I Miss You When I Blink: Essays

I Miss You When I Blink: Essays

“I've spent my adult life prowling bookshelves for the modern-day reincarnation of my favorite authors—Nora Ephron, Erma Bombeck, Jean Kerr, and Laurie Colwin—all rolled into one...Good news: I have finally found their successor.” —Elisabeth Egan, The Washington PostAcclaimed essayist and bookseller Mary Laura Philpott presents a charmingly relatable and wise memoir-in-ess...

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Title:I Miss You When I Blink: Essays
Author:Mary Laura Philpott
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Edition Language:English

I Miss You When I Blink: Essays Reviews

  • Tyler Goodson

    This book will make you feel better. Mary Laura is open and honest about personal anxiety, family life, professional complacency, and, of course, the existential damage wreaked by Atlanta traffic. She makes you feel less alone, and encouraged, and confident. It's like hanging out with your best friend, your life coach, and your favorite writer all at once. I Miss You When I Blink is an impossibly perfect reading experience.

  • JanB

    I knew the author and I were simpatico when, in her first essay, she tells the story of having no sense of direction and she loses her car in a parking garage. This is my life and I’m totally stealing her tip to start taking pictures as a bread crumb trail.

    And then there’s her to-do list. I thought I was the only crazy person who had a post-it note addiction. Like the author, If it’s not on my list and I complete a task I will write it down just to have the satisfaction of crossing it off. Hello

    I knew the author and I were simpatico when, in her first essay, she tells the story of having no sense of direction and she loses her car in a parking garage. This is my life and I’m totally stealing her tip to start taking pictures as a bread crumb trail.

    And then there’s her to-do list. I thought I was the only crazy person who had a post-it note addiction. Like the author, If it’s not on my list and I complete a task I will write it down just to have the satisfaction of crossing it off. Hello Type A Personality, I get you!

    Plus she loves animals. How can you not love someone who loves animals?

    I’m not going through a career crisis or depression, and I’m on the other side of raising children and suffering career angst. But, I still related to many of her thoughts and feelings as she reflects on her life and re-invents herself. I think all women, young or old,single or married, working or retired, with children or childless, will find much that resonates. In other words, women of all ages and stages of life will find something in this collection that speaks to them.

    I highly recommend listening to this book on audio, as the narrator is the author telling her own story in her own words. Although, I’m glad I also have a hard copy so I can re-read it with my tin of book darts at my side.

    Another terrific buddy read with Marialyce and one we both recommend! My only complaint? I wanted more.

  • Janelle • She Reads with Cats

    Thank you so much Atria Books for my free copy!

    I MISS YOU WHEN I BLINK is a personal, witty, and heartfelt collection of essays where every sentence is pure gold. Philpott writes beautifully and with such authenticity I felt like I was getting to know a friend. Like everyone, there are milestones in my life that I want to go back and revisit but the moments are gone and memories are all that is left.

    “You can stand by your past decisions even if they took you to a present where you don’t belong

    Thank you so much Atria Books for my free copy!

    I MISS YOU WHEN I BLINK is a personal, witty, and heartfelt collection of essays where every sentence is pure gold. Philpott writes beautifully and with such authenticity I felt like I was getting to know a friend. Like everyone, there are milestones in my life that I want to go back and revisit but the moments are gone and memories are all that is left.

    “You can stand by your past decisions even if they took you to a present where you don’t belong anymore.”

    This memoir style essay collection especially spoke to me regarding living up to self-proclaimed expectations and the worry that comes with that. Philpott touches on identity, anxiety, family, career, and failure, all in a very insightful, relatable, and intelligent way. I laughed out loud, and at moments felt very sad, but I enjoyed every minute of it. Her message of it’s alright not to be perfect is encouraging and hopeful. This was the perfect book for me to read right now - pure perfection.

  • Jessica Jeffers

    Believe the hype on this one; it's flippin' brilliant. More to come.

  • Debbie

    Wow. I just love the title of this book! And it sent me right down memory lane. I’m waving my hand in the air, desperately signaling, “Me too! I put ‘blink’ in a title, too! We’re twins!” No, no, no, “blink” wasn’t in a title of a story I wrote. It was in the title of a necklace I made. Seriously.

    The inspiration came when I was 30,000 feet in the air, a place where I hate to be (“feet on the ground” is my motto). As always, I tried to tune out the flight attendant as sh

    Wow. I just love the title of this book! And it sent me right down memory lane. I’m waving my hand in the air, desperately signaling, “Me too! I put ‘blink’ in a title, too! We’re twins!” No, no, no, “blink” wasn’t in a title of a story I wrote. It was in the title of a necklace I made. Seriously.

