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Maeve in America: Essays by a Girl from Somewhere Else

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  357 Ratings  ·  68 Reviews
“If Tina Fey and David Sedaris had a daughter, she would be Maeve Higgins.” —Glamour

“Maeve Higgins is hilarious, poignant, conversational, and my favorite Irish import since U2. You’re in for a treat.” —Phoebe Robinson

A timely essay collection about life, love, and becoming an American from breakout comedy star and podcaster Maeve Higgins

Maeve Higgins was a bestselling mem
Paperback, 256 pages
Published August 7th 2018 by Penguin Books
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3.5 stars

Thanks for Penguin Canada for an ARC of this book.

Interesting personal essays
From an Irish point of view
An alien in the USA
Maeve is a comedian
Those essays take about:

Her travels
Her fear of dolphins
Her Instagram addiction
Failed love
Obsession with Michael Fassbender
Dogs and pets
USA and trump
Complimenting women
Renting fancy dresses
Summer in NYC

Good shit I tell you
Maeve Higgin's collection of essays initially read like Bridget Jones comes to America, as she offers humorous self-deprecating anecdotes of her own immigration to New York City from Cobh, Ireland. Rent-a-dress, money woes, small talk and swimming and loathing with dolphins, get the Higgins treatment. But as we know, life is not all fun and comedy sketches, and Higgins' pieces on Dreamers, leaving home, mentoring and our place in the universe are thoughtful and poignant.

I was not familiar with M
Apr 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
I will confess that I had never heard of Maeve Higgins prior to writing this book. I am glad that I gave it a chance, though, because Higgins is hilarious and I'm looking forward to seeking out more of her work in whatever form it might take. She's self-deprecating in a charming way, very Irish, and extremely thoughtful - the essay about her attempts to make her podcast about immigrants into something comedic is frustrating (because you want to throttle her producers) and beautiful all at once. ...more
Aug 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I was fortunate enough to win this book through a Goodreads Giveaway. My thanks to the sponsor and to Goodreads for facilitating this giveaway.

The series of essays in "Maeve in America" - penned by Irish comedian Maeve Higgins - was a bit difficult for me to synthesize into one main idea/takeaway. While some of the stories I definitely enjoyed and found humorous, others seemed to build to a crescendo that never materialized. I often found myself asking questions like, "so what?" and "why is this
Donna Hines
Self care, self love, self appreciation and awareness. Throw in some humor. Throw in some soul searching while on a journey to who knows and well you got this one wrapped.
I loved everything about this. The writing was simplistic yet packed full of fun, love, excitement.
A collection of essays much like Coming to America in which this Irish gal is trying to make her way in NYC as a newly planted immigrant.
It's not all comedy show style though as the discussions center upon some serious aspects inc
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
I picked this up while in NYC at the Strand because it was signed and I loved the review "If Tiny Fey and David Sedaris had a daughter..."

I was belly laughing by page 2, and really enjoyed laughing at the entire thing. Maeve is thoughtful and smart, and observes her experience being Irish in America.

Everyone needs to laugh. This is a particularly good way to get it done.
Sep 20, 2018 added it
Shelves: could-not-finish
I just couldn't get into these stories. I found a few interesting but some of the others just fell flat for me.
Annie Camp
Aug 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Feb 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Maeve Higgins has a hilarious and wise podcast, and her Instagram is always creative and clever. However, I found this book to be a weak outline of who she is and what her ideals are. They are there, but they aren't great, and her little stories seem silly. This is definitely a personality I would recommend should be listened to live (or at least podcast live) as her lively humor doesn't come across well on the page.

I did enjoy reading more about growing up in Cobh Ireland, where so many Irish i
Sep 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I originally shelved this on my “lolz” shelf. While there is a subtle humor throughout, it is much more thought provoking than bust a gut funny.

Maeve is best when she’s writing about the immigrant experience. I found those chapters to be heartbreakingly vital - all other chapters felt like insignificant fluff. I am saying this as an American; I WANT to hear about the immigrant experience. Granted, Maeve’s immigration is one of privilege and she points this out multiple times. However, she also
Shari Wampler
Aug 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
Maeve in America by Maeve Higgins
240 pages

What’s it about?
This is a collection of essays written by Irish comedienne and memoirist Maeve Higgins. Ms. Higgins came to America in her early thirties. She writes about her experiences as a woman and an Irish immigrant living in New York City.

