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An Idiot Girl's Christmas: True Tales from the Top of the Naughty List Hardcover – November 1, 2005


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Frequently Bought Together

An Idiot Girl's Christmas: True Tales from the Top of the Naughty List + Autobiography of a Fat Bride: True Tales of a Pretend Adulthood + The Idiot Girls' Action-Adventure Club: True Tales from a Magnificent and Clumsy Life
Price for all three: $32.64

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Villard; First Edition edition (November 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400064368
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400064366
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 5.4 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #629,873 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Like her other titles, Laurie Notaro's An Idiot Girl's Christmas is a bon bon of a book--one that is so honestly observed that, if you are at work, you will find yourself sneaking in time to read it at your desk in the middle of the day, snorting with laughter. There are few writers who can nail the particular humiliation of, say, buying a box of tampons in a crowded store while a small cadre of punks makes unfortunate jokes behind you. Or who can let loose the funny fury of wrong-headed Christmas gifts, such as her mother's peculiar affinity for food-scented candles:

Always on my list is a scrumptious delicacy from my mother's favorite Wax Candle Baked Goods store. I don't know where my mother found a wax store that specializes in baked-goods and pastry candles, but she did. Good job Mom!…It's the perfect diet food, because biting into one is like biting into Jennifer Lopez's double-decker ass at Madam Tussaud's, kind of like sinking your teeth into a thick, dense bar of Irish Spring--without the flavor.

With some new and some best-of material (the venerable Jingle Bell piece about a Barney-obsessed neighbor is here), this volume covers many a family holiday at the Notaro household, with an amusing assortment of ill-adjusted siblings, in-laws, and that grand dame of dysfunction and buzz kill, Notaro's mother. Or at least the ever-so-lightly fictionalized version of Notaro's mother, who plays the foil to Notaro's perpetually underfunded, tortured, and sweetly Machiavellian self. The palpable and universal mother-daughter tension in their relationship is best mined in the chapter, "Oh Holy Night," or "The Year I Ruined Christmas," in which the n'er do well's daughter purse is lost, found, and returned home with a tire track across it and without Notaro herself:

"I was dead?" I asked my mother eagerly, trying hard to fight the urge to jump up and down in glee. "Oh my God. I can't believe it. This is fantastic. Did you cry?"
"Well, almost," my mother confessed. "But then again there was the relief of getting the second use out of your prom dress."

In the end, wit and clever revenge on dull party guests trump the rich, thin, and conventionally pretty girls every time. Notaro's Idiot Girl's Christmas is a holiday worth celebrating. --Megan Halverson

From Publishers Weekly

Humorist Notaro (Autobiography of a Fat Bride; We Thought You'd be Prettier) takes on the standard fare of holiday horrors in this slim volume of essays, rejuvenating well-worn territory with gonzo humor and a few touches of sentiment. Notaro proffers up an ironic gift list ("Of course, I would enjoy more than anything getting some really cheap bath crystals, so I could use them when I take a shower since I don't have a bathtub") and skewers the horrors of December shopping ("a woman who had gone to high school with Mary Todd Lincoln moved up to the counter"), but also recounts some peculiar, Notaro family-specific stories, like the year the author (sort of) died and was resurrected on Christmas Eve, or the year the family ate raisin-resembling maggots with Christmas dinner. Understated emotion (tempered with sarcasm) is Notaro's secret strength, whether remembering her late grandfather's Christmas Eve walks, or taking her Nana shopping: "She's like a toddler but one who won't respond to the store PA system calling her name unless the speaker is approximately two inches from her left, good ear." Fans of David Sedaris's Holidays on Ice will find this worth a look.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

More About the Author

Laurie Notaro was born in Brooklyn, New York, then spent the remainder of her formative years in Phoenix, AZ, where she created something of a checkered past. She is the New York Times Best-selling author of the humor memoirs The Idiot Girls Action Adventure Club, Autobiography of a Fat Bride, I Love Everybody and Other Atrocious Lies, We Thought You Would Be Prettier, Idiot Girls' Christmas, There's a Slight Chance I Might Be Going to Hell, The Idiot Girls and the Flaming Tantrum of Death, and Spooky Little Girl, which will be available April 13, 2001. She is a terrible typist, doesn't suffer Big Ikes very well, and lives under an assumed name in Eugene, Oregon where her neighbors believe she is writing about them, but she is not. She has a cute dog, a nice husband and misses Mexican food like a limb lost to diabetes.

Customer Reviews

This book will have you laughing out loud.
S. Bubb
I have read all of Laurie's other books and bought this as an early Christmas present for myself to help me get thru the stench of the holiday season.
Celia Bauer
It is just as funny and enjoyable to read as all of her books!
Lady Donna DMU

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Teresa M. Zwemer on November 3, 2005
Format: Hardcover
In true Laurie style, this book will make you feel better about your worst Christmas memory. Because inevitably, hers is worse. Way worse.

