“The mother-daughter duo returns with a collection of breezy summer essays, perfect for the beach, the pool or even the couch. This witty, insightful assortment of stories is a wonderfully entertaining look into the lives of two modern women.” –Parade Magazine
The New York Times bestselling mother-daughter team returns with a new collection in the series that Oprah Magazine calls the "Perfect Summer Must-Read," of funny and relatable true stories in the everyday lives of modern women. Lisa and Francesca give their multigenerational take on a variety of topics, from the terrors of Tinder to the indignities of the gym, and from fleece as formalwear to playing the lotto as financial planning, sounding like two girlfriends you’ve known your whole life. As with all mothers and daughters, Lisa and Francesca sometimes joke, sometimes fight, but always love their way through life’s best and worst moments. You’ll laugh along with them, and when you finish, you will want to share the fun with your mother, daughter, or best friend.
So join Lisa and Francesca as they travel from the beach to the city to the suburbs and all the places in between, exasperating, supporting, and enjoying each other along the way.
"Lisa and Francesca, mother and daughter, bring you the laughter of their lives." Delia Ephron, bestselling author
“True tales of how we live now from a mother and daughter who are best palsand a very funny writing team.” –People (Best Beach Book)
About the Author
LISA SCOTTOLINE is a New York Times bestselling and Edgar award-winning author of more than twenty-eight novels and coauthor of The Amazing Adventures of an Ordinary Woman books, including Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog. She also writes a Sunday column for The Philadelphia Inquirer. She has 30 million copies of her books in print, and she has been published in thirty countries. She lives in the Philadelphia suburbs with an array of disobedient pets.
FRANCESCA SERRITELLA is a New York Times bestselling author and a columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer. She graduated cum laude from Harvard University, where she won the Thomas Temple Hoopes Prize for her novella. She is the co-author of The Amazing Adventures of an Ordinary Woman books, including Have a Nice Guilt Trip. Francesca lives in New York City with one dog and one cat, so far.
Date of Birth:July 1, 1955
Place of Birth:Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Education:B.A., University of Pennsylvania, 1976; J.D., University of Pennsylvania Law School, 1981
Read an Excerpt
I've Got Sand in All the Wrong Places
By Lisa Scottoline, Francesca Serritella
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2016 Smart Blonde, LLC.
All rights reserved.
I've Got Sand in All the Wrong Places
Who doesn't love summer?
It is our reward for three seasons of going full speed, twenty-four/seven, in a world that is too complex and way too fast.
We all need a break, especially mothers.
All year-round, we have to get everybody ready in the morning, while we pack lunches and find somebody's missing sneaker.
But it's summertime, and we get a breather and if we're lucky, an actual vacation.
During which we get everybody ready in the morning, while we pack lunches and find somebody's missing sneaker.
But at least we do it in a nicer place.
To me, the best part of summer is that the entire world relaxes just a bit, letting down mentally, easing off the gas emotionally.
That's what we all truly need, a July of the mind.
A time to wear mental flip-flops.
An excess of wasted time.
To me, the best part of summer is the beach.
It's all about the beach.
Every time I drive into a shore town, I can feel my mood lift and my spirit lighten.
I drive into town, past the saltwater-taffy and fudge stores, then the swirly-custard stands, fried-clam joints, and the drugstores that sell suntan lotion, where the only bottles left will have an SPF of 2 or 18326.
And nothing in between.
I know I'm at the beach when I pass my favorite store, which is the one that sells inflatable toys for kids, so outside will be oversized inflatable alligators, puffy rings like multicolored Life Savers, funky boogie boards, and foam noodles growing out of a barrel like so many Gerbera daisies.
Minus the Gerbera daisy part.
The salt air, the warm sun, the happy smiles; all of it is the stuff of summer.
And the great thing is, I feel that way whether I'm on vacation or not.
In fact, Francesca and I go on book tour every summer to promote these books, and even that feels like a vacation, just because it's summertime.
We drive around together, switching off on the driving and making our way through Rehoboth Beach, Bethany Beach, the Hamptons, Mystic, Connecticut, and Westerly, Rhode Island. We even took three ferries during our last tour, and this year we're expanding to Virginia Beach and Cape Cod beaches.
