Friday, October 1, 2010

Book Review: What Was I Thinking? by Annie Earley

What Was I Thinking? by Annie Earley is the author's journey through the world of online dating after her divorce at the age of 51. From the young guy who never seems to do what he says he will, to the man who believes women should manage the household chores, many women have probably had the same experiences with members of the opposite sex. Online dating services have added an extra sense of mystery and risk to the dating game.

I requested a copy of this book from the publisher after viewing the book trailer. Based upon that and the comic strip type illustrations I found throughout the book, I was thinking this would be a humorous glimpse into one woman's leap into online dating after being married for many years. It wasn't.

What this reader found it to be is something similar to sitting down with your girlfriends at a coffee shop and commiserating over the quirks of the guys you've dated. Not that it's a bad thing, just that in written format I'm not certain it's the best way to approach this topic. Family and friends know you--all of you--which means when you sit down for a "Why me?" type of conversation, that's tempered by all the wonderful characteristics about you that they know and love. Having a pity party with strangers is a different gig altogether; and while I don't get believe this was the author's intention, that's kind of how it came across to me. She spoke of being passionate about writing this book, and I feel her intention was more to share what to be wary of when you enter the online dating world than to say, "poor me". She did, after all, include some tips at the end. Unfortunately, I think this book missed the mark. Even though Earley claims that finding a guy and being attracted to him enough to want to be intimate with him is not being shallow, the lack of humor in the book and how she portrayed all the men in What Was I Thinking? makes her come off as full of herself. I understand what she's saying and I totally agree, but without more humor and a more unbiased glimpse into her dating experiences, the reader is left feeling a bit alienated instead of satisfied.

We've all had horrible dating experiences. Maybe sometimes we were even the horrible date. Told with a heavier dose of humor, I think this book would be a winner. Another book with a similar title, What Was I Thinking?: 58 Bad Boyfriend Stories was written by multiple authors, which also helps to keep the reader from feeling the author is too biased to share her story.

The reviews on Amazon for What Was I Thinking?: How Not to Date have been mixed, so I encourage you to check them out and decide for yourself if this book is right for you.


Title:  What Was I Thinking?: How Not to Date
Author:  Annie Earley
Publisher: Tribute Books 
ISBN-10: 0979504589
ISBN-13: 978-0979504587
SRP:  $14.95

2 comments:

A Musing Mother said...

Sheez. All I have to do is dredge up my old single stories from way back when. In a state where you marry young, being single and 26 left me some incredibly entertaining stories to tell.
- The Australian I was engaged to who finally admitted he wasn't "quite" divorced in Australia to his first wife.

- The divorced truck driver who had custody of his three children. His ex-wife loved me and still laments she wishes he'd married me. Uh, I didn't give him the choice.

- The three Russes I dated at the same time without caller I.D. Which Russ called?!
- Hiding my car behind the house when I came home from college so one of my (boy)friends wouldn't know I had come home.

- Back to the Australian - 15 years later he was a cop and shot a guy 11 times after pulling him over for speeding.

- My favorite was my divorced friend (age 27 with two small children) who discovered, after dating a guy for a couple of months, that he was a non-practicing-but-still-intent-to-practice-polygamist. The giveaway was the pictures of his 5 children from two ex-wives. The kids were the same age.

- The many, many well-meaning friends who had the "perfect" guy for me. Read: One of us was a charity case.

- Nice, just-returned from a Mormon mission, Ben, who showed up in a t-shirt with a great big 69 on it. He had no idea.

It was no pity party. It was truly a gathering of stories to laugh about.

Tribute Books said...

Thanks Cheryl for an honest review.