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

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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