Thursday, February 16, 2012

Agorafabulous! Dispatches from by Bedroom by Sara Benincasa + giveaway!

The blurb:
In Boston, a college student fears leaving her own room -- even to use the toilet. In Pennsylvania, a meek personal assistant finally confronts a perpetually enraged gay spiritual guru.  In Texas, a rookie high school teacher deals with her male student's unusually, er, hard personal problem.  Sara Benincasa has been that terrified student, that embattled employee, that confused teacher--and so much more.  Her hilarious memoir chronicles her attempts to forge a wonderfully weird adulthood in the midst of her lifelong struggle with agoraphobia, depression, and unruly hair.

Relatable, unpretentious, and unsentimental, Agorafabulous! celebrates eccentricity, resilience, and the power of humor to light up even the darkest corners of our lives.

Even if you don't usually read memoirs, you still might enjoy  Agorafabulous!  Sara Benincasa is hilarious while being quite frank about what it was like to deeply depressed and agoraphobic. There's no sugarcoating here but her frankness and sense of humor leaves one sympathizing and relating to what she went through.  While it's hard to read about bowls of pee in Le Creuset bowls to avoid entering the bathroom,  Benincasa makes you understand just how one might feel this way.

Benincasa takes us to different chapters of her life.  The trip to Sicily with other high school kids tells us about her early panic attacks and her place in the social hierarchy:
'I was generally liked in my own grade (I cracked jokes in class and wrote funny editorials about the cafeteria for the school newspaper) but had few friends on the trip to Italy.  And I was certainly not loved by Amber, who seemed particularly irritated by people who liked clowning around for laughs.  She disliked them even more than she disliked people who made art on their own time, people who wore vintage clothing, people who listened to non-Top 40 music, and people who read books. And Amber really hated people who read books.  I once heard her say in an English elective, "I have a boyfriend.  I don't have time to waste on a fu#@ing book."'
The anecdotes throughout the week long high school trip kept me chuckling and wincing in equal amounts.  When she weaves in how she told her best friend about her weak attempt to cut her wrists,  I felt like I was there in the restaurant and wanted to cheer her up.

Agorafabulous! is a funny, frank, and engaging account of a young woman growing up and into herself.
ISBN-10: 0062024418 - Hardcover $24.99
Publisher: William Morrow (February 14, 2012), 272 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.

About the Author:
Sara Benincasa is an award-winning comedian, writer, blogger, and podcast host as well as the writer and star of the one-woman show Agorafabulous! She frequently contributes opinion pieces to and was a citizen-journalist for the 2008 MTV News Choose or Lose Street Team.  She hosts the Web series Gettin' Wet with Sara Benincasa and the popular podcast Sex and Other Human Activities.  She travels the country to speak about mental illness and women's issues at universities and conferences. She lives in New York City.

For 1 signed copy of Agorafabulous!  Do help me with my project - imagine that you were thinking of renting a 1 BR 1 bath apartment, all things being equal, which factor would sway you most: (1) proximity to subway, (2) dishwasher, (3) washing machine & dryer in the unit, (4) washing machine in the building, (5) a garden in the unit. Thanks!
1. Please include your email address, so that I can contact you if you win. No email address, no entry.
2. You must be a follower to join the contest.
3.  One winner per household.
The contest is limited to US only. No P.O. boxes. The contest ends at noon on Feb. 29, 2012. 


  1. First the eliminations:
    Dishwasher-not a big deal unless you have a family.

    Garden in the unit-That would be nice, but nor a deal breaker.

    Washer & Dryer in the Building-Hope that you get the one that is in the unit. Hate carting the wash anywhere-Yuck!

    Now it gets hard:
    If I were you, I would love a washer and dryer in the unit.

    But if the place was close to the subway, you might be able to skip having a car, paying car insurance and of course that ugly word-maintenance!

    Which one would I choose? I would choose the first one if you can buy groceries without driving. I would choose the one close to the subway if I couldn't. I can't imagine ferrying groceries on a subway.


  2. P.S. I am a follower!


  3. A washer and dryer in the building or apartment. Please enter me in contest. I am a follower and email subscriber.

  4. As an agoraphobic myself, I would LOVE to win a copy!
    As for the apartment...Washer/Dryer in unit - hands down #1 need!

    Thanks for the giveaway.


  5. I think being close to the subway is a great benefit, especially in bad weather. The washer/dryer in the apartment are also a wonderful benefit, as good as and maybe better than the subway. Going to a laundromat is such a nuisance that you might want to try to avoid it if you can.
    I follow on GFC
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com