You Think It, I'll Say It

You Think It, I'll Say It

‘Most people I know who have read anything by Curtis Sittenfeld would read anything else the woman wrote, me included’ The TimesIn ‘The World Has Many Butterflies’, a married woman flirts with a man she meets at parties by playing You think it, I’ll say it, putting into words the bitchy things she guesses he's thinking about their fellow guests. But she is in for a shock w...

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Title:You Think It, I'll Say It
Author:Curtis Sittenfeld
Rating:

You Think It, I'll Say It Reviews

  • Elyse

    Curtis Sittenfeld is TERRIFIC!!! I LOVE THIS WOMAN...this author....her work! Oh....I’m not the only person nutty over this great woman/author.... ‘many’ of you feel the same.

    I fell in love with Curtis years ago - 2005 - with her first novel “PREP”. Three years later, Sittenfeld wrote “American Wife”... and she blew me away. It was also fantastic... with a new level of maturity to boot.

    I, personally, had a blast of fun reading “Eligible”: A modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice. I read a few

    Curtis Sittenfeld is TERRIFIC!!! I LOVE THIS WOMAN...this author....her work! Oh....I’m not the only person nutty over this great woman/author.... ‘many’ of you feel the same.

    I fell in love with Curtis years ago - 2005 - with her first novel “PREP”. Three years later, Sittenfeld wrote “American Wife”... and she blew me away. It was also fantastic... with a new level of maturity to boot.

    I, personally, had a blast of fun reading “Eligible”: A modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice. I read a few low reviews from readers missing their beloved characters ....but I loved the modernization updated story that took place in Cincinnati. I’ve had a new ‘thing’ for Cincinnati every since reading “Eligible”...

    I wish I could be part of a seminar/group where we discussed ALL BOOKS by Curtis Sittenfeld. The icing on the cake would be if Curtis lead it.

    When it comes to contemporary fiction - great laughs - insights - punch’s of truth in my gut - I don’t have to look much further than a Curtis Sittenfeld book.

    “You Think It, I’ll Say It”, .....is A FABULOUS COLLECTION of short stories. The title of the book is actually ‘not’ the title of one of the short stories .... rather it is a GAME played between two people - Julie and Graham - in the short story called “The World Has Many Butterflies”. It’s a game I thought about ... as “DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME”.... why? (I’ll let you figure that out)....BUT THIS IS ONE FRICKIN GREAT STORY....with an edge of caution.

    “A Regular Couple” is another AWESOME STORY!!! Actually my favorite of the bunch.....so much so - I read it to Paul. He laughed - and enjoyed it as much as me! Then when we went hiking this morning- and I was tying my shoes....I had a private laugh to myself...( you’ll have to read the story to enjoy the inside joke).....

    There’s a lot going on in the story - including - complete strangers were saying Maggie had betrayed feminism. She had been a prosecutor on a televised case where a man is accused of raping a cocktail waitress there was not sufficient evidence against him, but many people in the public felt he was guilty. Sound familiar? :). There is much more to ‘this’ story.

    Jason and Maggie are on their honeymoon. The year is 2008. Maggie sees an old nightmarish blonde woman, Ashley Frye, who attended her high school in Cleveland 1992....who happens to be on her honeymoon, too. She is married to a guy named Ed.

    *Yippy-do-da*......Jason, Maggie, Ashley, and Ed are going to enjoy some couple-bonding! Oh, boy... things just start to get fun.

    Maggie’s thoughts on the morning hike are:

    “Below her daypack, I could see her little butt, encased in jogging shorts, and her tan, shapely legs, which ended in gray wool socks and hiking boots. Even though we were surrounded by birch trees and wildflowers and distance snow-peaked mountains, my attention was on Ashley— I detested myself for this, and I also couldn’t help it”.

    And if you like that.....wait until they meet for dinner.

    ALL THE STORIES ARE GREAT! I loved everything about it and I highly recommend it.... everyone needs a few short stories and a little Curtis Sittenfeld now and then!

    Thank You Netgalley, Random House, and Curtis Sittenfeld!

  • Toni

    A wonderland of short stories that I've sprinted through twice. Well, first was the sprint; second was the stroll. I wanted to get every morsel, every tidbit of meaning or laugh and lesson. Each story is an independent book full of characters with full on emotion, yours or theirs.

    Ten stories.

    Gender Studies - A story about a mistake.

    The World has Many Butterflies - Petty banter leads a woman to signals crossed.

    Vox clamantis in Deserto - Never assume by words on a shirt.

