You Think It, I'll Say It

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 25 Jun 2018

Member Reviews

I really enjoyed this short story collection. I have a thing for character studies and that is what each of these stories initiates. Each character flawed enough to be vaguely unlikable, but also feel so incredible real and...human. 

The one things I didn't like, is entirely the same problem I have with most short stories,; its just hard to get invested in the stories.

I recieved this book for free from Netgalley and the publishers in exchange for an honest review.
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Absolutely loved these stories by Sittenfeld, my favorite one being the title story. A married woman finds herself fantasizing about life with a man she flirts with at parties. She allows her imagination to wonder if she can indulge in an affair with him, which will give her the opportunity to bring a bit of color into her drab existence. But things don't really go as planned...
Sittenfeld proves with her characters that sometimes those things we think we desire and what we really need are completely at ends with each other.
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I’ve yet to find a book by this author that I ABSOLUTELY LOVE! This one is a quick read but just not my favorite.
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I'm sorry this was not for me, I guess I didn't quite get it. I DNF it and I feel guilty for requesting it, this will probably ruin it for me as far as requests go. Heard/read so many great things about this, but again it didn't do it for me
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You Think It, I’ll Say It
by Curtis Sittenfeld 

I am a late adaptor in terms of Sittenfeld’s work. I read her novels Sisterland and Eligible before this short story collection, but missed Prep and others before that. There is a certain upper middle class world that Sittenfeld captures so perfectly, but it is their cringe-worthy behavior that is most often on display. Reading her work, I can easily imagine being at a cocktail party with some of these people, which is not a little disturbing when I see their behavior satirized in print. Sittenfeld is a sharp wit, and, while she does sometimes seem to sympathize with her characters on occasion, I would not want to be the focus of her attention. She is like that voice in your head at school events and fundraisers, when you are feeling slightly less than charitable, but she says it all out loud, and documents the fallout. How can you resist?


For Goodreads:

Why I picked it — Because I enjoy Sittenfeld’s writing.
Reminded me of… the sharp observations of Elizabeth Strout, in Olive Kitteridge.
For my full review — click here
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This book is a character driven compilation of feminist short stories. The author offers believable situations, not too much, not too little, with seemingly realistic characters. I took away a few memories that I will rehash in the future
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As the only thing I have ever read of Sittenfield's is 'Eligible", I didn't have much experience with her writing going into this. I was hoping for writing that looked at women and their lives and how it was affected in the modern age. I got a good dose of that. I also got some of women in the 90's and how they were dealing with being a college student coming of age and trying to make their way through the confusing friendships and relationships of university life. I wasn't in love with every story in this collection, hence my middling review. I felt some of these stories were trying so hard to just be commentary on modern life that they had no real purpose in storytelling for the characters themselves. The characters and the plots were devices, pieces per se and not actually individuals that we as readers should be interested in or invested in. I will read more of Sittenfield in the future, but maybe a novel would be a better idea.
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Blah. This is one of those books that makes me hate humans. Not a single character in any of these short stories is likable or even redeemable - they are all selfish, narcissistic and disgusting, and they take their self-loathing out on the people around them. Add in the fact that Sittenfeld wrote these in a sociopathically detached and monotone style...I honestly had to force myself to finish this one. It made my skin crawl.
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As much as I enjoy Curtis Sittenfeld's novels, I think I'm starting to appreciate her short fiction more.. These stories are witty, compelling, and full of heart. I had read some of the ones published in the New Yorker before, but that's one of the best things about short stories. If you loved them and want to re-read them, the time commitment isn't huge. My to-be-read list grows every day, and I just can't squeeze in the time to re-read a whole book. But short stories -- esp ones as well plotted as these --grow deeper with repeated reading.
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Intriguing short stories, mainly about power dynamics between couples. Thoughts on fame, the past, and motherhood. I will read more by this author.
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I'm a fan of Curtis Sittenfeld's novels. When I learned she was publishing a short story collection, I was intrigued and a little anxious. What if her short stories weren't as good as her novels? I worried needlessly. She had me from the first page and never let me go. First, how about that title? Brilliant. The title story is brilliant, as well. It was my favorite of the collection, but there is not a weak one in the bunch. The writing is crisp and fresh, and Sittenfeld knows how to expose human weakness and folly with empathy. She has never disappointed me once. I eagerly await her next title. Sittenfeld fans and contemporary short story fans alike will delight in this gem.
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This often-hilarious collection of short stories set in contemporary America deploys an array of vivid 30-40-something female protagonists. The characters here act out varieties of reckless choices and come to grips with layered versions of self as they make their mark on the world. Absolutely entertaining women’s fiction with one lens tuned to images of daily life during the T*$mp era and another lens focused on the inner lives of flawed, often snarky, and always complex characters. Endings of these stories offer futures merely glimpsed, never tied neatly into predictable outcomes. We find modern two-mama families, wife-as-breadwinner reckonings, social media’s destructive tendencies, celebrity envy, flirting (and acted-out) sexual fantasy, plenty of “road-not-taken” angst, and clever dialogue on every page. Will there be a film?
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This collection is worth it alone for "The Prairie Wife," which is a masterpiece. I totally didn't see that ending coming and I feel like such a putz for not. 

Sittenfeld writes about what she knows - middle-aged white women - but she does so in a unique and refreshing way that doesn't feel grating. Some stories definitely shone more than others - "Gender Studies" and "Do-Over" were standouts - but others such as "Bad Latch" and "The World Has Many Butterflies" were also solid little stories that made me either smile or go "huh" (in a good way).

