what you don't understand book coverReviewed by Neriza Billi

A book that contains a collection of short stories has always been a good distraction for me. I have always found it easier to put aside and come back to compared to a regular novel.

What You Don’t Understand is precisely one of these books. It contains a compilation of Lance Manion’s reflections, childhood memories, odd observations and sometimes peculiar people from his past. Some of them are remembered fondly, some are analyzed in hindsight, but always with a bit of wit. He has touched on pop culture, reality TV and famous people who he thinks should not be given a minute of our attention (and I wholeheartedly agree on that one).

Reading the book made me feel like I was in a standup club, surrounded by people with mixed reactions on the author’s material. The ones who are not sure how to react are likely not used to swear words and parts of the anatomy spoken about nonchalantly, and the ones that are enjoying it are just relieved that someone is voicing out what they think.

As you can deduce, I, for one, am on the fence. I do not mind the tone of the book. It is as testosterone-filled as Caitlin Moran’s books are crammed with estrogen. But I personally do not think that his perspective is that unique. I have read other books that made me ask ‘Where did that come from?’ and it was not from Stieg Larsson either (this is like an inside joke in the book).

If you like Tina Fey’s Bossy Pants or Billy Crystal’s Still Foolin’ ‘Em,  you can give this book a try and you will surely appreciate some portions of it. For readers that enjoy Mindy Kaling’s style, What You Don’t Understand will certainly not make you happy. Or maybe it will and it is just me who did not fully understand it…

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Neriza Billi works a regular 9-to-5 job in Stockholm where she resides with her husband. In addition to reading, she enjoys travelling and curling up with a glass of good wine.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Lance Manion. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.