program, and was very "meh." about the whole book. It is a collection of essays from the authors life.

Perhaps it's just because I'm not a fan of this type of book, but although I had a good enough time reading it, this is not a book I'll read again.

It's ok for what it is, and people who like this type of book (or the author) will probably love it. I just wasn't a fan. ( )
  Sarah_Buckley | Sep 17, 2016 |


I found the first few essays in this collection entertaining but they quickly began to feel rather one-note, and it wasn't a note I needed to revisit over and over. I was glad to put this down when I reached the end. ( )
  karenchase | Aug 20, 2015 |
How someone so unfunny could have been the head writer for the David Letterman show, I will never understand.

There were a couple of amusing moments, but overall she struck me as the kind of a person who could tell what should be a funny story in such a way as to result in only blank stares. ( )
  ursula | Apr 3, 2014 |
This is the book where I finally learned that just because Jon Stewart says it's a great book doesn't mean that he's actually read all of it, or worse, that *I* will like it. Jon, love ya, but sometimes your book choices are just wrong. Perhaps if you live on the east coast it's better. Maybe I just expected more than there was... ( )
  Lyndatrue | Nov 28, 2013 |
comedy, essays, memoir ( )
  annie-b | Jan 9, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345518918, Hardcover)

In this hilarious collection of personal essays, New York Times bestselling author Merrill Markoe reveals, among other things, the secret formula for comedy: Start out with a difficult mother, develop some classic teenage insecurities, add a few relationships with narcissistic men, toss in an unruly pack of selfish dogs, finish it off with the kind of crystalline perspective that only comes from years of navigating a roiling sea of unpleasant and unappeasable people, and—voilà!—you’re funny!

But in Cool, Calm & Contentious, Markoe also reveals something more: herself. This is by far her most personal, affecting collection yet—honest, unapologetic, often painful, but always shot through with the bracing, wicked sense of humor that has made her such a beloved and incisive observer of life, both human and canine. In Cool, Calm & Contentious, she goes there: from the anal-retentive father who once spent ten minutes lecturing Markoe’s forty-year-old, Ph.D.-wielding brother on how to fold a napkin, to the eternally aggrieved mother who took pleasure in being unpleasant to waiters and spent most of her life, Markoe says, in “varying degrees of pissed off”; from the way she surrendered her virginity as a freshman in college (to her, it was “something to be gotten rid of quickly, then never discussed again, like body odor”), to why, later in life, she ultimately came to find dogs so much more appealing than humans, Markoe holds nothing back. It’s all here, in all its messy, poignant glory, and told the way only Merril Markoe knows how—with honesty, wit, and bite.

Cool, Calm & Contentious
offers something for everyone—fans of humorous essays, fans of memoir, fans of great writing and finely drawn characters, fans of dogs, fans of talking dogs, and fans of reading about mothers who are so difficult and demanding they actually make you feel good about your own life. But most of all, this book is for the many fans of Merrill Markoe, who will finally get a chance to learn what makes her tick—and what makes her so funny and wise.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:26 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"In this hilarious collection of personal essays, New York Times bestselling author Merrill Markoe reveals, among other things, the secret formula for comedy: Start out with a difficult mother, develop some classic teenage insecurities, add a few relationships with narcissistic men, toss in an unruly pack of selfish dogs, finish it off with the kind of crystalline perspective that only comes from years of navigating a roiling sea of unpleasant and unappeasable people, and--voila--you're funny! But in Cool, Calm & Contentious, Markoe also reveals something more: herself. This is by far her most personal, affecting collection yet--honest, unapologetic, often painful, but always shot through with the bracing, wicked sense of humor that has made her such a beloved and incisive observer of life, both human and canine. In Cool, Calm & Contentious, she goes there: from the anal-retentive father who once spent ten minutes lecturing Markoe's forty-year-old, Ph.D.-wielding brother on how to fold a napkin, to the eternally aggrieved mother who took pleasure in being unpleasant to waiters and spent most of her life, Markoe says, in "varying degrees of pissed off"; from the way she surrendered her virginity as a freshman in college (to her, it was "something to be gotten rid of quickly, then never discussed again, like body odor"), to why, later in life, she ultimately came to find dogs so much more appealing than humans, Markoe holds nothing back. It's all here, in all its messy, poignant glory, and told the way only Merril Markoe knows how--with honesty, wit, and bite. Cool, Calm & Contentious offers something for everyone--fans of humorous essays, fans of memoir, fans of great writing and finely drawn characters, fans of dogs, fans of talking dogs, and fans of reading about mothers who are so difficult and demanding they actually make you feel good about your own life. But most of all, this book is for the many fans of Merrill Markoe, who will finally get a chance to learn what makes her tick--and what makes her so funny and wise"--Provided by publisher.… (more)

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