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Sometimes I Trip On How Happy We Could Be

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Pop culture is the Pandora’s Box of our lives. Racism, wealth, poverty, beauty, inclusion, exclusion, and hope -- all of these intractable and unavoidable features course through the media we consume. Examining pop culture’s impact on her life, Nichole Perkins takes readers on a rollicking trip through the last twenty years of music, media and the internet from the perspec Pop culture is the Pandora’s Box of our lives. Racism, wealth, poverty, beauty, inclusion, exclusion, and hope -- all of these intractable and unavoidable features course through the media we consume. Examining pop culture’s impact on her life, Nichole Perkins takes readers on a rollicking trip through the last twenty years of music, media and the internet from the perspective of one southern Black woman. She explores her experience with mental illness and how the TV series Frasier served as a crutch, how her role as mistress led her to certain internet message boards that prepared her for current day social media, and what it means to figure out desire and sexuality and Prince in a world where marriage is the only acceptable goal for women.  Combining her sharp wit, stellar pop culture sensibility, and trademark spirited storytelling, Nichole boldly tackles the damage done to women, especially Black women, by society’s failure to confront the myths and misogyny at its heart, and her efforts to stop the various cycles that limit confidence within herself. By using her own life and loves as a unique vantage point, Nichole humorously and powerfully illuminates how to take the best pop culture has to offer and discard the harmful bits, offering a mirror into our own lives.


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Pop culture is the Pandora’s Box of our lives. Racism, wealth, poverty, beauty, inclusion, exclusion, and hope -- all of these intractable and unavoidable features course through the media we consume. Examining pop culture’s impact on her life, Nichole Perkins takes readers on a rollicking trip through the last twenty years of music, media and the internet from the perspec Pop culture is the Pandora’s Box of our lives. Racism, wealth, poverty, beauty, inclusion, exclusion, and hope -- all of these intractable and unavoidable features course through the media we consume. Examining pop culture’s impact on her life, Nichole Perkins takes readers on a rollicking trip through the last twenty years of music, media and the internet from the perspective of one southern Black woman. She explores her experience with mental illness and how the TV series Frasier served as a crutch, how her role as mistress led her to certain internet message boards that prepared her for current day social media, and what it means to figure out desire and sexuality and Prince in a world where marriage is the only acceptable goal for women.  Combining her sharp wit, stellar pop culture sensibility, and trademark spirited storytelling, Nichole boldly tackles the damage done to women, especially Black women, by society’s failure to confront the myths and misogyny at its heart, and her efforts to stop the various cycles that limit confidence within herself. By using her own life and loves as a unique vantage point, Nichole humorously and powerfully illuminates how to take the best pop culture has to offer and discard the harmful bits, offering a mirror into our own lives.

30 review for Sometimes I Trip On How Happy We Could Be

  1. 5 out of 5

    Roxane

    In these sharp, uncompromising essays, Nichole Perkins probes the intersections between her blackness, hailing from the South, her womanhood, and her sexuality. There is an appealing self-awareness in these essay— a willingness to examine her flaws as much as her strengths. The book gets stronger and stronger and the final few essays are clarion calls to naming things as they are, claiming the power you desire, and embracing yourself unapologetically.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Woc Reader

    Nichole Perkins has lived a life! She doesn't hold back from the first essay Fast she explores her relationship and somewhat obsession with sex in a way I've never heard anyone be so blatantly honest before. I had to push some of my own judgement and bias aside just to read some of these essays. And she uses pop culture to mark different events over phases in her life. Like her love of Prince's music and the way he explores sex throughout his catalog. To her experience being a mistress and the a Nichole Perkins has lived a life! She doesn't hold back from the first essay Fast she explores her relationship and somewhat obsession with sex in a way I've never heard anyone be so blatantly honest before. I had to push some of my own judgement and bias aside just to read some of these essays. And she uses pop culture to mark different events over phases in her life. Like her love of Prince's music and the way he explores sex throughout his catalog. To her experience being a mistress and the awkward Aim and email conversations with the wife probing her for tips. She has an essay titled White Boys and explains where she tries to breakdown her obsession with dating them and realizing that the at the end of the day they're still men no different from other men. She also details in another essay an experience with a particular white man who set off all her red flags and pushed her boundaries in ways she's learned to never compromise over again. I loved the essay about Niles Crane and holding what's considered unrealistic expectations for your lover. Not to mention I agree with her that Fraiser is a good way to test your potential partner. If they can't get with the witty intellectual humor of that how than they probably won't understand me. And in My Kameelah-Ass List she reflects on what qualities she would like her ideal man to have. But it's not just her love life and sexual exploits that make this memoir worth a read. I liked what she wrote about her family as well. She talks about the household she grew up in with a momma who was holding everything down while in an abusive relationship with her father. And her mother finding her own voice and sense of liberation and control through Janet Jackson. She writes about her relationship with her sister and the bonding moments over TV shows, music, and movies. There's the relationship with her brother where she's always been his keeper because he has special needs and she grew up learning to stand up for him. How her favorite aunt tried to help her get away from the family dysfunction with book buying outings where she would indulge her love of romance. As an HBCU grad she discusses the roles HBCU have played in her life. She grew up in Tennessee near 3 HBCUs so it was never a question whether she was going to one or not. It was choosing which one to go to and she opted for the further away Dillard to experience being on her own away from home. She gets into how freeing it was to be educated in an environment where her skin color didn't matter and the start difference when compared to her high school and grad school days. Even if you think you aren't like Nichole it's hard not to be able to relate to parts of her stories. Whether it be the questioning of Christianity because the church has let you down in the past or relating to the sentiment of not wanting to end up alone but also not wanting to compromise your ideals. This was a great read and even though non fiction isn't my usual go-to I highly suggest checking this out even if you just decide to read the essays as a slow read. I received a gifted finished copy in exchange for review. https://womenofcolorreadtoo.blogspot....

