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The Men's Guide to the Women's Bathroom

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The Men's Guide to the Women's Bathroom strives to answer life's most imponderable question: What Do Women Really Do in the Bathroom? When the witty and urbane Claire St. John leaves New York City and returns to Austin, Texas, she realizes that all of the good advice she has ever received has been from strangers in the women's bathroom. If only she'd listened before she'd m The Men's Guide to the Women's Bathroom strives to answer life's most imponderable question: What Do Women Really Do in the Bathroom? When the witty and urbane Claire St. John leaves New York City and returns to Austin, Texas, she realizes that all of the good advice she has ever received has been from strangers in the women's bathroom. If only she'd listened before she'd married the wrong man and wound up on the losing end of a divorce. Swearing off men, Claire decides to take a big chance—she will quit her life as a lawyer and write the ultimate self-help book—a book detailing exactly what goes on in that most sacred feminine temple: the women's bathroom. But will the new how-to guru ever learn to take her own advice? While she's discovering the truth behind the bathroom door, re-assimilating to Texas culture by eating "nuclear" jalapeño carrots, speeding down highways through the famed Texas hill country, and even joining an ill-fated booze cruise, Claire St. John is fighting her feelings for Jake Armstrong, a dashing organic food entrepreneur who threatens to throw off the balance of her new life. Will she be able to handle the pressure or will she watch her love life get flushed away?


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The Men's Guide to the Women's Bathroom strives to answer life's most imponderable question: What Do Women Really Do in the Bathroom? When the witty and urbane Claire St. John leaves New York City and returns to Austin, Texas, she realizes that all of the good advice she has ever received has been from strangers in the women's bathroom. If only she'd listened before she'd m The Men's Guide to the Women's Bathroom strives to answer life's most imponderable question: What Do Women Really Do in the Bathroom? When the witty and urbane Claire St. John leaves New York City and returns to Austin, Texas, she realizes that all of the good advice she has ever received has been from strangers in the women's bathroom. If only she'd listened before she'd married the wrong man and wound up on the losing end of a divorce. Swearing off men, Claire decides to take a big chance—she will quit her life as a lawyer and write the ultimate self-help book—a book detailing exactly what goes on in that most sacred feminine temple: the women's bathroom. But will the new how-to guru ever learn to take her own advice? While she's discovering the truth behind the bathroom door, re-assimilating to Texas culture by eating "nuclear" jalapeño carrots, speeding down highways through the famed Texas hill country, and even joining an ill-fated booze cruise, Claire St. John is fighting her feelings for Jake Armstrong, a dashing organic food entrepreneur who threatens to throw off the balance of her new life. Will she be able to handle the pressure or will she watch her love life get flushed away?

30 review for The Men's Guide to the Women's Bathroom

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kori

    Hugh Jackman is pimping himself out as a chick lit cover blurb writer. Oh yes, People’s current Sexiest Man Alive had the following to say about this book: “A great read, and a great laugh – and now we guys know what’s really going on in there!” – Hugh Jackman, actor. So what’s with this? Is he related to the author? Her lover? Is she Australian? Was blackmail involved? Was he drunk? WTF, Hugh? - So, of course, I had to take it home. I didn’t finish this book. After 75 pages of yucky one-liners li Hugh Jackman is pimping himself out as a chick lit cover blurb writer. Oh yes, People’s current Sexiest Man Alive had the following to say about this book: “A great read, and a great laugh – and now we guys know what’s really going on in there!” – Hugh Jackman, actor. So what’s with this? Is he related to the author? Her lover? Is she Australian? Was blackmail involved? Was he drunk? WTF, Hugh? - So, of course, I had to take it home. I didn’t finish this book. After 75 pages of yucky one-liners like, “What happens in the women’s bathroom stays in the women’s bathroom” and “Have I died and gone someplace where men actually call when they say they’re going to call?” I could take no more. Really, Hugh? Did you really read this book? I think you have lost all credibility as a book blurb writer (FYI, in case you were planning on pursuing it as a backup career choice). Instead of this book, maybe try another book by Jo Barrett titled "This is How it Happened (Not a Love Story)." I read that one a while back and enjoyed it quite a bit.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    This book had potential, but to me it fell flat. It's a cute premise that isn't that well executed; narrator Claire sets out to write a book about what happens in women's bathrooms, but the passages of Claire's writing are so tired and cliche. Worse, excepting Claire, most of the female characters are totally repellent: they all spend so much energy cutting each other down. I feel like I should put a sticker on the book that says "NOT ALL WOMEN BEHAVE LIKE THIS!!" I just couldn't relate, I guess This book had potential, but to me it fell flat. It's a cute premise that isn't that well executed; narrator Claire sets out to write a book about what happens in women's bathrooms, but the passages of Claire's writing are so tired and cliche. Worse, excepting Claire, most of the female characters are totally repellent: they all spend so much energy cutting each other down. I feel like I should put a sticker on the book that says "NOT ALL WOMEN BEHAVE LIKE THIS!!" I just couldn't relate, I guess; I am not like the women in this book, my friends are not like this, and there's just so much shallow in the book. So, yeah, I'd pass.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Cupcakencorset