What did it make me think about?
These essays are often funny, always insightful, and occasionally preachy. They did make me look at the immigrant experience in a different way.

Should I read
Sep 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Maybe I wasn’t in the right headspace for this book, and maybe I shouldn’t have tried to finish it while miserably hungover on a 3 hour hell-flight halfway across the country. But I had a hard time following some of the essays, which were full of ideas but didn’t always arrive home. I wish I had something more elegant to say. Sorry, Maeve.

I will say as a Kansas girl who just a week ago went to Kansas City’s Irish Fest, I had to reread those first few pages of “Aliens of Extraordinary Ability” t
Mj Brodie
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a witty, well-written collection of essays on life as an immigrant here in the USA. I'm a fan of Maeve Higgins' podcast 'Maeve in America: Immigration IRL' and that was how I came to read this book. The essays are a mix of thoughtful reflections on what it means to leave family and friends and travel across the world, but also funny observations on daily life in New York and as a single woman figuring out her priorities and navigating a different culture.

I loved the stories about Maeve
David Fitzgerald
As an Irishman who lived in San Francisco for a couple of years, listening to Maeve in America felt like a chat with an (incredibly funny) friend where we bantered over the similarities of our experience. Well, more like me sitting back and letting that friend recount their experience (an experience which was assisted by the fact that I consumed this in audiobook format with Maeve's chatty tone being delivered straight to my ears). It ebbs between hilarious, vulnerable and insightful, full of ke ...more
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Maeve Higgins is an absolute delight, and a wonderful writer. This was my final book of the summer, and I couldn't think of a more superb way to shut down summer reading and transition to back-to-work reading than by reading the incredible entwining of voice, brilliant observations, and heart in these essays. I'm not an audiobook person at all, but I'd love to hear Maeve Higgins read these stories aloud. She's inviting and incisive and able to tap into the most human of experiences in a way that ...more
Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook, funny, memoir
I loved this book. It's a gift to be able to see our culture from the visitors's perspective, and to have its flaws and beauty both delivered in a humorous package created by an Irish comedian. The humor was not excessive though, and very salient points were made esp. on the topic of immigration. On a lighter note, also appreciated the authors take on summer.

Bonus points for referencing two of my favorite books of all time: Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl and The Little Red Hen (a chi
Christa Van
Sep 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
I had not heard of Maeve Higgins before listening to her book but now I love her. I could listen to her read all day, she has the perfect accent. Also, her essays are hilarious and she is thoughtful while being funny. Maeve does comedy and so amazingly charming that you want to agree with everything she has to say. Her podcast about immigration was canceled because it was supposed to be funny but always turned out quite serious is a cautionary tale. Her dog borrowing makes a lot of sense for peo ...more
Matthew Daugherty
Sep 04, 2018 rated it liked it
So, for those of you who remember the song “Kids in America” by Len on the Digimon soundtrack now sing Maeve in America! You’re welcome.
Now on to the review. Why 3 stars? I would rather give it 3 1/2 but that is not an option. The good points: It’s a good read! Easy page turner with amusing tales but a nice dose of reality, philosophy, and some straight up thunking! Yes, I used a made word thunking. It has a lot of insights from someone who didn’t grow up in what we(Americans) call normal. If yo
Jennifer Healy
Oct 08, 2018 rated it liked it
I wanted like this more. I loved her essay on using Rent the Runway. Her essays on immigration were wonderful. The rest of the book just reminded me of how different I am, at 44, from Millenials. I felt she went on a little too long about herself, and I found myself skimming some parts because it got a little redundant. I love Instagram, too, but I don’t need to read an essay about someone else’s reasons for using it. She’s a good writer and she is funny, it just felt like there weren’t enough s ...more
Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a very different read, but worth it! Maeve Higgins writes a series of essays that are both thought provoking and poignant, inserting bits of her humor here and there.

