Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog: The Amazing Adventures of an Ordinary Woman

Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog: The Amazing Adventures of an Ordinary Woman

by Lisa Scottoline

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This one's for you, extraordinary ordinary women everywhere! It's time for seriously hilarious girl-talk with New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline. She's shared this collection of scenes from her real life, and she bets her life sounds a lot like yours . . . if you crave carbs, can't find jeans that fit, and still believe that these two things are unrelated. Pick up this book—you'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll swear off pantyhose. Here are some examples of Lisa's wit and wisdom:

"Everybody has their pornography, and mine is the real estate ads."

"We'll get universal health care before we get beauty salons open on Mondays, and that's backwards. Ask any woman if she'd rather have a haircut or a mammogram, and you'll see what I mean."

"Mothers are a natural force, and maybe an alternative source of fuel."

"Lately there's been talk about a religion that allows polygamy, so that a man can have as many wives as he pleases. Where is the religion that allows a woman to have as many husbands as she pleases?"

"I have never been in an accident, if you don't count my two marriages."

"My mother taught us that if you eat baked beans from a can that has dents, you'll die of botulism. This was before people injected botulism into their faces. Nowadays, the dented can will kill you, but you'll look young."

Inspired by her wildly popular column in The Philadelphia Inquirer entitled "Chick Wit," Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog is a book you'll have to put down—just to stop laughing.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312649432
Publisher: St. Martin''s Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/12/2010
Series: Amazing Adventures of an Ordinary Woman Series , #1
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 118,595
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Lisa Scottoline is the New York Times bestselling author of novels including Look Again, Lady Killer, Think Twice, Save Me and Everywhere That Mary Went. She also writes a weekly column, "Chick Wit," with her daughter Francesca Serritella, for The Philadelphia Inquirer. The columns have been collected in My Nest Isn't Empty, It Just Has More Closet Space. She has won an Edgar® Award and Cosmopolitan magazine's "Fun Fearless Fiction" Award, and she is the president of Mystery Writers of America. She teaches a course on justice and fiction at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, her alma mater. She lives in the Philadelphia area.


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Date of Birth:

July 1, 1955

Place of Birth:

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


B.A., University of Pennsylvania, 1976; J.D., University of Pennsylvania Law School, 1981

Read an Excerpt


Of Dogs and Men

I'm old enough to remember Ozzie and Harriet, which means that my idea of the nuclear family was born in the 1950s and never quite grew up. By that I mean, a family has a Mommy, a Daddy, and two kids. And a dog.

Run, Spot, run!

We all know that the nuclear family has changed, but what's interesting to me is that nobody has just one dog anymore.

I'm not sure when it started, but all of the people who used to have a family dog now have family dogs. I myself have a full herd—three golden retrievers and one Pembroke Welsh corgi, who rules us all. Multiple dogs used to be thought of as crazy. Fifteen years ago, when I used to walk two dogs in the city, people asked me if both dogs were mine. Now I walk four and nobody raises an eyebrow.

This is true on TV as well. More and more, we see two dogs chowing down in Iams commercials, side-by-side. The Dog Whisperer, Cesar Milan, spends many of his episodes trying to get all of us crazies with multiple dogs to live happily together.

So when exactly did people start acquiring multiple dogs?

And why?

Before you answer, consider another phenomenon, which I'm sense is related. What caused the nuclear family to blow up was that people started getting divorced like crazy. All of a sudden, the divorces began to pile up. I don't mean across-the-country, I mean in one person. People I met had acquired second and third divorces almost as easily as they had acquired second and third dogs. At some point, the third divorce became the new second divorce. No one even bothered to count their first divorce. People didn't tell their third set of kids about it. It happened so long ago, you could easily forget.

Nowadays, even normal people are on their second divorce. People like me, for example. I have two ex-husbands, Thing One and Thing Two. To be honest, I used to be embarrassed about being divorced twice. When people asked me if I was married, I would simply answer, "No, I'm divorced." Okay, technically it was the truth, but lawyers would call it a material omission. Sooner or later, my pathetic personal history would spill out, and I'd be busted.

But recently, I was speaking at a library in California, and I met a lot of very nice women my age. And when I mumbled something about being divorced twice, one of them said, "Don't worry about it, honey, I'm divorced four times." And somebody else chirped up, "I'm on my third." And another chimed in, "I'm on my fifth!"

Boy, did that make me feel great! Er, I mean, it made me feel terribly concerned for the future of our nation and the American family.

