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Samantha Irby meets Bettyville in this darkly funny and poignant memoir about love, loss, Alzheimer's, and reviving her father's pornographic writing career from Mortified writer and producer Sara Faith Alterman. 12-year-old Sara enjoyed an G-rated existence in suburban New England, filled with over-the-top birthday cakes, Revolutionary War reenactments, and nerdy word gam Samantha Irby meets Bettyville in this darkly funny and poignant memoir about love, loss, Alzheimer's, and reviving her father's pornographic writing career from Mortified writer and producer Sara Faith Alterman. 12-year-old Sara enjoyed an G-rated existence in suburban New England, filled with over-the-top birthday cakes, Revolutionary War reenactments, and nerdy word games invented by her prudish father, Ira. But Sara's world changed for the icky, when she discovered that Ira had been shielding her from the truth; that he was a campy sex writer who'd sold millions of books in multiple languages, including the wildly popular 'Games You Can Play with Your Pussy.' Which was, to the naive Sara's horror, not a book about cats. For decades the books remained an unspoken family secret, until Ira developed early onset Alzheimer's disease...and announced he'd be reviving his writing career. With Sara's help. In this cringeworthy, hilarious, and moving memoir, Sara shares the profound experience of discovering new facets of her father; once as a child, and again as an adult. 'Let's Never Talk About This Again' is a must-read confessional from a woman who spent years trying to find humor in the perverse and optimism in the darkness, and succeeded.


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Samantha Irby meets Bettyville in this darkly funny and poignant memoir about love, loss, Alzheimer's, and reviving her father's pornographic writing career from Mortified writer and producer Sara Faith Alterman. 12-year-old Sara enjoyed an G-rated existence in suburban New England, filled with over-the-top birthday cakes, Revolutionary War reenactments, and nerdy word gam Samantha Irby meets Bettyville in this darkly funny and poignant memoir about love, loss, Alzheimer's, and reviving her father's pornographic writing career from Mortified writer and producer Sara Faith Alterman. 12-year-old Sara enjoyed an G-rated existence in suburban New England, filled with over-the-top birthday cakes, Revolutionary War reenactments, and nerdy word games invented by her prudish father, Ira. But Sara's world changed for the icky, when she discovered that Ira had been shielding her from the truth; that he was a campy sex writer who'd sold millions of books in multiple languages, including the wildly popular 'Games You Can Play with Your Pussy.' Which was, to the naive Sara's horror, not a book about cats. For decades the books remained an unspoken family secret, until Ira developed early onset Alzheimer's disease...and announced he'd be reviving his writing career. With Sara's help. In this cringeworthy, hilarious, and moving memoir, Sara shares the profound experience of discovering new facets of her father; once as a child, and again as an adult. 'Let's Never Talk About This Again' is a must-read confessional from a woman who spent years trying to find humor in the perverse and optimism in the darkness, and succeeded.

30 review for Let's Never Talk About This Again: A Memoir

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Lawson

    Such a great and poignant memoir. Made me laugh and cry.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Libby

    In this hilarious and loving tribute to her father, Alterman writes about realizing your parents are fallible humans with lives of their own. In the case of Alterman’s dad it’s a secret life writing punny sex books and suffering from Alzheimer’s. Full of 80s and 90s nostalgia from her childhood and surprisingly vulnerable moments of becoming a parent herself while caring for her father. A funny and touching read.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Debbie Boucher

    This memoir is newly out, and I looked forward to reading it since my daughter knows the author. Sara Faith Alterman does a good job at bringing humor to a difficult subject: a parent with Alzheimers. If you are not too close to this subject (my father-in-law succumbed to it in 11/19), and you enjoy black humor (think the TV series Catastrohe and Dead to Me) you will like this book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Marie Mimosa