  3. 5 out of 5

    Traci Thomas

    Loved the range of tone and cohesion in this collection. Perkins essays are engaging and readable, almost conversational. The book gets a little repetitive. Good sex writing. Lots of sex. Overall solid collection.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    4.5 I really great memoir/essay collection from a new to me author. I went through this in a few days, but took a lot away from it. While my life experiences versus those of the author are quite different, I found myself nodding my head in agreement many times and enjoyed learning about her life and thoughts about being a women in today's world. One of my favorite parts of the book was when the author described Saturday morning "dates" with her Auntie. They would go to a bookstore and then out to 4.5 I really great memoir/essay collection from a new to me author. I went through this in a few days, but took a lot away from it. While my life experiences versus those of the author are quite different, I found myself nodding my head in agreement many times and enjoyed learning about her life and thoughts about being a women in today's world. One of my favorite parts of the book was when the author described Saturday morning "dates" with her Auntie. They would go to a bookstore and then out to eat. It made me wish I had done that with someone in my family growing up and cemented even more how much I want to continue bonding with my daughter over our love of reading via the library or bookstore. I think it also will help guide me in ways of communicating and getting to know her when she gets older and hits the more reclusive years as a teenager - providing a way to connect. I would pick up another book by this author in the future and recommend this for anyone who is an older Milennial/younger Gen X as the cultural references make more sense (and I enjoyed going down memory lane!) Many thanks to Grand Central Publishing and the author for the gifted paperback copy. Review Date: 08/14/2021 Publication Date: 08/17/2021

  5. 5 out of 5

    Raluca

    I think the title misled me into thinking this collection of essays would focus on arts / pop culture much more than it did. The several pieces on Perkins' sexual life and my slight shudder at reading them made me realize I'm one hell of a prude. And while I didn't love this particular collection, I still maintain that personal essays are extremely valuable in representing perspectives and lives outside the (sexist, racist, ableist, etc-ist) mainstream perspective. I think the title misled me into thinking this collection of essays would focus on arts / pop culture much more than it did. The several pieces on Perkins' sexual life and my slight shudder at reading them made me realize I'm one hell of a prude. And while I didn't love this particular collection, I still maintain that personal essays are extremely valuable in representing perspectives and lives outside the (sexist, racist, ableist, etc-ist) mainstream perspective.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Never Without a Book

    First off the gift box I received from the publisher... lol had me clutching my pearls. This is an excellent collection.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lisa B

    Reading this book felt intimate, like chatting it up with close friends and bottles of wine. Or, sneaking and reading my big sister’s diary. The chapters I enjoyed most were “Prince’s Girl”, because I’ve always been obsessed with Prince, and“The Bonnet” where she talked about her natural hair journey and referred to the 80s TV show, Mama’s Family, which I LOVED! Nicole detailed her personal experiences with sexual expression/exploration/freedom, relationships and life in general. It was a nice rea Reading this book felt intimate, like chatting it up with close friends and bottles of wine. Or, sneaking and reading my big sister’s diary. The chapters I enjoyed most were “Prince’s Girl”, because I’ve always been obsessed with Prince, and“The Bonnet” where she talked about her natural hair journey and referred to the 80s TV show, Mama’s Family, which I LOVED! Nicole detailed her personal experiences with sexual expression/exploration/freedom, relationships and life in general. It was a nice read. I pride myself on being open and able to talk about many subjects, but I found myself thinking at times “um, TMI”. Mainly when she talked about masturbating at a very early age. I’d love to join an author discussion about the book for more context, girl talk, and clarity on the central message she wanted to convey. 🎁Thank you @grandcentralpub for my gifted copy!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kiara