And the funny thing is, many of these women had multiple dogs. Everyone I spoke with who had more than one dog also had more than one divorce. Some women had more divorces than dogs, others had more dogs than divorces. It makes you wonder which came first—the dog or the divorce?

Is the new dog acquired as a result of the new divorce? In other words, do we trade our husband in for a dog?

Or does getting yet another Yorkie lead to your fourth divorce?

Are we replacing stable human families with stable dog families?

You may think I'm comparing two unrelated things, but this really isn't so crazy when you consider that many women, myself included, sleep with their dogs on the bed. In fact, in my own case, three of my dogs sleep on what used to be my ex's side of the bed. Plus, dogs do a lot of the things husbands do; snore, toss and turn, and fart. And I think my corgi has restless leg syndrome.

I believe these things are related. From my side of the bed, I'm smelling a connection.

The only thing that's missing is the prenup.

WHY MY THIRD HUSBAND WILL BE A DOG. Copyright 2009 by Lisa Scottoline.

Reading Group Guide

Ideas for Book Groups

I am a huge fan of book clubs because it means people are reading and discussing books. Mix that with wine and carbs, and you can't keep me away. I'm deeply grateful to all who read me, and especially honored when my book is chosen by a book club. I wanted an opportunity to say thank you to those who read me, which gave me the idea of a contest. Every year I hold a book club contest and the winning book club gets a visit from me and a night of fabulous food and good wine. To enter is easy: All you have to do is take a picture of your entire book club with each member holding a copy of my newest hardcover and send it to me by mail or email. No book club is too small or too big. Don't belong to a book club? Start one. Just grab a loved one, a neighbor or friend, and send in your picture of you each holding my newest book. I look forward to coming to your town and wining and dining your group. For more details, just go to www.scottoline.com.

Tour time is my favorite time of year because I get to break out my fancy clothes and meet with interesting and fun readers around the country. The rest of the year I am a homebody, writing every day, but thrilled to be able to connect with readers through email. I read all my email, and answer as much as I can. So, drop me a line about books, families, pets, love, or whatever is on your mind at lisa@scottoline.com. For my latest book and tour information, special promotions, and updates you can sign up at www.scottoline.com for my newsletter.


Reading Group Questions

1.) Lisa dedicates the book to ordinary extraordinary women everywhere. She wanted to celebrate average women—such as herself, her mother, her daughter, and her girlfriends—and the strength they muster to face the challenges of life. In what ways can you relate to Lisa and her adventures? Who in Lisa's book can you most closely identify with? Do you have a Mother Mary in your life?

2.) Lisa grew up reading Erma Bombeck in the newspaper and loved her books, and many readers have remarked that these columns remind them of Erma's, but with a modern twist. Do you agree or disagree? Why? And why aren't there more memoirs about the domestic lives of moms and families?

3.) Lisa has some very close girlfriends, who she would do anything for and who would do anything for her. Who are your closest friends and how did you meet? How are you similar to your friends, and how are you different? Do you think a friendship is a true friendship if you have to work at it? Why or why not?

4.) Some women swear by Spanx, but Lisa hates them. How do you feel about Spanx? What statement do you think they make about women today and what about the pressure for women to look ageless?

5.) Lisa thinks that parenthood is a series of letting-go points with our children, whether it's to kindergarten or to college. She admits she has trouble letting go of Daughter Francesca. For those of you who have gone through this transition with your child, what do you think was the hardest part? How did you deal with it? What are your thoughts about Lisa's theory that parents do not own a child, but rather children own themselves, and are merely gifted to parents for a time?

6.) Lisa has a house full of animals, and she wouldn't want it any other way. Do you have a special animal in your life? What do you think about the connection Lisa makes between divorces and acquiring animals?

7.) Which of Lisa's stories could you relate to the most? Which was your favorite and why? Which one made you laugh out loud? Which one made you cry? Which one would you most likely share with a friend?

8.) How is Daughter Francesca's relationship different with Mother Mary than Lisa's? What similarities do you see between Lisa and Daughter Francesca's relationship and Lisa and Mother Mary's? How are they different? Are either of these relationships similar to one in your own life?

9.) Lisa and Francesca find everyday moments extraordinary. What are some of your favorite ordinary, extraordinary moments?

10.) A great stage actor once said that "dying is easy, comedy is hard." Agree? Do you think it's harder to write humor than straight prose? Why aren't more memoirs written with humor? Do you think that humor makes a memoir seems less worthy, or "lightweight"? What is the relationship between mirth and pathos?