    Bad Latch - Babies change u

    A wonderland of short stories that I've sprinted through twice. Well, first was the sprint; second was the stroll. I wanted to get every morsel, every tidbit of meaning or laugh and lesson. Each story is an independent book full of characters with full on emotion, yours or theirs.

    Ten stories.

    Gender Studies - A story about a mistake.

    The World has Many Butterflies - Petty banter leads a woman to signals crossed.

    Vox clamantis in Deserto - Never assume by words on a shirt.

    Bad Latch - Babies change us.

    Plausible Deniability - "Neither 'plausible deniability' nor 'lie of omission' is really a legal term. They're more like movie or TV versions of the law."

    Regular Couple - Do we ever stop playing our high school roles?

    Off the Record - Are actors always on?

    The Prairie Wife - A person can change and still stay themselves inside.

    Volunteers are Shining Stars - Are we doing it for them or for us?

    Do Over - "Be your own advocate." You can never go back.

    *All comments on each story are my own.

    Thank you Netgalley and Curtis Sittenfeld.

  • Julie Ehlers

    Anyone who follows my reviews probably already knows that

    , so when this ARC unexpectedly arrived in the mail, I was beside myself with excitement. I intended to save it until I finished the book I'd just started, but when I idly paged through

    , I was immediately drawn into the first story, "Gender Studies," and wanted nothing more than to keep reading. The funny thing is, I'd already read "Gender Studies" when it appeared in the

    Anyone who follows my reviews probably already knows that

    , so when this ARC unexpectedly arrived in the mail, I was beside myself with excitement. I intended to save it until I finished the book I'd just started, but when I idly paged through

    , I was immediately drawn into the first story, "Gender Studies," and wanted nothing more than to keep reading. The funny thing is, I'd already read "Gender Studies" when it appeared in the

    last year. I decided if I was that sucked in by something I'd

    , putting aside my current book and picking up this one was the only sensible thing to do.

    And I was right! I usually hesitate to read a book of short stories all at once, preferring to space the stories out over time, but when it came to

    I just rushed in and never felt any of my usual desire to slow things down. Sittenfeld's protagonists, with their tendency to miss important details even as they overthink nearly everything, just speak to me. The title story even contains a character named Julie who displays an obliviousness that was so uncomfortably familiar to me that I felt weirdly as if Sittenfeld had somehow actually written it

    me (you think it, I'll say it, indeed). There was the usual humor and brisk pacing, and what struck me most was that nearly all of these stories had an actual plot, where things happen and there's a definite conclusion. Given how many short stories seem deliberately low on plot, this is worth remarking on, and a definite plus in my opinion. It's true that eventually a lot of these characters began to feel similar to me, which is one of the main risks a reader takes in reading a short-story collection all in one go, but the stories themselves were each so unique that this wasn't too much of a drawback.

    Indeed, the only real complaint I have about this collection is that I wished I could have gotten to know these people even better. I think I'm always going to prefer a Curtis Sittenfeld novel, where she's able to settle in to her characters to the extent that their epiphanies seem totally natural, remarkably insightful, and completely earned. There's no way I'd give

    less than 4 stars, but really it's an array of appetizers, and I'm already looking forward to her next main course.

    I won this ARC through either a Shelf Awareness giveaway or a giveaway directly from the publisher—I'm not sure which! Either way, thank you to Random House.

  • Kristy

    This short story collection features ten short stories from author Sittenfeld, featuring a cast of diverse, real characters. Told from a variety of point of views--a bored housewife, a wealthy bachelor, a new mom, and more--they offer pointed and humorous insight into current society.

    I typically am not a huge fan of short stories because they don't give me enough information about the characters, and I'm a very character-driven person. But when I saw that

    had a short story col

    This short story collection features ten short stories from author Sittenfeld, featuring a cast of diverse, real characters. Told from a variety of point of views--a bored housewife, a wealthy bachelor, a new mom, and more--they offer pointed and humorous insight into current society.

    I typically am not a huge fan of short stories because they don't give me enough information about the characters, and I'm a very character-driven person. But when I saw that

    had a short story collection coming out, I knew I wouldn't be able to resist. She gets a lot of press for Prep, but I feel like

    and

    are both still so fully ingrained in my brain. I loved them both so much, and they are go-to recommendations when I get the standard, "oh you like to read, what should I read?" question.

    But, I digress. Sittenfeld. Short stories.

    It's so well-written and engaging. As with Sittenfeld's other work,

    , so you can immediately picture the characters and their situations. I felt like I was quickly transported to the setting of each story as soon as it began.

