Tell Me More: Stories About the 12 Hardest Things I'm Learning to Say

Tell Me More: Stories About the 12 Hardest Things I'm Learning to Say

by Kelly Corrigan


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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A story-driven collection of essays on the twelve powerful phrases we use to sustain our relationships, from the bestselling author of Glitter and Glue and The Middle Place

“Kelly Corrigan takes on all the big, difficult questions here, with great warmth and courage.”—Glennon Doyle


It’s a crazy idea: trying to name the phrases that make love and connection possible. But that’s just what Kelly Corrigan has set out to do here. In her New York Times bestselling memoirs, Corrigan distilled our core relationships to their essences, showcasing a warm, easy storytelling style. Now, in Tell Me More, she’s back with a deeply personal, unfailingly honest, and often hilarious examination of the essential phrases that turn the wheel of life.

In “I Don’t Know,” Corrigan wrestles to make peace with uncertainty, whether it’s over invitations that never came or a friend’s agonizing infertility. In “No,” she admires her mother’s ability to set boundaries and her liberating willingness to be unpopular. In “Tell Me More,” a facialist named Tish teaches her something important about listening. And in “I Was Wrong,” she comes clean about her disastrous role in a family fight—and explains why saying sorry may not be enough. With refreshing candor, a deep well of empathy, and her signature desire to understand “the thing behind the thing,” Corrigan swings between meditations on life with a preoccupied husband and two mercurial teenage daughters to profound observations on love and loss.

With the streetwise, ever-relatable voice that defines Corrigan’s work, Tell Me More is a moving and meaningful take on the power of the right words at the right moment to change everything.

Praise for Tell Me More

“It is such a comfort just knowing that Kelly Corrigan exists: she is somehow both wise and self-deprecating; funny but unafraid of pain; frank but gentle. She is the sister/mother/best friend we all wish we could have—and because of this big-hearted book, we all get to.”—Ariel Levy, author of The Rules Do Not Apply

“With full-bodied humor and radical sensitivity, Kelly Corrigan transforms the mundane pain of life into a necessary spiritual text of sorts, one that reminds us that we have the right to grieve but the obligation to be grateful. This book will remind you that you are human—and of the fragile loveliness of being so.”—Lena Dunham

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399588396
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/30/2019
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 8,217
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Kelly Corrigan has been called “the voice of her generation” by O: The Oprah Magazine and “the poet laureate of the ordinary” by HuffPost. She is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Middle Place, Lift, and Glitter and Glue. She is also the creative director of The Nantucket Project and host of their conversation series about what matters most. She lives near Oakland, California, with her husband, Edward Lichty, and her daughters, Georgia and Claire.

Read an Excerpt

It’s Like This

Excerpted from "Tell Me More"
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Copyright © 2018 Kelly Corrigan.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