Customer Reviews

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Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 141 reviews.
Dr_Arrival More than 1 year ago
I was laughing out loud throughout this book. I love Lisa's down to earth attitude towards the human spirit and experience. Highly recommend to anyone who wants a funny, introspective and enjoyable read.
booksonmynook More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this novel. Great characters, great plot. can only recommend
AngieMarie More than 1 year ago
As a longtime fan of Lisa Scottoline's legal thrillers, I was attracted to this book because I thought it would be articulate & clever & give me insight into this talented writer's personality. I did NOT expect it to give me multiple laugh-out-louds on every page! By the time I had finished the first essay, I had concluded that Christmas shopping for all my women friends had just become very easy. By essay number two I realized I had to share the title with Cindy, Diane, Sharon, Norma, my lunch group, and all my other women friends who were not on the Christmas list. I'll send them a link; they can buy their own book! Heck, by essay number 3, I decided to treat my husband to a readaloud session of Lisa's trip to the emergency room without a bra. It isn't fair not to the share the fun with the men we love! Why are these so good? These are essays about a WOMAN, which the author emphasizes, but they succeed so well because they are at bottom about a HUMAN. The feelings and experiences that Scottoline describes are universal, and I believe they will resonate with people of any age, gender, sexual preference, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status. Everybody needs a laugh. Everybody needs a sense of our common humanity. This book delivers both.
SHP More than 1 year ago
This book is Lisa! It is her true personality which is giving and sincere. She shares her life with her readers. You meet her daughter, Francesca and her mom, Mother Mary. The three generations of women interact wonderfully and we get to go along for the ride. This book is full of laughs and full of inspiration. There are stories about her dogs, pony, and of course, the chickens! If you want a book to lift your spirits, this is the one for you. Enjoy!
terrierfamily More than 1 year ago
Lisa Scattoline is hilarious, and definitely hits many of the same frustrations, situations, successes, and more of being a single mother, ex wife (two times over), daughter of a sometimes difficult mother, home owner, pet lover, fashion reporter, and more! This book made me laugh with each new chapter! Easy and enjoyable reading, I laughed and laughed from the cover to end end of the book. Lisa's observations and recording of her life experiences are so genuine and hilarious that I felt like we could be best friends after I finished the book! I hope to give it to many of my friends for them to enjoy, too!!! I am smiling as I write this remembering many of her terrific chapters. And by the way, Lisa, I am wearing my "boyfriend" jeans which also fit me the best!!!!!!!
msd More than 1 year ago
I have always been a fan of Lisa Scottoline's writing. I have read a few of her columns and this book is a complilation of those columns, I believe. The chapters are short and very funny. There are some touching chapters but for the most part you will laugh all the way through this book. It is real life with a Scottoline spin. I received it as a gift and gave another as a gift. Mine is making the rounds through my office - I hope to get it back sometime!
Andrea1905 More than 1 year ago
I have never laughed out loud so much with a book. This is any easy read that will keep your spirits high. I shared many of the stories with friends and family because they were too funny to keep to myself. I love how she turns her life turmoils into humor!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book made me laugh and get a tear in my eye too. if you need to be entertained this is the book for you. A book of short stories about real life with humor mixed in. I really enjoyed it.
codyNJ More than 1 year ago
Lisa Scottoline's newest effort is another great, but very different addition to her previous hits as she departs from her usual fiction style and brings us many slices of real life. The book is a compilation of her Sunday Philadelphia Inquirer columns where she shares her deepest and darkest secrets about all kinds of topics, most of which are laugh out loud funny. We get the skinny on her aversion to Spanx, being caught braless in the ER, dealing with home repair ordeals, and handling the trials and tribulations of a single working woman in the today's world. What also makes this book such a great read is that we see into the real lives of "Mother Mary," (a recurring character in her books who happens to be her actual Mom) and Francesca, her beautiful daughter who also has a bright future in the writing business. Her adventures are comical, insightful and delightful for anyone who has felt the same hits and misses in life. Add this to your "have to read" list now!
sweetpeaSP More than 1 year ago
GREAT LINES!! This is hilarious!! This book is the perfect medicine to read on a dreary day or when you are a bit down on life or a relationship. A terrific pick-me-up! Scottoline writes about her close relationships with her mother and brother, her daughter, her ex-husbands, her dogs, and just about everyone she knows!! She writes of funny emergency room trips, empty nest syndrome, her daughter's graduation, her move to New York, quotes directly from her daughter, special mother/daughter love, hot flashes. It is such a fun read! It's loaded with funny quotes from her mother that we all can relate to, life lessons and pearls of wisdom you learn having lived so long. What a wonderful time I had reading and laughing! I loved it!