    Funny, surprising, entertaining fluff. I liked the book overall, although I didn’t appreciate the author’s (and therefore all the major female characters’) point of view that all women in their 30s and 40s want a man above all other things. Or that women in this decade are ashamed of being divorced. Those two things made parts of the book feel like they were written in the early 1980s, rather than in the present. Anachronistic… unless the women in Barrett’s world really are primarily preoccupied Funny, surprising, entertaining fluff. I liked the book overall, although I didn’t appreciate the author’s (and therefore all the major female characters’) point of view that all women in their 30s and 40s want a man above all other things. Or that women in this decade are ashamed of being divorced. Those two things made parts of the book feel like they were written in the early 1980s, rather than in the present. Anachronistic… unless the women in Barrett’s world really are primarily preoccupied with finding a man. In my world, they are far more balanced and well-rounded, with a partner being a wonderful thing, but not an end unto himself.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Isabel

    It's an entertaining book and a light read. Good for the lounging days. Though I was disappointed with the quick ending.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Hilderson

    I was debating with myself on whether to give this book 2 or 3 stars. It was a good easy read, funny at times, however didn't really keep my interest too much.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Phyllis Barlow

    This was an amusing book, but not great. However, it's true that women do congregate in the women's room for various reasons. And they do tell all. I did read two maxims that are worth repeating: "Don't be a welcome mat. Be the door he's lucky to walk through." and the second, "No more one night stands, girlfriend!! You don't want all those men out there to think your body is the neighborhood slip-n-slide." And one that is ick-producing. "Be sweet to him. He doesn't want to hear about your probl This was an amusing book, but not great. However, it's true that women do congregate in the women's room for various reasons. And they do tell all. I did read two maxims that are worth repeating: "Don't be a welcome mat. Be the door he's lucky to walk through." and the second, "No more one night stands, girlfriend!! You don't want all those men out there to think your body is the neighborhood slip-n-slide." And one that is ick-producing. "Be sweet to him. He doesn't want to hear about your problems, okay? Remember this: Men want the fantasy!!" (What? Are we back in the sixties??) If you're looking for something light with a bit of wisdom and some humorous moments, you will enjoy this book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Janet Ramski

    Predictable, boring. Filled with tears, ice cream, and mid-thirties angst. Slow start, happy ending, with the good-looking guy admitting unfailing love. If you've bought it already, save it for a boring rainy day.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Taryn Fink

    Cute summer read. Perfect for the pool or the beach.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rocio Molina

    I don't want to invest time in pointing out everything i hated on this book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Emilie

