Today Will Be Different

Today Will Be Different

by Maria Semple


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A brilliant novel from the author of Where'd You Go, Bernadette, about a day in the life of Eleanor Flood, forced to abandon her small ambitions and awake to a strange, new future.

Eleanor knows she's a mess. But today, she will tackle the little things. She will shower and get dressed. She will have her poetry and yoga lessons after dropping off her son, Timby. She won't swear. She will initiate sex with her husband, Joe. But before she can put her modest plan into action-life happens. Today, it turns out, is the day Timby has decided to fake sick to weasel his way into his mother's company. It's also the day Joe has chosen to tell his office-but not Eleanor-that he's on vacation. Just when it seems like things can't go more awry, an encounter with a former colleague produces a graphic memoir whose dramatic tale threatens to reveal a buried family secret.

TODAY WILL BE DIFFERENT is a hilarious, heart-filled story about reinvention, sisterhood, and how sometimes it takes facing up to our former selves to truly begin living.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780594889946
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 06/27/2017
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 19,273
Product dimensions: 8.20(w) x 5.40(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Maria Semple is the author of This One Is Mine and Where'd You Go, Bernadette, which has been translated into eighteen languages. She lives in Seattle.

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Today Will Be Different 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I laughed out loud several times. Yes, the beginning might be a bit confusing but stick with it. I particulary enjoyed the ending.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Quirky characters are what make this authors books so fun to read! Little disjointed at times but an overall great read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The character Timby made the book for me and I hope the author brings that boy forward in other books. Short book and worth the crazy read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this witty comic novel. Smartly drawn characters with a driving plot make this hard to put down. Full of great lines that you will want to read aloud to a friend, this book is highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved Where'd You Go, Bernadette and I found this book to be even funnier. Maria Semple's writing is a delight.
Anonymous 5 months ago
It was okay.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
csmmom More than 1 year ago
I listened to the audio book for this book and her debut novel. I remember not really liking Where'd you go, Bernadette? and was hesitant to read this. I loved the narrator for this book and I enjoyed the story line. This book doesn't have great reviews but I am in the minority that liked it. I though Eleanor was relate-able as a wife and mother just trying to make it through every day. I thought it was entertaining. The end was weird, I'll give you that.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An engaging story. My only fault with it is the author's disregard for grammar. ~*~LEB~*~
Delphimo More than 1 year ago
Finally---a woman who thinks and acts like me. Eleanor, a highly intelligent and creative woman, has been reduced to a life as a mother amid all the trivial happenings of each day. Eleanor spends her days taking classes and interacting with her son, Timby, and her dog, Yoyo. Then chaos strikes and the whole day goes haywire. As Eleanor struggles through this one day, she reminisces on her family, her jobs, and her unfinished graphic novel. Maria Semple paints a truthful look at a woman balancing work, family, and home, but whose dreams exceed her grasp. As an animal lover, the forgetfulness of Yoyo leaves me speechless. But as Eleanor fights her dragons while lugging Timby, Joe, her husband, plunges into a foray alone. One of these adults needs to circle the ground and land into normalcy. The writing elicits many emotions, but the skipping to Eleanor’s musing becomes a little vague, at times.
jojosmodernlife More than 1 year ago
Eleanor Flood is a distracted mother who moved from the bustling New York City to Seattle with her husband, Joe, ten years ago and is itching for a change. Her son, Timby, named after an autocorrect mistake, has a recurring stomachache that interrupts the poetry lesson that she has weekly. One day she takes him to the doctor for it and this is the day that a majority of the book is centered around. This is the day of misunderstandings, random adventures with former employees, and a day of reckoning her pain from the fall out with her sister, Ivy. This is my second book that I have read by Maria Semple and I will be looking for her other books to read as well. I was very happy to read that she was (is? Season 5 announced!) a writer for Arrested Development, one of my all-time favorite tv shows. Much like the characters in that show, the main character in this book, Eleanor Flood, was self-centered, aloof, sometimes deep, and yet hilarious. This is also like the main character in Where'd You Go, Bernadette? Where she is not the stereotypically warm and overly coddling mother, quite the opposite. An example of this is when she leaves her son, Timby, with a stranger just so she can run off to solve a misunderstanding. Another example is when she leaves her dog, Yo-Yo, in a Costco parking lot for hours. I can see where some readers may not enjoy this consistency of personality, however, I appreciate it. I also liked the unique career that she has of an animator of The Flood Girls, as well as how that comes into play with her relationship with her sister, Ivy. Lastly, I enjoyed the unexpected turn that the book went in towards the resolution. I actually listened to this on AudioCD, read by Kathleen Wilhoite, who was simply fantastic. She gave distinctive voices to each character and at one point even sang beautifully. I do hope to be able to listen to more audiobooks narrated by her as she made them more interesting and unique. I did not give the full 5 stars because the storyline was choppy. Some scenes ended abruptly and unapologetically that it was just assumed that the reader could figure out the rest on their own. I would not recommend this book for readers who do not enjoy foul language, atheism, family drama, or marital distress. However, I would recommend this book for fans of Arrested Development and her other book Where'd You Go, Bernadette? I would also recommend this book for those who love Seattle as there is a lot of mention of it as well as it is where the book is set.