ALinnea More than 1 year ago
By reading Lisa's book, she has inspired me along with Stephen King to try writing. The easy of her writing is amazing.
SuzyQTX More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this! It is not just about exhusbands but about life. I left this book feeling good, happy and laughing!
KimDB More than 1 year ago
This book was hilarious. I could identify with the Author and even when I couldn't I found this book entertaining and fun. I couldn't put this book down! I recommend it for a light hearted read, that will make you smile.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book from the minute I picked it up. A very fast read that had me LOL! Feel like I know the author very well now and she would be a fun friend to have!Have reccomended the book to all my friends who are all currently enjoying it.
Mystery_Rdr More than 1 year ago
Lisa Scottoline, better known for her legal thrillers about a female law firm in Philadelphia, PA has collected the best of her Philadelphia Inquirer (newspaper) columns into a book entitled Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog. For those of us who are dog owners and lovers, the title provides a clue to the content (short, funny, and full of dogs). In short 3 page chapters, she runs the gamut of discussion from Thing One and Thing Two (ex-husbands), to Mother Mary (her mother), her daughter Francesca (who wrote several of the chapter/columns), and her numerous (4) dogs, cats (2) and chickens. She can be hysterically funny (the disaster of no bra-wearing), thought provoking (daughter's college graduation or her concern for mother, who lives in Florida), and touching (when she discusses the death of her beloved Golden, Lucy). The reader doesn't have to live in Philadelphia to appreciate this funny, funny book as she alludes to her suburban home, but she never really talks about Philadelphia. The book is easy to put down and pick up as there's no real time line (though it's obvious this runs through a year)or plot. Recommended to anyone who remembers the funny and outrageous Erma Bombeck. Scottoline may be my generation's Erma. By the way, I've heard Lisa Scottoline speak and she's as funny in the book as she is in person!
WhippetLover More than 1 year ago
Cute compilation of her Chick Wit stories.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I laughed and cried through Lisa's short stories - an enjoyable read that any woman who has a mother, is a mother, or has supported herself can relate to.
ldcrph More than 1 year ago
I have been reading Lisa Scottoline's books for years and have loved them...this, however, is not typical...and I love it even more.....she is insghtful, honest and hilarious...bring on more!!!
KatKealy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Such a cute title and cover for such a dreadfully boring book. The book is a bunch of essays and I only remember finding one or two even mildly interesting. Don't waste your time. The cover and title are the only redeeming things about the book and you can see them without opening the cover. It's a quick read, but there are many better ways to spend an hour or two.
booboobad on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
absolutely histerical! Lisa should be a stand up comic. I feel like I know and am a part of her family.
theeccentriclady on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My book club chose this book and it was a definite winner! Lisa has a wonderful way of sharing ordinary daily events and making them very humorous. We all had so many pages marked that we wanted to comment on. Loved this book and recommend it to any woman over 40!
whitreidtan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Mostly culled from Scottoline's Chick Wit column in the Philadelphia Inquirer, these brief essays are collected under the subtitle of The Amazing Adventures of an Ordinary Woman. And they are indeed ordinary adventures as most women readers will recognize the situations that Scottoline has written about, having experienced them themselves at some point. She uses her family and her own life as the basis for these very short (they were published in a newspaper after all) life pieces. While they provided some entertainment during the reading, they have been, unfortunately, very forgettable since then. And while I'm certain that I must have chuckled at least once, I cannot for the life of me pin it down and be certain of that. These are probably best for a "woman of a certain age" combined with those sitautions where you want to have a book in hand but must be capable of putting it down at a moment's notice. In other words, this would be perfect while standing in line at the DMV (which, come to think of it, she doesn't write about despite it being a place rife with comedic potential). Obviously not my favorite read of the month but others have found it hysterically funny so perhaps we just don't share the same sense of humor.
