Summary and book reviews of I See You Made an Effort by Annabelle Gurwitch

I See You Made an Effort

Compliments, Indignities, and Survival Stories from the Edge of 50

By Annabelle Gurwitch

I See You Made an Effort
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Hardcover: Mar 2014,
    256 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Suzanne Reeder

Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

Actress and humorist Annabelle Gurwitch returns with I See You Made an Effort, a book of essays so wickedly funny it may make you forget your last birthday. Not one to shy away from the grisly realities of middle age, the "slyly subversive" (O, The Oprah Magazine) Gurwitch confronts the various indignities faced by femmes d'un certain age with candor, wit, and a healthy dose of hilarious self-deprecation. 

Whether falling in lust at the Genius bar, navigating the extensive - and treacherously expensive - anti aging offerings at a department-store beauty counter, coping with the assisted suicide of her best friend, negotiating the ins and outs of acceptable behavior with her teenage kid, or the thudding financial reality of the "never-tirement" generation that leads her to petty theft, Gurwitch's essays prove her a remarkably astute writer in her prime (in so many ways). Is this the beginning of the Eileen Fisher years? Where does one conduct an affair with a younger man? Is 50 the new 40? Or is 50 still just 50?

Scorchingly honest, surreally and riotously funny, I See You Made an Effort is the ultimate coming-of-middle-age story and a must-read for women of all ages. Reading glasses not included.

Excerpt
I See You Made an Effort

My computer was moving sluggishly. A year ago, upon pressing the start button, my machine swiftly jumped to attention. Now the familiar sight of documents dotting the photograph of my thirteen-year-old son was replaced by a black bar inching across a dull gray expanse, like an octogenarian with a walker creeping through an intersection. Then the software failed to load altogether. It was going to take a stroke of genius to get it working again.

The Glendale Galleria Apple Store is staffed by a crew whose average age could be summed up as: if you have to ask, you're too old to want to hear the answer. After checking in, I am told my personal genius will meet me at the Bar.* Homo genius are outfitted uniformly in T-shirts announcing their membership in an elite tech-savvy species. Mine sports a headband, which artfully musses his hair. He is wearing a name tag that reads "AuDum." I ask him how he pronounces it.

*Word on the street is Apple wants to ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse

No matter what your age, if you like your comedy subtle, even on the dry side, these essays may not be for you. But if you're searching for unsparing, often hysterical frankness, I See You Made an Effort just might reflect some of your own experiences or serve as reassurance that what's ahead may not be so bad, as long as you do what Gurwitch's gynecologist told her: Stay funny.   (Reviewed by Suzanne Reeder).

Full Review Members Only (1133 words).

Media Reviews
NPR

A seriously funny collection of essays about teetering over the edge of 50…Gurwitch is squarely in Nora Ephron territory.

New York Times

Annabelle Gurwitch is a funny woman….At the center of the book is a serious question: How are we supposed to age? She convincingly argues that there is no longer a template.

Publishers Weekly

These essays contain a devilish good dose of fun and more than a dash of agita for those approaching and beyond the half-century mark.

Library Journal

Cutting in a funny way.

Reader Reviews
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

A Short Glossary for the 21st Century

Throughout Annabelle Gurwitch's book of essays about life for women on the edge of 50, I See You Made an Effort, she references several terms that are gradually or quickly catching on in contemporary conversation. Here are some examples.

Boomeritis refers to injuries in older athletes, especially Baby Boomers, born at the end of World War II when there was a marked increase in the birthrate. As this generation began turning 40 and 50, there was a significant rise of injuries and ailments. In 1999, Dr. Nicholas A DiNubile, an orthopedic surgeon at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, coined a term for these events, Boomeritis. In an article in The New York Times, DiNubile said, "Baby boomers are falling apart—developing ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked I See You Made an Effort, try these:

  • Eat, Pray, Love jacket

    Eat, Pray, Love

    by Elizabeth Gilbert

    Published Feb 2013

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    A celebrated writer's irresistible, candid, and eloquent account of her pursuit of worldly pleasure, spiritual devotion, and what she really wanted out of life.

  • Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake jacket

    Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake

    by Anna Quindlen

    Published Feb 2013

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    In this irresistible memoir, the #1 New York Times bestselling author writes about her life and the lives of women today, looking back and ahead - and celebrating it all - as she considers marriage, girlfriends, our mothers, faith, loss, all that stuff in our closets, and more.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member


Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  
Sign up, win books!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    Mrs. Hemingway
    by Naomi Wood
    Naomi Wood's latest novel, Mrs. Hemingway, is a fictionalized biography covering in turn writer...
  • Book Jacket
    The Stranger on the Train
    by Abbie Taylor
    The opening chapter of Abbie Taylor's debut novel, The Stranger on the Train, took me right back to ...
  • Book Jacket
    Night Film
    by Marisha Pessl
    One of the central tenets of Hinduism states that the world as we know it is just an illusion –...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

Tomlinson Hill
by Chris Tomlinson

Published Jul. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  163The City:
    Dean Koontz

All Discussions

Win this book!
Win The Angel of Losses

The Angel of Losses

"Family saga, mystery, and myth intersect in Feldman's debut novel." - Booklist

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

E C H A Silver L

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.