Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Review: I'm Not the Biggest Bitch in This Relationship

Summary: An anthology of bark-out-loud original essays about dogs from some of today's most popular writers. 

Critically acclaimed memoirist Wade Rouse has gathered some of America's best known humorists- authors, comedians, and actors-to offer biting commentary on what it means to share a life, and a heart, with a dog. From battling for bed space to trying to transform a pampered NYC pup into a Texas rawhide, and from helping a shelter rescue navigate through her new life to interpreting dog run dynamics (and politics), being a canine companion has challenges as tough as any agility course, but laughter is just a tail-wag away. This collection features uncanny insight and witty prose from...
• Jen Lancaster
• Rita Mae Brown
• Laurie Notaro
• Jane Green
• Beth Harbison
• W. Bruce Cameron
• and many others, including a Foreword by Chelsea Handler's dog, Chunk -- New American Library

Late last year, I reviewed AT LEAST IN THE CITY SOMEONE WOULD HEAR ME SCREAM: MISADVENTURES IN SEARCH OF THE SIMPLE LIFE by Wade Rouse. I laughed a lot and found myself to be highly entertained by Mr. Rouse's humor. So when I heard that he had edited a new anthology of essays by and about dog lovers titled I'M NOT THE BIGGEST BITCH IN THIS RELATIONSHIP: HILARIOUS, HEARTWARMING TALES ABOUT MAN'S BEST FRIEND FROM AMERICA'S FAVORITE HUMORISTS, I thought it might be worth a read.
I almost hate to admit this for fear of turning away some pet lovers, but I have to admit that I'm not a huge animal fan. I grew up with two dogs that I loved dearly and my husband and I even had a cat for a long time; however, we are now an animal-free household. I usually blame that on my son's allergies when asked why we don't do animals, but I'm pretty sure that I couldn't handle taking care of two kids and a pet... especially a pet that sheds. It's not that I have anything against animals (I actually like some dogs a lot.) I'm just saying that I don't feel like we're missing out by not having a dog as part of our family.

So, you might be wondering if I'm the best person to read and review I'M NOT THE BIGGEST BITCH IN THIS RELATIONSHIP -- a funny, and at the same time touching, collection of dog stories. I'd argue that I am. Because if I enjoyed this book, then dog lovers are going to love it. And guest what? I did like this book a great deal and I thought it was very, very funny. In fact, there were times when I almost thought our family was missing out by not having a four legged member of our family. (How's that for a ringing endorsement?)

I’M NOT THE BIGGEST BITCH IN THIS RELATIONSHIP features essays by some of very funny writers and comics, including Chelsea Handler, Jen Lancaster, Laurie Notaro, Sarah Pekkanen, Jane Green, Stephanie Klein, Allie Larkin, Alec Mapa, Jenny Gardiner, Rita Mae Brown, Jill Conner Browne and many more. Based on that list, you know you're in for a treat. There were quite a few authors that I adore like Sarah Pekkanen, Jenny Gardiner, and Jane Green; and I was very anxious to read their essays because I've read all of their books. But there were also a few new-to-me authors whose stories I enjoyed too.

One of my favorite things about this anthology was the forward which was written by Chelsea Handler's dog, Chuck. It was absolutely hilarious and I do think I could adopt a dog like Chuck. I loved Chuck's voice and his insights into human behavior. In fact, I must have laughed out loud at least ten times just reading the forward. Chuck is one funny puppy and I think his owner is a hoot too!

A final thing about I'M NOT THE BIGGEST BITCH IN THIS RELATIONSHIP is that a portion of the book’s proceeds will benefit The Humane Society of the United States. I love that Mr. Rouse is "giving back" to help those dogs who are definitely less fortunate than the ones mentioned in this book.

If you are a dog lover, then I highly recommend I'M NOT THE BIGGEST BITCH IN THIS RELATIONSHIP. It's a hilarious collection of essays about man's best friend that is guaranteed to touch your heart.

Thanks to the author for sending a copy of this book.


Sandy Nawrot said...

Hey, AS LONG AS THE DOG DOESN'T DIE!!! I have had pets all my life, and I couldn't imagine our life without them. Of course they are nothing but heartbreak wrapped in fur, but we will forgive them of that. I'm going to have to buy this one, if only for the good cause. Lord knows I am the slowest reader on earth.

bermudaonion said...

This might be a tough read for me right now with Milou as old as she is. I'm already reflecting on our 16 years with her quite a bit.

rhapsodyinbooks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rhapsodyinbooks said...

I had to delete the previous post because I said it backwards. Anyway, my point was, I can't deal with dogs dying, but it sounds like that doesn't happen with this book!

Beth Hoffman said...

Wonderful review, Julie! I'm a card-carrying animal lover and you've convinced me to add this book to my shelves.

Serena said...

With the loss of Charlee so recently, I'm not sure I'm ready for this yet, but I could read it next year...once some time has passed.

Alyce said...

I really didn't think that's what this book was going to be about from the title - too funny!

I know what you mean about animals being a lot of work. Our yellow lab sheds so much that we could make a fortune if there was any market for dog hair. We can vacuum multiple times a day and still not keep up - she's just in a constant state of shedding, more than any other dog I've ever seen.

Anonymous said...

I have to pick this one up for my mother-in-law. It sounds like a collection she would love.

Jenny Gardiner said...

hi you! so glad you enjoyed Bitch and thanks for the lovely words! Did you hear that Slim to None hit #1 on the Kindle bestsellers lisit this week? whoo-hoo!!