Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Catastrophic Happiness

Cat-astrophic Grouchiness
So, my loves, today is the publication date for Catastrophic Happiness! Which I yesterday, in an email, referred to accidentally as Claustrophobic Happiness. [sighs]

I hope you will buy it for yourself, and buy it for your pets and friends and family, and review it on Amazon and Goodreads, because those reviews really, really affect book sales, and they make your marketing and publicity people like you, and I am, as you know, persistently desperate to be liked.

If you want a sample (because you've only known me for 13 years) there's a depressing little excerpt from the book here, at The Manifest-Station.

The generous and brilliant Lindsey Mead reviewed it generously and brilliantly over at Brain, Child, and I am thrilled. I won't spoil it for you, but there is a line with fireflies in it.

And if you want to feel all kvelly and/or indignant, because you are part of my kvelling and indignant family, then you can read the review in the New York Times. (To quote Michael's step-mom: The New York mother-f-ing Times!!!) No, you may not refer to me as "artisanal coop mom," but yes that is a good line.


Meanwhile, in parallel news, it is also the pub date of my friend Asha Dornfest's book Parent Hacks: 134 Genius Shortcuts for Life with Kids, which you should also buy and review, because it is so funny and stylish and helpful. The book is packed full of real-life, tried-and-true fantastic problem-solving ideas for parents from parents, because who else but us even knows what our problems are? Like how to clean up glitter! (With play-dough.) Or how to guarantee that your child's lovey will never be lost forever! (Buy the book and see.) This is going to be one of my go-to new-baby presents, and I only wish I'd had the book myself when the kids were younger.


Birdy read it cover to cover, fascinated and grossed out (maxi-pads have a few too many off-brand uses for her comfort), and she reminded me so much of myself at her age, dorkily reading Heloise's House-Keeping Hints.  
Of course I still have it!

One last thing. I made this Tartine Berry Almond Breakfast Cake for Easter, like a good Jew, and it was perfect. I used frozen cherries instead of berries, and did need to bake it much longer, but man oh man. It costs about $1000 to make, and it weighs about 15 pounds. So worth it. Dense and buttery and marzipany and fruity, with a thick, crunchy crumb topping to weep over. Mm.

This is an unflattering angle.
Enjoy your week, darlings. Thank you for being here with me.

xo

58 comments:

  1. I'm waiting anxiously for my copy! I don't think I can handle a bad review of you, so I might skip the mother-f-ing NYT.

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  2. I downloaded it this morning. I can't wait to read!

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  3. All three of my pre-ordered copies just arrived and I am dropping all other responsibilities for the day so I can start reading right now. Squeeeeeeee!!!!!

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  4. Waiting for the local bookstore to call me with my pre-order... And, What's wrong with the regular lice shampoo from Walgreens? Um...

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    1. EXACTLY! Nothing, except they don't really work since lice aren't resistant to them anymore, which any parent who has experienced lice has probably discovered.

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  5. sarahd12:05 PM

    Meh. That reviewer can suck it. You're fabulous!

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  6. Ooh, ooh! I know the answer to the lice question: SUPERLICE. That aside, it was a pretty good review! She quoted a few lines that had me laughing out loud.

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  7. Mine just arrived! Summoning the willpower to not start it until the toddler goes to bed tonight, but it may darn well be a neglect the house and family kind of day. And anyone leaving less than glowing reviews deserves a thousand un-pickable wedgies.

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  8. I love your book! SO, so so much ... have already given several away and plan to keep doing so. I also want to read Parent Hacks which sounds great.

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  9. New Releases! Your book will arrive today, along with the new Star Wars movie. Am I more excited about my book than the kids are about their movie? Possibly.

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  10. Yippee! If I hadn't forgotten my wallet at home, I'd run over to the bookstore and buy it now!!

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  11. Alesia1:41 PM

    Ugh, the m-f-ing NY Times! Some people are just so impressed with their own cleverness (not you... the reviewer). I can't wait to read your new book.

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  12. I have my second copy arriving today and plan to buy more to give to all of my favorite fellow mamas for Mother's Day or sooner! Very fangirl-y Goodreads review forthcoming TONIGHT. xoxoxoxox

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  13. SO excited for Sunday. Can't decide whether to read the book before or after listening to you. Any advice? Amazon says it's arriving in the next 3 hours!

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  14. miryboo4:32 PM

    Reading the book between wiping my tear filled eyes and taking bites of that yummy cake. Thank you.

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  15. Kids, everyone is going to bed early tonight! Momma has a book to read!!

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  16. My copy was delivered today, and I'm stuck at work. :-(

    I look forward to devouring it.

    As for the NYT review, this comment stood out to me: "What started as a ring-a-ding vaudeville act, with Ms. Newman as the star stooge, descends uncomfortably into a series of soliloquies about imparting liberal values to children, which contain more than a few notes of self-congratulation." - she says this like it's a bad thing. Ha ha - jokes on her.