We might even take a paddleboat.
And that's the point of this little book, come to think of it. It's the seventh in this series, which Francesca and I have written about our lives alone and together, as mother and daughter. We're really ordinary and normal, and the more you read about us, the more you'll see your own life and your own families reflected herein.
Except that you probably behave better.
Because although our relationship is wonderful and we are truly each other's best friends, that doesn't mean we don't fight.
I'm here to say that we have fought our way through beaches along the East Coast and, as I mentioned above, we'll soon be expanding our fighting to Virginia and Massachusetts.
Which brings me to my point.
Even in summertime, there will be problems.
You'll get in fights with your kids.
Or you'll get in fights with your mother or father.
Everybody knows that a family vacation is hardest on the family.
Also, things will go wrong, like the weather won't cooperate.
You'll find yourself with five days of vacation and four days of clouds, which means you'll stare at your phone, laptop, or television, mentally calculating how much it's costing you to be depressed in a new location.
Plus, you'll find yourself spending way too much time in the local grocery store, which will gouge you on price.
Also the drugstore, which will gouge you on price.
And any restaurant, which will gouge you on price.
Finally, you will get sand in all the wrong places.
You'll get sand in your sneakers.
You won't be able to shake all of it out.
You'll get sand stuck in the elastic in your bathing suit.
You won't be able to rinse all of it out.
You'll even get sand in your hair, blown by the wind off the sea onto your very scalp.
You won't be able to wash it out.
The sand will come back to the rental house with you, where it will fall on the floor, and when you drive home, it will be in the well underneath the gas pedal. You will track it inside your own house, and you will feel a grittiness under your toes in your very own bedroom, maybe even your sheets.
Don't let the sand bother you.
And above all, don't nag each other about it or whine about it, because that misses the point.
Think of the sand as fairy dust.
Because it is.
It's a magical sprinkling of a summertime mood.
If you're lucky, the sand will always be with you, wherever you go. A gritty little reminder under your feet.
And in your undies.
Summer is truly a state of mind.
If you keep that with you at all times — by that I mean, the mentally easing of worry, the emotional letting go, and more smiles in general — you will have a happier and healthier year.
Until summer rolls around again, and you get to go back to the beach.
To bring home more sand.
Fighting Like ...
My kids are fighting.
They're not my kids, I should stop personifying them.
My cat is being mean to my son.
Sorry, my cat is being aggressive with my dog.
Like any parent knows, it's heartbreaking. It's keeping me up at night.
Literally. Last night at 2:45 A.M., a cat yowl woke me up. I had to take Pip into the bed for protective custody.
It wasn't always like this. A year and a half ago, I borrowed Mimi from my mother to catch a mouse in my apartment. But what was supposed to be a monthlong stay became permanent after I fell in love with this sweet, little, tuxedo cat.
Now she's just little and tuxedo.
Her bad cattitude came out of nowhere. My cat and dog used to get along perfectly. They cuddled together on my bed, he gave her space, and she'd occasionally rub up against him.
Basically, they had my ideal relationship.
Until a month ago, when she started attacking him.
Can a cat have a midlife crisis?
That pun deserves hissing.
Her mood swings come without warning. Pip will be minding his own business, padding toward the kitchen in hopes I'll feed him breakfast twice, when suddenly, Mimi will dart after him, chase him into a corner, and go full-blown cat-ninja on him, swiping the air, caterwauling, and hissing.
Poor Pip never retaliates, he just scampers behind my legs like a frightened toddler, while Mimi saunters away.
She feels about as much guilt as Robert Durst.
I took Mimi to the vet, but she's perfectly healthy. The vet suggested she might be bored.
I didn't take offense.
But I've bought Mimi tons of toys since I got her, and the only game I've ever seen her enjoy is chasing after Pip's leash when it drags behind him.
I hoped this was more about the dragging leash and less about tormenting Pip.
So I got crafty and made a custom lure out of ribbon for Mimi's cat teaser, a fishing pole–type toy. She seems entertained, but I think I'm more into it than she is. In an effort to tire her out, I find myself doing a full gymnastic ribbon-dancing routine.