    The inspiration came when I was 30,000 feet in the air, a place where I hate to be (“feet on the ground” is my motto). As always, I tried to tune out the flight attendant as she gave us the scary mask demo. Man, she looked just like Naomi Campbell—you know, the gorgeous model with the gorgeous black skin? She was in the aisle, mask in hand, explaining away, but I saw no mask and heard no words. Instead, I was glued to her eyes, which were big and beautiful. Well, actually I was glued to her blink. Because when she blinked, it revealed her huge eyelids, which were painted a breath-taking iridescent yellow, with a tinge of lime green. The yellow went up down up down like a curtain during encores. Yellow against her black skin—just gorgeous! I wanted her to keep her eyelids in the down position so I could stare at the twin curtains longer, but alas, she was full of blink and I just caught teaser glimpses. Flight over, I got a close-up view of her blink as she thanked me for flying United. Ding ding, it hit me—I had to make a necklace in her name. I found the perfect artisan beads that matched the color of the infamous eyelids. The necklace was loud and subtle at the same time. I named my necklace “Stewardess Blinking.” A long-ago friend went cuckoo over it and bought it. I want to steal it back. This happened eons ago, in my jewelry-making days; who knows the fate of Stewardess Blinking.

    Like you needed to hear all of that! Sorry, I just had to get my blink story off my chest. On to this book, this wonderful book! I didn’t love it instantly, though. In the first essay, the author explains the book title, and to tell you the truth, I was kind of pissed. I’m sure you’ll laugh when I say that SHE overexplained it. (The pot calling the kettle black, wouldn’t you say?) The fact that her young son is responsible for the title is just great, but she could have stopped there. She went on and on, like she wanted to think of every possible permutation of the phrase. In other words, she beat the blink topic to death. I resented her trying to fill my head with her ideas; I had my own feeling about the cool phrase (and I secretly thought it was better than hers), so I just wanted her to leave me alone.

    Don’t worry, I’m not going to go essay by essay. I’ll just say that after the sort of rough start, I loved everything. Actually, going in, I thought the book might be lightweight and trite, but Philpott is a wise little cookie—and endearingly self-effacing and funny. If I could choose only three words to describe this book, they would be “smart, funny, and relatable.”

    Like other reviewers, I think that every woman will find something in the book to relate to. Philpott is a Type A personality, which I most definitely am not. But we have several things in common. For one, it’s the crazy editor in us. Here’s a favorite quote:

    And there are at least two other ways we’re alike: neither of us has a sense of direction (she has a hilarious story about being lost in a parking garage) and both of us love making lists. Ha, and we are both cheating list-makers, which means we’ll add an item to our To-Do list AFTER we’ve done it, and then shamelessly cross it off. And of course we expect to get credit for this!

    There isn’t just funny stuff, though. One thing I really loved were her thoughts about memory and time, and about how we have many versions of ourselves. She spent a lot of time on this and it was fascinating—though when she started to talk about identity, I was a little wary that it would be too self-helpy. It wasn’t. She ponders: wouldn’t it be cool to go back for one day of each version of yourself? I’m always immensely sad that I can’t re-create what it felt like to be a mom of little kids, which was the favorite time in my life. That was a version of myself that I no longer know. I would so love to be able to live a day from that time.

    -Knowing that someone else has it worse doesn’t lessen your own pain. (I will add that it increases your guilt and your need to hide it.)

    One of my favorite things she said:

    Just an aside—the author works at Parnassus Books, a bookstore in Nashville, Tennessee, which is owned and run by Ann Patchett, one of my favorite authors. This makes me like Philpott even more. Anyone who gets to work with Patchett is lucky and bow-worthy. (I’m jealous—I would die to work in that bookstore!) I know Philpott’s job there helped her book sales, which is a good thing since it’s such an excellent book.

    The marketing blurb compares the author to Nora Ephron, someone whose essays make me haul out my pogo stick and hop with abandon. (Check out her

    .) I can see similarities, but Ephron is wittier, way more cynical, and definitely more acerbic; very hip New York-ish and a bit of a name-dropper. Philpott is tamer, less pushy, and more analytical. I think she has a little more food for thought, but I need to reread Ephron to see. Both of them are bigtime relatable and both make me laugh.

    What I missed? Cussing and a little edge, a little wild and crazy, maybe a vice or two. But you can’t have everything. And it’s not her fault that she isn’t a screamer. She made me laugh and she made me think, and she did so with a clear and lively style. That’s plenty. Highly recommend.

  • Elyse Walters

    Audiobook.. narrated by the author.

    Mary Laura Philpott is so enjoyable!!

    .....wise, savvy, smart, funny!

    “What happens when you check off off the boxes on your to-do list and realize you might need to reinvent the list—and yourself?”

    Maybe.....that’s why most of us never complete our to-do lists....we’re afraid to reinvent ourselves. Ha!

    Very satisfying Audiobook.....

    looking at life in CHUNKS!!!!

