Title: Sometimes I Feel Like a Nut: Essays & Observations
Author: Jill Kargman
Release Date: February 1, 2011
Publisher: William Morrow (Print) / HarperAudio (Audio)
Genre: Non-Fiction, Essays, Memoir, Audiobook
Rating: 4 out of 5
In this series of essays, novelist Jill Kargman reflects on her childhood, life in New York City, motherhood, her first jobs out of college, and more.
Jill Kargman has always been a nerd, or a “nut” as she calls herself in the title of this small book of essays. She is immensely relatable in her quirkiness – her love of the smell of gasoline at a young age, her fear of clowns, and her hatred of exercise fanatics. She’s not afraid of being her own person or of standing apart from the crowd, which is very refreshing. She’s proud of her oddities, and that really comes across in her book.
Sometimes I Feel Like a Nut is very funny. Kargman’s observations are sharp and true, and she doesn’t hold herself back. Anyone who is offended easily should steer clear of this book, if only for the generous amount of profanity Kargman uses in her essays. She’s witty and smart, and it made this book a lot of fun to read.
However, Sometimes I Feel Like a Nut also has a lot of heart, heavily disguised by Kargman’s hilarious observations. Specifically, in an essay about her cancer treatments, Kargman describes how she was throwing a small fit about a procedure she was about to undergo. Then, in walks an eight year old girl, ready to undergo the exact procedure that Kargman was hyperventilating about. In that moment, Kargman realized that her wishes and prayers had come true. Instead of her young, precious children being afflicted with this horrible disease, she had gotten it.
“Of course I always knew there were sick kids, but when faced with my own mortality I spun into self-protection mode and never realized how lucky I was that it was me and not one of my three children. I thought about this cute girl’s mother, sobbing there in the claustro waiting room with tattered issues of National Geographic. I pictured it being me and how I would pray to switch places. So, see, my wish came true.”
I listened to Sometimes I Feel Like a Nut on audio, with Jill Kargman herself as the narrator. She did a good job with her material, though it took me awhile to adjust to her voice. Because she knew her book well, she spoke a little fast at the beginning. However, once I got used to it, it was fine. The production runs 3 hours (hey, it’s a short book!) and is unabridged.
I enjoyed Sometimes I Feel Like a Nut and it made me curious to go back and read Kargman’s previous novels. She is an appealing, funny writer, and I do hope she pens another set of essays, as these were a delight to listen to.