    Such a good memoir. It makes you go through multiple emotions

  5. 5 out of 5

    Bookreporter.com Biography & Memoir

    Sara Faith Alterman grew up in the 1980s in the kind of family that never swore or made rude jokes. Her father, Ira, would leap out of the chair to turn off the television if anything even close to a sex scene cropped up, and the closest they ever came to “the talk” was when a teenaged Sara had an ovarian cyst and he had to explain the diagnosis to her. He loved terrible puns, wordplay of all sorts and doing the crossword puzzle. So imagine Sara’s surprise when, as a relatively young girl, she d Sara Faith Alterman grew up in the 1980s in the kind of family that never swore or made rude jokes. Her father, Ira, would leap out of the chair to turn off the television if anything even close to a sex scene cropped up, and the closest they ever came to “the talk” was when a teenaged Sara had an ovarian cyst and he had to explain the diagnosis to her. He loved terrible puns, wordplay of all sorts and doing the crossword puzzle. So imagine Sara’s surprise when, as a relatively young girl, she discovered a cache of humorous sex books --- written by her father, with bawdy cartoon illustrations by one of his best friends. When Sara first found the books, she was too young to really understand their double entendres. As she entered adolescence, however, she used them as how-to manuals for her relationship with her own first boyfriend. Years passed, and Sara never discussed the books with Ira, or with anyone else in her family --- until her father, now in his early 60s, lost his job in executive education. Sara --- who by this time was living with her husband in San Francisco, across the country from her parents’ Massachusetts home --- wanted to help and was drawn into her father’s increasingly frustrating job search. As she helped him navigate Monster.com and improve his LinkedIn profile, she gradually began to suspect that there was something a little off about him, more than could be explained by depression or advancing age. He seemed confused by computers and by the internet in particular, incapable of performing simple search functions that once would have been easy for him. And then, when Ira decided to revive his writing and publishing business as a way to earn some money, Sara knew something was off-kilter for sure. Why would her dad, who had never even joked about sex in front of her before, be sending her manuscript pages from his latest work, Sex After 40, for her to edit? As Sara and the rest of her family began to suspect that Ira suffered from dementia caused by Alzheimer’s, Sara realized that offering to help him --- no matter how uncomfortable it might make her --- could be a last opportunity for them to work together and to understand one another as fellow adults, not just as parent and child. Alterman, who is one of the producers of the podcast and live show “Mortified,” excels at telling cringeworthy stories of her youth and young adulthood --- stories that don’t flinch even as they touch on deeply uncomfortable topics and themes. She also, courageously, acknowledges her own failings in dealing with her father during his rapid decline and eventual death, and her regrets over how she failed to support her mother in her own grief. I don’t read many memoirs, but when I do, I’m looking for ones like Alterman’s: a true story that offers hilarious anecdotes and insights but also addresses difficult topics with the same honesty and candor. Alterman’s voice is funny, irreverent and full of love for her father, and readers are unlikely to come away without a deep fondness for them and their entire family. Reviewed by Norah Piehl

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mediaman

    Mixed feelings about this book--the concept of her dad's life story as a secret sex book writer is an interesting one. And the fact that she discovered his writings at about age 11 should be fascinating. But Alterman does very little with all that. Instead she hides her knowledge of his secret pornography side career, never talks to him about it, and then is shocked when her dad gets dementia only to start sharing his newest sex book manuscripts with her for editing help. So the book's first hal Mixed feelings about this book--the concept of her dad's life story as a secret sex book writer is an interesting one. And the fact that she discovered his writings at about age 11 should be fascinating. But Alterman does very little with all that. Instead she hides her knowledge of his secret pornography side career, never talks to him about it, and then is shocked when her dad gets dementia only to start sharing his newest sex book manuscripts with her for editing help. So the book's first half draws us in but she freezes and never takes advantage of the chance to really get to understand him. The second half of the book is a slow let-down. The sad and surprisingly fast decline of her father makes up the bulk of the last half of the book. The author fails to see how the family could have helped him much sooner and possibly brought on the decline by the decisions they made. She also doesn't see the circle of life as she births her first child just before she looses her father. The details are here, but an emotional or spiritual connection is missing. The problem is that while the book sounds like it would be fascinating, and there certainly are aspects to the story that almost make it fascinating, it is told in a very plain prose with very few surprises or insights. The author seems incredibly unemotional about not only her dad but her mother, her military brother, her husband, and her children. Early in the book I suspected she never married nor had kids because she doesn't seem to really care about anything or anyone--and by the end of the book I concluded that she has an inability to communicate her emotions (if she actually has any). One of the final scenes in the book is when she and her brother clean out her late dad's closet, only to find more sex books he penned. They barely acknowledge to each other what they see in front of them, then she says the words that make the title of the book. Disappointing. It needed to be talked about. If you're going to write a book about this subject it should be detailed with fascinating research and interesting stories. Unfortunately, this author thinks we need to know details only about her plane trips back and forth to the coasts and her pretty average c-section birth. (Let me give a clue to any writers that think they need to include long stories about babies being born--they're not interesting to anyone else!) So the title of this book is true--she barely talks about things she wants kept hidden deep inside. And while she teases us with snippets of her dad's work and hobbies, we never truly get to know the mysterious man she says she so deeply admired.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Tangled in Text

