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Someone Will Be with You Shortly: Notes from a Perfectly Imperfect Life Hardcover – March 2, 2010

4.1 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

If Lisa Kogan didn’t exist, Nora Ephron would have to invent her. Like the tart-tongued yet lovable heroine portrayed in screwball romantic comedies, Kogan wears her heart on a sleeve that, like as not, was pulled from the bottom of her closet and could use a good dry cleaning. With a fractured life as a career woman/working mother/long-distance girlfriend providing the fodder, Kogan’s observations focus on the commonalities that connect women from ages 20 to 80. Hairdressers from hell, sippy-cup-stained sofas, fashion fiascoes, and workplace roller coasters form the deviling detritus of daily life that fuels her irreverent brand of honest-girlfriend humor; though she is just as likely to take a well-aimed gibe when fallacies of personal responsibility, parenting provocations, and social ineptitude invoke her deeper sense of moral outrage. In essays that disarm with a devil-may-care frankness and delight with a what-the-heck impudence, Kogan’s take on contemporary living is as irrepressibly savvy as a Prada diaper bag, as reassuringly satisfying as a PB-and-J sandwich. --Carol Haggas

Review

“It’s no mystery why O magazine’s Lisa Kogan is a beloved columnist. She’s self-deprecating enough to be easily relatable, whimsical enough to be reliably entertaining, and clever enough to disguise a gut-socking revelation.” (Elle)

“Kogan’s riffs on motherhood, politics, relationships, and life itself are what we wish we’d said, only sharper and funnier. This is good stuff.” (O magazine)

“If Lisa Kogan didn’t exist, Nora Ephron would have to invent her. In essays that disarm and delight, Kogan’s take on contemporary living is as irrepressibly savvy as a Prada diaper bag, as reassuringly satisfying as a PB-and-J sandwich.” (Booklist)

“In delectable bite-size essays, humor columnist Kogan casts an all-seeing eye on the annoying and hilarious idiosyncrasies of contemporary life.” (Redbook Magazine)

“Her wry observations of everyday life will hearten you on your worst days, validate you on your best, and make you laugh any day at all. Buy it, if not to keep Lisa writing, then as an investment in your own happiness. God knows you deserve one fail-safe investment.” (Martha Beck, author of Expecting Adam and Finding Your Own North Star)

“Lisa Kogan has a singularly humane stance as she makes comic sense of the annoying and baffling facts of life. The inventor of ‘the dessert potato’ has made me laugh for years–she’s been a comfort, too.” (Amy Hempel, author of The Collected Stories)

“Lisa Kogan might just be the Erma Bombeck of our generation. Sassy, blunt, and so damn true.” (Kelly Corrigan, author of The Middle Place and LIFT)

“Kogan delivers stylish and funny meditations on being a single mom, Rush Limbaugh, modern media and much more. There’s laughter here, sure, but this book winningly rises above comedy to reveal a moving love of life.” (Time Out New York)

“The ultimate summer read—engrossing yet light and fun. From page one you’ll be laughing as the author shares her smile-inducing anecdotes.” (First for Women)

“Lisa Kogan is the intellectual and creative love child of Noel Coward and Loretta Lynn. Someone Will Be With You Shortly is a hilarious, honest and tender chronical of everyday life as most of us really live it. Lisa Kogan sings all the right grace notes with absolutely perfect pitch.” (Amy Dickinson, author of The Mighty Queens of Freeville)

“Lisa Kogan’s Someone Will Be with You Shortly is a delectable blend of wit, whimsy, pith, and poignancy. If David Sedaris were a girl (who’d had her pocket book licked by a stranger on Lexington Avenue) this is the book he¹d write.” (Evan Handler, author of It's Only Temporary)

“I admit it. I’m a big, drooling Lisa Kogan groupie. I’d read the ingredients on a cereal box if I thought she’d written them. She is funny, wise, compelling, loveable, fallible…So a whole book by her? What heaven!!” (Peggy Orenstein, author of Waiting for Daisy)

