Fifty Things That Aren't My Fault by Cathy Guisewite

Fifty Things That Aren't My Fault

Cathy Guisewite

Cathy Guisewite, creator of the "Cathy" comic strip, holds out her hand in prose form and becomes a reassuring companion for those on the threshold of “what happens next.”

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From the creator of the iconic "Cathy" comic strip comes her first collection of funny, wise, poignant, and incredibly honest essays about being a woman in what she lovingly calls "the panini generation."

As the creator of "Cathy," Cathy Guisewite found her way into the hearts of readers more than forty years ago, and has been there ever since. Her hilarious and deeply relatable look at the challenges of womanhood in a changing world became a cultural touchstone for women everywhere. Now Guisewite returns with her signature wit and warmth in this debut essay collection about another time of big transition, when everything starts changing and disappearing without permission: aging parents, aging children, aging self stuck in the middle.

With her uniquely wry and funny admissions and insights, Guisewite unearths the humor and horror of everything from the mundane (trying to introduce her parents to TiVo and facing four decades' worth of unorganized photos) to the profound (finding a purpose post-retirement, helping parents downsize their lives, and declaring freedrom from all those things that hold us back). No longer confined to the limits of four comic panels, Guisewite holds out her hand in prose form and becomes a reassuring companion for those on the threshold of "what happens next." Heartfelt and humane and always cathartic, Fifty Things That Aren't My Fault is ideal reading for mothers, daughters, and anyone who is caught somewhere in between.

Advance Galley Reviews

Download expired before I could get it. Liked the excerpt a lot though.

As I would expect from the writer of the comic strip, Cathy, this was laugh out loud funny. I loved it. It was a great change of pace from my usual fiction. As with Cathy, it is remarkably insightful and hilarious writing. Definitely recommend.

Cathy Guisewite brough5 the same wry self-deprecating humor that she brought to her comic strips for years. From the scary drive with the person who she used to feel most safe with (her elderly mom) to waking up after her foot size grew overnight, each of her fifty things brought a bright light to my day. Thanks for giving me a chance to preview this book. I highly r3commend it.

This book contains a dollop of the author’s wit and wisdom, and there is wincing humor to be found in it pages. However, the best ideas occur in the opening chapters, and the premise is eventually overworked and tedious. Not recommended.

Without the art and the shorter length of her famous comic strips, I found Guisewite's essays much too self-centered and indulgent. They cover similar material: women are expected to be attractive and take care of others while moaning about not fitting into any of their clothes and hating shopping for more. Life's too short to wallow in this over and over.

Cathy was a four panel daily comic strip, when newspaper comic strips were in their prime. Cathy Guisewite, its creator, did that job, alone in a room, for 34 years. Now, she has written Fifty Things That Are Not My Fault, a comic strip in prose. This time it is really and specifically autobiographical. The book gives Guisewite the ability to broaden her stories, build up to her punchlines , and most of all, expose her humanity. Because Fifty Things is nothing if not a summary of all the internal conflicts humans are capable of. The central column of the book, and the source of all her angst, is the three generation spread between her, her 19 year old daughter, and her 90 year old parents. Out of that Guisewite reaps a bounty of hypocrisy, irrationality, gullibility and most of all, self-consciousness. She is self-conscious about her looks, her clothing, her size, her shape, her relationships to all three generations, and how she has, despite all efforts to the contrary, proven to be normal. She fights with her daughter, slamming her for every little thing, knowing all the while it is precisely the wrong thing to be doing. She interferes with her parents, who, after 90 years, know who they are and how they want to live. That is, without middle–aged daughters telling them to clear out the house, rearrange their belongings, move into assisted living, use medic alarm necklaces and other bothers to make their three daughters feel less burdened and guilty. There is every possible foible covered in depth and with humor, from the gym to the mall, from child rearing to separation anxiety, from junk accumulation to more separation anxiety. She knows what’s wrong in every case, and in every case she goes ahead anyway. The contradictions are endless, and if there is a point to it all, it is that they are also universal. Her humor is as delightful as ever. Her stories are beautifully structured with sarcasm, self-contradiction and self-pity. If truth be known, she is actually at fault for most of the fifty things, but it’s okay, we all are. I found a line in her story of her probably 2000th trip to the mall that shows how delightful the whole book really is. She says of shopping: “There’s something magical about taking something that isn’t a problem yet home to meet the rest of my life.” David Wineberg

I'm not sure how I feel about this book, for me it was a different style than what I was use to. However, I could relate to some of her essays. Thank you First To Read for allowing me to read an advanced copy of Cathy Guisewite's Fifty Things That Aren't My Fault.

Cathy Guisewite shares charm in every day relatable bites of stories in "Fifty Things That Aren't My Fault" Each essay in this book is short enough for a light read and doesn't have the necessity of sitting through one long reading session to retain all the information. The instances behind every story are relatable and a delight to read and makes ones chaotic life seem a little more normal.