    I was expecting something way more eccentric than what I got after reading the blurb about her dad being a sex writer. This was actually the polar opposite. The craziness of the dad's vocation did not prevent me from crying multiple times. Alzheimer's seems to be an instant cry for me. Let's Never Talk About This Again is really a love note to Sara's father of all the little details she remembers fondly and the others she now understands better from a distance. It was entirely centralized around I was expecting something way more eccentric than what I got after reading the blurb about her dad being a sex writer. This was actually the polar opposite. The craziness of the dad's vocation did not prevent me from crying multiple times. Alzheimer's seems to be an instant cry for me. Let's Never Talk About This Again is really a love note to Sara's father of all the little details she remembers fondly and the others she now understands better from a distance. It was entirely centralized around her father yet follows her life stages from infancy to adulthood. She would either start or end each story with what her dad was doing during that time or how he reacted to each new development in her life. From him eating a hamburger while his wife was in labor with her to him gifting her and her first boyfriend matching attire to giving her the same advice daily to never wake a sleeping baby near the end. It was a heartwarming story that was extremely honest. She didn't fluff up any details, but was brutally honest in her dad's struggle of trying to "act normal" by overcompensating with his protectiveness to avoid talking about his secret passion. I did adore the strong use of puns throughout and the word games that started and ended this story with a bang. 3.5

  8. 5 out of 5

    Donna Boyd

    Thank you to #NetGalley, the author and publisher for providing me with a digital copy of this book prior to publication in exchange for my honest review. Let's Never Talk About This Again by Sarah Faith Alterman is a memoir that will make you laugh and cry, sometimes on the same page. Sarah grew up in a seemingly normal home on the outskirts of Boston. Seemingly is the key word here because when she was 12 she discovered a shelf of pornographic books written by her father. Sarah keeps her disco Thank you to #NetGalley, the author and publisher for providing me with a digital copy of this book prior to publication in exchange for my honest review. Let's Never Talk About This Again by Sarah Faith Alterman is a memoir that will make you laugh and cry, sometimes on the same page. Sarah grew up in a seemingly normal home on the outskirts of Boston. Seemingly is the key word here because when she was 12 she discovered a shelf of pornographic books written by her father. Sarah keeps her discovery to herself and it is only later, when her father is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's and asks her for help with reviving his career that the acknowledges the truth that she has known for years. Just imagine if it is your father who wrote a book called Games You Can Play with Your Pussy, and we are not talking about a cat, or asks you for help writing a book called The Naughty Bride and it's about your own wedding. Sarah's humor and compassion in dealing with her father's unorthodox books along with helping to care for a father who is ill while trying to start her own family on the opposite coast, resonate in this book. It is well worth reading.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Christa Musto

