Unfortunately, her writing here lacks the succinctness and snap of her songs. While her lyrics distill human experience, Lavin meanders through Pizza, and readers need to wade through fluff to get the stuff that's insightful or laugh-out-loud funny. She reports incidents that happen to have happened in the course of her life, sometimes to other people, even when the stories don't have actual or metaphorical significance. In a book that names names relentlessly--famous people, unknown singers, people who show up at a party, realtors--we aren't shocked when we learn an acquaintance committed suicide, but we struggle to place the name.
At the end of this story, Lavin has money problems. Can she solve them by entering a bake-off, selling garments she knits, or making a film? No, she will write a book. That's not the best way to raise cash, I can tell you, but if everyone she mentions in Pizza buys it, she'll be flush.
Lavin discusses and signs copies of Pizza at Barnes & Noble on June 4 and will appear at the Ark June 5.
[Originally published in June, 2010.]