    Check out my blog here I'm sorry to say that I had no idea who Nichole Perkins was before I came across this essay collection. Sorry because it so eloquently depicted what it's like being a Black girl who was raised in the South, and reading this collection felt like talking to a friend. In Sometimes I Trip On How Happy We Could Be, Nichole Perkins lays bare her story in such an open and no-holds-barred way. She touches on Black Southern girlhood, sexuality, agency, sibling relationships, parenta Check out my blog here I'm sorry to say that I had no idea who Nichole Perkins was before I came across this essay collection. Sorry because it so eloquently depicted what it's like being a Black girl who was raised in the South, and reading this collection felt like talking to a friend. In Sometimes I Trip On How Happy We Could Be, Nichole Perkins lays bare her story in such an open and no-holds-barred way. She touches on Black Southern girlhood, sexuality, agency, sibling relationships, parental relationships, infidelity, and feeling at home with yourself. Never since I read Deesha Philyaw's The Secret Lives of Church Ladies have I felt so seen. I'm from North Carolina, and a lot of the things Perkins talked about hit very close to home, like the stories about her mother and grandmother, and the way sex is handled in Black Southern families. It can be a very stifling environment, and Perkins captured that perfectly. In Sometimes I Trip On How Happy We Could Be, Perkins fully embraces being imperfect. She's made some decisions in her life that may cause some people to raise their eyebrows, but she doesn't shy away from relating them to her reader. She owns them. A Black woman rarely has the space or opportunity to be multifaceted and flawed, and I hope that books like these give other Black women the courage to own their truths. **eARC provided by the publisher, Grand Central Publishing, via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**

  9. 4 out of 5

    Heather Freeman

    This is an amazing book. I've followed Perkins on Twitter for years (I think I discovered her voice and humor when she guested on the podcast 'Another Round'), and I jumped at the chance to read her memoir/essay collection early. It certainly delivers--the pieces range the gamut from meditations on Prince and early sexuality to Black hair, all tied back in some deeply engaging way to Perkins' own life. She discloses a lot here, in a lot of ways, and I think we're blessed as readers to get to wit This is an amazing book. I've followed Perkins on Twitter for years (I think I discovered her voice and humor when she guested on the podcast 'Another Round'), and I jumped at the chance to read her memoir/essay collection early. It certainly delivers--the pieces range the gamut from meditations on Prince and early sexuality to Black hair, all tied back in some deeply engaging way to Perkins' own life. She discloses a lot here, in a lot of ways, and I think we're blessed as readers to get to witness her powerful mind think through things that have happened to her and her friends and family as well as more lighthearted things she's done, watched, or thought. It's not particularly a light-hearted collection (though there are great, funny moments), but it's a deeply felt one, and a deeply thought-through one, and I can't wait to buy a copy once it's available for sale. (Review based on a NetGalley eARC.)

  10. 4 out of 5

    Shelah

    Whew this book was everything. Reading each chapter talked about different topics that particularly were very very relatable especially to black women. The book talked about "fast girls" how young black girls who are barely teenagers are accused of being too grown and too fast. How the men who approach them are not held accountable for their actions but somehow the young girls "seduced" them. Topics such as teenage pregnancy, black people and the church, bad father figure and many others. I like Whew this book was everything. Reading each chapter talked about different topics that particularly were very very relatable especially to black women. The book talked about "fast girls" how young black girls who are barely teenagers are accused of being too grown and too fast. How the men who approach them are not held accountable for their actions but somehow the young girls "seduced" them. Topics such as teenage pregnancy, black people and the church, bad father figure and many others. I like how each topic resonates well. Each topic deals with the black issues women face daily. - Babies are not cures for irresponsible men. - How dating a white man as a black woman can be stressful especially when it turns out they're fetishizing you. - Body image: how black women are constantly compared to as animals and told they "look like men" because they don't reach the standards what society perceives as beauty. The writer talked about her life growing up, dating life, college experience, her neurodivergent brother and her worries about him. I absolutely loved all these but let's talk about things I disliked and absolutely disagreed with in this book. - Cheating: the justification for sleeping with married men and saying "I won't be shamed for finding love in unusual places". Lol it's laughable because every topic reiterates the fact that she had failed relationships and "men this" "men that". She talked about not having a father figure and if you put 1+1 it'll equal daddy issues. I'm sure she is yet to realise the real reasons why her relationships fail and why she goes for the scums of the earth. I also couldn't fathom when she said one of her married lover's wife reached out to her and asked "why you" and she almost replied "your pussy is trash" ma'am???? Uh??? - I got a serious "I'm different from every other girl" vibes from her. "I don't do what other girls do" "all the girls hated me in college" lol but you purposely stayed away from them and you kept talking about how you tried so hard to be "cool for boys". - This one is my favourite, demonizing BDSM. She talked about how she wanted a sub who was just a "tongue slave" and won't speak to her and if anything I'm awfully tired of vanilla people not doing enough research and thinking they can use people in the community for their benefits. - Also there's a thin line between sexual liberation and using sex as a coping mechanism. All in all, I enjoyed the book but I honestly think towards the end there was a lot of bitterness especially towards men. She has gone through a lot but damn sis coughscoughstherapycoughs.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lydia

    “Like a fool, every time I write out my intentions for the new year, I list ‘Have someone to celebrate Valentine’s Day with,’ and, like a fool, I forget I am someone.”