    Wow, unsure where to start with this review. Let’s Never Talk About This Again is a memoir that I almost didn’t finish. I decided to stick through it, and let me tell you I’m so glad I did. This book started out a little raunchy, which turned me off at first, but ultimately led into a heartbreaking story about a daughter watching her father mentally deteriorate before her eyes. This memoir made me truly laugh out loud (the hiking trip part, you’ll see) and also put me on the verge of tears. It w Wow, unsure where to start with this review. Let’s Never Talk About This Again is a memoir that I almost didn’t finish. I decided to stick through it, and let me tell you I’m so glad I did. This book started out a little raunchy, which turned me off at first, but ultimately led into a heartbreaking story about a daughter watching her father mentally deteriorate before her eyes. This memoir made me truly laugh out loud (the hiking trip part, you’ll see) and also put me on the verge of tears. It was raw, emotional, honest, and amazing. The writing was spectacular, which is sometimes not true for a memoir, and I can honestly say I stayed up as late as I could last night to finish every word. I loved this book, and I’m also appreciative of the author for allowing us as readers a look into her world and her story. So to Sara Alterman, thank you. Thank you to NetGalley and Sara Alterman for providing a digital review copy in exchange for honest feedback.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    Sara Alterman recounts her relationship with her father in this hilarious, honest and touching memoir. • Sara grew up in a suburban home filled with a lot of rules, very sensored. Then one day she finds a stack of pornographic books written by her father. Horrified, she never mentions finding these to anyone. Then decades later when her father developes early onset Alzheimer's disease and he decides he wants her help to revive his writing career. • This was a poignant read. Partly hilarious, partl Sara Alterman recounts her relationship with her father in this hilarious, honest and touching memoir. • Sara grew up in a suburban home filled with a lot of rules, very sensored. Then one day she finds a stack of pornographic books written by her father. Horrified, she never mentions finding these to anyone. Then decades later when her father developes early onset Alzheimer's disease and he decides he wants her help to revive his writing career. • This was a poignant read. Partly hilarious, partly heartbreaking. Their father-daughter relationship wasn't like most, but their bond was strong through it all. This is also a very eye opening account of the heartbreaking reality of watching a loved one's demise from Alzheimer's disease. • Thank you to the publisher for sending me this #ARC opinions are my own. • For more of my book content check out instagram.com/bookalong

  11. 5 out of 5

    smg

    Alterman renders a boldly authentic memoir of her not-perfect family and her own boldly candid part in the drama known to all as “My (roll your eyes) Family.” She offers up a mirror to the reader as we see parts of our own imperfect selves even as she finds wry humor in the absurd, compassion in heart-wrenching moments and beauty when her husband, Sam, fully “sees all of her“ in her struggles and lovingly supports her while not intruding. The author captures those painful, intimate relationship Alterman renders a boldly authentic memoir of her not-perfect family and her own boldly candid part in the drama known to all as “My (roll your eyes) Family.” She offers up a mirror to the reader as we see parts of our own imperfect selves even as she finds wry humor in the absurd, compassion in heart-wrenching moments and beauty when her husband, Sam, fully “sees all of her“ in her struggles and lovingly supports her while not intruding. The author captures those painful, intimate relationship moments we all experience that leave us wishing we had a rewind button, a way to “do over,” and offers a path to forgiveness and acceptance of self and other. She shares a slice of her life that is at once a memoir and a celebration of all that is deeply loving and wrenchingly real. A must read by a new, bravely authentic (and laugh-out-loud-funny) author.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sara Broad

    "Let's Never About This Again" is Sara Alterman's funny, engaging, sad, and honest memoir about her relationship with her father. She recounts her relationship with her father from the time she was young to his last moments alive. She has a very unusual experience learning about sex, and for better or for worse, she avoids discussing this topic with her father until he benignly approaches Sara about it in his later years. Despite her father's sometimes poor temperament, Sara and Ira had an unbre "Let's Never About This Again" is Sara Alterman's funny, engaging, sad, and honest memoir about her relationship with her father. She recounts her relationship with her father from the time she was young to his last moments alive. She has a very unusual experience learning about sex, and for better or for worse, she avoids discussing this topic with her father until he benignly approaches Sara about it in his later years. Despite her father's sometimes poor temperament, Sara and Ira had an unbreakable bond that could be the envy of many. The book also offers a realistic portrayal of the havoc and heartbreak Alzheimers Disease and dementia inflict on a family. I definitely recommend this book!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Christa Van