I thought I was pretty good, too, but then my neighbors across the street held up two fives and a three.
Despite the increased playtime, Mimi still finds energy to lash out at the dog. So I decided instead of winding her up, I needed to help her unwind.
With recreational drugs.
I have dime bags of catnip stashed all over the house. Anything to keep it mellow when the cat's eyes look a little too focused.
We're not casual users anymore. I'm now growing "cosmic cat grass" on my windowsill, which is semi-legal in New York.
It's medicinal, okay?
But Mimi has the tolerance of Seth Rogen, because the vibes remain harsh.
Pip is normally calm and submissive, but now I see how anxious he's become, especially when the cat is nearby. Last week, I came home and found what looked like a scratch wound on his back.
The worst part is, this drama has manifested a secret fear I have about my ability to mother. I've always imagined myself having a child, specifically one child. I was an only child myself, but secretly, I have another reason:
I'm afraid I'll play favorites.
How can you not? But maybe it's the way I'm wired. I'm very loyal, I love fiercely, and my brain naturally categorizes things.
For instance, Mimi is my beloved cat.
But Pip is my baby.
My mom said she'd be happy to take Mimi back, but I can't give up on her. I do love her, and there was peace between them for so long, I have to think we can get back there.
And this morning, after another rough night, when I was browsing cat-behavior books online and feeling hopeless, Mimi leapt into my lap and began to purr.
She has a favorite, too.CHAPTER 3
Little Black Dress?
The Internet exploded over a dress, and my first thought was, who cares?
Until I figured out that I did, very much.
We begin when somebody on the Internet circulated a photo of a cocktail dress with horizontal stripes. The caption to the dress photo asked, What color is this dress?
I thought they were kidding, because the stripes were obviously black and blue.
I didn't really get it, and I certainly didn't share it because it wasn't very interesting. On the Internet, I only share really interesting things like adorable pictures of kittens and adorable pictures of puppies. On occasion I share adorable pictures of baby otters and baby squirrels, and occasionally a baby monkey.
If you're two months old and covered with fur, I'm your girl.
The only person I share anything with on the Internet is Daughter Francesca, and she shares with me, too. Whether by nature or nurture, her tastes are similar, and so we often generate an electronic stream of adorable baby animals, crossing each other in email, undoubtedly colliding in the ether, but none of them hurting each other, because they're cute and cuddly and soft.
I didn't share the dress with her because I didn't care.
Then I noticed online, specifically on Facebook and Twitter, that not everybody saw the dress as black and blue. Some people thought it was white and gold. At first I thought they were kidding, so I went to look at the picture again, and oddly enough, the dress started looking white and gold to me.
Which was scary.
I didn't understand, and I like to understand, so then I started clicking on the articles about why we were all seeing the dress in different colors, and the articles explained something about rods and cones in the eye, and I got the gist, which was that everybody's eyes are different.
But then I started to notice online that people were taking sides. The people who saw the white-and-gold dress started finding each other online, and the people who saw the blue-and-black dress got together, and they formed teams, since they already had team colors.
And then, as the Internet would have it, they started yelling at each other, online. The white-and-gold people thought the blue-and-black people were wrong. The blue-and-black people thought the white-and-gold people were wrong. Then there was a third group who thought that this was too much yelling over a dress and it was really boring and it didn't make any sense.
I confess that I was in the last group.
I saw both colors, so I didn't like either team.
Plus I had better things to do in general.
Like my job.
I'm supposed to be in front of a computer writing a book, making my quota of two thousand words a day, and I'm happiest when I do that and don't find myself drawn into Internet feuds over clothes.
Then somebody online said that we should stop fighting about the dress because we all had more important things to worry about in the world.
I nodded yes.
Then I realized I was wrong.
The way everybody reacted to the dress is exactly what we should be worrying about in the world. In fact, it mirrors everything we're worried about in the world.
We tend to group around into teams, over shared beliefs. I think that's part of a human need to belong, and that can be a wonderful thing. Nothing feels better than sitting in a cheering section where everybody's wearing the same color jersey.
We are the champions, my friend!
But sometimes, we think that if the other team doesn't see things our way, the other team is wrong.
We forget that the difference in perspective is simply a difference, and not all differences are wrong.