  12. 4 out of 5

    Leigh Kramer

    This was such a solid memoir-in-essay collection! I am going to think about the essay titled Kermit the Frog for a long LONG time. She made a connection between the muppets and intimate partner violence that is astounding. Perkins tackles an array of topics but sex is front and center. It was refreshing and empowering to read, especially her thoughts on BDSM. However, I struggled with her thoughts about being involved with men who are married or engaged. But she’s entitled to her opinion and it This was such a solid memoir-in-essay collection! I am going to think about the essay titled Kermit the Frog for a long LONG time. She made a connection between the muppets and intimate partner violence that is astounding. Perkins tackles an array of topics but sex is front and center. It was refreshing and empowering to read, especially her thoughts on BDSM. However, I struggled with her thoughts about being involved with men who are married or engaged. But she’s entitled to her opinion and it was interesting to at least think through her perspective. If you have strong thoughts about infidelity, you might want to skip that chapter. Some of the conclusions felt abrupt and could have used more of a transition. They didn’t always seem connected to what came beforehand. But that doesn’t take away from the strength of the collection as a whole. I’m looking forward to whatever Perkins writes next. CW: raped by friend (it takes her some time to realize it was rape and the chapter explores current post-#MeToo understanding of assault but she still blames herself somewhat), sexual coercion and reproductive sexual assault (he pressured her to have sex without a condom and took the condom off without her permission and finished inside), Plan B, sexual assault on playground (teachers ignored her report), hookup became emotionally abusive and gaslit after she broke things off, ex stalked her (filed restraining order), depression, discussion of suicidal ideation, infidelity (involved with men who were engaged or married; exes cheated on her), on page sex, masturbation, BDSM, street sexual harassment, intimate partner violence (father), father stalked mother after their divorce, substance abuse and alcoholism (father), dad was arrested, dad used R-word, autistic brother, ableism (used to pray brother would become “normal” but she later counters this), spleen rupture, PCOS, sister’s husband died in his sleep (apnea), purity culture (countered), slut-shaming (countered), brother was bulled growing up, fear of future police brutality re: her brother, mother and sister got pregnant as teens, discussion of gender norms/toxic masculinity and misogynoir (countered), alcohol, inebriation, shrooms, GHB (known as date rape drug but not used that way), marijuana, gendered insult, ableist language, male performance anxiety and erectile dysfunction, concern that hookup drank and drove (she was not in his car), mom was hospitalized for a week with COVID (recovered), reference to people using N word in race play (not author), reference to missing internet board member who died by suicide, reference to pregnant 5th and 6th graders

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nelda

    I truly enjoyed the sexual liberation and freedom that was detailed in this book. I was able to relate to the author's viewpoint especially with how she began the book. Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy the connection/order of the essays. The story felt somewhat disjointed, and it left me wanting to skip ahead. I truly enjoyed the sexual liberation and freedom that was detailed in this book. I was able to relate to the author's viewpoint especially with how she began the book. Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy the connection/order of the essays. The story felt somewhat disjointed, and it left me wanting to skip ahead.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sophia

    Sometimes I Trip On How Happy We Could Be by Nichole Perkins Published August 17, 2021 Roxane Gay's Audacious Book Club Pick <3 I TRANSCENDED BACK IN TIME FROM THE SOUND OF HER FIRST LINE <3 This book really had me questioning my life choices. Clearly I have not experience life's pleasure like this woman did/does. I was trying hard not to judge some of the raunchy, crass, ratchetness while at the same time being envious at some of her experiences. I will just pretend that I lived will live am livi Sometimes I Trip On How Happy We Could Be by Nichole Perkins Published August 17, 2021 Roxane Gay's Audacious Book Club Pick <3 I TRANSCENDED BACK IN TIME FROM THE SOUND OF HER FIRST LINE <3 This book really had me questioning my life choices. Clearly I have not experience life's pleasure like this woman did/does. I was trying hard not to judge some of the raunchy, crass, ratchetness while at the same time being envious at some of her experiences. I will just pretend that I lived will live am living virtually through her. #BrotherlyLove #domesticviolence #addiction, #SEXUALFREEDOM, #depression #mentalhealth #therapy The memories of the #FRASIER SHOW heals me too <3. A passionate, magnetic memoir that explores writer and podcast host Nichole Perkins's obsession with pop culture and the challenges of navigating relationships as a Black woman through feminism and Southern mores. Pop culture is the Pandora's Box of our lives. Racism, wealth, poverty, beauty, inclusion, exclusion, and hope — all of these intractable and unavoidable features course through the media we consume. Examining pop culture's impact on her life, Nichole Perkins takes readers on a rollicking trip through the last twenty years of music, media and the internet from the perspective of one southern Black woman. She explores her experience with mental illness and how the TV series Frasier served as a crutch, how her role as mistress led her to certain internet message boards that prepared her for current day social media, and what it means to figure out desire and sexuality and Prince in a world where marriage is the only acceptable goal for women. Combining her sharp wit, stellar pop culture sensibility, and trademark spirited storytelling, Nichole boldly tackles the damage done to women, especially Black women, by society's failure to confront the myths and misogyny at its heart, and her efforts to stop the various cycles that limit confidence within herself. By using her own life and loves as a unique vantage point, Nichole humorously and powerfully illuminates how to take the best pop culture has to offer and discard the harmful bits, offering a mirror into our own lives.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tess

