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Eightysixed: Life Lessons Learned

Life and love in the big city but there is more … so much more.



***Relatively spoiler free***

About the book 

The story is very personal and an insight into the events that have shaped Emily’s life to this point.  Personal as it is, the lessons learned are universal and very relatable.  We have all known people like those whom have passed through Emily’s life (for better or worse).  Most of us have felt the same highs and lows she has felt in her best and worst of times.  We have all been there at one point or another in our lives but Eightysixed goes further and telling us what she had learned, how she had grown from each turn of events and gives meaning to them. I found myself reflecting upon my own circumstances after finishing her book.

Contemporary Drama.. in the classical sense

Eightysixed has the dramatic arc you would expect in most great tales and felt like a complete story rather than just a random collection of events or series of anecdotes that you would expect from most memoirs.

Each chapter is prefaced with lessons … it’s the set-up and take-aways for what we’re about to read.  Some hysterically blunt and to the point, others poignant and deeply moving.  I liked it because it clued you in on what to expect … whether it was to anticipate a victory or to brace for a hit.

The Tone

Emily tells her story in a rather frank and candid way.   Pulling no punches she tells it as it is… F-bombs and all.  She has a sharp wit and is a naturally funny person and it shows in her storytelling.  At times her humor punctuated the craziness of certain situations and at times it served to shave the sharp edges off the more painful moments but never discounts the meaning behind them.

Women’s Lit?  Not so fast… 

A lot of people have compared this to “Bridget Jones Diary”, yeah I can sort of see that…twenty-somthing single woman in the big city is a familiar story.  I do like Emily’s comparison to Eat, Pray, Love though.  I too have not seen or read it but I get it.

As you would expect, a lot of reviews online have come from women however as a man I can say I got a lot from this book.  From a practical standpoint, it gives men an insight into the thoughts and feelings of a modern woman…every man should read this.

While we’re at it, foodies will love this book too.  We are treated to a glimpse inside the thriving Chicago food scene, introduced to Michelin star chefs and through her get to experience some of the finest restaurants in the country (some still have waiting lists months long)

As a Chicagoan I loved all the local referrences.  So you see Eightysixed has something for everyone; of course if you insist this is a curl up on the couch with a pint of rocky road and a box of kleenex type of book, that’s cool too.

About the Author


photo credit: Katrina Wittkamp


If you have followed Total E-Bag  then you are familiar with Emily writing.  If not go check it out, it’s witty, insightful, smart, and thoroughly entertaining.  Now a published author we should expect to see a new book sometime soon.  What it’s about I can’t say yet (remember?… no spoilers) but I can tell you will be worth the wait.  Her observations on life and love in Chicago has caught the attention of the media and deservedly so.

Emily is also the mastermind behind the same sex greeting card line HappyHappyGayGay , covered the floor of her room in pennies  … how awesome is that?

Eightysixed: Life Lessons Learned is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble


Xan Garcia

Xan Garcia

Founder and senior editor of VODA. Cocktailian, Journalist, Traveler, and the next Robin Leach.

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