As with any short story collection, there were a few that didn't resonate with me. "Volunteers are Shining Stars" and "Plausible Deniability" didn't so much end as fizzle out and leave me scratching my head. But even in those I still found elements I enjoyed or that made me think. 

Anyway, still thinking the most about "Do-Over," where a woman goes on a date with her old high school crush and discovers what a disappointment he is.
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Although I am a lover of Pride & Prejudice, I have to admit that Sittenfeld’s celebrated Eligible left me kind of cold. The bare bones of what I loved were there, but I didn’t like all its new parts. Perhaps I wasn’t ina  good mood when I read it, since I actually enjoyed Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, but seeing all the praise it was getting I realized that perhaps I owed Curtis Sittenfeld another chance. It was with that in mind that I decided to read You Think It, I’ll Say It. Thanks to Random House and Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

At the heart of You Think It, I’ll Say It are women, especially women in uncomfortable situations. Not the kind of situations you find in horror movies or dystopian novels, but rather the everyday  awkward situations, when you’re suddenly confronted with a situation you hadn’t expected, when the response to a love declaration seemed impossible, when you find yourself acting a way you thought you’d left behind. The title of You Think It, I’ll Say It comes from one of its stories where a man and woman, both married to others, play a little game. He’ll point someone out, she’ll give her first, often dismissive, impressions of them. It is a game the reader and Sittenfeld play throughout the collection, with us constantly assuming we know where the story is going and then being surprised by just how desperate and ugly life can get. But that doesn’t mean there is only sadness to be found in You Think It, I’ll Say It. There are some tragicomic moments, as well as genuine touches of light.

The first story in You Think It, I’ll Say It was perhaps the hardest. Called ‘The Nominee’, it focuses on a female Democrat running for president against someone who couldn’t possible win. A meditation on internalized misogyny and women tearing each other down, it left me both saddened and a little bit wiser. Almost every story in You Think It, I’ll Say It has that kind of impact. None of the characters are perfect, those who seem to be so hide something darker, and yet the stories don’t feel dark or depressing. There is a sense of understanding in the stories and if judgement is passed, it is with a gentleness that belies Sittenfeld’s sharp wit. Sometimes it feels as if short stories simply rehash the same characters over and over again, but that’s not the case with You Think It, I’ll Say It. Each story feels fresh and each character feels new. There is a rawness to some of them, a sense that they’re unfinished, which feels very real.  In the end, no matter how funny, odd or sad the stories are, they could be describing you or me. 

As I said above, Sittenfeld and me didn’t really get along during Eligible. The sharp wit and keen observations that I found in You Think It, I’ll Say It was missing in the former book. Perhaps now I owe it a reread, since Curtis Sittenfeld completely converted me. Each story is carefully crafted, moving from casually dismissive opening statements to deeply cutting personal acts. Sittenfeld focuses on class, relationships and gender throughout You Think, I’ll Say It but the topics never overwhelm her. She stays in control of each narrative and even when it would be so easy to judge, Sittenfeld finds some sympathy. In a lot of reviews the stories in You Think It, I’ll Say It are described as breezy and this shows just how masterfully each story is crafted. They are complex, handle difficult situations and impossible emotions, yet each feels light. I think I really owe Sittenfeld a reread of Eligible…

Each story in You Think It, I’ll Say It is an insight into those messy things we call our lives. Full of twists but paced beautifully, each story has something to offer to its reader, as long as you’re willing to make yourself vulnerable enough to reflect. I’d recommend this to anyone looking for a challenging yet “breezy” short story collection to start the new year with.
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I have read a decent amount of short story collections, but I can only recall a few that I found difficult to put down. This is one of the few that I wanted to keep reading. The stories are well crafted, many with subtle touches on issues in society such gender roles and norms. It really is an excellent collection and I think I may be one of Sittenfeld's newest fans!
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This was a really quick read. All of the short stories were excellent. I really liked the way they were written. The one with the exchange of emails about classical music between a bachelor and an unknown person stuck with me the most. I also like how she uses androgynous names to hide the gender of some of the characters. It leaves you with only part of the story until the author is ready to reveal it to you. The focus on juvenile relationships revisited in later years may have been overdone as a theme, but the stories themselves are all unique little gems in their own right. If you like short stories, this definitely gets my recommendation.
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I am not usually a reader of short story collections, but I dove into this book because I am a fan of Curtis Sittenfeld. This will be a great selection for a book club. Many important themes. All the stories are entertaining, but also open up a lot of avenues for discussion.
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Smart, funny & genuine - this book had me thoroughly engaged & ignoring the rest of the world. Very relatable characters, great storyline & just an overall “win”! Thanks to netgalley for the opportunity to read & review.
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I'm not generally a fan of short stories but for Curtis Sittenfeld I'll make an exception.  These stories were all well-written and interesting, some better than the others but all worth reading.

I especially liked "Volunteers are Shining Stars".  His characters describe real people so perfectly.  I highly recommend this book.

Thanks to Random House and NetGalley for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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I am someone who used to love short stories and then one day I just did not anymore. This was the first collection I got into in a while. I enjoyed the majority of the stories in the book and I found the characters to be interesting. It seemed to portray a lot of middle aged white women, which is okay. I typically like a more diverse set of characters but again it seemed to fit for this book.
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