    SOMETIMES I TRIP ON HOW HAPPY WE COULD BE is a fantastic collection of memoir essays from Nichole Perkins. I was only familiar with her writing on Twitter, but this book has made me so exciting to read more from her in the future. I just got lost in her stories, chronicling her love of pop culture with coming-of-age stories about sex, writing, and being a Gen X Black woman. It's like having a glass of wine with a good friend as she lets you in on her secrets and inner details of her private life SOMETIMES I TRIP ON HOW HAPPY WE COULD BE is a fantastic collection of memoir essays from Nichole Perkins. I was only familiar with her writing on Twitter, but this book has made me so exciting to read more from her in the future. I just got lost in her stories, chronicling her love of pop culture with coming-of-age stories about sex, writing, and being a Gen X Black woman. It's like having a glass of wine with a good friend as she lets you in on her secrets and inner details of her private life while also making you laugh at pitch perfect references to icons like Kermit and Miss Piggy, Niles Crane, and the show Bones. Perkins' focus on power and identity in the book is fascinating, While the essays weave in and out of different points in her life (you never quite know where each essay will take you in her place or time in life), the idea of working towards discovering your own agency (either professionally or sexually or in relationships) slowly develops as the overall theme. I really enjoyed this, and it took me until the end of the collection to look back and see the essays not as a disjointed array but as a cohesive narrative structure of her life and how these themes have developed over time for her. Perkins is an incredible writer and I can't recommend this book more. CW: sexual abuse, domestic violence This ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. It comes out on August 17th, 2021!

  16. 5 out of 5

    2TReads

    ...I learned to stand firmly in the singularity of love, unspoken yet clear and worth every moment it took to arrive. There was something in every single essay of Perkins' collection that as a Black woman I could relate to and understand. Her experiences good and bad are all ones we can see reflected in our own childhoods, teen years, and adulthood. Each essay deals with familial dynamics, societal perceptions and expectations, sibling love and support, and lingering trauma. What I really enjoyed ...I learned to stand firmly in the singularity of love, unspoken yet clear and worth every moment it took to arrive. There was something in every single essay of Perkins' collection that as a Black woman I could relate to and understand. Her experiences good and bad are all ones we can see reflected in our own childhoods, teen years, and adulthood. Each essay deals with familial dynamics, societal perceptions and expectations, sibling love and support, and lingering trauma. What I really enjoyed about these essays was how she weaved her love of pop culture, be it music, musical icons, movies, or tv shows into the fabric of her losing, uncovering, and discovering herself. Perkins is blunt in relaying to the reader that it took her quite some time to unlearn harmful ideations and notions about herself and especially about herself as a bigger bodied Black woman. She explores what that can mean for expressing thoughts and desires and how harmful stereotypes that are so engrained within our society can hamper the way in which we can truly live freely. But by the end of these essays, we closed the cover knowing that she had finally embraced all that she is and the strength and beauty she wields.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sally Kilpatrick

    I chose this book because I saw that Perkins's Twitter handle was @tnwhiskeywoman. Well, same. I, too, am a Tennessee girl who has a fondness for whiskey. I had some passing knowledge of Thirst Aid Kit, too, but that was about all I knew. Well. These essays are brilliant in their openness, in Perkins's willingness to explore her flaws but to ultimately celebrate her strengths. She is unflinchingly honest about sex and her sex life, which might be off-putting to the more prudish but, let's face it, I chose this book because I saw that Perkins's Twitter handle was @tnwhiskeywoman. Well, same. I, too, am a Tennessee girl who has a fondness for whiskey. I had some passing knowledge of Thirst Aid Kit, too, but that was about all I knew. Well. These essays are brilliant in their openness, in Perkins's willingness to explore her flaws but to ultimately celebrate her strengths. She is unflinchingly honest about sex and her sex life, which might be off-putting to the more prudish but, let's face it, if we all talked more and more honestly about sex we'd be better off. Often, she made me laugh. On occasion, she made me cry--especially with her essay about her brother. At least once I gripped the steering wheel of my car and stayed after my drive to listen and make sure she was safe from Hal. I loved her essay about her aunt and about Prince. Oh, heck, I loved them all. I don't usually like audiobooks--I'm learning to--but Perkins does an outstanding job of telling her own story. My only regret is that there was no way to highlight all of the lovely turns of phrase, all of the truths I heard.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Cookie

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ Poet, writer, and podcast host Nichole Perkins shares a collection of essays of her experiences on many different topics in this nonfiction book. She covers topics like sexuality, church and religion, body image, her experiences as a Black woman in the dating world, and mental health. What did I like the most about this book? I loved that Perkins was honest and open about her not-your-average sex life and her voracious appetite for sex. This was a running theme throughout the book and ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ Poet, writer, and podcast host Nichole Perkins shares a collection of essays of her experiences on many different topics in this nonfiction book. She covers topics like sexuality, church and religion, body image, her experiences as a Black woman in the dating world, and mental health. What did I like the most about this book? I loved that Perkins was honest and open about her not-your-average sex life and her voracious appetite for sex. This was a running theme throughout the book and most of the chapters touched on this in one form another. But this book wasn't just about sex. It was about how societal expectations about sex and women have played into her self esteem and body image; how her body and sex have affected her relationship with the men in her life; how her wants and needs as a woman have changed over the years. Perkins is a gifted writer and storyteller, weaving in humor, pop culture and social commentary into her stories. I am astounded by her ability to put herself out there, sharing her experiences and thoughts that most would want to keep private. I feel like I'm not doing this book justice with my review, but I highly recommend this book! If you are a fan of romance books like Perkins and I are, pick up this nonfiction read for a change of pace. It's got some steamy content that you can live vicariously through but she also gives you lots of food for thought. ⚠️: domestic violence, child abuse, addiction, sexual assault, depression Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for a gifted copy of this book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Alex Kogay

