The Wreckage of my Presence by Casey Wilson Book Review

Book Description

Casey Wilson has a lot on her mind and she isn’t afraid to share. In this dazzling collection of essays, skillfully constructed and brimming with emotion, she shares her thoughts on the joys and vagaries of modern-day womanhood and motherhood, introduces the not-quite-typical family that made her who she is, and persuasively argues that lowbrow pop culture is the perfect lens through which to understand human nature.

Whether she’s extolling the virtues of eating in bed, processing the humiliation over her father’s late in life perm, or exploring her pathological need to be liked, Casey is witty, candid, and full of poignant and funny surprises. Humorous dives into her obsessions and areas of personal expertise—Scientology and self-help, nice guys, reality television shows—are matched by touching meditations on female friendship, grief, motherhood, and identity. 

Reading The Wreckage of My Presence is like spending time with a close friend—a deeply passionate, full-tilt, joyous, excessive, compulsive, shameless, hungry-for-it-all, loyal, cheerleading friend. A friend who is ready for any big feeling that comes her way and isn’t afraid to embrace it.

Review

Thoughts and Themes: I like reading collections of essays especially by people who I am not familiar with as well as on audio. I find these really interesting when I don’t know the person since I don’t have any expectations when I go into the book. This book read a lot like a memoir and I really enjoyed each of the essays and Casey’s thoughts on several of the topics that she addresses.

Some of the essays in this book were filler pieces but those fit in quite well and I still found those easy to get through. As for the other pieces of this book, there were moments in which I was laughing and then there were moments in which I was tearing up. Something else that I like about the collection of essays that this one does well is the way it can easily go from one topic to the next at the end of the essay without requiring a transition.

I really liked how Casey discusses different topics, both serious and simple in the same manner. I liked how she managed to insert humor in all of the essays including ones that you could tell were more painful to write and read.

Author Information

Casey Wilson is an actress, writer, director and podcaster. She can be seen in Apple TV’s upcoming limited series The Shrink Next Door, starring alongside Will Ferrell and Paul Rudd and in season three of Showtime’s Black Monday. She was recently featured in the HBO comedy Mrs. Fletcher, opposite Kathryn Hahn. Casey was a featured player on Saturday Night Live for two seasons and a series regular on the sitcoms Marry Me and the critically acclaimed Happy Endings. Casey’s recent television credits include Atypical, Tig Notaro’s Amazon series One MississippiCurb Your Enthusiasm, and Black-ish. Film credits include Gone GirlThe Disaster ArtistAlways Be My Maybe and Julie and Julia.

Alongside her longtime collaborator, June Diane Raphael, Wilson co-wrote and co-stars in the movie Bride Wars as well as the movie Ass Backwards, which premiered at Sundance.

Together with Danielle Schneider, Casey co-hosts the cult favorite podcast, Bitch Sesh, which was nominated for a Critic’s Choice Award in 2019.

Casey’s directorial debut, Daddio, which she also co-wrote and starred in, premiered at TIFF and South by Southwest in 2019.

Pussypedia by Zoe Mendelson and María Conejo (Illustrator) Book Review

Book Description

Written by the creators of the popular website, this rigorously fact-checked, accessible, and fully illustrated guide is essential for anyone with a pussy.

If the clitoris and penis are the same size on average, why is the word “small” in the definition of clitoris but strangely missing from the definition of penis? Sex probably doesn’t cause yeast infections? But racism probably does cause BV? Why is masturbating so awesome? How hairy are butt cracks . . . generally? Why is labiaplasty on a global astronomical rise? Does egg freezing really work? Should I stick an egg-shaped rock up there or nah?

There is still a shocking lack of accurate, accessible information about pussies and many esteemed medical sources seem to contradict each other. Pussypedia solves that with extensive reviews of peer-reviewed science that address old myths, confusing inconsistencies, and the influence of gender narratives on scientific research––always in simple, joyful language.  

Through over 30 chapters, Pussypedia not only gives the reader information, but teaches them how to read science, how to consider information in its context, and how to accept what we don’t know rather than search for conclusions. It also weaves in personal anecdotes from the authors and their friends––sometimes funny, sometimes sad, often cringe-worthy, and always extremely personal––to do away with shame and encourage curiosity, exploration, and agency.

Review

Thoughts and Themes: When this book first arrived at my doorstep I was a little bit worried about reading it. I decided to put a hold for the audiobook with the library so I could listen to it and follow along with the physical book. I’m really glad that I did this because I think this is a book everyone should read at least once regardless of if you own a Pussy or not.

From the intro of this book I was really pleased with the gender neutral language that they used and how they pointed out understanding that there wasn’t a gender/sex binary. I like how this book addresses Trans and Non-binary people rather than keeping them separate. I thought it was great that they brought up the disparities that Trans people face in the medical world and how they continue to say that there is more information needed regarding this population.

Writing Style: This book is separated into different sections that discuss different aspects of a pussy. In each of these sections there are different art pieces that are included which I think really add a lot to the book. I listened to it on audio and followed along with the physical book so that I could see the images and also see how things were separated within each chapter.

I really liked how the author of the book doesn’t pretend to know everything about each of the topics that are discussed in this book. I liked that the author interviewed other people if it was a topic that she felt someone else would know more than her. I also liked that other books and studies were referenced throughout the book so that facts could be double checked or someone could go to those resources to learn more.

Author Information

Journalist, information designer, content strategist. Her writing has appeared in Fast Company, WIRED, Hyperallergic, Slate, Next City, the LA Times. Her projects have been covered by The New York Times en Espanol, New York Magazine, CityLab, PBS, Univision, and Buzzfeed. Previous projects include official emojis for Mexico City, a data narrative about drones, and a civic-engagement platform for nihilist millennials. Mendelson studied at Barnard College in New York City.