If you only know Lisa Scottoline from her Thrillers, then you are in for a treat when she joins her daughter in this humorous series of true life stories of a mother and daughter and the way they view life as two adult women in different stages of life.
From Lisa we get the stuff a lot of us are dealing with. They make the every day hilarious and you can’t help but laugh along as you are saying, ” Oh my lord, I thought that was just me!” Well, it isn’t just you and from the built-in bra dress to the napkin on her head I laughed so hard people came over and asked what I was reading. Of course I shared.
There is nothing Lisa won’t tell you. Nothing. Including her obsession with Bradley Cooper and her aversion to air conditioning. It’s fun to see Francesca’s view as she navigates the dating scene and tries to face time her mother.
We desperately need a laugh these days, so I would recommend picking this up and posting up by the pool!
Netgalley/St.Martin’s Press July 10, 2018
Here is an excerpt of some of the hilarity!
I found out something bad about myself and I’m here to
I’m an air-conditioner tyrant.
Let me explain.
We begin when Francesca comes home from New York
so we could record the audiobook of I Need a Lifeguard
Everywhere but the Pool, so you can listen to it when you drive
around, and you have not known bliss until you have our two
Philadelphia accents in your ear on a long car ride.
Anyway, when Francesca comes home, in the middle of a
weeklong heat wave, the first thing she notices is that I don’t
have the air-conditioning on.
That was a surprise ending, wasn’t it?
You thought I was going to say that I do have the air conditioner
But in fact, one of the quirky things about me is that I don’t
Quirky means adorable.
I don’t know why I started hating on air-conditioning,
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but I always have. Even though I have central air-conditioning,
I never use it.
Please allow me to defend myself.
I don’t like feeling like I live inside a refrigerator. I like
being the same temperature as my surroundings. And I love
to throw open all the windows in the house and let in not
only the breeze, but the chirping of the birds and the fresh
green smell of mown grass.
I know, I’m so poetic.
Never mind that I’m sweating my ass off.
It’s a poetic ass.
I don’t know what to tell you, but I just like fresh air, and
the most I do to get cool is put on a fan.
It’s a $20 Lasko fan that you can buy at Home Depot, and
I own approximately eight of them. I know it’s not a classy
look for the house. When I take a picture for my author page
on Facebook, I make sure the fans don’t show.
For my fans.
Plus I’m nostalgic about fans because they remind me of
Mother Mary, and she and I used to have a famous fight,
wherein she would claim that the fan should be in the window
and turned blowing out, so the hot air was sucked out
of the room.
We sweated inside the house, cooling the backyard.
She also believed that you could put two fans in opposite
windows and create cross-ventilation, but if you’re relying
on The Flying Scottolines for physics, you’re in
So when I grew up, I decided that I would have the fans
facing the way God intended, blowing air right at you. And
then I got the brilliant idea that a fan didn’t need to be in a
window at all, but can be sitting right on the kitchen island
next to you while you eat dinner.
Never mind that the fan will send tomato sauce spraying
on to your T-shirt.
Think of it as a sea breeze, only Italian.
So as soon as Francesca comes home, she starts lobbying
for me to turn on the air-conditioning, and I refuse. I tell her
about the fans and Mother Mary and how great it is to feel
the wind in your face, even if you bought the wind at Home
Francesca lets me have my way until the temperature turns
92° outside, a fact she proves by pointing to the air-conditioner
thermostat. “Mom, do you see this? This is very hot. We need
to turn on the air conditioner.”
“No we don’t. I feel fine. Sit in front of the fan.”
“I am and I’m still hot.”
“But I hate air-conditioning.”
“I love air-conditioning. Mom, can’t you compromise, just
“No,” I tell her, meaning it. I hate compromising, too. I’ve
spent my whole life compromising and now I avoid it at every
And it feels great.
Even if I’m sweaty.
And you are, too.
You might think I’m a bad person, but I’m just a woman
who has put everyone else first for a long time, and now it’s
If you’re a woman reading this, perhaps you identify. And
if you don’t, you’ve lived your life better than I have.
But then Francesca said to me, “Mom, look at the dogs,
So I looked over on the kitchen floor, and Francesca was
right. All six dogs had their tongues out, even though they
had their own fan. And then I realized I could give my dogs
heatstroke inside my own house.
So I compromised and turned on the air-conditioning.
And I learned something bad about myself.
That I compromised for my dogs, but not for my daughter.