As a woman of a certain age, I read the "Cathy" comic strip for years and loved it. This is like coming back home to an agreeable and comfortable friend. So many things I have experienced personally or my friends are going through - having a daughter head out to college and how to treat her as the independent young woman that she is; parents who freak out at figuring out: 1. a new remote, 2. a tv that can pause a live program, 3. food that lives in the freezer forever; living more than a thousand miles from your family and what that means in physical and emotional distance; coordinating what to do with parents in conjunction with your siblings. This book was funny and so accurately reflected my life - I loved it! I want to thank First to Read for letting me read this book in exchange for my honest review.

I read the Cathy comic strip when I was a teenager so I was intrigued by this collection of essays. I'm younger that Guisewite so I can't relate (yet) to some of what she speaks of, but as a whole I thought it was a solid read. Most of the essays were poignant, heartfelt and funny however there were others where I would skim read as they were a bit slower and not as engaging. I also found there were times where the essays felt very over the top and I got frustrated especially when it related to her older parents. My parents are just now entering their 60's so maybe when they get older I will connect more to what she is saying, but it was just a bit overdramatic for my tastes (ex: she freaks out when her parents start clearing out some really, really old papers, but earlier she devoted an entire essay how she was frustrated by her parents lack of desire to declutter their space). All in all, this was a good read and I'm glad I had the opportunity to read it.

Cathy was one of the few comic strips I read for most of its lifespan. I enjoyed and was able to identify with much of Fifty Things That Aren't My Fault as I did with the comic strip. It was nice to hear from Cathy Guisewite again.

Incisve in its humor and thoughtful in its compassion, this is a book for navigating modern life.

Cathy Gusewite wrote the Cathy comic strip for many years. She has now written a book of essays dealing with the 'sandwich generation', those who have responsibilities to children and elderly parents. I wasn't familiar with her comic strip, but a little digging online, made me sure I would enjoy this book. I wasn't disappointed as the author has a way with words that made the mundane interesting and I found myself laughing out loud...a lot! From shoppingto dealing with an aging body and so much more, this was an enjoyable read about the challenges a real women faces. I think I am going to look for a book of Cathy comic strips. A fun read whether you are familiar with Cathy or not since after all, we are all going to be a similar place one day.

I used to read "Cathy" daily, but then around the end of my teen years it stopped being funny or relatable. This book is pretty much the same. There are some parts that are funny and relatable, but overall it wasn't for me. I can only take so many fat or old jokes before quitting the book.

Cathy Guisewite, after decades penning the comic strip "Cathy," sets down her ink pen and takes up her word processor. It's a bit disconcerting at first, all the words, no pictures, lots of comedy, but drama, too. The angst is still there, roads untaken, be they the road to a happy marriage or simply the road to a contented hour with a child. If you are a Debbie or a Linda or a Cathy yourself, you will see your life in these pages, wrestling with the issues we women have been asked to take on, career or motherhood, caring for your elderly parents, letting go of our children, marriage and relationships. If you have always liked "Cathy" you might like to give Guisewite a chance to share a bit more than she was able to say in a 10 x 14 inch comic strip.

This book is a funny look at life after 40. I think that I would’ve enjoyed it more had I been closer to the age of the intended demographic.

Fifty Things That Aren’t My Fault picks up where the comic strip Cathy leaves off. Cathy is now middle age and dealing with everything that happens to you in the 40 - 70 age range.....such as sending your children off to college, dealing with an empty house, to becoming a parent to your parents. The chapters dealing with her ageing parents, who are in their 90s, are the ones that I found the most hilarious and could read a whole book just on them.

Hysterical look at everyday life in short sections. Great and entertaining read

This is filled with fun looks at life. If you are a woman and you're somewhere between 40 and 120, you'll probably get a kick out this. I read parts of the book to my husband, who thought it was hilarious, as well. It's looks at life, but they are so spot on, you just have to laugh and agree. Definitely recommend this one.

I found Cathy Guisewite's collection of essays to be deeply relatable, funny and touching, 4 stars!

I received a copy of this ebook from in exchange for an honest review. This book reminds me a lot of the Bridget Jones Diary series, particularly the beginning and the end. I enjoyed the short stories about Guisewite's life and how she opens up about being a single mother, adopting, and trying to help her aging parents. I would have liked a bit more depth in some of these, and some of the rules about being a woman felt a bit gimicky, but I certainly got some chuckles out of the book and find Guisewite's experiences and frustrations relatable and reassuring.

It's easy to forget that comic strip artists are actually writers. They have to come up with a story line that plays out in tiny chapters over a week or more and keeps the audience coming back day after day. Cathy Guisewite quit her comic strip after thirty-four years in 2010. But apparently she kept writing and now we have a collection of essays about adopting and raising her daughter who is now in college, worrying about her parents as they enter their nineties, and mundane things like exercise and diet, marriage and dating, shopping and pets. I've become a skimmer in recent years but I read this entire book cover to cover. I look forward to more essays from Guisewite.

What an enjoyable read this book was! The stories were so relatable and I found myself laughing out loud over and over again. For someone going through many of these same things as I begin to age, it was nice to know I’m definitely not in this by myself. Thanks to Penguin and the first to read program for the opportunity to read this great advanced copy.

