Samantha Irby, Meaty, (New York: Vintage Books), 2018.

I read a review of Samantha Irby's personal essays and decided that they would be worth a read because I write plenty of personal essays and I'm always interested in what successful authors have done with their essays. Like other good writers, Irby really puts herself into her essays. They contain way more personal information than I would be comfortable. She is frank, honest, and really puts herself out there. The book left me thinking that I have way too much information about Irby.

Still, she made me laugh with many of the stories she tells. She has a sense of humor that transmits a sense of hope to the reader. If one can go through all of the problems and trials that Irby has experienced and still have a sense of humor, there is probably hope for those of us whose lives haven't been quite so challenging. Irby became the primary caregiver for her very ill mother at a young age and learned to make her own way in the world at a time when most of us were being supported by our parents. She suffers from a chronic autoimmune disorder that certainly makes her everyday life a huge challenge. All that and she leaves us laughing.

Reading these essays is a bit like being invited into a very private space. Irby has made that space very public.