Everybody's moral rods and cones are individual, and we will always see the world in different ways.
The important thing is to respect the views of others, even when we secretly think they have no idea what the hell they're talking about, or are completely and obviously wrong, or might even be out of their minds because the facts are so clear to anyone with half a brain.
It's a lot to learn from a dress.
Imagine what shoes have to teach us.CHAPTER 4
Ho Ho Ho
You might be reading this book in the summertime, but it chronicles a whole year in our lives, both the good and the bad, and beginning with the holidays, both the naughty and the nice.
What gets you in the mood?
I'm not talking about that mood, I'm talking about a holiday mood.
For the record, what gets me inthat mood is Bradley Cooper, but I have a feeling I'm not getting him for Christmas.
The holidays are upon us, and we're all performing the three hundred tasks required thereby, primarily shopping. So this year, to make my life easier, I had the great idea to do all my shopping online.
But, like many of my allegedly great ideas, it had a downside.
What happened was that my tour for my last book just ended, leaving me no time to go shopping, so I'd thought all online was the way to go. And I've just been online shopping for two hours, on the computer at my desk, where I sit every day, tapping on the keyboard, seeing no other human beings.
If you don't count a dog in a sweater.
Yes, my dogs wear sweaters this time of year, not only because I'm too cheap to turn up the heat, but also because they look completely adorable.
Plus I like dressing them in their sweaters because it makes me feel like I have children I don't have to send to college.
So to me, dogs in sweaters count as human beings.
Anyway, as regards online shopping, I got almost all of it done. I think I got pretty good deals, too, because it was so easy to switch around to the different websites and compare.
There was no rush for a parking space.
There were no long lines to wait in.
There was no begging a salesperson for a cardboard box.
There were no other shoppers, harried and exhausted, walking in circles around the mall, going through the same thing I was.
But now, two hours later, the disadvantage is completely obvious.
I'm not in a holiday mood.
There is no holiday mood, anywhere in sight.
There was no rush for a parking space.
There were no long lines to wait in.
There was no begging a salesperson for a cardboard box.
There were no other shoppers, harried and exhausted, walking in circles around the mall, going through the same thing I was.
In short, I saved myself the time and the trouble, but the time and the trouble were exactly what put me in a holiday mood.
It turns out that a stress-free holiday is no holiday at all.
Maybe I have to hate the holiday to love the holiday?
It got me thinking about online shopping in general, and lately I've been thinking about that a lot, especially having been on book tour. It comes as no surprise to anyone that there are fewer bookstores in the world. Plenty of wonderful independent bookstores have closed, and even a big chain bookstore like Borders is now a thing of the past.
What worries me is that bookstores could become a thing of the past.
And if bookstores become a thing of the past, then it's only a matter of time until reading becomes a thing of the past.
And if that happens, I think we are worse for that, as a society.
It may be obvious as an abstract matter, but I realized that many other types of stores could go belly-up, if I keep shopping on my butt.
So I taught myself a lesson:
Vote with my feet.
If I want to live in a community that has bookstores and all other kinds of stores, as well as local people happily employed in those stores, I have to go out and buy stuff.
I'm putting on my coat and going shopping.
I look forward to the cranky shoppers, the waiting in lines, and the fighting over the parking space.
And I'm wishing you and yours a happily stressful holiday.CHAPTER 5
Not a Creature Was Stirring
Wanna hear what I got for Christmas?
Don't know what that is?
Allow me to explain.
Rewind to a few days before Christmas, when Daughter Francesca came home for the holidays and was about to build us a fire, so I got in the car to go buy firewood since we didn't have any split logs.
I may be hardy but I don't know how to split logs.
I'm not a lumberjack, I just dress like one.
So I hop in the car and take off to the store, but I'm thirsty, plus I had a canker sore, which considering my pain threshold, feels like childbirth.
All week, I'd been painting my tongue with every canker-sore remedy they sell. I am the biggest baby on the planet, especially for mouth things, because they interfere with talking and eating, which are my hobbies.
