Book Review: AN IDIOT GIRL'S CHRISTMAS, by Laurie Notaro

You may or may not have read Notaro's first book, The Idiot Girl's Action Adventure Club--I have not. However, I have read her third (?) book, I Love Everybody (And Other Atrocious Lies), and so I was familiar with her writing, a bit.

IDIOT GIRL'S CHRISTMAS is a collection of funny essays about various Christmases Past in the Notaro family, including the Christmas that Laurie ruined, and the Christmas where Laurie was labelled (twice! On two separate occasions) The Most Unfun Party Guest Ever. The book features six-foot high handmade lawn decorations, nightmarish shopping trips with Nana, and all the check-out line hysteria one could ever ask for. Personally, I loved the Great Christmas Tree showdown, in which Laurie left her tree up until March, just to irritate her already aggravated mother.

Notaro's writing reads, to me, like stand-up comedy. Incredibly conversational, slipping into italics and ALL CAPS, as she, or her family, gets more and more and MORE fiesty, the essays flow off the page as though they're being spoken, and that's impressive, but a whole book of it--wait, two whole books of it--gets old, and quick. It's like an overly long coffee date with a friend who recaps, though animatedly and interestingly, every mundane, mildly funny event that has happened to her over the past week (I know, I'm usually this friend--this is why I have a blog)--after about three-quarters of the book, I was feeling all "talked out", which was funny, because I was reading.

But if you're feeling all Christmassed-out, and you need your holiday spirits lightened, this is a good one--though I'd have to recommend The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, by Barbara Robinson, first.


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