Thursday, July 2, 2015

Happily Ali After - Review

Happily Ali After and Other Fairly True Tales by Ali Wentworth

Rating:3.5 Stars 
Source: Edelweiss

Description:  The actress, comedian, media darling, and New York Times bestselling author picks up where she left off in Ali in Wonderland, dissecting modern life - and this time, on a mission of self-improvement - in a series of laugh-out-loud comic vignettes.
Moved my a particularly inspirational tweet one day, Ali Wentworth resolves to live by the pithy maxims she discovers in her feeds.  What begins as a sort of self-help project quickly turns into something far grander - and increasingly funnier - as the tweets she once viewed with irony become filled with increasing metaphysical importance.  And thus begins her "Unhappiness Project." (from Goodreads)

Genre: Memoir/Humor

Why I Picked This Book: I'm a sucker for a good gimmick and this sounded funny.  Then I saw her on The Chew and she was hilarious so I couldn't resist.

My Impression:  I'm a bit picky when it comes to humorous books.  I loved Amy Poehler and Mindy Kaling.  I liked Tina Fey, Jim Gaffigan and the David Sedaris I listened too.  But Chelsea Handler's book didn't really work for me.   If it feels like the story is going to far to be outrageous or to shock I normally lose interest pretty fast.  So I wasn't sure where Wentworth would fall for me.  I liked the premise of the book and I liked the interview I'd seen with her but still you never know.
I was drawn in pretty quickly.  Wentworth has a quick chatty style and she is definitely missing a filter in the best possible way.  She's outspoken, opinionated and gossip-y but not mean-spirited which is nice.
The idea of her and her husband George Stephanopoulus together is a pretty funny image because she talks about wearing ratty yoga pants all the time and the most casual I think I've ever seen him is when he rolled up the sleeves of a button down and loosened his tie in a documentary about the Clinton campaign.  I think it was 2AM at the time.
I liked the basic premise.  For the first section of the book she takes an inspirational quotes and proceeds to discuss it.  The meaning, what it reminds her of in her past, or what she wants to do in that general direction.  It's funny and keeps the book from feeling like it's meandering around too much.  After that there essays on marriage and parenting.  She talks about regular life which I always find funnier than anything else.
The essays are light and while we do get to know her and her family a little better through each one they're not really connected.  She did hit a few wrong notes with me - occasionally she went on to long or if I read to much of the book in one sitting it would feel a little repetitive.  However, in small doses it was funny and entertaining - perfect for a beach read or for traveling or a time when you just need a pick me up but don't want to get caught up in a long story.  I think it would be absolutely fantastic in audio - especially if Ali herself read it.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?:   Yes, though I'm not running out immediately to pick up her other book.

Would I Recommend this Book?:  Yes, especially if you're planning on travelling or spending some time poolside this summer.

Challenges Met?


  1. I agree that how we react to humor varies so widely from reader to reader. Not sure how I would react to this, but appreciate your suggestion to read it in smaller chunks. I'm a big fan of Davide Sedaris on audio, too.

    1. It's definitely a good chapter here and chapter there. While they are incredibly different the style reminded me more of Sedaris than any of the others I mentioned.

  2. It's funny to think of them as a couple. He seem conservative and a total news person. She is loose and humorous.

    1. That's definitely hard to wrap my mind around. Is love to be a fly on the wall for some of their conversations!

  3. Considering how long it takes me to listen to an audio book, taking this one in small doses would probably work well for me. :-) You've got me curious about this one, Katherine.

    1. This would be a good one if you could only read or listen to a little bit at a time because the chapters are only very loosely linked. I've given up on audio for the summer but hopefully I'll be back in when school starts!

  4. I don't read a lot from the memoir/humor genres, though I probably should. After all the dark books I read, I could use something funny!

  5. I love how she describes her and her husband, This isn't typically a genre I gravitate towards, but it does sound like a fun one Katherine.

  6. Never heard of her before. But I agree that if they're writing for the shock than I'm not interested. I still need to pick up Yes Please. My stupid library still doesn't have the audio. :/
    Anyhow, good that you did enjoy this one. Although Edelweiss and Netgalley are black holes, they're great for requesting books you probably would not have picked up otherwise. :)
    Happy reading!
    Brittany @ This is the Story of My(Reading) Life