Excerpted from I've Got Sand in All the Wrong Places by Lisa Scottoline, Francesca Serritella. Copyright © 2016 Smart Blonde, LLC.. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
I've Got Sand in All the Wrong Places Lisa 1
Fighting Like … Francesca 6
Little Black Dress? Lisa 11
Ho Ho Ho Lisa 14
Not a Creature Was Stirring Lisa 17
Auld Lang Sayonara Francesca 21
Changing Tide Lisa 24
Love Match Lisa 27
SWF Seeking Tamiflu Francesca 31
With Apologies to Mother Mary Lisa 35
The Storm Has Passed Lisa 39
Swipe Me Tender Francesca 43
Requiem for a Meal Lisa 46
People of Earth Lisa 50
The Quitters Club Francesca 53
Spanked Lisa 57
Advice to a Young Tradeswoman, Written by an Old One Lisa 61
How Much Is a Tracksuit? Francesca 64
Doggie Dramz Lisa 68
Mommy's Day Out Francesca 72
Celebrity Crushed Lisa 76
This Is the Pits Lisa 83
Judge Doorman Francesca 87
Got Limes? Lisa 91
I Saw the Sign Lisa 95
Incident Report Francesca 99
Laugh at My Pain Francesca 104
It's Not About Me Lisa 113
Mother Mary Flunks Time Magazine Lisa 117
Barbarians at the Frontgate Lisa 121
Milestone or Millstone? Lisa 125
Topping the Leader Board Lisa 129
Upgrading the Macaroni Necklace Francesca 133
The Amazing Disappearing Middle-Aged Woman Lisa 139
Bachelorette Bouncer Francesca 144
Tan, Don't Burn Lisa 148
Protect the Candle Lisa 151
Unhappy Madison Lisa 156
Breaking and Renter-ing Francesca 160
Spaghetti and Salad Lisa 165
Holiday FOMO Francesca 169
Game of Thrones Lisa 174
Facets of a Stone Francesca 177
This Call Is Being Monitored for Quality Assurance Purposes Lisa 184
A Thing of Beauty Francesca 187
Over Troubled Waters Lisa 193
Party Hearty Lisa 193
Rings of Love Francesca 200
Thanks for Asking! Lisa 204
Looking at My Garden Lisa 208
Pop Goes the Pill Lisa 212
Those Who Can't Date, Set Up Francesca 216
Empty Nesting for Experts Lisa 221
Empty Nesting for Experts, Part Two Lisa 225
Undefined Francesca 229
Everything Old Is Nude Again Lisa 233
The Unofficial Wedding Party Francesca 237
My Brain Hurts Lisa 240
Mother Time Lisa 244
God Gave You Two Francesca 247
In the Soup Lisa 250
Look Out! There's a Feminist Behind You. Francesca 255
Muted Lisa 259
AARP, or American Association of Retired Pets Lisa 265
They're Playing My Song Francesca 271
To Error Is Human Lisa 277
Conditional Lisa 281
Dog Must Love Francesca 285
The Godmother Lisa 289
Friendship on the Flip Side Lisa 295
You Aren't What You Eat Lisa 300
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book was the best of everything, Funny, thought provoking , and oh so relatible! As a fellow 60 year old empty nesterwho has lived (and continues to) to find love and humor in life... the best!
This is a fun collection of vignettes told by a very talented mother daughter duo. Each author writes separate chapters with a humorous and/or poignant recollection of something that took place during the year this book was written. Reminiscent of Erma Bombeck, these ladies tales will make you smile. Each chapter can be read independently and is perfect for when you just have a few minutes to read.
This book is laugh out loud funny. I thought I was going to wake up my husband as I was reading in bed late at night. Good thing he's a deep sleeper. As I've never read any of their books that they write together I thought the title was a little misleading. I thought it was going to be about their adventures at the beach. But as you keep on reading you don't really care as you are laughing too hard. I've been a big fan of Lisa Scottoline's legal series of books and had no idea how humorous she is. Love how she calls her ex's Thing One and Thing Two. That's way nicer than what I called my ex. If your feeling a bit down, I suggest you pick up this book and be prepared to laugh your troubles away.
