Review: A Field Guide to Awkward Silences

Posted June 5, 2015 by Katrina @ Bookish Things in Book Review / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: A Field Guide to Awkward SilencesA Field Guide to Awkward Silences by Alexandra Petri
Published by NAL Trade on June 2nd 2015
Genres: Biography & Autobiography, Personal Memoirs
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository

Washington Post columnist Alexandra Petri turns her satirical eye on her own life in this hilarious new memoir...Most twentysomethings spend a lot of time avoiding awkwardness.Not Alexandra Petri.Afraid of rejection? Alexandra Petri has auditioned for America’s Next Top Model. Afraid of looking like an idiot? Alexandra Petri lost Jeopardy! by answering “Who is that dude?” on national TV. Afraid of bad jokes? Alexandra Petri won an international pun championship.Petri has been a debutante, reenacted the Civil War, and fended off suitors at a Star Wars convention while wearing a Jabba the Hutt suit. One time, she let some cult members she met on the street baptize her, just to be polite. She’s a connoisseur of the kind of awkwardness that most people spend whole lifetimes trying to avoid. If John Hodgman and Amy Sedaris had a baby…they would never let Petri babysit it.But Petri is here to tell you: Everything you fear is not so bad. Trust her. She’s tried it. And in the course of her misadventures, she’s learned that there are worse things out there than awkwardness—and that interesting things start to happen when you stop caring what people think.


A Field Guide to Awkward Silences was a fun read.  Petri gets herself into some of the funniest situations. I felt all her nerdy and geekiness come out of the pages.  And her experience at her first Star Wars convention was hilarious.  But I totally understand when she says she’s with her people.  I feel that way anytime I get a chance to go to conventions in my area, and to book conventions.  They are “my people.”  They get you on a completely different level than everyone else.

Through each of her stories she allows you to learn so much.  People suck, or they don’t.  But you can go on being your awesome self without worry.  I can say that I would fail miserably at a whistling competition as I cannot whistle, but I did not know that was a thing at all!  And her chapter about being in a Pun competition was hilarious.  Mostly because my husband frequently speaks in puns.  The kids get annoyed by it, I find it hilarious.  (Proof we are meant for each other maybe???)

I really enjoyed reading about all of Petri’s adventures from childhood to adulthood.  They were funny, insightful, and just all around a good time!

Favorite Quotes

We’re all weird.  We’re all awkward.  We’re all bound to fail from time to time.

So I remember vividly the terror that gripped me when the Oldies station I’d been listening to switched from songs of of the fifties, sixties, and seventies to “Classic Rock.”

“We would enjoy this sandwich, if you’d lettuce.”

“You mayo.”

“I’m not the one getting jalapeno face about it.”

“Give me some time to ketchup.”

“But I just mustard a lot of good puns!”

“Stop it! Just stop it!”

“Oh, ‘just top it!’ Good one!”

So many things from childhood seem bigger than they are.

That’s how I feel about adulthood.

I’ve always had the dim sense that I missed orientation.


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Katrina @ Bookish Things

About Katrina @ Bookish Things

I'm a mom of two and love to read, listen to music, and rock out at concerts. Sometimes you can find me reading, or writing, in between sets at concerts. I read many genres, and have a TBR mountain.

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