    I have no idea how this book ended up on my Nook. Okay, I mean, I know physically how it ended up there (I checked it out from the library, downloaded it to my computer, and transferred it to my computer)...but I don't know why I chose the book...probably because it is set in Austin, and seeing as how I loved living there once upon a time, I wanted to relive those times. Well, I've read worse books. This was certainly a quick read. The main character wasn't totally reprehensible, although the su I have no idea how this book ended up on my Nook. Okay, I mean, I know physically how it ended up there (I checked it out from the library, downloaded it to my computer, and transferred it to my computer)...but I don't know why I chose the book...probably because it is set in Austin, and seeing as how I loved living there once upon a time, I wanted to relive those times. Well, I've read worse books. This was certainly a quick read. The main character wasn't totally reprehensible, although the supporting cast were all really too predictable. I tend to really love my Nook, and read books that I wouldn't otherwise just so I can continue using the Nook. Obviously I didn't love this one, given my two star rating. Certain themes were introduced yet not explored thoroughly. And most irritatingly, it seemed almost as if this book wasn't written by the Austin tourism office...seriously, so much name dropping! Don't get me wrong, an occasional place name here or there makes the story seem real, but when the main character goes to X Restaurant for drinks, then it is perfectly acceptable to say that she later just goes to a coffeeshop (not Y Coffeeshop) after...not every location that our main character frequents needs to be an Austin landmark, thus explained by the author with a guidebook quality positive spin on every location. So yes, I guess one of the main reasons I chose the book is also one of the reasons I didn't love it...but hey, for a library book, I've done worse.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    I fluctuated between giving this book 2 or 3 stars. It was entertaining. There were parts that even made me laugh out loud. But....BUT.... It didn't have any sort of substance. You may say, we'll who needs substance in chicklit? I guess I need a bit more than every woman in her 30s is simply pining away and looking for a man. Here we have the main character who after a messy divorce has dubbed the year the "year of Clair" but spends the year thinking only about men...or the man...or the potential I fluctuated between giving this book 2 or 3 stars. It was entertaining. There were parts that even made me laugh out loud. But....BUT.... It didn't have any sort of substance. You may say, we'll who needs substance in chicklit? I guess I need a bit more than every woman in her 30s is simply pining away and looking for a man. Here we have the main character who after a messy divorce has dubbed the year the "year of Clair" but spends the year thinking only about men...or the man...or the potential man. This book was also full of stereotypes about women and men, gay and straight and the men's bathroom guide just perpetuated them all...in a way I found distinctly not funny. The book was also dated...meaning all the pop culture references that just make this book have a shelf life of about a year. Got this one on a whim at a used book store. Will be taking it back to the same place....

  12. 5 out of 5

    Daniela

    Well… Hugh Jackman did his job and I only read this because he said he liked it. "A great read and a great laugh" (really Hugh??) The truth is another. This book is written with every existing stereotype about women and how we all desire a prince charming like it's our one and only goal in life. Our two best friends are ice cream and an overly dramatic, fashion guru gay friend. Claire's passages for the book are so cliché and it seems like she is trying to hard to be funny and relatable and, to m Well… Hugh Jackman did his job and I only read this because he said he liked it. "A great read and a great laugh" (really Hugh??) The truth is another. This book is written with every existing stereotype about women and how we all desire a prince charming like it's our one and only goal in life. Our two best friends are ice cream and an overly dramatic, fashion guru gay friend. Claire's passages for the book are so cliché and it seems like she is trying to hard to be funny and relatable and, to me, it was not. The end of the book honestly made me feel like even the author was tired of writing it and she just took the fastest way out. :/

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tara

    Another beach read. Hmmmm. I seem to be in a rut. This ended up in my book pile because of its connection Austin. I just have a thing for reading about places that I know. The book, however, is definitely not one of my favorites. It contains a lot of book-within-a-book (the main character is an author) that tries too hard to be witty and just kind of.....bleh. I skipped large portions in an attempt to just get done. It is funny and it does have fun bits about Austin but there are so many other l Another beach read. Hmmmm. I seem to be in a rut. This ended up in my book pile because of its connection Austin. I just have a thing for reading about places that I know. The book, however, is definitely not one of my favorites. It contains a lot of book-within-a-book (the main character is an author) that tries too hard to be witty and just kind of.....bleh. I skipped large portions in an attempt to just get done. It is funny and it does have fun bits about Austin but there are so many other light fiction books out there that are so much better.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Krystal

    This was an often times amusing book...I liked it well enough I suppose. It wasn't until the end though, in the bonus section, "potty talk" where the author described the various habits and talk of different places round the globe, that I laughed out loud. Its for the bonus section that I added another star. On a side note, it had an excerpt from her upcoming book, or maybe its already been published? Something along the lines of "Killing Carter". Those pages made it sound like an appealing book This was an often times amusing book...I liked it well enough I suppose. It wasn't until the end though, in the bonus section, "potty talk" where the author described the various habits and talk of different places round the globe, that I laughed out loud. Its for the bonus section that I added another star. On a side note, it had an excerpt from her upcoming book, or maybe its already been published? Something along the lines of "Killing Carter". Those pages made it sound like an appealing book and I'll most likely end up reading that one as well.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lea