    The stories are similar but not repetitive, which was also refreshing, and seem to be real, instead of striving to reach some sort of literary bar that makes them tedious and therefore unreadable. They are about real, relatable characters struggling with misinformed impressions, lingering resentments, and different types of relationships.

    , and I enjoyed how they all start (I enjoyed them all the way through too, of course, but it seemed like each had a bit of a common thread in its beginning). I could have read more about each story's characters, sure, but I didn't feel frustrated when they ended, which was so amazing and different for me.

    I really liked each and every story. For instance, there's "Vox Clamantis in Deserto" which begins with a woman (girl?) who idolizes a fellow college student from afar in line at the post office. Two of the stories, "Plausible Deniability" and "The Prairie Wife," had actual twists and surprises, which was so much fun. And some of the longing that came across in these characters was very touching and heartfelt. I have a soft spot for slightly nerdy high school/college kids, even once they're all grown up, and for slightly fatigued moms, so

    .

    They are filled with real people set in complicated yet enjoyable and interesting situations. They are easy-to-read and don't leave you wanting for more--except maybe more stories. This only cements my feeling that I'll continue to read (and adore) anything Ms. Sittenfeld writes.

    I received a copy of this story collection from the publisher and Netgalley in return for an unbiased review (thank you!); it is available everywhere as of 04/24/2018.

    You can read my review of ELIGIBLE

    (spoiler: it's awesome).

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  • Larry H

    4.5 stars.

    Many of us, whether we'll admit it or not, have made snap judgments about people. Sometimes we judge people we might have met once, or known a long time ago, and are coming into contact with them again after a while. Sometimes we believe something about a person we know well, while other times, it's people we don't know, but we formulate an opinion based on something we hear them say or do.

    The characters in Curtis Sittenfeld's first story collection,

    , are a

    4.5 stars.

    Many of us, whether we'll admit it or not, have made snap judgments about people. Sometimes we judge people we might have met once, or known a long time ago, and are coming into contact with them again after a while. Sometimes we believe something about a person we know well, while other times, it's people we don't know, but we formulate an opinion based on something we hear them say or do.

    The characters in Curtis Sittenfeld's first story collection,

    , are all guilty of judging others, but the tension in the 10 stories occurs when those judgments are revealed to be incorrect, either gradually or all at once. The end result are thought-provoking stories which leave their mark in your head, and at times, in your heart.

    I enjoyed all of the stories in the collection, although I felt eight of them were the strongest. My favorites included: "The Prairie Wife," in which an unappreciated housewife realizes a popular celebrity was a girl she was romantically involved with briefly during summer camp, although the celebrity is now a married darling of conservatives; "Gender Studies," which follows a college professor's fling with her airport shuttle driver—for the wrong reason; "Off the Record," about a freelance writer lined up to interview an actress on the cusp of major fame, someone she had connected with when interviewing them a few years earlier; "The World Has Many Butterflies," in which a man and a woman engage in a gossipy game every time they see each other, but only one interprets that as the sign of something deeper; and "Do-Over," about a reunion between two boarding school classmates who each have different interpretations of past events.

    I've been a fan of Sittenfeld's since I read her debut novel,

    , back in 2005. I found it so engaging and surprising, and I've followed her work ever since. That same talent is more than evident in

    —these stories aren't outlandish or unrealistic, and you could imagine the situations the characters face happening to you, or hearing about them from people you know. Her writing style is so breezy and approachable, and there were times I didn't realize how dazzling her words were until after they passed me by, kind of like a person wearing a cologne or perfume you suddenly catch the scent of.

    I know short stories aren't for everyone, but this is one of those collections I think even non-story lovers might enjoy. Most of the stories feel like mini-novels, and there were at least a few I'd love to see developed into something more expansive.

    is a prime example of why I love stories, and the incredible talent it takes to make a collection work. Come on, give it a shot!

    NetGalley and Random House provided me an advance copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks for making this available!

    See all of my reviews at

    , or check out my list of the best books I read in 2017 at

    .

  • Liz

    3.5 stars rounded up

    Short stories are the tapas of the book menu. Small plates, when I like big portions. So, I was really conflicted about reading this. I like Curtis Sittenfeld, but I hate the fact that a short story typically ends just as I’m getting invested in a character.

    There does seem to be a theme here, involving communication, appearances and first impressions. What do we say? What do we stay silent about? Or what do we think we know about someone vs. what is real. In each of these st

    3.5 stars rounded up

    Short stories are the tapas of the book menu. Small plates, when I like big portions. So, I was really conflicted about reading this. I like Curtis Sittenfeld, but I hate the fact that a short story typically ends just as I’m getting invested in a character.

