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In this honest, hilarious, fiercely intelligent memoir, journalist Susan Shapiro dares to do what every woman dreams of: track down the five men who'd broken her heart and find out what really went wrong. Between the ages of thirteen and thirty-five, Susan had plunged into love, heart-first, five times. One bad breakup was more hurtful and humiliating than the next. With insight and daring, Susan chronicles her six-month-long journey back down a road strewn with romantic regret. Although for years she'd blamed her boyfriends for their flagrant infidelity, ludicrous faults, and immature foibles, to her shock she can now suddenly pinpoint the exact moment where she herself screwed up each relationship. A successful freelance writer living in Manhattan, Susan Shapiro was in the midst of a midlife crisis she called her "no-book-no-baby summer. " Married for five years to Aaron, a workaholic TV comedy writer always on the road, she was beginning to wonder if she'd remain book- and babyless forever. Then the phone rang, and it was Brad, a college flame who'd become a Harvard scientist with a book coming out. Susan offers to interview him, and she winds up launching into all the intense, invasive questions she'd always wanted to ask him. To her surprise, he answers them! This ignites a spark that sends her on a cross-country jaunt back through her lust-littered past. While Brad is still single, she finds that Heartbreaks Number Two, Three, and Four are not. George, a theater professor, and Richard, a music biographer, are happily married with children. Tom, a handsome blond lawyer in L. A. , is getting divorced. Just as it's becoming easy to worm her way back into her exes' good graces, she crashes head-on with David, a wry Canadian root canal specialist. ("It's the equivalent of what you did to me emotionally," she tells him. ) She then gut-wrenchingly relives the agony of splitting up with her first love all over again. Yet somewhere between the tantalizing what-ifs and bittersweet might-have-beens, she finds what she's been searching for all along. Part relationship manifesto, part confessional, and part valentine to the males in her life she adores,Five Men Who Broke My Heartis for anyone who has ever wondered what became of their first love. Or second, third, fourth, or fifth...
In the critically acclaimed Five Men Who Broke My Heart, Manhattan journalist Susan Shapiro revisited five self-destructive romances. In her hilarious, illuminating new memoir, Lighting Up, she rejects five self-destructive substances. This difficult quest for clean living starts with Shapiro's shocking revelation that, at forty, her lengthiest, most emotionally satisfying relationship has been with cigarettes. A two-pack-a-day smoker since the age of thirteen, Susan Shapiro quickly discovers that it's impossible to be a writer, a nonsmoker, sane, and slender in the same year. The last time she tried to quit, she gained twenty-three pounds, couldn't concentrate on work, and wanted to kill herself and her husband, Aaron, a TV comedy writer who hates her penchant for puffing away. Yet just as she's about to choose her vice over her marriage vows, she stumbles upon a secret weapon. Dr. Winters, "the James Bond of psychotherapy," is a brilliant but unorthodox addiction specialist, a former chain-smoker himself. Working his weird magic on her psyche, he unravels the roots of her twenty-seven-year compulsion, the same dangerous dependency that has haunted her doctor father, her grandfather, and a pair of eccentric aunts from opposite sides of the family, along with Freud and nearly one in four Americans. Dr. Winters teaches her how to embrace suffering, then proclaims that her months of panic, depression, insecurity, vulnerability, and wild mood swings win her the award for "the worst nicotine withdrawal in the history of the world." Shapiro finally does kick the habit--while losing weight and finding career and connubial bliss--only to discover that the second she's let go of her long-term crutch, she's already replaced it with another fixation. After banishing cigarettes, alcohol, dope, gum, and bread from her day-to-day existence, she conquers all her demons and survives deprivation overload. But relying religiously on Dr. Winters, she soon realizes that the only obsession she has left to quit is him. Never has the battle to stem substance abuse been captured with such wit, sophisticated insight, and candor. Lighting Up is so compulsively readable, it's addictive.
Ever since her former boss introduced her to her handsome, brilliant husband-to-be, Susan Shapiro has been on a marital mission. So far, she's fixed up twelve marriages and countless couples. Unlike all those "relationship experts" who are incapable of having a real relationship, or who took off their first ring to pledge their vows to their second or third life partner, Shapiro has witnessed--and scored--on all sides of the setup spectrum. She learned to charm her own blind dates, walk down the aisle with her personal Mr. Perfect, keep her first and only marriage rapturous, and expertly set up dozens of other duets. Now the author of the acclaimed memoirsLighting UpandFive Men Who Broke My Heart, and a self-proclaimed "diehard romantic optimist," shares her honest, provocative, and sometimes downright subversive slant on every stage of dating, sex, and domestic relations. She'll show you how to: * Fix yourself up first so you're really ready to be fixed up fabulously * Recognize raw marriage material and not let a good one get away * Break through your fears, insecurities, and dating defenses to land true love * Find love mentors who will set you up and help you close the deal * Decide which love and marriage myths to lose if you want to win * Keep fixing up your relationship so it stays warm and loving forever From the Trade Paperback edition.
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