The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted

The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted

And Other Small Acts of Liberation

Book - 2008
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A compelling anthology of short fiction, including eleven never-before-published pieces, explores the lives of women breaking free of the convention that controls their lives, in a collection that includes "Returns and Exchanges," "Over the Hill and Into the Woods," and the title story, about a woman who goes on a happiness binge after ditching Weight Watchers.
Publisher: New York : Random House, c2008.
ISBN: 9781400065097
Characteristics: 242 p. ;,25 cm.


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FindingJane Jun 23, 2016

In this shining collection of short stories, various people decide to cast caution to the winds and do just as they like, if only for a short while. In tales alternately bittersweet, amusing, tender, heartbreaking and quietly contemplative and often revolving around food or consumption, Berg’s cast of characters coaxes the reader to dare—just a little—with her own act of rebellion. For those who have never read Berg’s fiction before now, this book graced with a friendly lemon yellow cover and a line drawing that reverses and winkingly twists Jean-Baptiste-Dominique Ingres’s “La Grande Odalisque” is a perfect introduction, with each story like a small sweet to be popped into the mouth and savored.

Mar 29, 2015

Humorous and liberating, this collection of short stories addresses the anxieties, humiliations, stresses, and ultimate joy experienced throughout life.

BrigidScott May 06, 2013


Jun 19, 2012

I would rather read a novel by Elizabeth Berg (one of my favorite authors), but she cracked me up with some of her witty observations.

Jul 11, 2011

Great title, and there were some lovely bits of writing in this collection, but somehow the individual stories didn't add up to a great read for me. I've enjoyed Berg's novels more.

madame_librarian Jan 20, 2011

Berg’s wonderful short stories—witty and droll yet expressing a knowing sympathy for her characters—are perfectly crafted gems of self discovery, change, and renewal. The stories contain a broad range of personalities and situations: the pre-teen on the edge of puberty whose self image as a cute girl is devastatingly changed when she overhears a cousin call her a fatty; the older couple reduced to ridiculous displays grief and wondering if life’s worth living when their aged dog is dying; a recipe for apple pie in a charming, chatty letter that reveals a great deal about the love for simple things the writer wishes to share; and my favorite about three women friends of a certain age who make a pact to reconnect with old flames and return to a dinner gathering to report on the results (the rapid-fire dialogue in this one is simply spot on). The title story is about every dieter’s dream rebellion. For a whole day the narrator splurges on whatever foods she wants, and delights in recounting her choices and the delicious sinfulness of it all. Why don’t you splurge on this gourmet selection of great reading? I promise it’s low cal, but oh, so yummy.

-Madame Librarian


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Jul 11, 2011

What does she expect? That her children will one day come to her with a long list of things for which they finally want to thank her? No. They will not do that. Nor will they come to her with a long list of slights. She will hide her list and they will hide theirs.

Jul 11, 2011

Every day, take a walk unless you are too tired or it's cold out. Do not pass grocery stores. Or bakeries. Or restaurants. Basically, walk in the woods and worry that someone will kill you for recreational sport before you've even come close to your target weight.

Jul 11, 2011

Do you think that people ever really do believe they will die, that the world will just go along as always without them? I wonder if we aren't all just a little surprised at the moment of crossover, if we don't look back over our shoulders saying, Now hold on.

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