    There does seem to be a theme here, involving communication, appearances and first impressions. What do we say? What do we stay silent about? Or what do we think we know about someone vs. what is real. In each of these stories, the narrator misjudges someone.

    Sittenfeld tackles some interesting subjects. Adult crushes, texting affairs, belatedly realized sexism. Almost all the stories involve the interaction between men and women.

    All the stories are interesting, some really grabbed me (like The World Has Many Butterflies and Plausible Deniability) . They’re all really well written. She does a great job building up the tension between characters. And there’s always a point to be made.

    But damn it, in the end it comes down to I want more. A five minute YouTube clip isn’t enough, I want a full length movie. Nothing against you, Curtis, this is just not my style. Please, please, please write a full length novel next time.

    My thanks to netgalley and Random House for an advance copy of this book.

  • Navidad Thelamour

    Curtis Sittenfeld’s

    , is a collection for the grown woman, for the woman who still thinks back on her “youth” and college y

    Curtis Sittenfeld’s

    , is a collection for the grown woman, for the woman who still thinks back on her “youth” and college years with fondness but also with a sense of wonder –

    This is a smart collection—one that explores the natural irony in our everyday lives. There’s a lot of wistful nostalgia and contemplation in this collection on the feat—the very fact and act—of being pretty: what it means to be “pretty” and how that affects us as adult women.

    Here would be a great place to say that “Plausible Deniability,” “Off the Record” and “A Regular Couple” were my other favorites. I wasn’t particularly fond of “Gender Studies,” in which a woman misplaces her license and ends up having a sexual encounter with the taxi driver she believes has found the license. I first read this one in

    in the fall of 2016. There were speculations and allusions from other bloggers that maybe Sittenfeld was offering political commentary on a nation’s identity lost! (I say in my dramatic voice) due to the (imminent) election of Trump, but I didn’t see it. I just took that story at face value and it wasn’t bad but it wasn’t a favorite either.

    These are just a few of the narratives you’ll find here in this 10-story collection. There were

    that a story would start and I’d fear it was going down the route of “Everyday Yuppie,” and I cringed. BUT, EVERY time, Sittenfeld pulled the story back from the brink with a twist of irony and humor. After the third or fourth story, I just relaxed into the read and went with it, knowing that the place I’d end up in the end wasn’t where I thought I was going in the beginning. I know I’m not alone when I say that I

    being able to trust an author, to trust a narrator, like that. It allows for a phenomenally smooth read and for the reader to have time to become one with the characters, no matter how short the stories are.

    This collection ran a gamut of stories that wasn’t necessarily wide but did manage to convey a delightful spectrum of sentiments, emotions and lessons. “Bad Latch” was by far one of my favorite stories, hilariously Yuppie and otherworldly—these sheltered, middle-class moms who spend their days at infant swimming lessons and pregnancy yoga—then the story morphed into something so much more special and resonating:

    In

    , Curtis Sittenfeld’s distinctive writing style is in full form. It’s casual and conversational, witty and makes for an easy, entertaining read. I also gave her a strong 4 stars for her novel

    for this same reason. I blew through about 60% of this collection in one sitting, so well did it flow and move me along with the characters and their ironic contemplative situations. Not only that, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that Sittenfeld is a true master of showing her reader rather than telling her reader. I got to know so much about her characters simply by watching them in their everyday lives, and she, as the writer, trusted her reader enough to let us figure out what she was trying to say. Each story is set in a different city (all either during or referencing the 1990s) which I thought was a FANTASTIC device, creating a kind of survey of American—well, upperish middle class white American—life. That survey aspect was a real gem, because each story in this collection set up a different dilemma rooted in the same basic question—the question of

    None of these stories takes an overly grandiose view of life. No one is living in a sci fi fantasy world of improbable circumstances and star ships. These stories all happen right here on Earth, literally, of course, but more importantly, figuratively. And for me, that’s always a breath of fresh air. A strong 4 stars ****

  • Caroline

    ***NO SPOILERS***

    Sittenfeld’s is a style I adore--brave, insightful commentary on real life written in engaging prose--and it works perfectly for this collection, my newest favorite. Most of these stories have a wistful quality, some outright sad, but in a way that left an impression on me rather than plunged me into a depression. Many take a little surprise turn, adding the spark that makes this collection such a great one. Absent is anything purely cheerful or sugary. At most, there are bitter

    ***NO SPOILERS***

    Sittenfeld’s is a style I adore--brave, insightful commentary on real life written in engaging prose--and it works perfectly for this collection, my newest favorite. Most of these stories have a wistful quality, some outright sad, but in a way that left an impression on me rather than plunged me into a depression. Many take a little surprise turn, adding the spark that makes this collection such a great one. Absent is anything purely cheerful or sugary. At most, there are bittersweet moments.