    “I Miss You When I Blink”..

    is marvelous!!!!

  • Marialyce

    How can we sum up our life's experiences? Does it boil down to a word, to a moment, to an event that defines us and makes us who we are? In this collection of essays, one might find oneself totally depicted as a wife, a mother, a person so trying to achieve that excellence that our mothers so ingrained in us. Is this a revelation that happens at a certain age, a time when we feel the years speeding up so much that you want to yell "stop". I want this day, this hour, this minute, to hold still, t

    How can we sum up our life's experiences? Does it boil down to a word, to a moment, to an event that defines us and makes us who we are? In this collection of essays, one might find oneself totally depicted as a wife, a mother, a person so trying to achieve that excellence that our mothers so ingrained in us. Is this a revelation that happens at a certain age, a time when we feel the years speeding up so much that you want to yell "stop". I want this day, this hour, this minute, to hold still, to never leave, to always be the moment I am living through. Unfortunately, as the author so wonderfully tells us these moments are fleeting, yet they so define the person you are.

    We are products of our upbringing and we become, perish the thought, but it happens, what our mothers were. How many times have I said while growing up, I would never do or say that? And yet, here I am doing and saying exactly that. Have I wanted my children to be perfect? A definite yes because my mother required I be perfect. However, as I grew into parenthood, I found that all the things I thought were perfection were allusions for my kids were people not little robots that I could program with the result I so desired. As I read more of these essays, I realized that Mary Philpott was on the very same journey as I, as all mothers, and wives find themselves on. Looking back at the mistakes, finding fun in the life of family, and making lots of decisions that perhaps might not work out the way we wanted them to. After all that's life, is it not?

    Sometimes it's so strange seeing oneself inside the pages of a book that someone else wrote. How could they know your life? How could they be a part of the way things were in your history? Did they follow you around and see exactly how your life was unfolding, or is it that their experiences as a mother, wife, and worker in life, that make their experiences so much like yours? Jan and I saw ourselves reflected in this book and all the things we thought were only ours turned out to be theirs.

    Our duo reviews can be seen here:

  • Katie

    Really loved this one!

  • britt_brooke

    Smart, witty personal essays are some of my favorite reading. Philpott reminds us that being an adult, even one who seemingly has everything, is hard and periodically sucks. Sometimes we have to step back and assess ourselves; tweak a few things or make drastic changes. As someone who has moved a lot, I understand that urge (though, like Philpott, I currently reside in the Nashville area and quite like it). I enjoyed these stories, but feel like they scratch the surface. I’d read the hell out of

    Smart, witty personal essays are some of my favorite reading. Philpott reminds us that being an adult, even one who seemingly has everything, is hard and periodically sucks. Sometimes we have to step back and assess ourselves; tweak a few things or make drastic changes. As someone who has moved a lot, I understand that urge (though, like Philpott, I currently reside in the Nashville area and quite like it). I enjoyed these stories, but feel like they scratch the surface. I’d read the hell out of a full-on memoir.

    Thank you to NetGalley and Atria Books for the opportunity to read and review this collection!

  • Skyler Autumn

    Ummmm, this was not great and I'm a little surprised by that. This book is quite hyped up and being compared to a personal favourite read of mine The Rules Don't Apply by Ariel Levy so I did go into this book expecting a lot more substance than was actually delivered.

    I Miss You When I Blink was slated as a collection of personal essays that address feelings of depression, anxiety and inadequacy amidst having what most (everyone honestly) would classify as a very successful, loving and

    Ummmm, this was not great and I'm a little surprised by that. This book is quite hyped up and being compared to a personal favourite read of mine The Rules Don't Apply by Ariel Levy so I did go into this book expecting a lot more substance than was actually delivered.

    I Miss You When I Blink was slated as a collection of personal essays that address feelings of depression, anxiety and inadequacy amidst having what most (everyone honestly) would classify as a very successful, loving and well-rounded life. Now I'm not on the bandwagon of most people that are rolling their eyes at what they classify as "white privilege problems." Honestly I don't care where you're at in life everyone is entitled to their feelings and if you're writing about your life that's just the beach you're coming from. So for me the subject matter wasn't the issue it was the way it was delivered.

    This book was suppose to be about the author going through a hard time in her life yet at no point did any of these essays dive deep enough to capture that. They were less about life stories and more about personal mantras or letters of appreciation to type-a personalities which just came across like one of those therapy exercises where you have to write an imaginary letter to someone or something of significance. Which I assume is quite therapeutic to write but it is quite dull to read. It just felt like the whole time I was trying to understand why she was sad, and if she even was that sad, and wait is it cause we all die in the end? When a book is this generic and surface it just doesn't impact you, and honestly I'd give it an hour before I'm no longer am able to recap what I just read to anyone. Bit bummed I thought this book was going to be really great.

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