I highly recommend her book as it will leave you thinking about subjects you encounter with a new perspective - some interjected with her lovely humor, some from the viewpoint of an immigrant, some from the viewpoint of a woman, but mostly from the viewpoint of a person just like you making their way through life, which is
Jen Boucher
Aug 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
I’ll admit that the first couple of essays had me feeling, ‘well, these are FINE, but why am I reading this instead of something else’. I’m so glad I carried on to be unexpectedly awoken to Maeve’s perspectives on topics such as immigration, being childless, being lonely and social media. I really enjoyed this book, it’s blend of humour and blunt reality, right down to the acknowledgements at the end. I will be listening to the podcast full of voices of immigrants as a follow up and am grateful ...more
Shannon A
Feb 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I wish this book was going to be out to share around St. Patrick's Day, but maybe August would be a better time, as one wouldn't want to be caught laughing out loud in Church on St. Patrick's Day.
Is it fitting that while reading the opening essay about swimming with the dolphins, the pages got slightly ruined by my tears from laughing so hard that I couldn't put the book down? Yes.
The reflections shared within these pages are beautiful and will make you think as Maeve's observations are both
Sep 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
I think the blurbs definitely oversold the humor of this essay collection. While some of Higgins’ observations were quiet-chuckle (as opposed to laugh out loud) funny or thoughtful, her essays and overall tone were not cohesive.

The last third felt especially melancholy...which maybe would have been okay, because the writing wasn’t bad...but it felt depressing and wrong for a book billed as “a cross between Tina Fey and Dave Sedaris’s work.”
Vera Lynn
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book has been my favorite comedian autobiography so far because of how genuinely Maeve shares her stories and the stories of others. From heavy topics like border control and the betrayal of our country towards immigrants and refugees, to what it’s like to be single, not want children, and be obsessed with the positives of Instagram, Maeve shares her heartfelt feelings that make you laugh, cry, and feel empathy for others.
Aug 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways-won
Maeve Higgins has a wonderful narrative voice which is absolutely hilarious. Her essays/possible long winded memories comment on simple stuff from fashion to imposter syndrome to the different kinds of Irish. I laughed a lot reading this book, maybe even shed a few tears. Great for those who need a laugh and like seeing into a comedians life.

I did receive this book through a Goodreads giveaway.
Katie Palazzolo
Aug 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a really entertaining read. I am not familiar with any of Maeve's other works- which I appreciated and forced myself to wait until finishing the book to find the rest of her stuff. I really feel like I got to know Maeve through her book, which had really good insights on travelling, the purpose and value of comedy, immigration, sharing stories, and how dolphins almost tried to kill her.

Dan Chilton
Oct 12, 2018 rated it liked it
I've loved Maeve on all the podcasts I've heard her on, but this book didn't live up to expectations. It was really hit or miss; not knowing if it wanted to be serious or funny. Not that a book can't be both, but it wasn't well balanced here. Even still, I could listen to Maeve read just about anything and be, at the very least, mildly enthralled from her voice alone. Her American accent is really quite good.
Rachael Gilkey
May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In Maeve in America, Maeve Higgins has collected a number of smart, funny, thoughtful essays that touch on everything from the trials of dressing fancy for a gala, the importance of the “aunts” of the world in guiding young women, the healing properties of social media, and in some of her most heartfelt and thoughtful writing, on immigration in America.

This collection will be published in August 2018. I received an advance copy.
Sep 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: to-be-bought
Any book that includes the phrase 'learned from the ultimate babe, Daniel O'Connell' is one that automatically gets five stars from me. Also the fact that she talks extensively about people pronouncing her name wrong is something that I just feel on a deeply spiritual level.
This collection of essays, combing Maeve's musings on immigration and the life of being an immigrant to the United States (if not a privileged one at that). I find thoughts on the Irish diaspora so interesting, and this one
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Excellent. Funny and serious, deserves to be widely read. My favorite chapters:

Call Me Maeve
Aliens of Extraordinary Ability
Five Interactions, One Man
Summer Isn’t the Same Without You - hey take on body image.
How Funny - upside and downside of being funny and from a funny family.
Wildflowers - the absolute standout essay. Stunning and heartbreaking about immigration.
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“I want him to be funny but also stable, maybe like a successful ophthalmologist who crosses his own eyes when he tells you to follow his pen.” 0 likes
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