“Lisa Kogan’s Someone Will Be with You Shortly is like curling up with your best, crabbiest, kindest, wisest, most singular friend on earth.” (Peter Smith, author of Two of Us: The Story of a Father, a Son, and the Beatles)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; 1 edition (March 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061735027
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061735028
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,336,652 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I'd read Lisa Kogan before in Oprah Magazine - only a few times, though, whenever i was near a magazine (which isn't that often) and I recently heard her on NPR and she's the BEST thing about the magazine in my opinion. but i didn't know she had a monthly column, and i didn't know how popular she was, or how many fans and i didn't know just how hilarious she could be. which is to say VERY hilarious - like EXTREMELY hilarious. not in a vodka and sex chelsea handler way, more in a funny, poignant, completely fresh way that reminded me of david sedaris if he were a woman living in a horrible apartment building with a small child. I don't think she's like anyone i've read before. she's never nasty but she has a side, a way of looking at things that i can't really remember coming across before - sharp without being snide, and completely charming. The book basically chronicles the life and times of lisa, her boyfriend (who might as well live on the moon for as often as she sees the guy) and her totally irresistible daughter. sure, she lives in new york, but the themes here - being single, being in love, having a child, fighting health problems, getting older - are totally universal. men, if you want to understand women, read this book. women, if you want to see yourself, read this book. I'd heard people tell me how funny and original Lisa Kogan was but until i read this collection (which is kind of a greatest hits thing) i didn't put it all together. anyhow, once you start it you won't be able to put it down. It's THAT good!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an easy, quick & satisfying read for any woman. I also believe any man who may be trying to understand women & the many directions they feel pulled in would love this book as well. Lisa is a very witty writer & I found myself reading many parts outloud to my husband. I particularly loved the part where she said she was "closed." VERY true!!
However, the only caveat is her strong liberal political views spread throughout the book. I don't have the same politic opinions as the author & it honestly took away from my enjoyment of the book. I would have given it 5 stars if the frequent negative references to conservative politics weren't rampant. But that's what makes America great- authors can write how they wish. I believe the book would have been better without those references, but I'm so glad I read this & can agree with the author on SO many points. This is a laugh-out-loud fabulous memoir. I will definitely recommend it to friends.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one of those books you smile your way through. There's the "that was really funny!" smile and the "man, I've been there" smile and the "there's always a saving grace, isn't there?" smile and... well you get it. Lisa Kogan is spot on in her perceptions of life's little moments - from the gratingly annoying to the elevatingly graceful - and always with her unique humor and humility. She has an amazing ability to be cuttingly direct about human foibles without ever being mean-spirited. That's because just when you think you're looking at "the annoying other" with her, you realize you are also looking in the mirror with her - but it's OK, because she is not judging and finds fodder for soulful humor in her own short-comings as much as in those of others. We're all waiting for that someone who will be with us shortly; and at the same time worrying that we are leaving others waiting. Lisa Kogan gets that and celebrates the humanity of that dichotomy. She is amused and edified (and we with her) as much by our own flawed responses to life's challenges as by the challenges themselves This is a book that has you feeling good each time you pick it up - and most importantly - it'll make you smile!
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By J. N. on March 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed the book. I would read and actually laugh out loud at certain parts. I found myself thinking of people that I know who remind me of characters in the book. I would highly recommend the book at everyone!!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Lisa Kogan has a wry, witty and acerbic sense of humor. She puts on paper the thoughts that go through my head at work, in the check out line, and in traffic every day, and make them better. She sees the world for what it is and encourages all of us to deal with it and make it better.I downloaded her book into my Kindle on a much needed solo getaway, and read it straight through, laughing and crying with each chapter. She is your best friend, your confidant, and your conscience all rolled into one, and you will finish the book only to start from the beginning and read it again. Kudos and bless you, Lisa Kolb.
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Format: Hardcover
Lisa's story is everyone's story - only it is doubtful that anyone else could tell it with such delicious and spot-on words. This is a great read; you'll laugh out loud and find yourself yelling, "Me too! Me too!" I kept thinking, "Lisa and I must be best friends - she knows everything about me!" Lisa's hilarious perspective and self-deprecating wit reminds us to appreciate every moment and that it's better than okay to be average, to aspire to plain old regularness ....and that you can always embelish when average is just too dull to keep a conversation going. Don't miss this read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When you read a book like this you will be influenced to like or dislike the book based on whether you like, or can at least relate to, the narrator. I want to start by admitting that I did not like or relate to Lisa Kogan. She assumes that everyone is a New Yorker with New Yorker sensibilities. Maybe I am unreasonable but I had an ex-husband from NYC and hence a bunch of inlaws and I spotted a very ethnocentric world view.
So I'm not going to rave about the book. But, I want to say a bit about the book apart from the author, because you might be a reader who feels differently. She did draw me in from the start and I did find myself turning back to the book in spare moments--it was easy to finish the book and I enjoyed her prose, even when she annoyed me. She is easy to read because the words seem to flow effortlessly. It's not that easy to do, and I admire that facility of hers.
She aims to be funny. She's sort of a middle-aged female Andy Rooney. But at some point in the book she surprised me with a disturbingly vivid health revelation that caused me to pass out in empathy. So, the writing literally knocked me out even though the narrator didn't. If you aren't put off by the mid-life New York single mom thing, you might want to give this book a go.
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