    3.5 but rounding up because I feel like I could be friends with Nichole. I also absolutely adore the title and the cover! It was very personal yet educational? a bit too detailed in some places for me, personally, but I also appreciate the need to normalize talking about the topics in the books in an open manner to put people at ease - it's fine to talk about and discuss sex, intimacy, and the need for both, within the boundaries of consent (to both engage in and talk about). For me, these essays 3.5 but rounding up because I feel like I could be friends with Nichole. I also absolutely adore the title and the cover! It was very personal yet educational? a bit too detailed in some places for me, personally, but I also appreciate the need to normalize talking about the topics in the books in an open manner to put people at ease - it's fine to talk about and discuss sex, intimacy, and the need for both, within the boundaries of consent (to both engage in and talk about). For me, these essays are somewhere between the deep and wonderful insights of Roxanne Gay and the light, funny, and casual confessions of Samantha Irby.

  20. 5 out of 5

    D.C.

    I suspect this book is much better than I think it is. I have enjoyed the author's other work and she is one of my favorite people to follow on Twitter. I think sometimes you read a book and it hits you wrong because you're in the wrong head space. I'm glad I bought in instead of borrowing it. That way I can reread it in the future when I'm the reader Ms. Perkins deserves. I suspect this book is much better than I think it is. I have enjoyed the author's other work and she is one of my favorite people to follow on Twitter. I think sometimes you read a book and it hits you wrong because you're in the wrong head space. I'm glad I bought in instead of borrowing it. That way I can reread it in the future when I'm the reader Ms. Perkins deserves.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Danielle H

    These essays (and their voice!!) were engaging and insightful but I felt almost across the board that I wanted them to be longer.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Karen Dee

    Nicole Perkins has the hot girl book of the summer and it is a collection of nonfiction essays about her life. The essays deal with topics such as sexuality, mental health,religion, growing up a Black woman in the south, her family and dating life. The honesty in which she talks about these subjects is at once refreshing and jarring. The stories she tells at times reads like the steamiest of romance novels and at others deals with memories of pain. Yet she talks about it all trivial or profound u Nicole Perkins has the hot girl book of the summer and it is a collection of nonfiction essays about her life. The essays deal with topics such as sexuality, mental health,religion, growing up a Black woman in the south, her family and dating life. The honesty in which she talks about these subjects is at once refreshing and jarring. The stories she tells at times reads like the steamiest of romance novels and at others deals with memories of pain. Yet she talks about it all trivial or profound unabashed with the flair of a master storyteller. You never know where her essays will take you but as she expertly discusses each topic I was more than willing to follow. This memoir/essay collection was one of my favorite reads of the summer. It was the first book of Ms Perkins's that I have read but with a voice as powerful as hers it definitely won't be my last.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Trish

    This is SO good, all the way through the last line of the ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS. That's how good Nichole is -- she is insightful and vivid and eloquent all the way to the final syllable. "They had figures that betrayed their ages and minds and could barely solve word problems, and yet were the ones labeled fast. And maybe they were. Maybe they'd felt compelled to race to catch up to their bodies and ended up at a finish line they didn't expect." "The world kept telling me that men, even as frogs, hat This is SO good, all the way through the last line of the ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS. That's how good Nichole is -- she is insightful and vivid and eloquent all the way to the final syllable. "They had figures that betrayed their ages and minds and could barely solve word problems, and yet were the ones labeled fast. And maybe they were. Maybe they'd felt compelled to race to catch up to their bodies and ended up at a finish line they didn't expect." "The world kept telling me that men, even as frogs, hated relationships, especially with women, and they tolerated both because they had no choice. The way to a man's heart was to wear it down." "As many of us grow to learn: a raggedy piece of something is rarely better than the healthy whole." "We both let that last sentence site on the table between the salt and pepper shakers." "The condemnation for being a sexual person hung in the air, shimmying over everything like pollen." "He was newly divorced and never wanted to get married again or even have another serious relationship so when I feel for him, I tucked my love in chess pies and greens and trinkets from Etsy and kisses against his forehead." "This was my first real apartment, and I had such cheap furniture. I had personally assembled the black metal canopy bed found in every hood furniture shop, which had to be the way somebody was laundering money." "After the emergency splenectomy when I was twenty-five, I was sure no one would ever wnat to have sex with me again. I thought I'd have to recycle old lovers who knew I had that gushy and didn't care about a scar." "He was another man following some script he'd imagined would appeal to me, and he couldn't accept that I was not performing my lines." "When I am knocking my head against the wall of my professional frustrations, and envy threatens to swallow me whole, I remind myself a better path will reveal itself and take me someplace even more satisfying than I could imagine." "Like a fool, every time I write out my intentions for the new year, I list 'Have someone to celebrate Valentine's Day with,' and, like a fool, I forget I am someone."

