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I'm Not the New Me Paperback – April 26, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

When McClure, a 33-year-old children's book editor from Chicago, creates a Web site to chronicle losing weight, she contemplates possible names for it. She rejects My Weight Loss Journey, Soon To Be Slender, My Body Journal and Funky Flesh, which she decides "has bad B.O. connotations," before choosing Pound (its Web address is because wasn't available). In this funny, likable memoir, McClure offers sardonic commentary on both projects—her struggle to shed pounds and the creation and growth of Pound—from confessing how much she wants a special Weight Watchers magnet (the token the program gives to members when they lose their first 25 pounds) to describing a shopping trip to Lane Bryant. "For some reason, plus size designers love the mutant conjoined twinset," she writes. "I think they're under the impression that fat women get so out of breath putting their arms through sleeves that they're doing us a favor." McClure's narrative also includes selections of e-mails from appreciative, devoted Pound readers, accounts of online dating woes and some recollections of her childhood. The narrative drags in spots, but, just as Pound fans found McClure's words inspiring, those who read this work are likely to applaud its author for writing such an encouraging, spirited book. Agent, Erin Hosier at the Gernert Company. (Apr. 26)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


A brave, bittersweet look at weight, loss, and elusive happy endings. -- Jennifer Weiner, author of Good In Bed

If you really want to lose weight, read this book--you'll laugh your ass off. -- Steve Almond, author of Candyfreak

[a] hilarious, painfully honest, totally compelling...suspenseful and strangely comforting story of a girl trying to lose a few pounds... -- Jennifer Belle, author of High Maintenance and Going Down

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Riverhead Books; (5th) edition (April 26, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594480745
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594480744
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,428,812 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Wendy McClure is a columnist for BUST magazine and a children's book editor. Her essays have appeared in the The New York Times Magazine, The Chicago Sun-Times, and in numerous anthologies. She was born in Oak Park, Illinois, graduated from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and now lives in Chicago with her husband, Chris, in a neighborhood near the river.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By R. Carey on August 3, 2005
Format: Paperback
First things first: yes, in this book, Wendy McClure loses weight. And yes, she does engage in a fair bit of navel-gazing that seeks to elevate what is essentially ordinary into something grand and heroic. That being said, I would not call this a weight-loss memoir. The weight loss thing gives structure to the book, certainly, but it is not the ultimate point. It is most certainly not meant to inspire other people to lose weight, or even to justify McClure's own weight problems. Rather, it is a book about McClure's life at the cusp of 30 in Midwest America, living as an educated young fat woman trying to find an identity. This is not a book for someone looking for inspiration, or even a way to lose weight. McClure tells us that she herself is incredulous about, and perhaps even a little apprehensive toward, those who tell her her website has inspired them to go off and lose weight on their own. This is a book for fellow people who are or have been where McClure is. It is, ironically enough, a book about an identity beyond weight and weight loss.

McClure doesn't lose sight of the fact that she feels that she's buying into something by joining a group to lose weight. That cynicism is certainly refreshing. It keeps the book from plunging too far into cloying feel-good tripe, or from ascending too high into the sphere of the truly self-obsessed navel-gazing memoir. It's not that McClure advocates not improving oneself; rather, it's that she sees that there is more to the modern push to lose weight than is immediately apparent, and that finding out how to improve yourself without buying into the weight-loss culture is one of the trickier things to try to accomplish.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By redmarina on May 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
Caveat: This is the first "fat girl story" that I've read.

I expected it to be another Bridget Jones diary and it was not. I was pleasantly surprised by the respect that Wendy has for herself and that she didn't focus [at least her book] on changing for a man or for a reunion (cliche weight loss themes). The book is witty, funny, and not juvenile (for the most part) although the depression did remind me of my high school days as an "alternative"/psuedo-goth. I think Wendy did a decent job of depicting herself as a whole. Ultimately, I never felt pity for Wendy because she seems so cool (although health is a separate issue).

I have a little (compared to Wendy) weight to lose myself and I could relate to the "IRS Audit photographs". Her description was so vivid! Ultimately, this book was encouraging and really encouraged me to make an effort to get healthy without making me feel guilty.

The WW cards are awesome and I enjoy showing them to friends. :) Her site has more of the cards.
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25 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Cedric's Mom VINE VOICE on May 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
What a great book. You will absolutely die laughing at the Weight Watchers Menu Cards in the center section of the book. Get the web URL and visit the site to see even more cards. I love the way she exploits the props and themes of the photographs, not just the items. This stuff is hilarious.

Wendy McClure is a crack-up, but the girl is no slouch or one-trick pony. She has an MFA in poetry from the Iowa Writer's Workshop, one of the country's most difficult programs to gain entry to. I'm so glad to see her using her excellent talent and skill for something so valuable: making me laugh until I pee on myself.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Kristin Thomas on April 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book would be worth the money just for the circa 1970's Weight Watchers recipe cards that are reproduced within it.

But don't just buy it for that. Buy it because Wendy is whip-smart and tremendously funny, and because this book will make you think twice about the diet industry, food, and the relationships American woman have with both.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jen on April 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
Wendy McClure's book is about all of the things my friends and I talk about all of the time--weight, friendship, dating, family--but she crystallizes it all in a far more articulate and funny way than we ever could. I laughed like crazy when reading about her adventures in online dating and felt genuinely sad when reading about her breakup with a boyfriend. She's got a terrific sense of humor, which is sometimes silly, sometimes campy, but always dead-on. I picked up this book because I was a fan of Wendy's website,, but you don't have to know the site to love this book. Using the magic number that Wendy herself mentions early in the book, I would recommend this to any woman who has ever weighed more than 125 pounds!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kelly Houser VINE VOICE on May 29, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wendy McClure entertains and charms her audience with a collection of witty, beautiful, and funny tales regarding her personal weight loss battle in "I'm not the New Me." McClure begins by telling her audience that every fat girl has a fat story about the trauma that caused the fat, but that she will spare us that recollection. Instead, McClure treats us to a bevy of hysterical anecdotes about her personal weight struggles, love life challenges, and family dysfunction.

I found "I'm not the new me" to be delightful. McClure's writing is very reminiscent of Laurie Notaro, of whom I am a huge fan. I thought this book was engaging and personal, while being funny and vulnerable. I do hope that McClure writes additional works, because I am really in love with her humor and writing style.

I highly recommend this book!
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