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Lighting Up: How I Stopped Smoking, Drinking, and Everything Else I Loved in Life Except Sex Paperback – December 27, 2005


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Shapiro's wit and honesty elevate the work."
--Publishers Weekly


From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Susan Shapiro's work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The Village Voice, The Nation, Cosmopolitan, People, and many other publications. She lives with her husband in Greenwich Village, where she teaches writing at New York University and the New School.


From the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Delta; Reprint edition (December 27, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385338341
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385338349
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #780,301 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Susan B. Shapiro is an award-winning Manhattan writing professor and The New York Times bestselling author of the nonfiction books UNHOOKED, FIVE MEN WHO BROKE MY HEART, LIGHTING UP, SECRETS OF A FIX-UP FANATIC, ONLY AS GOOD AS YOUR WORD and two novels, SPEED SHRINKING and OVEREXPOSED. Most recently she co-authored THE BOSNIA LIST (Penguin, 2014.) Her books have been translated into 12 languages. She's written for The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, The Nation & Newsweek and teaches "the instant gratification takes too long" school of writing at The New School and in private classes and workshops. Visit her at her website Susanshapiro.net, follower her on Twitter at @Susanshapironet or email her directly at profsue123@gmail.com

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Reader99 on June 22, 2009
Format: Paperback
I started this book on Friday and could not put it down, finished it on Sunday and felt sad when I hit the last page. As I began reading, I realized I would need paper and pencil to take notes to use in my own life. My whole life I've been surrounded by people who smoke and drink, and I made a conscious effort not to become one of "those people." But after I read this book, I realized I'm no better; that I have addictions of my own that have nothing to do with "controlled substances." This book sheds a lot of light on how to live through suffering so one can come out the other end feeling like a better person for it. Susan's writing is so down to earth that you will see yourself in her no matter who you are. Dr. Winters is a big player in the book, but it's the way Susan takes the wheel of her own life that makes you want to cheer for her and ask yourself why the hell you've waited so long to face what makes you "suffer" the most.

Dr. Winters said that underneath any addiction is a deep depression. Read it and find out what it means to you.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jeannie MacDonald on February 19, 2008
Format: Paperback
We're all hooked on something: love, sports, drugs, cupcakes. No matter what your addiction is, you'll profit from reading Shapiro's book. In it, she detoxes from the substances that are preventing her from living her fullest, best life (cigarettes, pot, booze, gum -- don't laugh...even bread & pasta, perish the thought!) With fearless honesty and self-deprecating humor, Shapiro walks readers through the process, which she tackled with the help of a brilliant addictions specialist (and wannabe writer) named Dr. Winters, who has plenty of issues of his own. You'll love the little Zen wisdom notes he gives her at the end of each session; feel the discomfort of withdrawal; relate to the negative reactions of those around her when Shapiro overcomes her addictions, one by one; and most of all, cheer her on as she confronts her demons. Packed with insights (and cheaper than therapy), this memoir should be required reading for anyone seeking to reinvent themselves.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Laura H. Rubens on August 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book was an honest and provocative look at the life of an addict. Many people have different stories about how they cope with being an addict, but Susan Shapiro takes you inside the dark web of her addictions in a completely fresh and mind altering way! READ THIS BOOK! I LOVED IT!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gina Ryder on October 1, 2008
Format: Paperback
While reading Lighting Up, I quit smoking. My withdraw began the moment the book ended. Without Shapiro's voice to guide me through my own nicotine addiction, I was forced to accept my own sober misery. In an instant gratification society, it's easy to give into vices to hide what keeps us from happiness--our own neurosis. Shapiro's quest for overall health is about clearing smoke. Getting rid of the smoke destroying your lungs is fairy simple. But releasing the smoke in your heart is very tough. It becomes easier after joining Shapiro as she liberates herself and her readers by sharing her raw human emotions. Most stray away from showing weakness. Not Shapiro. She's a fearless memoirist, full of stories that ignite an even bigger fire--the power to be yourself.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Anna King on August 26, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is funny as hell and hard to put down - can emphasis with someone who writes about her struggles with giving up smoking and drinking while living "in the center of Manhattan, where I could get any substance I wanted delivered within twenty minutes"...
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By TawnTawn on December 16, 2013
Format: Paperback
Susan Shapiro says she has been smoking two packs of cigarettes a day, since she was thirteen. Now she wants to quit. She never says how she could afford two packs of cigarettes a day when she was thirteen...she must have gotten a heck of an allowance. And I don't recall if she said she smoked in front of her parents at that age...if she didn't, that's a lot of sneaking out.

So she goes on the patch and gets a specialist in addiction to treat her - Dr. Winters. This is the same doctor who her husband went to prior to their marriage, but not for addiction. Ms. Shapiro credits Dr. Winters with making Aaron marry her. It's a bit of a different story in "Five Men Who Broke My Heart" and this one...in Five Men, after a wedding she tells Aaron she wants to get married or he can leave. He leaves, but shows up six weeks later with a ring and proposes. In this book, he leaves for six weeks, then begs her to come to a session with him and Dr. Winters. She does. Aaron disappears for ANOTHER six weeks, then proposes. Shapiro also refers in this book, to her previous book "Five Men...." as a sex book. Really? I read a sex book? And never even noticed.

Dr. Winters is a boring, conceited control freak. He tells her to stop smoking. So she drinks. He tells her to stop drinking. She eats/chews Blowpops suckers. He tells her to stop. She chews gum. He tells her to stop. She smokes a little pot. (I'd really like to see this yellow padded envelope in which she could fit a Slinky, a small stuffed animal and a perfume kit in which she stowed her blunts, mailed to her mother's house). He tells her to stop. She shops. He tells her to stop. All this for $125 per hour (he later raises her rate to $150 - his normal rate is $200). Dr. Winters is 10 - 15 minutes late for every single session.
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