Delightfully funny book about life as a mom to a teenager and as a daughter to parents in their 90s as well as being a middle-aged woman with a body acting the part. In a non-gender-biased way, I am quite certain that readers in the same situation as Cathy Guisewite and/or fans of her Cathy comics will appreciate this book even more, but I still enjoyed it immensely, although the painfully funny descriptions of trying on swimwear or jeans for hours was somewhat alien to me - being a man and all...

The author is also the creator of the comic strip "Cathy", that ran in newspapers beginning in the later 1970's, & ran for about 40 years..... the comic strip really gave voice to women trying to make their way in the world, dealing with work, relationships, self esteem....all in a delightful way! I would guess that a lot of women grew up/matured reading & relating to this comic.....& many of those women might be in the 60-70 y/o age group today...... This book of essays might be described as 'the "Cathy" comic strip in longhand form'! Women in that age group will find something to relate to in just about every essay! She talks about dealing with/caring for aging parents, shopping for clothes, diets, relationships......all with her characteristic "Cathy" humor! Her observations about life & living are right on!! Maybe women of other age groups too, will see something they recognize here? If you ever read & enjoyed that comic strip, I think you'll really enjoy this book. I received an e-ARC from Penguin's First-to-Read Giveaway program, with the understanding that I'd read it & post my own fair & honest review.

A delightful collection of essays about the challenges women face in a changing world as they age and deal with aging parents and children leaving the nest..

I remember enjoying Cathy in the comics section of the newspaper back in the day but I think maybe I have passed this stage of my own life and I’m over it. I really cannot get interested in these essays. I’m afraid this one is a DNF for me.

Getting older can be liberating or utterly frightening, depending on where you're at in life. Trying to navigate the complexities that come with aging can be simultaneously humorous and frustrating, which Cathy Guisewite shows in Fifty Things That Aren't My Fault: Essays From the Grown-Up Years. Life is filled with various moments of transition, both large and small; dealing with those moments can be difficult, if not just outright confusing or frustrating. Being an adult does not mean that you know how to immediately handle situations or magically have the answers to everything, but seemingly by mutual agreement, we all pretend to know what we're doing. Sandwiched between aging parents and a daughter coming into her own as an adult, Guisewite depicts the experiences (and frustrating struggles) she faces in her life behaving as both a child and a parent to those she loves while also more firmly coming to terms with herself in the process in a humorous and heartfelt manner, making it easy for readers to relate to what she's conveying.  The Cathy comic strip was one that I read in the Sunday insert for the newspaper growing up, and this collection of essays serves as an expanded format and opportunity to explore, in narrative form, some of the familiar issues and ideas that Cathy had worked to address. The writing is filled with the humor you'd expect and the insights are spot on, eliciting many moments of "Same!" as well as plenty of opportunities for chuckles. Having enjoyed the comic strip growing up, when I was in middle school I learned that the creator of Cathy grew up in Midland, MI just like I did, and I became slightly more connected with the comic strip that already offered readers incredibly relatable situations and thoughts. Overall, I'd give it a 4 out of 5 stars.

Cathy Guisewite offers a collection of essay for fans of her Cathy comic strip on her usual anxieties snd frustrations: aging parents who don't feel old, outgrowing clothes and shoes, eating habits, body images issues, fear at trying on clothes, organizing her house, her realationshp with her daughter, and how much things have changed and not changed for women. Some of the essays are repetitive and, at times, the humor doesn't really work. The collection is best suited for fans of Cathy.

I am so glad that Cathy Guisewite wrote this book, and I was able to read the galley copy! Introspection seems to come with aging. Even though, like Cathy's dad, I don't feel older, the physical changes and reflections are very real. Cathy's short essays hit all the areas I am reflecting on as well--family, parents, siblings, dieting, etc. I laughed and cried at her words. Somehow her sentences found their way to my head and heart. THANK YOU!!

What a fantastic book! Thank you First to Read for the opportunity to review it! I could have written this book - if I had Cathy's sense of humor and ability to write, that is. I've been in this "panini" generation myself for a few years. Every essay hits home and leaves me pondering my own life. The essays ARE humorous, but they are also so much more to those of us in this same time of life. Thank you Cathy. I've missed you.

This book was an absolute joy to read. I saw myself in so many of the essays. The discussions with Kathy's parents could have been my discussion with my mom. The book really made me realize I'm not alone during this time in my life. The essays were easy to read and so believable. I highly recommend this book.

I’ve missed you, Cathy! I’ve forgotten how much Cathy Guisewite could telegraph in a few comic panels. I have a small box filled with the detritus of my life. I’d call it mementos, but by now it’s been picked over so many times that the remains are slim. The diaries and day planners within are filled with Cathy cartoons carefully taped into days where they were sufficient to explain all that I felt. This book somehow does the same for this new period of life, where parents and millennials seem to share the same mindset. And yet, somehow our hopes for novel hair products remain ever high despite a lifetime of disappointment. This is a book to cherish and laugh aloud while reading. It is a joy to read. I received my copy from Penguin’s First to Read program and felt incredibly lucky.


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