  24. 4 out of 5

    Chris Boutté

    Prior to this book, I hadn’t heard of Nichole Perkins’ work, but another author I follow shared that Nichole just released a book. After a little research, I decided to grab a copy. I love reading books from a wide range of non-fiction authors to get a variety of perspectives and experiences, and this was definitely different compared to a lot of the books I’ve been reading lately. Once I started the book, I couldn’t put it down. The first thing that’s incredibly apparent is that Nichole is a ph Prior to this book, I hadn’t heard of Nichole Perkins’ work, but another author I follow shared that Nichole just released a book. After a little research, I decided to grab a copy. I love reading books from a wide range of non-fiction authors to get a variety of perspectives and experiences, and this was definitely different compared to a lot of the books I’ve been reading lately. Once I started the book, I couldn’t put it down. The first thing that’s incredibly apparent is that Nichole is a phenomenal writer. Books that are a collection of personal essays can be hit or miss for me, but Nichole’s style of writing is incredible. Although I’m a half Black/half White man who is just a few years younger than Nichole, I could relate a lot of what she wrote when it came to music and pop culture from the 90s and 2000s. As the child of an alcoholic mother, I could relate to some of Nichole’s stories about her father, and I was really impressed with how open, honest, and vulnerable she was throughout the book. Writers like Nichole inspire me to be a better writer and content creator because she’s authentic throughout the book about everything from her thoughts and emotions to sexual experiences. Not being familiar with Nichole’s work, I thought when she wrote about her sex life, I’d be pretty uncomfortable, but personally, I wasn’t at all. Maybe it’s because I grew up here in Las Vegas with many of my best friends being women, but reading Nichole’s book just felt like she was another one of my female friends who I grew up with. Nicholes’s essays had a great blend of touching on topics of being a woman, being a Black woman, and being a person trying to figure life out just like the rest of us. I loved this book and finished it within a few days of launch, and I’d absolutely recommend it to anyone who enjoys the personal essay style of books.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    “People expect women to be everything at once, and there is no way to please everyone.” Oh man. This book was a good one. SO SO good! If you have been around a while you already know I love a good memoir and I especially love ones written in this essay type format because it’s such an easy read. Something you can pick up and put down with ease (even though I devoured it and there wasn’t much putting it down!) Synopsis: Nichole Perkins is the women you want to tell you everything-about her life, yo “People expect women to be everything at once, and there is no way to please everyone.” Oh man. This book was a good one. SO SO good! If you have been around a while you already know I love a good memoir and I especially love ones written in this essay type format because it’s such an easy read. Something you can pick up and put down with ease (even though I devoured it and there wasn’t much putting it down!) Synopsis: Nichole Perkins is the women you want to tell you everything-about her life, your life, pop culture, sexuality, and more. This is her memoir that takes you on a journey-from Miss Piggy to first kisses to the incomparable Janet Jackson and the pages of FetLife. She explores the difficulty of navigating relationships and stereotypes with powerful intimacy and a questioning gaze. This memoir is full of laughs, life experiences, and some hard moments too but it’s all wrapped up in a story that I couldn’t get enough of. Not only did I learn from Nichole’s story but there was also so much I resonated with. Nichole Perkins thank you for sharing part of your story with us! It is beautiful and bold and empowered me in a time in my life when there are a lot of things changing. It reminded me that’s it’s ok to take time to focus on myself and what I want while encouraging me to own being a strong, opinionated women. Oh man, I could go on and on! This beauty of a memoir comes out this Tuesday August 17th and you are not going to want to pass it up! Thank you so much Grand Central Pub for my #gifted copy! But all thoughts and opinions are my own

  26. 5 out of 5

    Malia

    I was thrilled to see Thirst Buckets thanked in this book, because I came to Nichole's work through the Thirst Aid Kit podcast, truly one of the greats. There's so much to appreciate in these essays. I thought structurally they built and linked together to create a very compelling portrait of a woman in progress. I always love reading about how people relate to the pop culture that they love, which Nichole does with music and television especially. And I was fascinated by her essay about the int I was thrilled to see Thirst Buckets thanked in this book, because I came to Nichole's work through the Thirst Aid Kit podcast, truly one of the greats. There's so much to appreciate in these essays. I thought structurally they built and linked together to create a very compelling portrait of a woman in progress. I always love reading about how people relate to the pop culture that they love, which Nichole does with music and television especially. And I was fascinated by her essay about the internet forum she was active on; I want more of those in the world! You can tell she is a storyteller, and her frank prose makes you feel like you're having late night talks with an old friend, catching up on everything you've missed. She's admittedly working on establishing stronger boundaries given some of her more traumatic experiences, and intriguingly, this book does seem like the defenses are still very lowered. As someone who considers herself quite private, it was a stark contrast to read details of her life I wouldn't personally reveal even to close friends (not a judgment, just my nature). I appreciated the complexities of her life that her honesty gives readers access to. All in all a very compelling and thought-provoking read. ***Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing an ARC in exchange for my honest review.***

