Monday, August 21, 2017

I Need a Lifeguard Everywhere but the Pool by Lisa Scottoline & Francesca Serritella

Okay, I tried it. I love the collected essays by Lisa Scottoline and her daughter, Francesca Serritella. They make me laugh, occasionally cry. But, they're always excellent glimpses at contemporary life. I have a friend who listens to the audio books, which are read by the authors. She's right in that it adds to the experience when you hear Lisa read the pieces in her South Philly accent. Each of the authors read their essays in  I Need a Lifeguard Everywhere but the Pool.

I listened to three quarters of the book, but I just couldn't do it anymore. I'm finishing the book by reading it. My friend's right. The voices are wonderful. But, it just takes too long for me to listen to a book. I have a short commute to work. I might get through six essays going back and forth to the library. And, if I have another fifteen minutes to walk that day, I get through a couple more. I've been listening to this book for a week. And, it's fun.

But, I could have read this book in six hours. I'm not one to sit at home and listen to a book. And, I certainly don't clean the house, so I can't finish the audio book while I'm cleaning. I'm going to finish I Need a Lifeguard Everywhere but the Pool by reading it, imaging the authors' reading each piece. I have just a couple hours of reading left.

Oh, and the book itself? Lisa has a snake in her garden. It's a recurring theme, along with her garden room. Only Lisa Scottoline can take tiny events in her life, tell it in episodes, and make you laugh. Of course, in the audio book, she adds the "sssss" sound when she talks about 'sssssnakes". Francesca Serritella's pieces usually aren't quite as funny, but they're certainly thoughtful pieces that do capture the exact moment in time. Her piece, "Anniversary", will stay with you, especially with recent events. And, both authors write (or talk) about last year's election.

Whether you choose to listen to the delightful recording by Scottoline and Serritella, or read the book, you'll get humor and a little nostalgia and thoughtful pieces in I Need a Lifeguard Everywhere but the Pool.

Lisa Scottoline's website is

Francesca Serritella's website is

I Need a Lifeguard Everywhere but the Pool by Lisa Scottoline & Francesca Serritella. St. Martin's Press, 2017. ISBN 9781250059963 (hardcover), 336p.

Audio book - Macmillan Audio. 2017. ISBN 9781427285904 (unabridged)


Jeffrey Meyerson said...

I'm with you. A lot of my friends listen to audio books regularly, but it's not for me. I need to concentrate, and if I'm listening at home whatever else I am doing distracts me. The only two books I've listened to all the way through (both highly recommended) were MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL (though it was long) and ANGELA'S ASHES, the latter read by Frank McCourt himself.

Otherwise, give me the book to read.

donna said...

I love both Lisa and her daughter - follow her weekly blog which a lot of the book is taken from. I get her humor and it is always a nice way to start the week for me.

Carol N Wong said...

Audio books are not a good fit for short commutes. I do listen at home to them because they give my eyes a break but I cheat a little while doing that with coloring adult coloring books. Before that I did jigsaw puzzles as I listened.

We did not know that we had a giant snake under the wood patio in Texas until it was torn down. Don't know what kind, but one big enough to make you gasp. We had been watching baby bunnies have their home under the patio for years. Anyway, the patio was crumbling and we did not want to re-build it. I discovered the first time that I sat on a chair on it that I was eaten up by chiggers. Also discovered that I now have allergy to chiggers. I was not sorry to see that patio go but shocked at the big fat snake that lived under it.

Gram said...

I've enjoyed all the books they wrote together and am looking forward to this one.

Jim G said...

About 25 years ago my father - mow diseased, gave me an exercise bike for Christmas. I was 40 at the time. I started using it but got bored. Then a friend recommended audio-books. I started with a book on CD's. It was a thriller. Within days I was hooked - not on exercising on the bike, but listening to the book. I couldn't wait to get back on the bike to listen to the next part of the story. Twenty five years later, I'm still doing it. I only listen to the audio-books when biking. walking or driving long distances. If I didn't have audio-books, I know I would not have continued exercising.