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Let's Panic: The Book!

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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
who Will Ruin Your Body, Destroy Your Life, Liquefy Your Brain,
and Finally Turn You
into a Worthwhile
Human Being.

Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

Some Books
I'm In...

Sleep Is
For The Weak

Chicago Review Press

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Let's Panic

The site that inspired the book!

At LET'S PANIC ABOUT BABIES, Eden Kennedy and I share our hard-won wisdom and tell you exactly what to think and feel and do, whether you're about to have a baby or already did and don't know what to do with it. → 

« Withdrawing | Main | The Cake. »

Here's something you will like.

You should read The Man From Beyond, by Gabriel Brownstein. Gabriel is the husband of a friend of my sister’s, so I know him, but it’s in a “What’s your name, again? Alex?” kind of way, so it’s not like I’m writing this because he and I are total buds*. The book is a fictionalized account of the friendship between Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Houdini—specifically, about their opposing viewpoints on spiritualism. I’m no book critic, or I would say smart things about it. Instead I am a blogger whose IQ is on a rapid downward spiral, so I will say that it has ectoplasm and pseudopods and stuff! It’s incredibly entertaining and yet also manages to have fleshed-out characters and fully developed themes; in other words, it's not a piece of fluff. Read it. And tell me what you think.

*My friend Jessie once said about her relationship with some other person, “Oh, we’re total buds,” and I have not let her live it down**, even though this was more than seven years ago. Total buds! And now it’s here on my blog, for you, my Internet Friend, to enjoy!

** Another thing I will not let someone live down: when my friend Scott (as opposed to husband Scott—oh, Jews of Connecticut, why did you name your boys Scott?), nine or so years ago, said to us at dinner, “I learned this great comeback. When someone says something you don’t like? You hold up your hand like this and you say, ‘Talk to the hand.’” ***

***Ha ha ha ha!

Reader Comments (40)

I did like that! All of it. You were right.
October 17, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterNothing But Bonfires
One thing that really scares me about my new company is that they have a poster in their elevator for some company-oriented event with the headline "Wassup?" I presume they're being ironic, but I think even the irony period for that one has long since expired.

The book sounds good, by the way. I'll add it to my Wish List and maybe I'll get it for Christmas.
October 17, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterJane
You had me at ectoplasm.
October 17, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterMir
My mother recently called me to test my knowledge of the term "Google" as a verb. A co-worker had mentioned it to her and she was tickled pink. She now tosses it around freely although both of my parents refer to the internet as "the email." She also uses "you go girl" quite a bit.
October 17, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterDrew
And my English-as-a-third-language mother refers to the entire Internet as "click on it." "You like this cake? I found the recipe by click on it."
October 17, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterLaziza
Speaking of fictionalized accounts of people... well, in this case, fictional people... the description of the book you're recommending instantly made me think of the books written by Gregory Maguire. One you've probably all heard of because now it's a broadway show: "Wicked," which is about the Wicked Witch of the West from the Wizard of Oz. The other is "Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister," which is about one of the stepsisters from Cinderella. Such a creative thing, to move the point of view that way.

I've read "Wicked." It was good, but nothing at all like what I expected. I thought it was going to be a funny book or at least a sort of tongue-in-cheek or ironic kind of thing. It wasn't anything like that. It was sort of serious... and the explanation for why the witch was green was pretty good. Heh.

I haven't read the other one yet because I was so thrown by the first one, but since my son has been forcing me to suffer repeated viewings of Cinderella*, I think I might read that one next.

*I don't mean to suggest that Cinderella isn't a great movie, but it's really only great once in a row.
October 17, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterTitanKT
“I learned this great comeback. When someone says something you don’t like? You hold up your hand like this and you say, ‘Talk to the hand.’”

Oh, the ridicule. I can taste it from here.
October 17, 2005 | Unregistered Commentermathew
I have to admit, I'm addicted to the use of cheesy phrases for ironic purposes. But I love using them with people who don't know I'm being ironic, and getting them going with their own cheesy phrases. I even taught a 75 year old woman to do three snaps after she said something fierce. I love it. I love it all. You go, girl;).
October 17, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterMeg
That's my brother-in-law Scott, right? With the talk to the hand? How could I have never heard this story before??

Commence the passing to me of the never-living-it-down baton.
October 17, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterdebl
My husband just finished that book a few days ago! Good stuff :-)
October 17, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterLiz
that darn jessie, she's clearly a genius!totally!
October 17, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterjessie not that jessie
Oh, poor Scott. He will hate me forever.

And Jessie--you ARE that Jessie! You are my total bud!

October 17, 2005 | Unregistered Commenteralice
Don't worry about Scott - what's he gonna say to you? 'Don't go there, girlfriend!' ? 'Oh no you di-int!' ?
October 17, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterdebl
I was using that phrase way before it was a cliche. I'm like that. I'm a trend spotter. I even knew about Gabriel Brownstein before you did. Man, I even bought his apartment.
October 17, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterScott
My god, that's right. I forgot about that.

But I told you about that apartment! Hey!
October 17, 2005 | Unregistered Commenteralice
Talk to the hand.
October 17, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterScott
What you talkin 'bout Willis?

(I am so older than you!)
October 17, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterclickmom
Ooh! Ooh! If you really want to date yourself, be in a manager's meeting and refer to something as rockin'. As, you know, Dude, that band was totally rockin' last night.
October 17, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterDM
Ha! A boss of mine would greet EVERY employee/coworker with "BUD!" ...and many months after she abandoned us, the girls and I often start our phone conversations that way.

Also, this one time, there was an "I am Ann Taylor" Campaign and a client said, "Who is eye-man taylor?" and then we all began referring to each other as eyemen. Tiny Eyemen, Boss Eyemen. Big fun.

Wicked is great, great, and there is now a sequel. I didn't like the Cinderella one at all, though. Deeply creepy, not in a good way.
October 17, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterJackie
When people do that crazy "talk to the hand" bullshit...and their hand is in relative proximity to their face...I like to smack their hand right into their nose. Serves them right. I'm drinking the wine tonight, is it obvious?
October 17, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterJuJuBee
Oh, yeah... Gregory Maguire also wrote "Mirror Mirror"- a retelling of the Snow White story- which just came out. Also almost too creepy for words. Exploring the darker side of fairy tales and reinterpreting interesting literary works too often dismissed as "children's stories?" Cool! Including incest and a woman who admits to having sex with a giant squid in the second paragraph? Gah!
October 17, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterAngie
buds - like when women in their 30's say "dude"

October 17, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterjill
Deeply creepy, huh? Now... I'm not sure if that's made me more or less anxious to read it.
October 17, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterTitanKT
Ouch, dude! My useage of "dude" is deeply ironic.

- 33 y.o.
October 18, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterDebl
This one band camp...
October 18, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterKristy

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