    Great pic of you with that review, btw.

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  17. my copy will be waiting for me when I get home today!!!

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  18. My copy was waiting for me when I came home! What a wonderful surprise!

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  19. plazamom6:10 PM

    Hooray! Waiting for my local independent book store to e-mail me to let me know my pre-ordered copy is here. I can't wait! And bah to the NYT. Not going to read that review. Those of us who know you, love you!

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  20. Can't wait for my pre-ordered copy to arrive. And thank goodness there are other choices besides the Walgreens lice shampoo.

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  21. I read that Heloise book over and over and over (but I don't have mine anymore). I love the tips to empty the ashtrays every morning and how to clabber buttermilk on the kitchen counter.

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  22. Anonymous6:37 PM

    I staunchly support your right to discuss politics and jam-making!!

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  23. Tucked into my giant amazon.com order of diapers, diapers, and more diapers: your book! Yay! I am so excited! Not reading any of the reviews you mention. They can suck it. I'm so excited for a new Catherine Newman book! Congratulations! xo

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  24. Yay! Just got my copy in the mail today :).

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  25. Reading and loving your book as I loved Waiting for Birdy. Laughing and crying. Will give you a great goodreads review. Xo

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  26. I hover here too for the great recipes, and just got your book in the mail, too. Congratulations! And I made the butter beans last night and everyone ate them, 3 year old and 7 year old alike.

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  27. My copy arrived today! Early bedtime for reading tonight. DH is out of town so it might actually work! I considered a nice warm bath but I always drop the book in so decided to spare you that indignity. I can't even read the NYT review as it sounds like they just may have been horribly wrong. Who needs to see that.

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  28. Picked up 3 copies (one for me, 2 for immediate gifting) from local IBS today. Saving to read on the weekend. Whee! Congrats again (-:

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  29. The book arrived today and I already read for an hour. What about the tour we were planning? ;-)

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  30. Anonymous8:48 AM

    My copy is arriving today and I can't wait! And as for the NYT, hey, it wasn't all that bad, and look at it this way: you wrote a book that was reviewed in the New York mother-f-ing Times!! How many people can say that?? AND Ben got a photo credit in the paper, and that's pretty cool. xo

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  31. Anonymous10:40 AM

    If it helps, the NYT writer's son goes to the same school as my kids and her son is in the same grade as my oldest son. Last year at the play ground, when we met for the first time, she made it a point to tell me what particular level her son was reading at (a high one for his age, of course) when it was definitely not a critical piece of information that needed to be shared.

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    1. Anonymous4:57 PM

      This is so awesome I can't bear it! Hee hee (:

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    2. Anonymous4:48 PM

      I know!!

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  32. Mary G10:49 AM

    Just read the Times review you linked to. I always find it kind of fascinating when I learn more about the reviewer than the book (or author) being reviewed. IMHO, her taking umbrage over you writing about your own life choices reveals more about her biases and insecurities than the quality of your writing. Can't wait to get to the parts she is so offended by :)

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  33. Alison12:26 PM

    Received the book yesterday unpacked it, put it on my night stand, then when I went to bed last night I couldn't pick it up to read because I was worrying about it being finished too soon.

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  34. Yay! My book came! And I'm mailing the New York Times reviewer a big old bag of shut up.

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    1. plazamom3:38 PM

      "mailing... a big old bag of shut up." Love this!

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  35. Oh, I was irritated by the NY times review. Poor thing (her -- NOT YOU)... Like others have said - meh to them. My book arrived too.. I can't wait to start it. We love you. <3 Remember that.

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  36. Allyson4:18 AM

    I'm more than halfway through your book, and loving it. The NYT reviewer clearly doesn't "get" you. I wouldn't sweat it. I'm hoping so hard that I'm healthy enough to make it to Brooklyn Sunday night. I'm dying to finally meet you in person. (Don't worry-- I'm not contagious-- I asked my doctor and everything.)

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  37. Happy book birthday, Catherine! I love how grownup the kids look *looks at own kids same age as yours and weeps*

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  38. I'm SO excited! Your books have gotten me through the early kid years, and I need a new fix. I can't even be mad that your blog post cost me $36 on amazing (both books you recommended, plus a third version of animal upon animal) because every time I try out something from your blog, it's a super favorite. (See above: Animal upon Animal. I make my husband play it with me after the kids go to bed.)

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  39. Hey Catherine, I was so excited to see your new book on my kindle Tuesday night! I immediately shared it to my Mom's kindle, so she can read it too. Saving it til this weekend to read, as I will have lots of time on my hands then. Don't worry about the effing NYT review, some people just aren't happy unless they are bringing others down and I'm not even going to read the review because I know and love you<3
    Cheers to you and your sweet family!

