The Austin Chronicle

Book This Gift, You Constant Reader

By Wayne Alan Brenner, December 4, 2018, 4:20pm, All Over Creation

What’s that thing about why you might consider beating your head against a brick wall? Because it feels so good when you stop?


If you’d like to work a more oblique but also more insidious version of that activity into a few decades of your life, friend, do consider alcohol, won’t you? Drink it – via wine, whiskey, witbier, whatever – to dull the pain or diffuse the boredom of existence. Drink it to mitigate the numberless stressors of these multitasking days, drink it to fit in, drink it to tune out … just make sure that you keep on drinking it, for twenty or thirty years, until you start needing to drink it, pretty much constantly, or else you’re kind of fucked.

Drink it until, drinking it, you’re constantly kind of fucked anyway.

And then quit.
Seriously, just fucking quit.

You won’t feel so good immediately – you’ll feel like hell, in fact, and you’ll have to power through the long transition like you’re running a marathon through Death Valley – but, eventually, whoever you are, you’ll be doing yourself a favor.

And, eventually, if you’re Kristi Coulter, you’ll be doing the world a favor, too. That’s because Kristi Coulter, ex-Floridian, current Seattleite, witty intellectual powerhouse with a penchant for fancy lipsticks and a husband who often seems a saint of interpersonal diplomacy, will write about it. She’ll release a book’s worth of essays – rather, Farrar, Straus and Giroux will release it – a fine and affordable paperback relating that addiction, that struggle, that ongoing self-rescue. And the collection – recounting the trials of alcoholism, yes, but further ranging through neighborhoods of childhood memories and job (dis)satisfactions and running marathons and what it’s like to be a woman, this Coulter woman in particular, in our modern world – will give readers a reason to stay awake and keep turning pages. In sympathetic fascination, definitely; but also in delight at Coulter’s insight-rich observations and self-abrading, sometimes LOL snark.

This new collection of writing, Nothing Good Can Come From This, from the same human who brought us that “Enjoli” article you might’ve already seen somewhere in the ether, is, we’d suggest, a perfect accompaniment to a glass of orange juice, or a cup of matcha, or even – hey, no judgment – a double Gin Rickey. Like a carafe of cool clear water, this book of Coulter’s will pair well with everything in life’s rich pageant.

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