SheilaDeeth More than 1 year ago
“As everybody knows, being raised Catholic with half a brain means becoming an atheist,” says protagonist Eleanor Flood in Maria Semple’s Today Will Be Different. Eleanor’s the sort of person everyone knows, but no one wants to know well. She’s sarcastic, moderately angry, frustrated, definitely funny—a very East Coast character marooned in the peaceful West. She loves poetry, which is seriously intriguing—occasional “notes” in the book include poetic analysis, inspiring inspired readers to see themselves, Eleanor and poetry in a clearer light. Most books, of course, don’t include analysis of poetry, childhood art (in color, in a book within the book), and the untold story of imaginary siblings’ adventures turned into a board game. So This Book Will Be Different, as well as the titular Today. But the book is told in thoroughly convincing voices, mothers brains really do “turn to mush … when you’re pregnant,” and there’s plenty to relate to in this novel, plus two intriguing mysteries (because we never really know anyone), a child, a dog, temptation, and even a hint of faith—appropriate after that strident defense of its lack. Today Will Be Different is intriguingly experimental. Its denouement verges on too coincidental without quite getting there. And its characters are convincingly, sometimes achingly human. It’s the sort of book a reader will most likely hate or love. Disclosure: I picked it up off a gift table and loved it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Xkoqueen More than 1 year ago
Today Will Be Different has just the right balance of sarcasm, denial and self-awareness. Maria Semple’s second novel is again set in Seattle, Washington. The main characters of both novels have the same tone, but there are no other similarities. The characters in Today Will Be Different are complex but not wholly likable. They are intriguing vessels to relay good messages. Eleanor is blind to her own faults but quick to point out other’s weaknesses. Her much maligned husband and family are present only in her flashbacks and musings, so readers get a biased view of them until the zenith of the story. Eleanor’s eventual epiphany reveals some hard truths that made me think of my own middle-aged hard truths. Ms. Semple creates compassion for her characters by making them flawed in seemingly universal aspects. The book and Eleanor’s day begins with her chanting a mantra about how her day will be different. As she proceeds with the mantra, my anticipation that she would fail miserably grew. I loved the mantra and its call for positive change. That mantra creates so many possibilities in the story set up, and it gives great insight into the main character and narrator. Eleanor’s day does turn out to be incredibly different, and it leads to great introspection as well as some zany chases and bizarre scenes. "Everything I'd set out to achieve in this lifetime, I'd done, with grace to spare. Except loving well the people I loved most" Ms. Semple depicts marriage, family, and mid-life crises with witty humor and tenderness. Today Will Be Different is an entertaining and altogether relatable story. Whom amongst us is able to say our life turned out perfect and exactly as planned and that we are the faultless paragons of virtue we believe ourselves to be? The heavy hitting messages about family, marriage and turning a new leaf are balanced by the snarky humor and peculiar coincidences. Interesting story layout, quirky yet relatable characters, and an unexpected twist make Today Will Be Different a highly enjoyable and humorous book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ThoughtsFromaPage More than 1 year ago
Today Will Be Different is an interesting read. Semple’s last book, Where’d You Go, Bernadette, was laugh-out-loud funny and very entertaining. I was hoping that Today Will Be Different would be the same. While it is entertaining, laugh-out-loud funny it is not. There are certainly some funny parts, such as her child being named Timby because her iPhone corrected Timothy to Timby and it stuck (my iPhone is constantly correcting things I meant to type to random, bizarre words that make no sense so I could certainly relate to that). I also love the concussion app that Timby found when he was worried his mother Eleanor had a concussion – every five minutes it randomly asks a new question meant to check a person’s alertness. These questions were interjected at odd and usually comical times. I found the book fairly sad and wished that some of Eleanor’s issues had been resolved more, particularly one she has with a family member. I was glad I read today Will Be Different, but Where’d You Go, Bernadette remains my favorite by far.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved as much if not more than Bernadette. Deeper for sure.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the wit and insecurities of the main character. Great pkot twists. A truly enjoyable read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really hard to even start the book. Writing seems disoriented.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Could not follow this book the author is all over the place?? Sorry i waited for this book to come out
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got bored with this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After waiting months for this book what a let down. First book was so good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the worst books ive read in a long time