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The New York Regional Mormon Singles…

The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance: A Memoir

by Elna Baker

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Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
Fun to read book. It's a memoir of a young Mormon woman who is filled with self doubt both for herself and her religion. At the end of the book she is 26 and still a virgin, excluding kissing. The book starts at the Mormon Singles Halloween Dance as the title suggests and Elna is a 250lb woman who has dressed herself up as a bumble bee. We learn that she is the "funny" one in her family. She takes us on the journey of her ups and downs, losing a lot of weight, then getting hooked on speed, plastic surgery, love of an atheist. At times I want to say that she dwells too much on religion, but in truth I think that's part of what makes her her. ( )
  ChrisWeir | Oct 13, 2017 |
Elna is a fantastic storyteller. I found myself engaged and laughing throughout her tale. I don't necessarily see things the same way as Elna, but I still think that I could potentially see myself being friends with her. Overall, an entertaining read. ( )
  Emma_Manolis | Jun 27, 2017 |
Synopsis: Elna Baker dreams of moving to New York to become a writer and an actor. However, this goal is made more difficult because she is a practicing Mormon. The lesson from this book is that no matter how devout you are, you may still have doubts; those doubts do not necessarily derail faith.
Review: Parts of this book will make you laugh until you cry. Other parts are mildly interesting. However, through out it educates folks regarding what it means to be a Mormon and how this effects every aspect of the followers' lives. ( )
  DrLed | Aug 11, 2016 |
I first heard of Elna Baker on the Moth podcast which, if you've never listened to it, you should try it out, and prepare for ugly crying on the subway. On the Moth, Baker told an abridged version a story from her memoir - a book that deals mostly with her life in New York, trying to date as an overweight twenty-something, and a Mormon. The title alludes to an annual event in the Mormon community to which Baker returns year after year like a recurring nightmare, or a gym membership. If you're looking to try a memoir on for size but aren't quite ready for the episodic sexcapades of Isaac Oliver, this book might work for you.

Baker is a lovely storyteller, which is why I finally picked up the book. She speaks very plainly and genuinely from the heart on every subject - from being the "funny" sibling, to battling her religious roots, to nearly ODing on diet pills. Her frank portrayal of modern Mormonism isn't fully fleshed out - she seems, as of 2009, to still have been battling with her own beliefs and as a result, reading it can sometimes feel like watching shadow puppets while the real players hide behind the curtain.

I am self-confessed ignoramus when it comes to most religions, but probably most especially Mormonism. I often accidentally confuse it with the Mennonites - not because I'm stupid or purposely ignorant or anything, but probably because of the clothes. I just get confused. Those bonnets throw me off. After reading Baker's memoir, I can't confess to being much the wiser on the subject. But beyond that, I did get the sister-in-arms feeling that I think she was going for. Being single in this city is certainly daunting, and being an outsider in one way or another intensifies that feeling. Baker's story provides more insight than hope on that subject, perhaps an effect of writing a memoir so early in life, before the arc could be fully formed. Her writing is sweet and bubbly, and the kind of thing that I wish I'd been able to read when I was starting out in New York. As a mostly-jaded established New Yorker now, it's a little flat.

www.theliterarygothamite.com ( )
  laurscartelli | Mar 26, 2016 |
After reading some other reviews let me start by saying that I am not a Mormon - I just hate this book. I can't imagine that this woman could be any more selfish. Through out the course of the book you find discover that her family is deeply religious and very committed to their faith. Initially we think that this is true of the author as well as she struggles with dating and all that entails (ie:kissing) as a 28+ year old virgin. By the end of the book she has left her religion and become quite sexually active. I respect her choices but cannot imagine what these tales are doing to her family. Sometimes less is more . When it comes to one's sex life more is just more. Yuck! ( )
  knitwit2 | Nov 10, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
Baker is both self-absorbed and generous, whip-smart and naïve; she apologizes for none of it.
added by Katya0133 | editPeople, Beth Perry (Oct 19, 2009)
Overall, Baker's voice is so fresh and funny she deserves a large audience. . . . The Virgin in the City spin may have helped Baker garner a national book deal. But what makes her story more of a revelation is that by facing her doubts and hypocrisy, Baker is able to find new ways to explore her own maturing faith
added by Katya0133 | editSalt Lake Tribune, Ellen Fagg Weist (Oct 17, 2009)
For the most part, Baker spins a witty girly-girl story, a romantic caper for ladies about trying to find a job, a boyfriend and, ultimately, herself.
added by Katya0133 | editKirkus Reviews (Oct 15, 2009)
Baker, who is also a standup comic, tells a funny, touching story about coming to the big city, where she loses the certainty of her beliefs, if not her way. New York does that to people.
added by Katya0133 | editNew York Daily News., Sherryl Connely (Oct 11, 2009)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0525951350, Hardcover)

"A wickedly funny debut. Baker is both self-absorbed and generous, whip-smart and naïve; she apologizes for none of it."

It's lonely being a Mormon in New York City. Every year, Elna Baker attends the New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance. This year, her Queen Bee costume (which involves a funnel stinger stuck to her butt) isn't attracting the attention she'd anticipated. So once again, Elna finds herself alone, standing at the punch bowl, stocking up on Oreos, a virgin in a room full of thirty-year-old virgins doing the Funky Chicken. But loneliness is nothing compared to what Elna feels when she loses eighty pounds, finds herself suddenly beautiful...and in love with an atheist.

Brazenly honest, The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance is Elna Baker's hilarious and heartfelt chronicle of her attempt to find love in a city full of strangers and see if she can steer clear of temptation and just get by on God.

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(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:13 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

In this hilarious, tongue-in-cheek memoir, writer, actress, and gorgeous stand up comedian Elna Baker tells what it's like to be the Mormon "Tina Fey"--the girl who distresses her family when she chooses NYU over BYU; the girl who's cultivating an oxymoronic identity as a bold, educated, modern, funny, proper, abstinent, religious stand-up comic, equal parts wholesome and hot.… (more)

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