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Today Will Be Different
Cover of Today Will Be Different
Today Will Be Different
Borrow Borrow

*In development with HBO as a series starring Julia Roberts*


* Instant
New York Times Bestseller *


Named a Notable Book of 2016 by the Washington Post, one of Amazon's Top 100 Books of the Year, one of New York Times Book Review's 100 Notable Books, one of The Guardian's Best Books of 2016, one of NPR's Best Books of 2016, a Must-Read Book of 2016 by PopSugar, one of EW's 20 Best Books of 2016, one of Glamour's Top Ten Books of the Year, and one of Kirkus Reviews' "Best 100 Fiction Books of 2016"

A brilliant novel from the author of Where'd You Go, Bernadette, about a day in the life of Eleanor Flood, forced to abandon her small ambitions and awake to a strange, new future.
Eleanor knows she's a mess. But today, she will tackle the little things. She will shower and get dressed. She will have her poetry and yoga lessons after dropping off her son, Timby. She won't swear. She will initiate sex with her husband, Joe. But before she can put her modest plan into action-life happens. Today, it turns out, is the day Timby has decided to fake sick to weasel his way into his mother's company. It's also the day Joe has chosen to tell his office-but not Eleanor-that he's on vacation. Just when it seems like things can't go more awry, an encounter with a former colleague produces a graphic memoir whose dramatic tale threatens to reveal a buried family secret.
TODAY WILL BE DIFFERENT is a hilarious, heart-filled story about reinvention, sisterhood, and how sometimes it takes facing up to our former selves to truly begin living.

*In development with HBO as a series starring Julia Roberts*


* Instant
New York Times Bestseller *


Named a Notable Book of 2016 by the Washington Post, one of Amazon's Top 100 Books of the Year, one of New York Times Book Review's 100 Notable Books, one of The Guardian's Best Books of 2016, one of NPR's Best Books of 2016, a Must-Read Book of 2016 by PopSugar, one of EW's 20 Best Books of 2016, one of Glamour's Top Ten Books of the Year, and one of Kirkus Reviews' "Best 100 Fiction Books of 2016"

A brilliant novel from the author of Where'd You Go, Bernadette, about a day in the life of Eleanor Flood, forced to abandon her small ambitions and awake to a strange, new future.
Eleanor knows she's a mess. But today, she will tackle the little things. She will shower and get dressed. She will have her poetry and yoga lessons after dropping off her son, Timby. She won't swear. She will initiate sex with her husband, Joe. But before she can put her modest plan into action-life happens. Today, it turns out, is the day Timby has decided to fake sick to weasel his way into his mother's company. It's also the day Joe has chosen to tell his office-but not Eleanor-that he's on vacation. Just when it seems like things can't go more awry, an encounter with a former colleague produces a graphic memoir whose dramatic tale threatens to reveal a buried family secret.
TODAY WILL BE DIFFERENT is a hilarious, heart-filled story about reinvention, sisterhood, and how sometimes it takes facing up to our former selves to truly begin living.

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  • Library copies:
    6
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Recommended for you

About the Author-
  • Maria Semple is the author of This One Is Mine and Where'd You Go, Bernadette, which has been translated into seventeen languages. She lives in Seattle.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    July 11, 2016
    On the fateful day she decides to be her “best self,” Eleanor Flood—cult-famous cartoonist, mother, wife, cynic—spirals from one catastrophe to the next. Her day quickly turns hectic when her son, Timby, comes home sick from school. Hoping his father might help, Eleanor instead begins to suspect her surgeon husband is having an affair when his receptionist acts cagey. Eleanor’s ego is bruised when she realizes an underling she fired years ago is now a famous artist, she dodges calls from her publisher about a long-passed deadline for her graphic memoir, and, finally, she suffers what may be a concussion after crashing headfirst into a sculpture. The latest from Semple (Where’d You Go, Bernadette?) is a sharp, funny read, and the author injects quirky elements—drawings, a comic book, photocopies of poems—to add another layer of enjoyment. Though Eleanor is snarky, her troubles and growing calamities are engaging. Some of her encounters are a bit too convenient, and the trope of a “day from hell” makes for shallow interactions between characters, but Semple augments these first-person antics with third-person sections that dig deep into Eleanor’s past, finding particular resonance when telling the story of Ivy, the sister Eleanor feels she has lost to a wealthy husband in New Orleans. In the end, the novel wraps up too neatly, but the ride is consistently entertaining. Agent: Anna Stein, ICM Partners.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from July 1, 2016
    A day in the life of an enchanting and gifted woman who is almost too frazzled to go on.The women on the verge of a nervous breakdown, the mad housewives, and the Annie Halls can welcome a new member to their club: Eleanor Flood, the narrator of Semple's (Where'd You Go Bernadette, 2012, etc.) second sendup of Seattle and its denizens. Eleanor, formerly a New Yorker and the animator of a popular cartoon about four girls in " '60's style pinafores" misdirecting "their unconscious fear of puberty into a random hatred of hippies, owners of pure-bred dogs and babies named Steve," lives in Seattle with her sweet Seahawks doctor husband and her precocious, makeup-wearing third-grade son. Timby goes to Galer Street School, an ultra-PC environ familiar to Bernadette fans, where Eleanor imagines his arrival was greeted with delighted cries of "Eureka! We've got a transgender!" This book is so packed with interesting characters and situations, it could have been three times as long. You want more New Orleans Garden District (where Eleanor's sister has been kidnapped by an effete Mardi Gras krewe captain), more New York animation studio, more poignant childhood stories (dead actress mother and alcoholic father, illustrated in a beautiful color insert), more annotated poems ("Skunk Hour," by Robert Lowell). Only one thing you don't want more of--a weird plotline about husband Joe's secret life. As Eleanor tells Timby when they visit a public art installation, "I don't mean to ruin the ending for you, sweet child, but life is one long headwind. To make any kind of impact requires self-will bordering on madness. The world will be hostile, it will be suspicious of your intent, it will misinterpret you, it will pack you with doubt, it will flatter you into self-sabotage--My God, I'm making it sound so glamorous and personal! What the world is, more than anything? It's indifferent." Ah, Eleanor. You could have stopped at glamorous and personal. Because few will be indifferent to this achingly funny and very dear book. This author is on her way to becoming a national treasure.

