Friday, November 5, 2021

Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered: The Definitive How-To Guide by Karen Kilgariff


So apparently this book is written by two ladies who have a podcast called My Favorite Murder which is devoted to their love of true crime. I haven't read the podcast and anyway, this book isn't even really about the podcast; it's about growing up and confronting trauma and overcoming addiction and seeking out therapy and learning to tell people where to get off when you, as a nice person, have been taken advantage of one too many times-- or maybe you're a user, and you need to learn how to tell yourself where to get off for your own bad behavior. This book is about all of those things. It's kind of like someone tossed a self-help book and a memoir into a blender and hit "Murderino."

Weirdly, I recently read another self-help book by a pair of podcasters, which was called HOW TO BE FINE. I did not like HOW TO BE FINE and after reading this book, I think I know why. HOW is like this Pinterest-perfect version of being flawed, carefully curated and, you know, aspirational-- but in a really conspicuous way that also makes you feel simultaneously attacked and annoyed. This book is like seeing the posts of one of your oversharing friends on Instagram, where they're as open about their struggles as they are their triumphs. Parts of it are aspirational but they also keep it real and when they give you advice, it feels like they're on the level, if you know what I mean.

I ended up really liking this book. Some people gave it negative reviews because it goes to some dark places but I think the authors talked about trauma and recovery in a really healthy way and gave good advice too. I loved the memoir portions, which alternated between devastating and hilarious (and weirdly, that worked-- maybe because of the gallows humor required to be entertaining in a true crime podcast), and thought their lives were fascinating. I loved hearing about their families. I thought the things they said about feminism and social awareness were totally on point. This was purely an impulse buy for me and I went into it highly skeptical but honestly, it is THE self-help book I would recommend to anyone seeking solace that comes couched in the jaded skepticism of the Gen X mentality.

So, basically, I'm considering myself an honorary Murderino.

3.5 to 4 out of 5 stars

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