A fact which I pointed out to Francesca, who just laughed.
But I learned a lesson.
Sometimes compromising is okay.
But don’t make a habit of it.
And don’t compromise a lot.
Only by degrees.
Basic and Proud of It
In the summer I drink rosé.
In the fall I drink Pumpkin Spice Lattes.
In the winter I wear Uggs.
All year long, I wear black yoga pants to do everything
I watch every show on Bravo.
I’m basic and proud of it.
I don’t remember exactly when I became aware of what
“basic” meant as it refers to women. Probably whatever belated
point new slang passes through black culture, then gay
culture, then teen culture, before coming to rest among millennial
Basic means mainstream, lame, unoriginal. It is used most
frequently in reference to women, often with an expletive:
I can see how, among a marginalized group, “basic” as a
putdown expresses an empowering reversal of power in an
unjust social hierarchy.
If society doesn’t accept you the way you are, screw them,
they’re just basic.
I love it used that way!
But as often happens, something got lost in translation
when the term was appropriated by a wider audience. Now
it seems the term “basic” has become a sexist dig used to undermine
women and mock those things that women enjoy.
Specifically, those things we enjoy without men’s agreement
They don’t like how we look in Uggs.
They don’t prefer sweet, flavored coffee.
They don’t drink pink wine.
(Or they do, and they have to pretend like they don’t,
because that’s girl stuff.)
I think they’re missing out. Women have excellent taste.
There’s an irony, of course, in using the notion of generic
“basicness” of women against them, when women are otherwise
pilloried for not fitting into the narrow parameters society
lays down for us.
Everything about women is more unique than society would
like us to be. We’re too many diferent shapes and sizes, our
hair too many diferent textures, our opinions too loud and
too varied, our orgasms too complicated.
Why should we apologize for our preferences? If many
women, in all our glorious variations, agree that something
is pretty great, maybe it is.
Uggs are comfortable. I don’t care if they’re ugly. Neither
do Uggs, they tell you so right in the name.
Do you know how many women’s fashion items privilege
comfort over appearance? One: Uggs.
That’s hardly basic; it’s downright subversive.
Same with yoga pants. Do you know how much a woman
can get done in a day? On any given Saturday, she needs to
run across town, and bend to pick up the kids, and stretch to
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reach the top shelf at the grocery, and sit working on the
They expect us to do all that in skinny jeans?
Believe me, namaste or not, a woman’s life warrants a performance
Perhaps the most absurd assumption about the “basic bitch”
is a beverage choice or a love of elastic tells you everything
there is to know about her.
The idea that the superficial explains the interior is straight
out of the sexist playbook, and women should reject it, not
use it against each other.
The patriarchy is the original basic bitch.
Case in point: I was recently on the dating app Bumble, and
I saw a guy whose bio read, “My type: NOT a girl wearing
yoga pants and Uggs with a PSL attached to her hand.”
Mind you, this man’s profile also said he worked in finance,
went to Cornell, and enjoyed hiking, travel, and “good food.”
A true original!
I swiped right only to message him: “Finance bros in glass
office buildings shouldn’t throw stones.”
He did not reply.
Sadly, I didn’t have to wonder about the strategy of putting
down the basic girl in his dating profile. Dating apps allow
wannabe pickup artists to neg with a wide net, in other
words, use the ploy that denigrating a swath of women will
attract one via our competitive spirit and our desire to prove
ourselves worthy of his approval.
Pick me, I’m not like other women, I’m diferent and better.
Too often, it works.
When sexism in our society communicates to women,
you’re interchangeable, you’re replaceable, you’re disposable,
you’re basic, we’re inclined to defend ourselves by saying,
But a better answer to that nonsense is, “Not us.”
Otherwise, we’re playing by the rules they give us, even
as we know the game is rigged. When women adopt the tactics
men use to diminish us, we all lose.
I once asked an old boyfriend to stop using the word “slut”
because it offended me. His defense was that it shouldn’t
because the word didn’t apply to me, I was classy and deserving
of respect, unlike some women.
This is some basic bullshit.
Sisters, beware. Beware the trap of elevating yourself by
trampling on other women. First, it’s wrong. And second, it
doesn’t work. What undermines one of us undermines all.
The only solution is sisterhood.
And that doesn’t mean sameness. Sisterhood means less
judgment of each other, less negative comparison. It means
greater acceptance, compassion, and expression of all our different
And some shared ones.
Pass the rosé.
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