Can't Help Myself: Lessons & Confessions from a Modern Advice Columnist (Hardcover)
Shortly after her boyfriend breaks up with her, Meredith Goldstein becomes the author of a local advice column in the Boston Globe called "Love Letters." Although advice columnists (including Meredith) are not practicing mental health professionals, the feedback they give might be helpful, but the real mission was to entertain and engage. For being a “novice” in life, Meredith surprisingly shares pertinent wisdom. This book reminds me of Cheryl Strayed’s book Tiny Beautiful Things, but Can’t Help Myself merges Meredith’s real life with “Love Letters,” sort of like a story within a story. This gives a personal touch to the advice column story.
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A disarmingly honest memoir about giving advice when you're not sure what you're doing yourself, by the woman behind The Boston Globe's Love Letters column.
Every day, Boston Globe advice columnist Meredith Goldstein takes on the relationship problems of thousands of dedicated readers. They look to her for wisdom on all matters of the heart- how to cope with dating fatigue and infidelity, work romances, tired marriages, true love, and true loss. In her column, she has it all figured out, but in her real life she is a lot less certain.
Whether it's her own reservations about the traditional path of marriage and family, her difficulty finding someone she truly connects with, or the evolution of her friendships as her friends start to have their own families, Meredith finds herself looking for insight, just like her readers. As she searches for responses to their concerns, she's surprised to discover answers to her own. But it's after her mother is diagnosed with cancer that she truly realizes how special her Love Letters community is, how this column has enriched her life as much, if not more than, it has for its readers.
Can't Help Myself is the extraordinary (and often hilarious) story of a single woman navigating her mercurial love life, and a moving and poignant portrait of an amazing community of big-hearted, love-seeking allies.
About the Author
Meredith Goldstein is an advice columnist and entertainment reporter for the Boston Globe. In 2009, she began writing Love Letters, which inspired her memoir/essay collection, Can't Help Myself. Meredith was raised in Maryland, and lives in Boston with a David Bowie doll and a full-size cotton candy machine.
"The book's strength is the way Goldstein shows the blurring of personal and professional boundaries from the unique perspective of an advice columnist....her story of coping with her mother's illness is moving and tenderly wrought."—Publishers Weekly
"A witty, entertaining memoir [that offers] guidance on the precarious integration of life and love."—Kirkus Reviews
"CAN'T HELP MYSELF is everything we need right now. Meredith is hilarious, smart, and-as you will learn-gives excellent advice without judgment. By the time I got to page two, I was already asking myself, 'how are we not friends?' Every page is a combination of relatable, funny, cringeworthy, and helpful. This book is evidence that none of us is alone, ever."—Alyssa Mastromonaco, New York Times Bestselling author of Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?
"Meredith Goldstein's warm, witty memoir about tending to an ailing mother and fraught love life while giving sage advice to strangers, offers a new perspective on the eternally confounding questions of love, sex, and friendship."—-Ada Calhoun, author of Wedding Toasts I'll Never Give
"To say this book made me laugh and cry doesn't do justice to how many times it made me snort and deeply moved me. In this hilarious and heartwarming quest for answers, Meredith Goldstein is as wise as she is fallible, as compassionate as she is prescriptive, and a true maven of the heart."—Faith Salie, author of Approval Junkie
"Witty and engaging..."—BookTrib
"Funny...moving, and deeply relatable."—eHarmony
"A touching portrait of a single woman navigating the difficulties of life and love for both herself and thousands of others."—Spirituality & Health Magazine
"By the book's end, we are rooting for her to help herself, and applauding all the help she has given to dozens of others."—Lilith Magazine