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    1. alison12:32 PM

      Hi Dolly,
      Don’t want to sound critical, but next time maybe you don’t want to tell the author you gave away her book for free. Better yet next time buy your mom the book and tell Catherine that. 

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    2. Alison, I did buy Catherine's book. I pre-ordered it and I'm sorry if Kindle sharing offends you, but my Mom is 80 years old and Catherine bought her a Christmas gift last year, because she is a generous, kind and loving soul. I though she would get a kick out of knowing that my Mom was going to read her book. The comment wasn't meant for you,so suck it up buttercup!

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  40. I now have Catastrophic Happiness in my hot little hands...yay!!! I haven't been this excited to read a book since Waiting for Birdy. You're my spirit animal, Catherine, my touchstone, and my mama hero. Big hugs and congrats on the book being born into the world!!!

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  41. I just finished it and am collecting myself and fighting a losing battle against a rather gigantic lump in my throat. Thanks so much for all these years of giving all of us internet weirdos that "ah, yes, my people!" feeling. I'm going to read it again, then post my review when it's not so fresh, that way it may be a little more sane and a little less "Oooh-I-have-a-buzz, I-should-find-that-old-boyfriend-on-Facebook-and-send-him-a-message." The reviewer from the NYT just doesn't get it, and for her that makes me sad.

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  42. Anonymous10:51 PM

    Long time lurker, here. Loooooove your writing; LOVED the book. The NYT reviewer is jealous she didn't write it, and that's a damn fact. I never, ever, write product reviews and I went and gave you 5 stars and a rave. Keep going; we need more books.

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  43. Wait wait! I just read the bit at the end of the ecerpt...another book in 2017? A middle grades NOVEL?!? Yes, I'm excited about the current book, but now am looking forward to this, as well. Sneaky Pete, keeping this a secret.

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  44. Wait wait! I just read the bit at the end of the ecerpt...another book in 2017? A middle grades NOVEL?!? Yes, I'm excited about the current book, but now am looking forward to this, as well. Sneaky Pete, keeping this a secret.

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  45. I got my shipment notice yesterday, but Amazon was sneaky and lumped it with another delivery I have coming but had chosen the delivery method that gets you $1 credit on music. So I won't have it until next week. Can't wait!

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  46. I read the other review, and this one may be better received by your kvetching family (myself included): http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/04/10/books/review/catastrophic-happiness-by-catherine-newman.html
    I love everything you do Catherine! Can't wait to read your new book...

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  47. Received my copy yesterday & was going to read it today and hand it over to a friend in need, but within the first few pages realized I was gonna need to underline and asterisk and mark it up and return over and over again for laughs and sighs and cries. Buying friend her own copy today! Love you Catherine, and have so since I found you on Baby Center! Congratulations! xo

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  48. Hi Catherine, I've been reading and loving your blog since before Birdy was born, and waiting anxiously for your new book, only to find that Amazon won't let me buy the kindle version because I'm in Australia. I even pre-ordered it! When will us Antipodeans be able to buy your book???

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  49. Preordered your book. Have your book. Must finish book-club book before reading. Picked up your book a dozen times (at least), then reminded self about award-winning book club book that MUST BE FINISHED first. Probably won't make it. Your book is CLEARLY want I want to read right now!!! (-:

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  50. Congratulations on your new book! I have been a reader since the Babycenter days, which is probably, like, 3 years ago, right? Because it can't possibly be as long as I think it might actually be. So, 3 years. We've sure packed a lot into those years! Anyway, can't wait to pick up the new book, and probably make everyone around me read it, including my book club, and drive my husband crazy with the excerpts that I read to him that basically end up as me reading the book whole aloud while he rolls his eyes and rummages for the last beer in the fridge.
    Also: I once used a maxi pad generously provided by my dear sister-in-law at Avila Beach in CA to wrap my sweet 3.5 year old (at the time)daughter's horrendously bloody foot after a teary and traumatic shell-vs-bare foot incident. And then she fell asleep on my lap in the too-low-to-get-out-of beach chair and I sat and used All the Towels to protect her tender skin from the sun, which meant that I slowly baked to a not-at-all healthy sunburn because I of course had spent all my sunscreen application time on the children and not myself, and yet I was completely and utterly fulfilled, with my one sleepy baby on my lap and the other not-so-sleepy one jumping waves with his extended family, and it was probably the most Catherine Newman moment of my whole life. So, in short, now I have TWO books to go out and order, because maxi pads. And also: thank you for being such an integral part of my internal mama-logue... even years before I became a mom myself.

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  51. Deirdre8:48 AM

    Loving the book, Catherine. Love you for all you do.

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  52. Anonymous8:12 PM

    Loved the book. It is so nice to know that I am not the only one to go from "its just a cold" to in my head thinking "they thought it was just a cold and then it turned into (whatever terrible disease I'm fearing at the moment)" And to feel the ache that my first is in her first year in college and my others are not far behind....

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