Title: Life Will Be the Death of Me
Author: Chelsea Handler
Published: April 9th 2019 by Spiegel & Grau
Genre: Humor, Autobiography
Goodreads Rating: 4.35 out of 5
Many moons ago, when I was working on my undergraduate degree, I remember watching the Chelsea Lately show and always thinking that the show was funny if not a little bit brash. But I thrive in sarcastic environments and so I generally watched the show a couple times a week.
The first book I read from Chelsea Handler was, Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea which was published back in 2009. I couldn’t tell you what it was about because that was a decade ago that I read it, but I do remember laughing through most of the book. I enjoyed the bluntness with which Chelsea writes but also the extra level of dysfunction that can be seen in her writing. Because let’s face it, I too have a bad habit of rambling on and inserting side conversations in both my writing and in my speech patterns, so I appreciate when I see it from others as well. I also relate to it better, because my lack of an attention span needs to constantly be jolted in order for me to not loose focus. But I digress.
I was at Target last week, because I wanted to punish my wallet, and I made the mistake (or really is it a mistake?) of casually strolling by the book section. Target always has the best deals on new book, amiright? Anyway, I happen to spot Chelsea’s newest book Life Will be the Death of Me sitting nicely on a shelf with a big 30% off sticker, and well I’m a sucker and obviously put it in my basket. The rest is history.
I originally picked up this book, because I needed a laugh. Work is stressful, I’ve had a constant nagging headache, and I was a little book hung over from The Great Believers. I was looking for a light fun read and thought Chelsea could help a girl out with a good laugh. Which she did.
The way that Chelsea writes her books is the same way most people talk. Thoughts are fluid but side bars are a thing, which honestly I don’t mind at all. Like most of her books its a little snarky, brutally honest, mixed with a little bit of humor. However, this book is surprisingly serious and she gets deep on a couple of subjects. I personally think (and I’ve only read one other of her books) that this is probably her least humorous book and a lot of other reviewers are saying it’s her most honest autobiography yet.
For me though, there were a couple really big items that stood out to me in this book.
- I have a very similar personality type to Chelsea and maybe that’s why I enjoy her comedy. We take the strengths finder test at work and Empathy is my bottom strength. But the way she talks about the significance between empathy and sympathy really hit home for me. Mainly because I lack empathy, and now I feel like I need to address that. Not that I need to have the most empathy ever, because that’s never going to happen, but more because sometimes I took come off a little ‘strong’ because of my lack of it. I also just never really thought about what the difference between those two words was and no I feel like my whole life has been a lie. Not really, but you get what I’m saying.
- The comment, ‘You have been a human doing, and we need to get you to be a human being’ majorly stood out to me. Chelsea and Dan (her therapist) talk a lot about doing and being in motion. Chelsea runs from her problems not in a way that mean she avoids them, but more in the sense that, if you keep moving they won’t cause you emotional stress. As I was reading this, it hit me that I do the exact same thing. Ask anyone that knows me and they’ll tell you I’m always moving and if I’m not moving I’m asleep. Am I too simply trying to cope with things from my past? Is that why I can’t sit still?
- Chelsea actually talks a lot about loss. Her eldest brother died when he was 22 and she was nine. She talks about how this really shaped her family. I’ve lost a sibling too and a number of other people over the years and I’m not even 30. I’ve seen how hard it is on families, friends, and relationships. Loss is a dumpster truck that’s basically just running you over a couple time and wrecking havoc on those still living. I was really anger as a teenager because of some of this, I didn’t know it then but I’ve come to realize that in the past couple of years. It really just struck me again while I was reading this how different people cope and how processing the loss stays with you.
- I need a chow chow mix pupper. I want a Bert in my life or a Chuck. A fluffy wuffy ball of fur, who needs a diet and love. The fact that Chelsea spends three separate chapters and two full pages of pictures of her dogs is amazing. Also, I always love real people names for animals. I’m not about the ‘Spots’ of the dog world, give me more Tammy and John doggos. (Note that growing up we had a dog named Lewis, so maybe I’m biased) That is all, just need you to know there were dogs involved.
I don’t necessary agree with all of Chelsea’s thoughts on life but I don’t judge. What I do like about this book though is that it’s an introspective look into her life. She’s brutally honest, as is true to herself, but she’s not just honest about others. In this book she’s honest about who she is; her faults, her struggles, everything. This book is fast, easy read, and I give it 4.5 stars. Get it HERE!