A really quick read (I picked it up after work yesterday...took it to the gym...and was finished before dinner) but fun and entertaining throughout. There is no filler in this short, but sweet book. Just lots of Laurie's unique humor encapsulated in bite sized Christmas stories of true horror. My favorite I think being the Super K-mart at midnight on Christmas Eve story.

If you've read and liked ANY of her previous work...this book should be on your Christmas list...hopefully positioned above the puffy Christmas dish towels and nylon underwear large enough to cover a sports car in a downpour.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By takingadayoff TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 16, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a late arrival to the Laurie Notaro fanwagon (I didn't discover her until her third book), I got off to a slow start, finding her humor too confrontational at times, and too self-abasing at other times. Still, I found myself hunting down her previous books, and before I knew what had hit me, I was laughing and reading bits out loud to savor them.

My favorite Notaro pieces all seem to involve shopping. In An Idiot Girl's Christmas, the standout essays are Deck the Mall, in which Laurie takes her Nana Christmas shopping, and Have Yourself a Kmart Little Christmas, in which Laurie finds herself in a crowded Super Kmart just before closing time on Christmas Eve.

In another chapter, The Most Unfun Christmas Party Hostess Ever, we get an intriguing glimpse of Laurie's husband (although we still don't know his name). As they get their house ready for a Christmas party, unnamed husband asks "Do you think if I put my new Emily Dickinson biography on the coffee table that it will spur conversation?" Apparently, in his circle of friends, this is a distinct possibility. Laurie knows her friends, on the other hand, will "debate whether or not I know that I married a gay man."

An Idiot Girl's Christmas is a pretty short book, 142 pages in a hardcover the size of a trade paperback, but it's priced accordingly, and you'll definitely get your money's worth in laughs.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Heather C. English on November 4, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I laughed, I cried and I wet my pants (only a little bit). Ms Notaro triumphs against adversity yet again and we are all invited to witness it. Must read for idiot girls and boys everywhere.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By K. J. Lewis on January 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Lots of people have horrendous stories about going home for the holidays and the fallout that ensues. For many of us, the Holidays are the most stressful time of year. Laurie Notaro has the insight meld her internal narration with true bits of hilarity that only happen during the holidays. Self-professed as a "non-intellectual" (unlike her husband) and not one of the crazies that start talking to you in line at Safeway; Laurie Notaro is comfortable somewhere in the middle, watching Anna Nicole Smith with the same horror & facination you would a train wreck. She offers useful solutions to quandries like controlling the eldery from coming unhinged in public places, and would REAL SIMPLE magazine print her solution of what to do with those 4 pks of white cotton brief panties in their "Things That Do Double Duty" section. Laurie Notaro never disappoints. I love this woman! Her book was my favorite Christmas present this year.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Joy Lowry on December 19, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Amen to the other reviewers! Couldn't have said it better myself, but I'll put in my $2(inflation) worth! The trip to KMART and the shopping trip with Nana are my personal favorites. If you need stress-reliever from the Holiday season or just enjoy a good laugh, treat yourself to Laurie Natoro.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Katie on May 30, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Let me preface this review by saying I am in love with Laurie Notaro. I think that if I lived closer to her I may become her stalker. =) Ok so that's not completely true, but what is true, is that I can't get enough of her books, and the Idiot Girl's Christmas is no exception. If you've ever done anything remotely clumsy, stupid, or asenine (especially whilst enjoying a cocktail of some sort) or have a crazy family, you will love Notaro's books. I literally laugh out loud (of course people do think I'm nuts; especially when on a plane by myself laughing like a mad cow...)

Anyway, buy the book, you won't be disappointed!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Claire M. Jackson on February 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this collection of holiday stories from Laurie Notaro. I own all her books, and am likely to buy a laundry list if she wrote it, so I didn't really mind the "re-runs" from AOAFB and IGAAC. The new stuff was, as usual, fabulous, irreverent, and hilarious. "The Most Unfun Christmas Hostess Ever" stood out as a favorite. If you're looking for a quick break from the holiday nightmare (even if only to peek through a window at someone else's), then you'll love this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Melissa A. Burton on February 2, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read every one of Laurie's books and not once have I kept quiet. I laugh out loud in embarrassing, room-silencing, bladder testing, tummy aching, eyes streaming outburts throughout all of her books. This one is no different. If you read this book, be prepared to buy every other one of hers. In my opinion, she is one of the best life is a comedy authors out there. Even if you don't get this one, DEFINATELY purchase "I love everybody". It is her best book, ever.
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