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What Comes Next and How to Like It: A Memoir…
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What Comes Next and How to Like It: A Memoir

by Abigail Thomas

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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Memoirs are tough. Too often they seem like a vehicle for self-promotion and bragging, which can backfire and make the author unlikable. Not so with Abigail Thomas. She gives only a brief mention of her career and many accomplishments, and instead, takes a different path in writing this memoir.

The book is arranged as a series of chapters (essays) on varying topics. At the core is her decades-long platonic friendship with Chuck and a betrayal that threatened their bond, the life-threatening illness of a daughter, and her life after her husband’s death (written about in more detail in Three Dog Life, a book I also loved). But mostly she writes about her wry observations and thoughts as she goes about her everyday life: about aging, memory, her love for her dogs, death, friendship, forgiveness, failures as a parent…and much more. It’s beautifully written, refreshingly honest, and most likely will appeal to a reader of a certain age.
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  janb37 | Feb 13, 2017 |
I have mixed feelings about this book. Some parts I really enjoyed and some parts I wanted to skip over. The setup was a little weird for me. I think you will either like this or not. I'm in the so-so category. It just didn't move me. ( )
  MHanover10 | Jul 11, 2016 |
After reading and enjoying A Three Dog Life (a memoir) by Abigail Thomas, I was anxious to read her latest book.

This is also a memoir, continuing on after A Three Dog Life in which she tells us about tragically losing her spouse. She writes about growing older and how older folks can relate and enjoy whatever life brings them. Specifically, she writes about what is going on in her life, both the good things and the bad things.

She again mentions losing her spouse and how her family, dogs, and friends have played so many important roles in her life. Her background has been as a writer, teacher, editor, and agent so she had an interesting career (and still does) with lots of wonderful memories.

I loved the way Ms. Thomas writes because she makes me feel as though I've known her for many years and we are friends who can discuss life's ups and downs. I hope she's able to write for many years to come.9 ( )
  pegmcdaniel | Oct 17, 2015 |
A delightful memoir from a sixty/seventy-something writer. Funny and touching, these little vignettes gave me many aha! moments of recognition, sometimes leaving me laughing out loud. Other, quieter entries reflected on the difficult aspects of aging: illness of one's own or of a loved one; fears of dying and death; physical changes. This is also the story of the author's 30-year friendship with a man and it's survival despite a painful betrayal. Three of my favorite moments:

"...I look at the photograph Jennifer took of me sitting on a stool next to her twins, and really, from the back, it looks as if I have an open umbrella concealed under my skirt. How did that happen?"

"...when it gets dark, I'm off the hook. The day is officially rolled up and put away. I'm free to watch movies or stare at the wall, no longer holding myself accountable for what I might or might not have gotten done because the time for getting something done is over until tomorrow."

and Abigail's realization that, used at the beginning of a sentence, "Yo" and "Like" are punctuation marks. ( )
  auntmarge64 | Aug 1, 2015 |
3.5 I am a very picky memoir reader. Don't get me wrong, I love those that turn out to be interesting, not pity memoirs as I call them. This book is done well and I loved reading this author's thoughts and conversations about everything and anything. The title What Come Next, came from her wondering what her life will be like after the death of her husband.

This book celebrates her thirty-five year platonic friendship with Chuck. I loved her relationships and writings about her dogs, past and present. Her love for them definitely shines, as does those relating to her family. Not all the news in these writings are good news, but I feel that the author let us be privy to her innermost thoughts and feelings. I could have happily kept reading, long after the book ended. Her writing is beautiful, thoughtful and honest, amusing at times too as in this passage,

"Then I remember an insight I had when I woke up this morning. The words "yo" and "like" (when beginning a sentence) are not parts of speech at all! They are punctuation. "It's like starting a sentence with a comma," I tell Chuck, "isn't' that brilliant?"

"With a little refinement," he answers, "it might achieve the level of a thought."

Good memoir, with many good thoughts, I quite liked this one. ( )
  Beamis12 | Jul 18, 2015 |
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For Chuck Verrill
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I have time to kill while waiting for the sun to dry, and I'm mulling over the story I spent years writing and failed to turn into anything, trying not to be depressed.
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A memoir about aging, family, creativity, tragedy, friendship, and the richness of life. How to accept, appreciate, enjoy? Who are our most trusted, valuable companions and what will we do for them? When you've given up, when you least expect it, there it is.… (more)

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