There's Nothing in This Book I Meant to Say

Paula Poundstone, Author
Paula Poundstone, Author , Harmony $24 (274p) ISBN 978-0-609-60316-1
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-60252-517-7
Compact Disc - 450 pages - 978-1-59887-071-8
Hardcover - 397 pages - 978-0-7862-9235-6
Paperback - 274 pages - 978-0-307-38228-3
Book - 1 pages - 978-1-59887-484-6
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Poundstone makes self-involvement entertaining in her memoir-cum-history, which takes biographical sketches of seven historical figures—from Joan of Arc to the Wright brothers—as an excuse for a hilarious and sometimes exhausting stream-of-consciousness confessional. She's interested in other people, she explains, it's just that their stories inevitably—and uncontrollably—trigger her own: "Martin Luther King could come to my house tonight and say, 'I have a dream...' and I'd cut him off and say, 'I had a dream once, too, only in mine....'" Most everything reminds Poundstone of her well-publicized drinking problem. Joan of Arc didn't drive her livestock to pasture while drunk, but if she did they'd "have something in common." Segue to Poundstone being court-ordered on television to attend Alcoholics Anonymous ("That pretty much blows the hell out of the second A"). An explanation of Helen Keller's deafness and blindness is the perfect opportunity for the non sequitur: "God, I loved to drink." But Poundstone deals frankly with the nightmarish results of her alcoholism: she temporarily loses custody of her children, does 180 days in rehab and "was seeing four therapists a week to satisfy the court. Even Sybil didn't see four therapists." (Nov.)

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