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    May 15, 2016
    Start the day bright and early. Organize son Timby for school. Get to those yoga and poetry classes. Ditch the bad language. Become passionate again with husband Joe. Eleanor has just hatched a small-step plan for polishing up her life, but it's blown to smithereens when Timby wangles a day off from school and Joe tells the office--but not Eleanor--that he's on vacation. Now she's in for some big changes. Semple's "Where'd You Go, Bernadette", slated for the big screen, has sold over a million copies across formats and was a "New York Times" Best Book. With a 200,000-copy first printing.

    Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Heather Havrilesky, Bookforum Semple has mastered the intersection of sad and nuts like no one else.... Like a cross between Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections, the best episides of Bob's Burgers, and the private journal of the smartest, most irritable woman you know, TODAY WILL BE DIFFERENT is a reckless and scattershot work of genius.
  • Meg Wolitzer, New York Times Book Review Another tour de force.... The success of this poetic, seriously funny and brainy dream of a novel — 'Mrs. Dalloway Takes Laughing Gas,' perhaps — has to do with Maria Semple's range of riffs and preoccupations. All kinds of details, painful and perverse and deeply droll, cling to her heroine and are appraised and examined and skewered and simply wondered at. If that's considered a trick, readers of Semple's novel will be overjoyed to fall for it.
  • Maris Kreizman, Los Angeles Times Semple brilliantly conveys a whole array of angst — self-deprecation and existential dread and a panic attack of neuroses — while simultaneously packing in a liberal dose of levity.... It's a joy to watch Eleanor struggle to change for the better. That we get to laugh along with her is an added bonus.
  • Steph Opitz, Marie Claire Written with Semple's hilarity-cum-sincerity, Eleanor grapples with the past to reconcile her future and makes readers smile.
  • Sadie L. Trombetta, Bustle Peppered with unforgettable one liners, laugh-out-loud funny observations, and plenty of those little truths we all think to ourselves but never say out loud. Eleanor's outlook on life, her internal dialogue and the conversations she carries out with others — all brought to life on the page through Semple's whip smart writing — will have you blinking back tears.
  • Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk 'Today will be different,' Eleanor Flood tells herself, and oh baby hang on for a wild ride that's like nothing Eleanor sees coming. In this brilliant depiction of a woman hanging on by her fingernails, Maria Semple delivers a perfect panic of a day on which the barely tolerable, muddle-through-it desperation that so many of us have known at one time or another suddenly erupts with life-shattering force. Can an existential crisis make us laugh? Such is Semple's talent that this one does, without losing any of the punch or gravity of the hardest kinds of lived experience.
  • Lauren Groff, author of Fates and Furies I had the uncanny feeling, while reading TODAY WILL BE DIFFERENT, that Maria Semple had somehow snuck into my house when I was asleep, took an x-ray image of my heart, then painted it by hand in neon colors. This book is searingly honest and hilarious and dark and neurotic. It is dizzying. Best of all, it is delicious.
  • Sophie Flack, Boston Globe Nothing short of a masterpiece.
  • Shannon Carlin, Bust It's the promise of what tomorrow holds for Eleanor that makes her worth getting to know
  • Steph Cha, USA Today (3/4 stars) Downright hard to put down.... unrelentingly entertaining, with some nice pathos thrown in the mix.
  • Yvonne Zipp, Christian Science Monitor Absolutely delicious black comedy.... A witty delight.
  • Jamie Blynn, US Weekly Humorously depicts the struggle to keep it together.
  • Leigh Nordstrom, Women's Wear Daily Comedic and charming.
  • National Book Review We've all had the 'day from hell,' but we can't make it as clever, fun, or whip-smart as Semple, the presiding queen of literary screwball satire.
  • Jana Siciliano, Bookreporter There are few readers who won't find the pathos and struggle of [Eleanor's] journey towards her new and really authentic self genuine and heartfelt.
  • Zoë Apostolides, Financial Times There are some glorious moments of social satire.
  • Izzy Grinspan, New York Magazine [Semple's] a master at creating comedy out of the neuroses of people with too much time and money on their hands.
  • Ellen Akins, Newsday Semple...has a singular genius for turning the ordinary inside-out and looking at it slantwise.... The allusions are quick and rich, the riffs nonstop and spot-on, and the results surprising.
  • Jeremy Kohler, St. Louis Post-Dispatch While TODAY WILL BE DIFFERENT can be outrageously funny, it reaches deeper into its protagonist and finds unstill waters, a river of sadness, deep within.
  • Wendeline O. Wright, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Semple...has crafted another fast-paced story full of twists and turns that double down on 'mean is funny.' The result is a biting satire of well-off white liberal life that skewers everything in its path while maintaining a level of affection for its characters that balances out its acerbic sensibility.
  • Daily Kos Warm, funny and...
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    Little, Brown and Company
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