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ciera

    I stopped giving memoirs a star rating but that isn’t to say that I really enjoyed Sometimes I Trip on How Happy We Could Be. I definitely did not anticipate the extent of sexual content Nichole Perkins includes in her memoir but found it refreshing to read about a woman who is so open about her sexuality. Perkins touches on and delves deep into her life as a Black woman experiencing mental illness, racism, and her ability to be so self-aware about both her flaws and her strengths. I am generally I stopped giving memoirs a star rating but that isn’t to say that I really enjoyed Sometimes I Trip on How Happy We Could Be. I definitely did not anticipate the extent of sexual content Nichole Perkins includes in her memoir but found it refreshing to read about a woman who is so open about her sexuality. Perkins touches on and delves deep into her life as a Black woman experiencing mental illness, racism, and her ability to be so self-aware about both her flaws and her strengths. I am generally a big fan of short stories and I enjoyed how Perkins breaks up her memoir into several stories to mark key moments in her life. Perkins also writes about her experience attending an HBCU and why choosing to enroll in an HBCU gave her empowerment. Even if you haven’t heard about Perkins before, it’s worth picking up her memoir to learn about a strong woman who embraces the imperfect. Content warnings: ableism, addiction, alcoholism, rape, stalking, sexual content, domestic abuse, sexual assault, racial slurs, fatphobia Thank you Grand Central Pub for a gifted copy!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Miriam T

    I often struggle with essay collections because they feel to me like they’re really disparate stories without a common thread. There were some times in this book that I felt like we’d strayed from a theme or the story was too random, but in general this was a super interesting collection. It was so explicitly and unabashedly sexual in a way I’m not used to reading (especially from someone I’d consider a “public figure”—a least to me haha!) but I LOVED it. Nichole’s voice really translates, from I often struggle with essay collections because they feel to me like they’re really disparate stories without a common thread. There were some times in this book that I felt like we’d strayed from a theme or the story was too random, but in general this was a super interesting collection. It was so explicitly and unabashedly sexual in a way I’m not used to reading (especially from someone I’d consider a “public figure”—a least to me haha!) but I LOVED it. Nichole’s voice really translates, from this book to her tweets to her old podcast Thirst Aid Kit. She has, to me, one mode: open, authentic, honest (although I’ve learned through this book that that’s not always been true). There are so many lessons to glean from this book; I think anytime a woman talks openly about her sexuality and sexual experiences, I really learn from it and find it incredibly valuable. Nichole’s voice is one I want to hear more of. This book felt like a first book, in the sense that she’d just dipped her toes in. can’t wait for her to continue to write.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tonja

    This is a book of essays that takes the reader on Nichole’s journey to womanhood. There are stories of her childhood and growing up in a household where domestic violence was a part of her life. She does not hold back in describing her sexual experiences and preferences. These stories include her obsession with dating white men, as well as dating a married man. I especially enjoyed how she infused pop culture into her stories. It really made me think as she discussed the underlying message of abu This is a book of essays that takes the reader on Nichole’s journey to womanhood. There are stories of her childhood and growing up in a household where domestic violence was a part of her life. She does not hold back in describing her sexual experiences and preferences. These stories include her obsession with dating white men, as well as dating a married man. I especially enjoyed how she infused pop culture into her stories. It really made me think as she discussed the underlying message of abuse in kids shows such as Kermit and Miss Piggy. She reflects on the effects that the music of pop stars like Janet Jackson and Prince had on her. Nichole does not just tell her story but also what she learned from experiences and how they shaped her and changed her. I think it’s one you just have to read for yourself. Leave your judgement outside and enjoy her story. I received a gifted book from the publisher. All opinions are my own. 3.8 star rating.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Latiffany

    I decided to stop rating memoirs. How can you sum up someone's lived experiences using a star rating system. It is way too difficult. To be transparent, I have not enjoyed the majority of memoirs/essays that I read this year. Sometimes I Trip On How Happy We Could Be by Nichole Perkins did not resonate with me. I love Prince, but the book's title was an immediate turn off. I cannot recall which social media platform I was lurking on, but I came across praise for the book and decided to read it. I decided to stop rating memoirs. How can you sum up someone's lived experiences using a star rating system. It is way too difficult. To be transparent, I have not enjoyed the majority of memoirs/essays that I read this year. Sometimes I Trip On How Happy We Could Be by Nichole Perkins did not resonate with me. I love Prince, but the book's title was an immediate turn off. I cannot recall which social media platform I was lurking on, but I came across praise for the book and decided to read it. Then I heard an edited excerpt from the book on the podcast This American Life and decided that this definitely was not the book for me. Finally, I just picked it up and read it! I didn't enjoy any of the essays. I would still recommend this book, as there may be a gem in it that another reader finds useful. It didn't work for me, but it may help someone else.

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