Lisa Scottoline, her daughter show the lighter side of life in their humor books
After hearing New York Times best-selling author Lisa Scottoline speak at the James V. Brown Library’s annual fundraising Author Gala, I just had to read her humor books. She’s funny, she’s real and she’s not afraid to tell it like it is.
Scottoline and her daughter, Francesca Serritella, are the authors of “Chick Wit,” a weekly humor column in the Philadelphia Inquirer. The column has been published into four collections of essays, “Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog,” “My Nest Isn’t Empty, It Just Has More Closet Space: The Amazing Adventures of An Ordinary Woman,” “Best Friends, Occasional Enemies: The Lighter Side of Life as a Mother and Daughter” and “Meet Me at Emotional Baggage Claim.”
I recently read “My Nest Isn’t Empty” and “Best Friends, Occasional Enemies” in a weekend. Because the books are collections of 700-word essays, the books are very easy to breeze through. I have been told by several co-workers that they are even funnier if you listen to the audiobooks, which are read by Scottoline and Serritella.
The two authors share stories about each other, life and Scottoline’s mother, dubbed Mother Mary, who really deserves her own television show.
As Scottoline wrote, “Most people have a list of Things to Do, but Mother Mary has a list of Things Not to Do. At the top is Don’t Go to the Movies. Other entries include Don’t Eat Outside with the bugs and Don’t Walk All Over This Cockamamie Mall.
There are times when Serritella acts like the parent and I enjoyed the essay where she told her mother how to dress for blind date that ended horribly but not because of the outfit.
When Serritella moved from the safety and security of her mother’s home in the Philadelphia suburbs to Scary Big City New York City, her mother worried. About everything. As Serritella writes, “I thought I said, ‘I am going to see my cousin’s new apartment.’ but in Mom-speak that translates to: ‘I am going to meet certain death in the New York City subway tunnels that are soon to be my tomb.’ “
There’s the funny story of the power outage that caused a power struggle and several arguments, the green blazer that nearly started a war and lots of animal tales because both mother and daughter love their pets. But there also are moments that remind me that these are real women who do care about what people think.
While waiting in an airport, Scottoline spies on a man who picks up one of her books, skims it and then doesn’t buy it. She buys the book, signs it and approaches him and asks for feedback. Several days later, she gets a complimentary email from him.
Reading Scottoline’s essays makes me believe that I’m an ordinary woman who could have such an adventure. And she wouldn’t have it any other way.