LesaHolstine on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lisa Scottoline makes me laugh. And cry. And, say to Jim, "You have to hear this." I don't have a drop of Italian blood, so we're not related, but, after reading her book, Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog, I know we're connected, if only by sisterhood.When Scottoline starting writing a weekly column called "Chick Wit" for The Philadelphia Inquirer, she wrote it for women I know. She wanted to talk to the kind of women she saw in real life, strong, funny, and feisty; women like her mom, her girlfriends, her daughter, and herself. Her book is dedicated to "Extraordinary ordinary women everywhere." And, she knew we would understand. She knew the strength of women, as Eleanor Roosevelt did. The opening quote in the book is from Roosevelt, a favorite quote of Scottoline's. "A woman is like a tea bag. You never know how strong she is until she's in hot water."Most women will find themselves somewhere in these pages. Scottoline can laugh at herself and her family, and she does it with so much love, that we're willing to laugh at ourselves with her. I discovered that we love the same movie candy in her essay, "Movie Time." And, since my father died a number of years ago, I cried over her column, "I Miss My Father." (I do, too.) Since, I have two kittens, I appreciated her story about her little terror. Any animal lover will appreciate her stories about her dogs. And, I had to laugh when she talked about going for her author photo, saying, "The best fiction in my books is my author photo." If you've only known Lisa Scottoline from her novels, now you can learn about her life, her family, and her pets. Scottoline is eccentric, passionate about her daughter, concerned about aging and that little extra weight. She's had her rough years, and celebrates her love for her mother and brother. She's proud of her daughter, Francesca, and allows her to share her voice in the book. In other words, Lisa Scottoline is such an excellent columnist that her words hit home where it counts, in the heart. If you want thoughts that are sometimes funny, and always warm, check out Lisa Scottoline's collection of columns, Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog: The Amazing Adventures of an Ordinary Woman.
karieh on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
You know what¿s rare on a flight bound OUT of Las Vegas? Laughter. But my return flight from Sin City had me apologizing to my seat mate as my only partially stifled laughter kept shaking the seat.Lisa Scottoline¿s book of essays, ¿Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog¿ was a great book to make the return home go quickly. When I was little, I remember reading Erma Bombeck¿s ¿If Life is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits?¿ and this book has a very similar type humor. Both women take a sometimes exasperated, usually sarcastic view of the ups and downs of living in the modern world, but there is always an underlying love and appreciation for the people in their lives. They may be frustrated at times with the people that make them crazy, but they love them fiercely. And, to even things out, much of the humor is self-deprecating, which is one of my favorite kinds.I won¿t try and include all of the good lines, but here are a few that give the sense of the book.When she is talking about some of the life lessons she gleaned from her mother, ¿If you load the knives into the dishwasher pointy tip up, you¿ll fall on them and impale yourself. Also you¿ll go blind from reading without enough light. Reading in general ruins your eyes. If you eat baked beans from a can that has dents, you¿¿ die of botulism. This was before people injected botulism into their faces. Nowadays, the dented can will kill you, but you¿ll look young.¿And, ¿Anyway, my head was full of these thoughts the other afternoon, as I was hurrying in a downpour through the streets of New York City, there to take my author photo. I know that sounds glamorous and it would be if I were ten pounds lighter and ten years younger, but take it from me, the best fiction in my books is the author photo.¿And, ¿On the road, I pass lots of other carbodies, all of us doing the same thing. Moms in packed minivans, sales reps with full closets in the back seat, lawyers writing on pads on the dashboard. They talk on the phone or text like crazy. Once I saw someone smoking a cigarette, opening a pack of Trident, and driving at 70mph. It was like watching someone juggle an axe, a gun, and a bazooka.¿She also has a few pearls of wisdom that speak right to the heart. ¿You have to be crazy to stop eating bacon. Bacon is the meth of meats.¿Scottoline also speaks to what is being lost in today¿s world ¿ memories that her generation have but that won¿t be part of this new ¿Everyone has the same `must have¿ things¿ world.¿I remember perfectly our family suitcase, which we used growing up. I¿m going out on a limb here, but I¿d bet money that you can remember the suitcase your family had when you were little. Our family suitcase was a rigid rectangle covered with royal blue vinyl, and it had white plastic piping. Inside it were all manner of fake silk pouches with generous elastic gathering. It was so heavy only my father could carry it. And we all four used it, so either we didn¿t have much stuff or it was the size of Vermont. The suitcase fascinated me, and I always imagined that someday it would be plastered with stickers in the shape of pennants, each with the name of an exotic city¿Now nobody will grow up fascinated with their family suitcase, because everybody will remember the exact same one. A soft black box like the one I bought at Brookstone. No decals. No tangy whiff of faraway places.¿Though I think I laughed more at the beginning of the book, before settling into the rhythm of the words and her style of humor, I very much enjoyed Lisa Scottoline¿s take on her life¿one very similar to mine.And? My laughter on that plane leaving Vegas put me in a far better mood than most of the other passengers.
pharrm on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very funny and relates well to everyday life. Lisa's column is always funny and it hits home