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Let's Panic: The Book!

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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
who Will Ruin Your Body, Destroy Your Life, Liquefy Your Brain,
and Finally Turn You
into a Worthwhile
Human Being.

Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

Some Books
I'm In...

Sleep Is
For The Weak

Chicago Review Press

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Let's Panic

The site that inspired the book!

At LET'S PANIC ABOUT BABIES, Eden Kennedy and I share our hard-won wisdom and tell you exactly what to think and feel and do, whether you're about to have a baby or already did and don't know what to do with it. → 

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Sponsored post: summer reading

This post is sponsored by Scribd

I'm not a huge fan of summer, but I love summer reading. I grew up right next to the beach, which is a strange and hostile land when you’re as pale and unlikely to become a lifeguard as I am. I don't know how I went outside before serious SPF was invented, and even when science allowed me to venture out without bursting into flames, I preferred reading to camp activities like "archery" or "coming up with dirty alternate lyrics to 'My Sharona.'" On weekends, my bikini’d peers would cavort in the Long Island Sound, flirting with boys and ingesting pesticide runoff (probably), while I sought shelter under a beach umbrella with a Coke slushie and my new boyfriend, Stephen King.

Even now, when beach vacations are limited to the occasional Saturday afternoon trip to Coney Island, and I have no assigned reading the rest of the year so it’s not like summer affords me any special luxuries, the idea of Summer Reading still makes my heart skip. I’m easily excited. 

So when Scribd asked me what I might want to read this summer, I was like SIGN ME UP and they were all GREAT and then I told them about the pesticide runoff! And the heavy metals! I’m so much fun to take to the beach. No one at Scribd has invited me yet but I bet they’re going to.  


Angela’s Ashes, by Frank McCourt 

Because nothing says summer like starving in Limerick. I’ve meant to read this for forever. It’s one of those books that too many people told me I should read. There’s a number of recommendations beyond which I get contrary and refuse to read something because you can’t tell me what to do, man. I’m a lone wolf. Anyway I’m reading it this summer. I don’t even care what you say about it, man. 

Postmortem, by Patricia Cornwell 

I’ve never read Patricia Cornwell, and summer feels like an appropriate time to begin. This one has gruesome murders perpetrated by a brilliant serial killer. So if you see me at the beach looking especially pale, blame this book. (Although it will probably be because I’m coated in zinc oxide.) 

The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary, by Simon Winchester 

Another book that I have been meaning to read for forever. I think that subtitle says it all, don’t you? God, I miss dictionaries. I used to read dictionaries for fun. I’m beginning to see why no one invited me to parties. 

Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name, by Vendela Vida 

This hugely acclaimed novel has the main character travel to Lapland. There's a hotel made of ice. I'll be reading this in mid-August, when my apartment is on fire. 


Unbelievable: Investigations into Ghosts, Poltergeists, Telepathy, and Other Unseen Phenomena, from the Duke Parapsychology Laboratory, by Stacy Horn

It is a scientific fact that in summer, you require one or more chills to run up your spine. It's a medical thing. Anyway: ghosts. I can't read about them any other time. I am too easily spooked, even when the topic is a parapsychology laboratory, where ostensibly everyone is professional and not hiding under their lab desks, clutching their beakers. Anyway, everyone knows ghosts can't get you in summer. (That's also a medical thing.) 

If you want to pick out your summer reading, sign up for Scribd and use the promotional code finslippy0614. Here’s a link to get you started. You'll get three months of unlimited books for free. Then let me know what you're reading, because I'm still adding titles to my library. 



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Reader Comments (16)

I will actually be in Limerick this summer (well, just down the road), so think of me, starving* and freezing**, as you read and shudder and ask yourself 'can a place really be that cold and damp?' (Answer: Yes.)
Great book choice btw.
(*not really)
(**almost certainly)

June 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterReluctant Launderer

True Story: When I was in junior high, I was taunted by a girl who used to call me "dictionary girl". I just kept my mouth shut because I actually DID read the dictionary for fun. I am seeing her this weekend for our 25th high school reunion and I will have to bring that up. Because I am 43 now and have finally honed my skills of self-deprecation into a fine art.