    2.5 stars. This story idea had potential but the main character was off putting, she had the potential too. I could barely read the bathroom portions of the book. If you don't like reading about blood and bathroom business, don't read this. The ending was a little too neat and tidy for the rest of the book. Plus the whole Texas A&M and TU portion of the book - you went to TU but you don't know what Aggies call it TU? That irritated me. 2.5 stars. This story idea had potential but the main character was off putting, she had the potential too. I could barely read the bathroom portions of the book. If you don't like reading about blood and bathroom business, don't read this. The ending was a little too neat and tidy for the rest of the book. Plus the whole Texas A&M and TU portion of the book - you went to TU but you don't know what Aggies call it TU? That irritated me.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    Ever so slightly entertaining. Premise was good, but I felt like the author tried to include all the politically correct elements rather than just telling the story. (Ie: bash on Republicans, even if it makes no logical sense in the sentence. And, by all means, don't limit this bashing to just once.) Keep it light, keep it fun! Oh, and I totally didn't get the "meet his family" part. Took Jake in a completely different direction than the one she (the author) had cultivated.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Child960801

    This is not the kind of book I usually read. My two year old picked it up at the library and told me to get it because the cover was pink. I didn't really connect with the main character at first, because I'm not a childless, recently divorced 34 year old lawyer turned writer from Texas. However, a couple of chapters in the hilarious promised on the back of the book showed up and I really enjoyed it.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    What I like about the book? All the references to Austin spots and light as a feather. I kept a list of all Austin mentions in my reading journal. Polvos Continental Club Townlake Claypit Mozarts Moonshine Ruta Maya Uchi Kenichi Little Woodrows Casino El Camero La Traviata Chez Zee

  19. 5 out of 5

    Robyn

    This book was a good quick read. I started on Friday night and finished it Sunday morning. I don't typically like fiction, but this book is cute and doesn't take any brain power. The main character lives in Austin, so if you are from Austin - it is fun to hear her talk about all the places she goes. All and all, very enjoyable. Must Read!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Corey

    A very quick, easy read that's perfect for summer. I enjoyed the story-within-a-story along with the main fictional story. If there were half star options this would get a 3.5 rating as I liked it but didn't 4 star like it. For me there's way too many gaps in the story and open ended things that aren't addressed.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Courtney

    This book was recommended to me by a friend who lives in Austin, TX. My friend said she was a local author. I read the first couple of chapters and was hooked. Men's Guide.. is funny and entertaining. It's a light and fun read. I especially like how Hugh Jackman endorses the novel - on the front cover. ha!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sari

    Bathroom/powder room sure is one of an important thing in women's life! :) When i was a teenager i thought i'm the only one who feel that it's a weird thing to go to the bathroom with a gang of girls :p This book elaborate facts why Women always go to the bathroom grouping :D Worth reading in ur break time! :))

  23. 4 out of 5

    Fay

    I had high hopes for this book, but it fell flat. It wasn't much of a guide since it pinpointed every stereotypical conversation a girl may have so men would already know everything. All girls would have some of the conversations brought up in the book, but the book on a whole only is pertinent to the girly girls. I would recommend it to them as it could then be an amusing read.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    It was escapist literature. I have to say, the plot itself was OK... the characters stereotypical, and the "guide" the protagonist writes is almost insultingly stereotypical. Some truths, but in general too sensationalized to really resonate with me as something all women could relate too. But like I said, escapist, entertaining enough.

  25. 5 out of 5

    aimee

    My favorite thing about this book (besides the sage advice given in the womens' bathrooms) was knowing all the places around Austin (past and present) in the book. Part of it was a trip down memory lane.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey

    Easy read...really wanted to rate 3.5. I live in Austin, so I could relate to the characters and setting pretty easily. If you're looking for a quick read to entertain you by the pool over the summer, this may be the book for you!

  27. 4 out of 5

    jb Byrkit

    This was a good book....not the deep thought provoking literature stuff, but still a nice happy read. I felt the ending to be quite quick. Everything seems to "wrap up" in the last few pages quite quickly in my opinion....with a nice happy ending. Overall I found it cute and funny.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Medina

    I really liked how the theme of the unity of women no matter the our differences that didn't gloss over our cattyness or our neurosis. I wish though it did not end it sucha stereotypical way with the entrane of a man who makes it all right.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Selenita

    Didn't get it. Read only a few pages, nothing grabbed my attention. I'm not immortal and I can't read boring trash, so - goodbye, Jo Barrett, you lost your chance. (And if I were immortal, I still wouldn't read it).

  30. 5 out of 5

    Alvi Harahap

    What the bathroom means for gals? It just does not have ordinary bathroom meaning...but it is a very special 'holy' place for gals to open and share the deepest secret about ourselves and, of course, guys :)

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