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#Giveaway Review I DON’T HAVE A HAPPY PLACE by Kim Korson @kimkorson @GalleryBooks

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#Giveaway Review I DON’T HAVE A HAPPY PLACE by Kim Korson @kimkorson @GalleryBooksI Don't Have a Happy Place by Kim Korson
ISBN: 9781476740263
Published by Gallery Books on 2015-04-14
Genres: Biography & Autobiography, Essays, Form, Humor, Literary, Personal Memoirs
Pages: 288
Goodreads
five-stars

When a trip to the therapist ends with the question “Can’t Kim be happy?” Kim Korson responds the way any normal person would—she makes fun of it. Because really, does everyone have to be happy?

Aside from her father wearing makeup and her mother not feeling well (a lot), Kim Korson’s 1970s suburban upbringing was typical. Sometimes she wished her brother were an arsonist just so she’d have a valid excuse to be unhappy. And when life moves along pretty decently--she breaks into show business, gets engaged in the secluded jungles of Mexico, and moves her family from Brooklyn to dreamy rural Vermont—the real despondency sets in. It’s a skill to find something wrong in just about every situation, but Kim has an exquisite talent for negativity. It is only after half a lifetime of finding kernels of unhappiness where others find joy that she begins to wonder if she is even capable of experiencing happiness.

In I Don’t Have a Happy Place, Kim Korson untangles what it means to be a true malcontent. Rife with evocative and nostalgic observations, unapologetic realism, and razor-sharp wit, I Don’t Have a Happy Place is told in humorous, autobiographical stories. This fresh-yet-dark voice is sure to make you laugh, nod your head in recognition, and ultimately understand what it truly means to be unhappy. Always.

“Kim Korson must be stopped. My wife thinks she’s funnier than me.”
– Jon Stewart

MY THOUGHTS – REVIEW

Feeling depressed myself, I always turn to a memoir that will make me feel better about myself.  This one is the perfect book to make you feel that your life is a hundred times better than Korson’s, but then in my case, maybe not. Korson starts out depressed and truly despondent over a best friend that has everything you could ever want as a young girl, the Barbie dream house, the Barbie camper and every outfit available.  Korson ends up with the island of misfit toys in her collection.  When her parents divorce, things only get worse and funnier.

Raised on Ms. magazine by her now single mother, Korson, until she leaves for Emmerson College, she falls in like and out of convenience, she moves in with her boyfriend.  With one fateful trip to Mexico that involves wisdom teeth, a marriage proposal and a raging fever, Korson tries to end the relationshop with a giant FAIL.  In any other writer’s words, this might be a real downer, but not here. I was laughing until I had tears in my eyes.

Even when she gets a job at an entertainment agency, she fails upward and realizes that she is truly miserable there.  I think reading between the lines,  I got the feeling that she had brief spouts of happiness here and there.  I really felt a connection to Korson and could relate to several of her stories.  Tragedy plus time equal comedy and in this case, it is very true.  Anyone who enjoys Jen Lancaster, David Sedaris and Celia Rivenbark are going to love this one!

 

Kim KorsonAbout the Author

Kim Korson is a writer, originally from Montreal, Canada. Kim now lives in Southern Vermont with her husband and two kids. She doesn’t get out much.
I think the limited biography information on the author is a marketing ploy to get you to read the book.   I wonder if the dog dies.  ~mary <snark>

A Discussion with Kim on I DON’T HAVE A HAPPY PLACE

1. I Don’t Have A Happy Place explores some heavy subjects; mental illness, depression and complicated family relationships just to name a few. Did you find writing this collection of essays was therapeutic for you?
It wasn’t exactly a cathartic experience but it certainly was educational. I didn’t necessarily feel better or cured or ready to get off the couch, but I did gain a new understanding of myself, maybe even some acceptance. Unpacking all that luggage did make me feel raw for a long time but writing helped me fold and put away some of the ill-fitting clothes lingering in that suitcase.
2. Looking back as an adult now, do you find it ironic that you were once envious of your friend’s misfortunes, like an alcoholic father and dead babysitter?
Not so much ironic as mortifying. Growing up, I had this nagging desire to be somewhere other than my home. And it wasn’t really a grass-is-greener situation. In the way that some people feel they are simply in the wrongbody, I felt that way about my family. There was technically nothing wrong with my house or family, but–like country music, or beets– they just weren’t for me. I used these extreme situations to highlight my yearning to be elsewhere, with a variety of people whose experiences were different than mine. And if their situations were rife with turmoil and negativity, well, that was just a bonus.
3. Have you learned anything new about yourself after writing about your life up to this point?
I’m pretty self-aware, to a fault, because I live in my head so much. But something I learned, which came from the actual writing process, was that I actually could have discipline. I often say the only thing in my life I’ve ever finished was childbirth. I have pages of novels in drawers all over the house, half-started photo albums, all kinds of ideas of things I’m going to do, but I never finish. It was thrilling to complete something. Especially something so important to me.

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