This is a great summer reading list. I recently read Philipp Meyer's THE SON and could hardly put it down, then I could hardly stop thinking about it. I just picked Meyer's AMERICAN RUST last night and actually got up early so that I could read a little before going to work.

June 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKelli Oliver George

There is a new Stephen King book out. It's called Mr. Mercedes. I'm about 100 pages in and would definitely recommend it!

June 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKris H.

I'm reading The Invention Wings by Sue Monk Kidd. Just finished JK Rowling as Robert Galbraith's The Cuckoo's Calling (enjoyed it. The next installment is out later this month). I adored Angela's Ashes, thought about it long after I was done. I didn't read it until last year. I'm looking forward to Liane Moriarty's next, Big Little Lies. Read ALL OF HER BOOKS. What Alice Forgot is the best (with The Husband's Secret at a close second).

June 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterArnebya

How can there be another Stephen King book out already? HOW? The man is a machine! A remorseless writing machine!

June 10, 2014 | Unregistered Commenteralice

What would have happened if Stephen King and Joyce Carol Oates had a baby?

June 10, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterdianne

I've read both Angela's Ashes and The Madman etc., and I enjoyed them both. But then I too used to read the dictionary for fun (and for dirty words when I was about 12, but let's not talk about that). I hope that this endorsement doesn't lead to your taking them off your reading list. I've started on The Good Lord Bird but am having a hard time cozying up to it. I read A Tale for the Time Being a couple of months ago and wasn't sure if I liked it while I was reading it, but I couldn't put it down and it has stayed with me like an itch that I can't scratch - which I think is pretty much a definition of a good book.

June 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMJ

i very randomly read “unbelievable” this year (what a plate of shrimp seeing it here) and couldn’t stop thinking about what a great HBO show it would be.

June 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLori

Well, thanks a BUNCH - I'm going to get exactly NOTHING done this summer thanks to that free subscription! :)

June 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMaryAnne

Let me start by saying that I spelled my first name wrong in filling out the AUTO FILL. Followed by the fun fact that I too read dictionaries growing up. (my name isn't currently in the dictionary which might explain my inability to spell it correctly). My father once told me that if you have a great vocabulary, you can always fool people into thinking you're smart. So far, true. Just don't ask me to spell my first name.

June 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSuzy Soro

I have the same resistance to too many recommendations. I have thus far refused to read The Hunger Games for that reason, but my growing crush on Jennifer Lawson + my insistence on "reading the book" before the movie means I may have to give in soon.

I also want you to know that I believe your "no ghosts in summer" theory is 100% scientifically accurate. Ghost cannot get you in the sunshine; there is more sunshine in the summer; ergo, no ghosts in summer time. Play with all the Ouija boards you like, you're untouchable until September!

June 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJ Tuck

If you are a listener as well as a reader, I recommend that you listen to Angela's Ashes. McCourt is good at the speaking as well as at the writing.

June 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLinda

Its a great list of books, but first I am gonna read Stephen King's book.

July 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKing

I love Frank McCourt, and that is a beautifully written story. For my summer reading, I just finished re-reading Pride and Prejudice and remembered why it's one of my favorites. I also read "A Hundred Summers", which I found on a "Best Beach Books" list, and really, really enjoyed it--highly recommend!

Every time I make an official reading list, those are the very books that are suddenly least appealing. It doesn't even matter if it's a book I've been dying to find time to read; I cannot commit to a list. It's like I don't even want me to tell me what to do. "You're not the boss of me, self! I am a free bird with no boss and completely unpredictable. Banana! See?"

Also, Alice, your commenters are as lovely as you are.

@ Suzy Soro: I love what you said so much that I will be making that into a quote arty poster thing to post up on my classroom wall. I'm a high school math teacher.

"My father once told me that if you have a great vocabulary, you can always fool people into thinking you're smart. So far, true. Just don't ask me to spell my first name."

July 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTherese

Wow, you recommended "A Tale for the Time Being" a while back which was totally awesome and mind-blowing, and now thanks to you I have read "Let the Northern Lights..." which is also wonderful! Thank you so much.

July 29, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterflybigd

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