I have read and enjoyed novels by Lisa Scottoline so when offered this collection of stories I thought I would give it a try. I did not realize that what the “stories” would be were actually more of a blog or diary of events in Lisa and her daughter’s lives. I guess I was expecting “stories” or more of a story than a diary/blog format. I skimmed parts of the book but did not read it cover to cover. There were some lighthearted moments, an attack, some thoughts and words of wisdom. But, this is not what I was expecting and perhaps not what I was in the mood to read today. Another reviewer said it would be a good book to read on the beach or when traveling in a plane…maybe it would be. For me…probably not, though. It was not a book I enjoyed BUT if you are looking for a book to take you into the lives of Lisa and her daughter then by all means pick it up and enjoy a peek into their lives. Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Unethical Practices. Three books were charged to my account that I didn't look at, much less buy. When I called Customer Support, I was told I needed to speak to a specific department,twice I was hung up on. These three books were this one by Lisa Scottoline, an author I have never read. James Patterson & Alex Cross TARGET, and Every Breathe by Nicholas Sparks. I have never read a book by James Patterson or Alex Cross and I'm not a fan of Nicholas Sparks.
This was another wonderful collaboration by a favorite duo. The essays are at turns heartwarming and heartbreaking, making life seem a bit more real for all.
I was having a bad day and played the cd, it totally turned my day around. I love that the authors do the cd. It is so funny, they are great together. I know you would enjoy it. I have read all the books they did together and I can`t get enough of them. You laugh all the way threw the book.
I have read several of these books by Lisa and Francesca Scottoline and I enjoy them. They are a collection of short anecdotes (newspaper column-type) of their lives. Some of them are tied together (Francesca's mugging) and some that refer to previous stories in other books. They are both humourous and sad. The stories allow you into their lives and situations in varying areas such as their love life, pets, jobs, friends etc. I love their sense of humour in these stories, especially Lisa's (the majority of the chapters are written by her). A reader can often picture themselves in the same or similar situations and smile and nod as they read along. I also learned about how they value and thank their readers, luncheons for their bookclubs, amazing. The mother/daughter bond they have is one that I believe all mothers strive for. It is loving, strong and very real. There were some chapters that told the same story but from a different perspective as all mothers and daughters will have. When Lisa talks about the empty nest, I felt like she was telling my story. Even though I am of Lisa's age, I was able to relate to many of Francesca'a stories and picture my daughter in the same situation. These are great books that I would recommend this book to other mothers and daughters so they can see the other side of the coin. Because each story is a short chapter this is a great book for busy people because they can pick it up and read a story in between their busy tasks. Women will definitely enjoy this book and probably all the others this mother/daughter team has written. I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I love these books! The best way to describe this book is a collection of article length stories loosely tied together. This book really does read like scenes from Lisa and Francesca's life. You know the funny little observations, or the not so funny ones, that make up your day and your conversations with your friends. In a lot of ways, this book feels like a conversation with a friend. Every time that I picked this book up to read for just a few minutes, I would end up reading huge sections of the book because it was just so hard to put down. The majority of the stories in this book come from Lisa's point of view. Francesca is also well represented but just looking at numbers, Lisa authored more of the chapters. I love their sense of humor! Both of these ladies are just plain funny at times. I love that most of their funny stories remind me of the stories that I share with my friends and family. I didn't laugh out loud while reading this book but I did have a grin on my face quite often. I love how these two ladies really let us readers into their life in this book. Not everything in their life has been pleasant and they make mistakes. They own their mistakes and share their pain. Anytime the story was a bit more emotional, I could completely empathize with them. I like how they both shared their perspectives on similar stories. Their bond with each other is obviously very strong and it is a joy to see how much they are there for each other. I am always amazed by how much I am able to relate to these authors. I do relate to Lisa just a bit more but only because I have to think kind of hard to remember what it was like to be young and in the dating scene like Francesca. I really think that almost every adult woman will find something to relate to in this book. There are stories of growing up, dealing with family, getting older, dating, and finding your way each day. I would recommend this book to others. Lisa and Francesa do a fantastic job of telling quick stories that really pack a punch. They have written quite a few of these books together but they can each be read as a stand alone. This is a perfect book to curl up with when you want something light that feel like being with an old friend. I received an advance reader edition of this book from St. Martin's Press via NetGalley for the purpose of providing an honest review.