It's Like This 1

Tell Me More 27

I Don't Know 51

I Know 83

No 103

Yes 131

I Was Wrong 135

Good Enough 161

I Love You 177

No Words at All 183

Onward 195

This Is It 215

Author's Note 221

Acknowledgments 223

Customer Reviews

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Tell Me More: Stories About the 12 Hardest Things I'm Learning to Say 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You know that feeling when you read every last page of a book (including the dedications, acknowledgments, info about the author), sadly close the back cover, flip the book back over to the front cover, fan the pages of the book, your lips curled into a slight, sly smile? It’s bittersweet, is it not? Your soul recalls, absorbs, and cherishes the stories and words you’ve just let into your heart while your brain screams “Tell Me (even) More”, Kelly! I’ve read this book twice, mentally highlighted no less than three sentences on each page, and find I want and need to read it again. I might have missed something. Truly a beautiful, honest, entertaining, and all too real account of what so many of us encounter every single day. Breast cancer? Yeah, been there. Watching a dear friend die and having it crush you to the core every day since? Yeah, been there as well. More than once. Acknowledging our imperfections while knowing they are what make our life better and ya stronger? Yeah, well, working on that one. Read this book. Read it again. Share it with a friend, a family member, a stranger. Their life will be better for it. And they will, if there’s an ounce of character and depth to them at all, find themselves closing the back cover, slyly smiling, and yearning for more. Well done, Kelly. Well done.
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
When I read these types of books, I start to believe that anyone who has a story has the potential for writing a book. Somehow their story has to connect to the masses for it to sell, but nevertheless they have potential. They don’t have to tell us its going to be okay or end on a happy note, they just need to connect to their readers and be real. Reading this short novel was like sitting down with a dear friend over lunch and just catching up on what was new. I found myself identifying with a few of her stories and for some of them, they made me stop and think. She was personable, someone I could relate to and I think we’d make great fence neighbors. I liked this blessing. I think it might be one, I will use for it says so much yet it is so simple: “Thank you for the food before us, the people around us, and the love between us.” I liked her point about Cleta, her grandmother. Kelly should have gotten to know her better, she should have tried to appreciate her like her father wanted her to. Kelly felt bad because she didn’t go visit her as much as she had planned to but it wasn’t all about the missed visits. It’s quality over quantity. It didn’t matter how much she visited, it’s what she did when she was there. I really liked the I Love You chapter as there was so much truth in what she said. I love you covers the good times and the bad, the letdowns and the victories, the highs and the lows. “The first time the words pass between two people: electrifying. Ten thousand times later: cause for marvel. The last time: the dream you revisit over and over and over again. “ The last two chapters of this novel had me almost in tears. Kelly narrates to Liz, her dear friend who has passed away, how life is moving forward without her. Liz’s husband Andy still performs some of the traditions that Liz had started, they’ve just recently celebrated her birthday with a small gathering of her friends, Liz’s clothes are still hanging in her closet, and they’ve just decided how they’re going to celebrate her first death date. This was an emotional closure to a novel with a friend that I had just met.
GothykMama More than 1 year ago
In a series of extremely personal and revealing essays, Kelly takes us through a series of phrases that have become essential to improving and sustaining her relationships.  We could all take a lesson from this author's introspection and willingness to learn from challenges and opportunities for growth. I received this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
LeighKramer More than 1 year ago
The author's chapter titled Yes is a list of things she will always say yes to. One of the items on my Yes list? Reading Kelly Corrigan's books. I am now three for three with loving her books. I can't remember how I came across her memoir The Middle Place a few years ago but it was a revelation, as was its follow-up Glitter And Glue. I didn't even need to know what Tell Me More was about before I requested an advance copy. I knew I'd love it and I was right. Kelly Corrigan's writing never ceases to amaze me. Tell Me More is structured differently from her memoirs but we still get her excellent storytelling. There were a few chapters where I wasn't quite sure where her stories were going or how they connected to the chapter's phrase. But she always, always brought it home. True to form, I laughed out loud and I teared up. Her writing can be so moving and especially when paired with the lessons she's learned. I'd finish reading the chapter and sit back a little, taking it in, thinking through how it applied to my life. I think that's the point of reading Tell Me More. It's giving us a chance to consider what things we need to say to the people around us. When I worked for hospice, we'd often reference the five things you should say before you die: thank you, I love you, I’m sorry, please forgive me, and goodbye. I thought about this as I looked at Corrigan's twelve phrases. There's very little overlap and yet the two lists partner well together. Onward was one of my favorite chapters. It includes one of the best metaphors about grief and loss I've ever encountered. Corrigan quotes her friend Andy's eulogy for his wife and her best friend Liz. The book is worth reading for that alone. But honestly, this is a book that's just plain worth reading. Corrigan is relatable. She's not perfect. She doesn't have it all figured out and in that vein, she invites us to come alongside and learn with her. This is a book I want to refer back to for when I'm in a sticky situation or I'm not sure what to say or I need to improve my communication skills with loved ones. I you hear me saying, "tell me more" or "it's like this" a lot more, you'll know why. Disclosure: I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tell Me More by Kelly Corrigan is an open, honest, thoughtful, loving memoir which shares points in her life when she learned the true importance and meaning of saying 12 different phrases that we constantly hear in our language. The phrases include: tell me more; it's like this; I don't know; I know; No; Yes; I was wrong; Good enough; I love you; No words at all; Onward; and This is it. Through her reflections, she teaches us not only the importance of the words we choose, but also how to better our own communications and relationships with others in our lives. Some of my personal favorites to remember are: "Learn to say no. And when you do, don't complain and don't explain. Every excuse you make is like an invitation to ask you again in a different way." "Sometimes the art of relationship is declaring your limits, protecting your boundaries, saying no." "There's so much that you don't know, you can't know, you aren't ever going to know." "You can't be really loved if you can't bear to be really known." "We can be damaged and heavy-hearted but still buoyant and insightful, still essential and useful, just by saying "I know"." and finally, "Life is a mystery. Live your mystery." Thanks to NetGalley and Random House for allowing me to read an e-ARC of this book. All opinions are strictly my own. KathyF.