Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Sex, Lies & Cookies

Sex, Lies & Cookies by  Lisa Glasberg

Tired of Martha Stewart perfection?  Or even Red Green’s sort of “perfection?”  Or maybe Martha Stewart meets Dr. Ruth with a plate of cookies?  Who wouldn’t want a book by this title? 

Radio personality “Lisa G” is lately known as part of Howard Stern’s radio group.  Most people choosing this book would expect to learn more about Stern, I’ll bet.  In fact, there is very little. 

What is here is one woman’s rise to become a radio personality.  From the time she was in junior high, Lisa wanted to be on radio, and this was to be the driving force behind her every thought, career move, and radio preparation.  Her voice on the radio allowed her to accept the love she didn’t feel in childhood and could not accept from her lovers.  Of which there were many:  “The nice thing about having people love you for your voice is that you don’t have to be anywhere near them while they’re listening to you.  You can be far, far, away.  And that’s how I liked it.  Unfortunately, I carried that fear of intimacy into my personal life.  I loved men, and I loved sex with men, but that whole relationship give-and-take thing?  I wasn’t such a fan of that.  My idea of a giving relationship with a man was to bake him cookies and take them over to his apartment while wearing a fur coat and nothing underneath.  And that’s not giving- that’s giving it away.”  However, we really don’t see that she does love sex.  In most of her relationships, she complains about her lack of fun in sex.  Perhaps she wants us to feel sorry for her lack of relationships also?  Perhaps she wants us to feel much more the career focus because of the lack of fun in sex?

This pretty much sums up the book- a swing through her many (poor) relationships and sex life, when what we wanted was the inside scoop on radio stations. The best section relayed her adventures with HOT 97, a hip-hop station in New York.  The idea of photographing her foot next to Shaquille O’Neal’s foot is a hoot.   We get that Lisa is unapologetic about her single-minded career focus:  “Men get rewarded for going after their careers single-mindedly.  And if they get married at age forty-eight . . . no one even raises an eyebrow.  But if a woman spends decades on her career, doesn’t get married, doesn’t have kids. . . well, I don’t need to tell you the kind of reaction that gets.”  Pretty current theme in popular non-fiction literature now.  

But let’s go back to the title:  it wasn’t leading us astray.  Sex, lies (in relationships) and cookies.  The cookie recipes are great.  Especially the lemonade bars and “Losing my cherry cookies.”  In fact, all of the cookies are deliberately placed for emphasis in the story, with little quips within the cookie story.  Cookies are such a focus that the “epilog” is a treatise on how to stage and produce a cookie party, broken down by steps months in advance.
This is billed as a memoir, and in light of recent problems with the facts within memoirs, Lisa admits that some of the facts are rearranged chronologically or combined to make more sense.
Originally we read this as a possible adult-to-young-adult focus.  We don't recommend it for teen readers.  We would recommend it to adult women for the beach this summer.  It doesn’t go beyond that.  And at $25.99, get it from the library or wait for paperback.  But it is fun.
Finally, a new favorite quote came from this book:  “That which does not kill you gives you a story to tell later.”

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