    My common complaint with short stories is that often their premise is too ambitious for the format. Twenty or so pages is so few and too many short story writers lack the talent to work within that limitation. Sittenfeld went deep but exercised restraint; the premise of each fits just right. At the end of almost every story, I was disappointed not because she didn’t fully realize her premise but because a story I enjoyed had come to an end. I long for a full-length book for some of these.

    I was particularly moved by “Gender Studies,” “A Regular Couple,” “Off the Record,” “The Prairie Wife,” and “Volunteers Are Shining Stars.” These explore big themes such as class differences, sexual confusion and exploration, snobbery, and insecurity, to name a few, and various smaller life dilemmas. They’re the kinds of common themes that connect one human being to another, and dilemmas everyone has faced just by virtue of being alive.

    I feel sure that Sittenfeld fans will enjoy this collection, but I also recommend this to lovers of literary fiction, especially of the very candid variety. There’s real life in these pages.

    Recommended similar reading:

    by Tom Perrotta.

    NOTE: I received this as an Advanced Reader Copy from LibraryThing in April 2018.

  • Martie Nees Record

    Genre: Adult Fiction

    Publisher: Random House

    Pub. Date: April 24, 2018

    I very much enjoyed the author’s previous novels, “Prep” and “American Wife.”

    The later was a barely hidden portrayal of President George W. Bush’s wife, Laura. I enjoyed “Prep” but felt that “Wife” was a stellar read. These books are why I wanted to read the author, Curtis Sittenfeld, again. In her newest work, Sittenfeld pens ten short stories that consist of characters who are financially comfortable, all with a female protago

    Genre: Adult Fiction

    Publisher: Random House

    Pub. Date: April 24, 2018

    I very much enjoyed the author’s previous novels, “Prep” and “American Wife.”

    The later was a barely hidden portrayal of President George W. Bush’s wife, Laura. I enjoyed “Prep” but felt that “Wife” was a stellar read. These books are why I wanted to read the author, Curtis Sittenfeld, again. In her newest work, Sittenfeld pens ten short stories that consist of characters who are financially comfortable, all with a female protagonist. The characters' ages range from the college years through middle-age, showing how women with distinctive personalities wrestle with the different challenges that arrive at different times in their lives.

    The book’s title comes from the story “The World Has Many Butterflies.” In this tale, a married woman flirts with a man in their social network. She is unaware that he is homosexual. They play the game of You Think It, I’ll Say It. This is a not so nice game played in pairs. Now, we all have made unfair judgments on people we know. One usually keeps these thoughts to themselves. However, she is trying to impress him with her critical comments on what she assumes he's also thinking about their fellow guests. At first, it is oddly liberating reading about someone who is speaking her true thoughts. That doesn’t last long. There is a nice twist at the end.

    "Off the Record" is about a celebrity journalist who is a new single mother. She is assigned to travel to Hollywood to interview a major starlet. The journalist is desperate to jump-start her career with this interview. The starlet over shares regarding her own life and proceeds to ask her interviewer to keep these details off the record. Will she or won’t she? This tale had a surprise ending and some major bitchiness is displayed.

    "The Prairie Wife" revolves around a woman with her wife and their two young sons. She is obsessed with a famous woman (think Martha Stewart) who she met as a teen at summer camp. She follows her now-famous friend on social media, which she hates doing, but is too addicted to stop. The famous one has a cooking television show where she presents herself as a wholesome, down to earth country gal. Her old camp cabin buddy knows she is anything but how she presents. The question here: is will she use her knowledge to ruin the other’s career? She is hoping this will end her addiction and jealousy. Does she or doesn’t she?

    The author writes a thoroughly satisfying collection on human nature. She is brutally honest in her assessments of decent women vs. catty women. She writes about our sexuality, aging, identity and gender dynamics. She throws in a bit of political feelings, since in the first and last stories Donald Trump makes an appearance.

    I received this Advance Review Copy (ARC) novel from the publisher at no cost in exchange for an honest review.

    Find all my book reviews at:

    Goodreads:

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    Twitter: Martie’s Book Reviews:

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