After reading her book, Where’d You Go, Bernadette, I became a bit of a Maria Semple nut. If I met someone who also loved it, we were instant friends. And if they hadn’t read it yet, they received an unsolicited, annoyingly evangelical book report. So when I heard Semple was coming out with a new book, you can imagine my unbridled excitement, and Today Will Be Different does not disappoint.
I had the immense pleasure of seeing Semple speak at the Texas Book Festival this month, during which she was asked to recommend some of her favorite books. As she listed them off, she mentioned something that stuck with me. She said plot doesn’t matter when you’re recommending a book because it doesn’t have any bearing on whether the book is good or not. While I see her point, I like having a general idea of what I’m getting into with a new book. But in the case of Today Will Be Different, I think the advice applies. Because the summary – a day in the life of a misanthropic woman trying to fulfill a very modest list of goals – doesn’t manage to capture just how engrossing this read is.
So rather than summarize, I’ll evangelize yet again. Today Will Be Different is hilarious, off-kilter, clever, and unpredictable. At one point, as I flipped to the next page, the two page corners stuck together and I got mad – viscerally upset – because I just wanted to find out how the sentence ended. I don’t know about you, but I don’t know many authors who can do that.
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