    Raised in a very strict household where her parents wanted their kids to learn no cuss words, hear anything about the concept of sex, or listen to up-to-date music, the author was poking around one day and found something interesting. A bunch of "sex" books, many with illustrations, that were written by her father. She spent her childhood sneak reading the books but never asking about them. When her father develops Alzheimer's, and money problems, he tries to get her to co-author another crop of Raised in a very strict household where her parents wanted their kids to learn no cuss words, hear anything about the concept of sex, or listen to up-to-date music, the author was poking around one day and found something interesting. A bunch of "sex" books, many with illustrations, that were written by her father. She spent her childhood sneak reading the books but never asking about them. When her father develops Alzheimer's, and money problems, he tries to get her to co-author another crop of these books. This memoir has its very funny moments and the author does a great job narrating her own book but I didn't find it compelling enough to recommend widely.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    I gave it four but it's more like 3.75 for me. I enjoyed reading about the author' childhood in Massachusetts but the book is marketed as a funny story about discovering her father wrote porn. That was a small part of the book I felt. The majority of the book was the weirdness of her parents and her father's Alzheimer's diagnosis. Plus the author was not a sympathetic character for me. Frankly, I ended up finding her very unlikeable with all the constant snarkiness.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Archer

    This is such a gem in world of memoirs. You will laugh a lot, but be prepared to have your tissues handy, because YOU WILL shed some tears. For my full review, please visit my blog at: http://obsessedbookaholic.com/2020/07... Thank you NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This is such a gem in world of memoirs. You will laugh a lot, but be prepared to have your tissues handy, because YOU WILL shed some tears. For my full review, please visit my blog at: http://obsessedbookaholic.com/2020/07... Thank you NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Morelia (Strandedinbooks)

    *CW: death of a parent, Alzheimer’s, grief I freaking adore this memoir, for as much as it broke my heart. The author’s humor was so perfectly thrown in to balance out the story and ultimately just made a fan out of me. To get to read such intimate thoughts really hit me in the feels, and now I’ll just sit here with my tears and hug the shit out of my own dad.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    While Alterman does deliver some humor in this book, I found it overwhelmingly heartbreaking. The synopsis wants you to think Alterman and her father are working closely on books, but it is more of a tale of losing someone to Alzheimer's and the story of a family dealing with all the issues. It is a lovely tribute, but one that is hard.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Abigail Laura

    I absolutely loved this memoir. I laughed and cried through the whole thing. I really enjoyed Alterman's writing style and how she told the story. I was deeply moved by her loss and how quickly her father's illness took him. I appreciate the conversations this book brings up and how the author handles such difficult topics (loss and Alzheimer's) and is vulnerable in telling her experiences.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Daniels

    Here I am reading this touching, funny-yet-heartbreaking memoir, when lo and behold I realize I know one of the people the author is talking about! That was a fun surprise. What a small world the world is. I really feel like I got to know Sara and Ira through this book, and I'm sad the world doesn't get to know him anymore. He was taken too soon, but somewhere, at least, his legacy lives on.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kayo

    This book made me cry like a blubbering idiot. Very well written. Great book! Thanks to author, publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book. While I got the book for free, it had no bearing on the rating I gave it.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    I laughed so hard and then cried so long. Sara writes in a very relatable way to everyone’s daily lives. She has the best paint-a-picture voice that doesn’t get boring. Her parents are awesome and her story really resonated with me. A must-read memoir.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Krysta

    I find myself wanting to apologise for not liking this book. It's a sweet sad story but not much goes on. The main character offers no development, no passions, it felt more like a verbal account of her relationship with her dad.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Erin Goettsch

    From the premise and cover, I expected this to be a humor-type memoir, and it IS funny, but the heartwarming love outshines the laughy bits. Lovely story of an imperfect family trying to love each other, imperfectly. Definitely recommend.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Melinda

    Heartfelt and at times hilarious walk through a complicated daughter-father relationship.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Caroline Meehan

    Such a great read! Sara deftly treats a tough topic (her Dads Alzheimer’s diagnosis) with compassion, humor and candor.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    I liked this a lot, it was like a really good This American Life story.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kennedy Ormsby

    I am a sucker for a memoir, but memoirs about parent/child relationships always get me. This story is so unique. It’s hilariously quirky and tragic at the same time. I loved this.

  28. 4 out of 5

    John

    An awkwardly funny and occasionally heartbreaking family memoir!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Bill Posters

    Love to spend my friday night confronting my own mortality and crying and then laughing about a Schindler's list & Shawshank Redemption mix up and then crying again Love to spend my friday night confronting my own mortality and crying and then laughing about a Schindler's list & Shawshank Redemption mix up and then crying again

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sofia The Great

    Pretty unique story. I really enjoyed it.

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